One of Man Seeking Coffee’s honorary field agents was savvy enough to escape from Bozeman, Montana with this fine sample in tact. The bag had no indication of roast date, which may have mattered for espresso, but not for our hodge-podge first method of brewing it, which probably made it look like we were fugitives on the lamb. Our all-too convoluted brewing method involved a coffee maker, gold filter and kettle, and in the end resembled a messy version of a standard pour over. That experience set me up to be optimistic, however, for further exploration given the relatively good tasting, rich, nutty coffee it produced. In fact, later French Pressed cups produced decent, full-bodied coffee that was mellow and slightly fruity.
It turns out that Rockford Coffee, named for Rockford, Illinois, is where the owner originally hails. This cafe, uses an espresso blend roasted for them by Herkimer Coffee of Seattle. The cafe, itself, however, has also recently ventured into the realm of roasting and currently roasts its own brewed coffees. It’s possible that Rockford’s own espresso may soon follow.
What I got from this blend was a slightly herbal shot with lots of chocolate, a touch of cinnamon and rich roasted nuts, and the occasional suggestion of something dark and fruity – I think the bag’s mention of Black Cherry seems right. It was definitely lingering and subtley smokey, very clean with a medium to full body and only a very mild bit acidity. While different, I couldn’t help but be remined a bit of Intelligentsia’s new Black Cat, in the way that chocolately notes predominate, and fruit emerges when the shot is done right. And while certainly a noteable and quite good espresso, it is not nearly that good.