I've said it before - the best thing about coffee is the wonderful people in the industry.
Had a fantastic experience on Sunday.
Tasted espresso and cupped coffees from a whole range of folks - with good friends Andrew, Drew and Gabe.
The coffees were amazing (you can read Gabe's account above for more information) but it really was the company and the experience that made is so special.
The experience also allowed me to crystalize something I've been trying to clearly explain for awhile. I have this belief that there are coffee roasters/buyers who are producing coffees that are more than just a "signature flavour" but are in fact a true representation of their own vision and identity and even personality. Duane from Stumptown is one such person. And Andrew Barnett from Ecco is another.
Tasting the Experimental Espresso #3 that Andrew was so kind to share made me realize that it was a near perfect expression of who he is - his values, his taste, his goals and beliefs.
That's such a cool thing.
And in general Andrew really is on top of his game right now. I tasted a gorgeous Yirgacheffe he shared with me this morning. It was roasted for espresso and was fucking godlike. Not just in the flavour and the mouthfeel and the aromatics (though damn was it good on all those). It was also one of those rare coffees that tasted fantastic at 201F, and equally fantastic (but entirely different) at 200F, and still just as fantastic (and different again) at 199F. Stunning.