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Black Cat Espresso Blend by Intelligensia

This is a discussion on Black Cat Espresso Blend by Intelligensia within the Commercial Roast Reviews forums, part of the Coffee Forums category; I rarely buy espresso blends off the shelf. Mostly I make my own blends and roast them with the old ...

  
  1. #1

    Ask me why I dinged Black Mister Moo's Avatar


     

    Black Cat Espresso Blend by Intelligensia

    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.



    ~*
    c(_)
    "But with a little bit of luck You'll run amok!"

  2. #2

    GAW
    GAW is offline
    Seeking Whitewater GAW's Avatar


     

    Re: Black Cat Espresso Blend by Intelligensia

    Damn Moo - it's almost enough to start me down the Espresso slope! Time to google Black Cat Espresso? Looks like you are in good with the Ninj Cobe. Jerry
    "Many men go fishing their entire lives without knowing it is not fish they are after." Henry David Thoreau

  3. #3

    Ask me why I dinged Black Mister Moo's Avatar


     

    Re: Black Cat Espresso Blend by Intelligensia

    Quote Originally Posted by GAW View Post
    Damn Moo - it's almost enough to start me down the Espresso slope! Time to google Black Cat Espresso? Looks like you are in good with the Ninj Cobe. Jerry
    Thank you for being so kind and for not bashing Mrs. Olsen.
    "But with a little bit of luck You'll run amok!"

  4. #4

    Puffer Fish with some spikes


     

    Re: Black Cat Espresso Blend by Intelligensia



    This makes me very happy Dan!

    Also good to know my espresso-making-newbie tastes are not off!

    No need to Google either. It's here: http://www.intelligentsiacoffee.com/store/coffee/blends

    Price: $12.95 per pound. Really, not out of bounds. They do ship as well. Intelligentsia is a Chicago coffee roaster. They have 3 coffee houses in the area. Just recently opened up a roasting facility in California because they get so many orders from the West coast and want to be able to deliver the beans closer to roasting. (I've talked with the owner.)

    The Black Cat is their default espresso bean, the one they use in the coffee shops. If you think it's good straight, try it in an iced Americano. It'll blow you away.

    Here's how I make mine: Half a glass of ice, the espresso shot on top, a little water to top off. Dash of cream. Half a packet of splenda. It's all kinds of caramel, roasted nuts, and richness.


    Think the Black Cat is good? Wait till you try their only other espresso option, the Kid-O. I think it might even be better.

    Go ahead, beg me to not send you any more!

  5. #5

    Ask me why I dinged Black Mister Moo's Avatar


     

    Re: Black Cat Espresso Blend by Intelligensia

    Quote Originally Posted by rdcross View Post


    Go ahead, beg me to not send you any more!
    No space!! No space!! Too much coffee already!!! Send nothing, PLEASE!!!


    (Heh heh heh.)
    "But with a little bit of luck You'll run amok!"

  6. #6

    Silverback gvarsity's Avatar


     

    Re: Black Cat Espresso Blend by Intelligensia

    Fun post. Cobe-winston doesn't play fair.
    Hanlon's Razor: Never attribute to malice that which can be adaquately explained by stupidity.


  7. #7

    Puffer Fish with some spikes hugecanoli's Avatar


     

    Re: Black Cat Espresso Blend by Intelligensia

    Great hit! How does this compare to Jerry's Electric Chair Blend?

    I ordered a half lb from him last week, and its almost gone already
    ā€œI feel sorry for people who don't drink. When they wake up in the morning, that's as good as they're going to feel all day.ā€ - Frank Sinatra

  8. #8

    Shags homely sheep galaga's Avatar


     

    Re: Black Cat Espresso Blend by Intelligensia

    Nice hit on the Moo.....

    Nice review too Mi'r Moo.
    Still hefing after all these years......

  9. #9

    Ask me why I dinged Black Mister Moo's Avatar


     

    Re: Black Cat Espresso Blend by Intelligensia

    Quote Originally Posted by hugecanoli View Post
    Great hit! How does this compare to Jerry's Electric Chair Blend?

    I ordered a half lb from him last week, and its almost gone already
    Compare Intelligensia Black Cat (IBC) to Electric Chair Blend (ECB)? Tough one, there. Oh Jeez - put me on the spot, why doncha?

    OK. Here goes. It's like apples and oranges to me - or maybe diamonds and gold. At half the price and half the complexity it's hard to match the Cat to the Chair. I speculate that MrJerry makes relatively small quantities of something that I already know is very unusual; Intelligensia probably roasts more BC Blend in a in a month than MrJerry roasts ECB in a year.

    Here I speak in weirdly relative terms... I would call ECB very much a boutique/specialty coffee next to IBC's far more commercial espresso blend. If MrJ decided to make a ton or so of ECB/month I suspect he'd have to cut his price to sell it, which means he'd have to reduce the bean expense and/or the labor that it takes to buy for, mix and roast ECB. Since I am totally guessing here, I hope MrJerry will expand, concur, disagree or whip my 2% lowfat.

    Conclusion - ECB is not trying to play in the same arena as IBC. Different worlds.

    Do UC what I'm saying?
    "But with a little bit of luck You'll run amok!"

  10. #10

    Puffer Fish with some spikes hugecanoli's Avatar


     

    Re: Black Cat Espresso Blend by Intelligensia

    Thank you, Sensai Moo, for that glorious and in typical Coffee Ninja jargon, stealthy explanation.

    ā€œI feel sorry for people who don't drink. When they wake up in the morning, that's as good as they're going to feel all day.ā€ - Frank Sinatra

  11. #11

    Full grown Puffer Fish stashu's Avatar


     

    Re: Black Cat Espresso Blend by Intelligensia

    Yeah, Black Cat is always in our cabinet. I'm never out of it. It's sold in a couple of supermarkets by us.

    Sometimes I stop at their shop on the way home from work and pick it up no more than 2 days after roast. And the smell in the car on the way home is awesome.

    There's another local roaster in town over by Loyola University named Metropolis where you can pick up their Espresso blend called "Redline" (named after the "el" train nearby) sometimes on the same day it was roasted.

    It's kinda got a quirky taste to it (maybe it's just me) but worth checking out. They also sell it green (greenline).

    Anyway, I'm lucky to have two roasters that I can stop at anytime I want some quality beans.

  12. #12

    Total Snobbery. aldukes's Avatar


     

    Re: Black Cat Espresso Blend by Intelligensia

    i just ordered some along with some of their New Guinea. After I'm done- its on to Jerry's electric chair.

  13. #13

    Ask me why I dinged Black Mister Moo's Avatar


     

    Re: Black Cat Espresso Blend by Intelligensia

    Quote Originally Posted by aldukes View Post
    i just ordered some along with some of their New Guinea. After I'm done- its on to Jerry's electric chair.
    If you are pounding out espresso, neither will disappoint.
    "But with a little bit of luck You'll run amok!"

  14. #14

    An Original Latino ResIpsa's Avatar


     

    Re: Black Cat Espresso Blend by Intelligensia

    Thanks for the review Dan, Black Cat is on my list to try. Don't buy a lot of preroasted over the 'Net, but have heard lots of good things.

  15. #15

    Total Snobbery. aldukes's Avatar


     

    Re: Black Cat Espresso Blend by Intelligensia

    im about a week into the black cat. I drink a cup in the morning via french press. Its awesome. The aroma fills up the entire office. The taste is a little strong and nutty, but thats what I love. The dried fruit at the end is extremely pleasant and not overpowering.

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