that was a really fun "guest" shift!
busy, nice people, good espresso... very fun indeed.
i played around more with the Doma Harar. i made a little "specialty drink" that combines a near-ristretto double shot of the Harar with some very stretched milk and a tiny amount of caramel in a demitasse - dusted with a small amount of bittersweet powdered chocolate. super tasty! and that's from me - the guy who doesn't like specialty drinks!
also - playing with the naked portafilter more has made me realize that there is a clear "hierarchy" of portafilter baskets. the "ridgeless" double basket is far and away the most forgiving and consistent to use. it rarely (if ever) channels, shots are easy to pull... nice. the OEM ridged basket and the triple basket are about neck and neck in terms of ease of use. the OEM single basket is just a nightmare. it's possible to pull a decent, non-channeling, shot - but the window is so so so narrow.
on a related note... the "stockfleth move" distribution technique is proving to be a serious success. testing with the naked portafilter has revealed this.

finally... i'm off to Portland (again) tomorrow.
i'm really excited - it should be a ton of fun. good coffee, good food, good beer... good people!


great origin espresso, guest shift and Portland

i tasted a truly incredible origin espresso today!

Terry up at Doma sent me an organic Harrar that is seriously fantastic.

i've always like Harar, but have thought it wasn't all that suited for general espresso usage. it's seemed like it is a little too "idiosyncratic" and not quite general purpose enough to me. the acidity, the thin body, the "one note" berry flavour... it's always resulted in a verdict of "interesting but not great."

this one changed my mind.

it had all the usual incredible blueberry tones, but was far more balanced than what i'm used to with Harar espresso. it poured a gorgeous colour with decent, though not persistent, crema that was a bit lacking in the red-tones. the aroma was dominated, of course, by blueberry, but there were also lovely hints of powdered chocolate and dried apricot. as a straight shot it was incredibly sweet, with a lovely maple-sugar/honey tone that balanced the acidic blueberry high-tones. the apricot turns lush and soft in the finish and the body is suprisingly full, with a syrup/honey coating effect. in short milk drinks this held up surprisingly well - the blueberry turning even sweeter and becoming more generic "berry" in flavour while remaining blueberry in aroma and a nice milk chocolate sweetness emerging in the finish.


on another note...
i'm going to be working a guest shift tomorrow at Spellbinder. should be fun.
i'm liking the whole "guest shift" thing. keeps me on my toes, stops my skills from getting rusty and makes me remember why i love this business.

i'm going to be back in Portland next week. i'm pretty damn excited. i should get to taste some amazing coffee, drink some great espresso, see some good people... yummy!