I picked up a bag of Ecco Caffe’s Ecco Reserve Espresso at the recent 2008 WRBC, a somewhat short-sighted move on my part since my home espresso setup is currently non-existent. So I did what I could, cupping it, pressing it and doing a pour over drip. The cupping gave me a clear sense of this coffee’s potential: rich, sweet and chocolaty, but the press and drip proved somewhat disappointing. The coffee brewed up mostly one-dimensional with a bit of chocolate and few hints of tobacco. It had a very dark roasted flavor without tasting burnt. Not bad, but not inspiring enough to get it again for press or drip.
Opportunity knocked, however, when my neighbor suggested brunch – he has an espresso machine. Not top of the line, mind you, a Krups XP 4030, but a machine that appears to get decent reviews for its capability (if not its dependability) for the price. It took a several practice shots before we got things right, but once we did, WOW! How sweet it was: rich, thick and full-bodied with buttery caramel and chocolate and a lingering taste of honey. What a fantastic way to end a big meal.