I rarely buy espresso blends off the shelf. Mostly I make my own blends and roast them with the old SCCO. The price is right and the quality suits me just fine. Besides, commercial blends locally are expensive and many times they're just a lame let down.
Enter Cobe-Winston who slams me with punchy cigars, a cool cigar book and a half a pound of espresso blend I asked him not to send. Told him I was coffee'd up the ying-yang. The boy doesn't lissen... The good news was, he only sent a half-pound of (so what?) the "renowned" Black Cat. I mean who gives a ...
Moment! They print the roast date on the bag. Hmmm. That's novel.
A week post-roast it hit the Mazzer on espresso fine. Into the Oscar pf which, uncharacteristically, had been much idle for the past three months. Mental gyrations.... 1/2 pound is eight ounces times 28 grams/oz., divided by 17 grams per double shot plus a small loss factor for the grinder... damn. Not many shots in a half pound.... better pay attention. Not much room for goofing up here.
First shot chokes out the Oscar pump like Michigan chokes in a Kombat ring with Appalachian State. I am not talking accidental ristretto, either. I'm talking 11 drops in 50-seconds. Need to get the next one right! Muscle memory don't fail me now. A tweak on the Maz; grind; dose; light tap, tamp, polish, wipe. Lock. Pump on.
Ba-da bing. 1.8-oz in 25 seconds, crema atop crema, no snake bite - cut and run - beauty. I know by looking that whatever I pulled is as good as it'll be. And it was good.
We are talking dark, rich, sweet and moderately complex. This stuff was was dark bitterweet, chocolate-on, plus, I swear, a hint of cherries. If it had been pipe tobacco I'd have said is had a slight topping of cherry juice. I humilitated the Black Cat by making a cappuccino with it; the cappa was fine but the espresso bled thru and said, not quietly, "You're wasting me in milk, you fool."
Next shot, just like the one before, right down the hatch. The taste held for at least 30-minutes.
Don't roast your own? Don't miss Black Cat. This stuff would TOTALLY KILL in a mokapot and needless to say, it's monster for espresso. Price? Dunno - the stuff was a gift. I only wonder, why didn't he gift me a coupla pounds even though I begged that he send no coffee? Damn. Maybe Cobe-Winston DID lissen. My bad.
Thanks again, Cobes.