It has been a week for obsessions, from Twitter to a new addiction, Plants vs. Zombies. The first was the subject of a two-day conference where I was a panelist, even as social media played a role in the Iranian election unrest. The other is the latest computer game that has consumed too much time of the 9-year-old and, um, others, in our household. It is amusing and addictive. If you play it you will never look at mushrooms or vegetable gardening in quite the same way again.
Somewhere in there I helped my daughter build a replica of Brandenburg Gate out of wood and clay for a school project. I found myself drinking cups of espresso every morning in rapid succession. I was surprised to find this morning that I was nearly out of this latest selection, without having set down my impressions.
Name Los Inmortales
Origin El Borbollon, Finca Malacara, Santa Ana, El Salvador.
Roasted June 9 by Intelligentsia.
Purchased June 13 at Café Grumpy, 224 W. 20th St., Manhattan, between Seventh and Eighth Avenues.
Description "Poised and articulate with a sustaining sweetness. Notes of white grape and apple assist the acidity as the cup finishes with turbinado sugar," reads the bag.
In the Cup I picked up this bag of beans on my way to an "Iron Chef" competition at friends' co-op in Chelsea. The woman ahead of me in line at Grumpy was also buying a bag, skeptical about the fruit flavors. She said she was not a big fan of fruit overtones in coffee, and I have to agree, but I decided to give this a try.
The Iron Chef party was an elaborate affair with multiple courses, judges and appreciative crowd, including children running wild from apartment to apartment. Fresh tomatoes were the mystery ingredient in every dish from the martinis to the dessert. That can be tricky, since tomatoes at this time of year can be a little green and not quite in their prime, I was told.
The food was great, and the week was a whirlwind, from the school project to Twitter-Twitter-Twitter to the other obsessions, including all the iPhone mania and my attempt to find a good netbook (more on that later, perhaps). I have good memories of the espressos I made from this bean all week, moments captured looking out the kitchen window, on my way to something else. Sweet, rich, a good coffee, a strong candidate in my ongoing quest for the perfect cup.
I did not have much time to research Los Inmortales, or its possible relationship to this Cup of Excellence winner from Finca Malacara. That would at least suggest a good pedigree. (I also stumbled across this ironic Iranian coincidence regarding "The Immortals.")
Intelligentsia gives this extended description on its site:
Poised and articulate in its expression, Los Inmortales characterizes grace and refinement in a glassy clean cup. The sweetness is nectar-like and threaded through the entire taste experience while the acidity curtsies to notes of white grape and apple. The silky mouthfeel glides into a gentle finish of roasted hazelnuts and turbinado sugar.
What can I say, I'm a sucker for sweet coffees that have a creamy or silky mouthfeel (what a word) with a hint of sugar, caramel or chocolate. The acidity is kept in check, and the flavors progress from a slight hint of fruit -- grape, apple, maybe, or something vaguely tropical, that hovers in the back of the throat -- to a warm, rich finish that goes down smoothly and sweetly.
It makes you want to pour another shot. Which I have just done. And now the beans are nearly all gone, and I must make a trip to get some more. It will be a Father's Day present to myself.