After my positive experience with this espresso in the Tustin shop, I was glad to get a bag home and start running it through the ringer.
I started off by cupping it, which revealed a complicated array of flavors and aromas that now has me quite curious about the blend. My notes vary somewhat from the notes on the bag (see the photo) and on Kean’s website (see the link above), but I picked up on blueberry and blackberry notes up front, yielding to a grassy earthy quality that mellowed into chocolate and finally black tea and tobacco. It . This light roasted espresso (at least I’m assuming that the word “expresso” on the label is a typo) was a bit silty in texture with a dry acidity and had just the right amount of body to keep it anchored.
I expected a different shot at home on my consumer-level, lever machine than I got on the shop’s professional-level pump machine, and I certainly got it. Overall, my home espresso was a bit more syrupy and not as light, buttery and airy, despite pretty voluminous crema. What surprised me, though, was how much this espresso changed with different parameters, and yet how ultimately forgiving it was.
Different specs produced different shots, albeit often equally good, shots. Lower doses and/or shorter pull times (~18 g and 25-30 seconds) tended to produce a more smoky, herbal, and delicate shot with deeper, darker fruit notes. I found that higher doses and/or longer pulls (~ 19.5 g and 30-35 seconds) tended to bring out brighter acidity and create thicker, more full-bodied shots with more distinctive blueberry, pear and milk chocolate notes. I preferred the latter but the former was still very good. It’s not often you find an espresso this agreeable.
Perhaps because of the lighter roast, this blend also works quite well as regular brewed coffee. I only tried it as a French Press but was quite happy with the complex cup this brewing method produced, emphasizing many of the fruit and chocolate notes, and rounding them out with a bit of tobacco. Drinking this coffee made me really appreciate the complexity of a good blend since I tend to trend towards single origin coffees. It’s also nice to think that one can buy one coffee for multipurpose use and not feel like you’re sacrificing quality. This coffee is ideal for the one-stop shopper and but I equally, if not more so, recommend it to the espressophile consumer.