So I was all ready to write about this espresso a couple of weeks ago, but then I lost Internet service at home for a week. Long story, not very interesting, but it was an inauspicious start with Verizon DSL service. For many years I paid Earthlink for DSL on top of my Verizon phone line, but the phone company finally found the price point that made me switch. Unfortunately, they did something to the line right away that cut off the Earthlink service before sending me the modem. Then there was trouble on the line, yada yada. I said it was boring. On to the coffee, one of three varieties I bought here in New York. Name: Koke
Origin: 100 % Ethiopia Yergacheffe
Roasted: Aug. 11 by Barismo of Arlington, Ma.
Purchased: Aug. 16 at Café Grumpy, 224 W. 20th St., Manhattan, between Seventh and Eighth Avenues.
Description: According to Barismo's site: "A delicate floral perfume lends itself to a darjeeling tea and soft caramel hot cup. Lime citrus notes add a liveliness that mingles with the aromatics in a rewarding and balanced cup."
In the cup: The barista at Grumpy made me the first shot, and perhaps that ruined me for the rest of this coffee. I've never been able to quite replicate the way they pull their shots -- full of flavor, almost like a splash of mud sometimes. It's probably the way the espresso is meant to be experienced, and I can't quite replicate that at home (instructions on bag: "pull: 16g for 25sec at 200.5 degrees F, totaling 2oz"), since I don't own a $2,500-plus Clover that lets you precisely set time and temperature. (I'll add that it was nothing like the Wondo Worka Yergacheffe I tried several months ago.)
That said, it's a bit much for a daily drink. I've never been a big fan of overpowering floral and fruit notes in my coffee, and this espresso has more of that than I'd care to sample frequently. The description above matched my experience, for the most part. It is certainly a good coffee (Barismo calls it part of its "grand cru" series, an effort to upgrade the quality of espresso). It was something to sample when I was looking for a change of pace, a different taste, not something I felt like drinking three shots in a row, which tends to be a morning ritual lately.
But if you prefer your espressos on the lighter side, shiny and floral and citrus-y, with unusual aftertastes, you might just like this one, if you can get a pro to make it. I found myself favoring the selections from Verve and Novo roasters that I also bought on this trip. I'll blog about those next when I get a free moment.