Italian-like espresso blend from third wave roaster

Discuss flavors, brew temperatures, blending, and cupping notes.
vincent514
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Postby vincent514 » Wed Aug 14, 2013 10:54 pm

I have been searching for an espresso blend that would taste very much like an Italian espresso blend but that would be from a domestic "third wave" roaster using high-end beans.
I tried some espresso blends from Blue Bottle Coffee (I live in San Francisco), they are very good but they are too fruity and acidic for my taste. Ritual Coffee is even more fruity and acidic.
I like the complexity and smoothness in taste from good 3rd wave roasters but not the fruitiness and acidity. ... So I am looking for suggestions of espresso blends from good small-scale roasters that would be quite Italian-like in taste (in their own way, does not have to be copies). I hope it's not a lost quest...
And instead of trying one by one different blends I thought I should ask to the community on the forum.
Thank you for your suggestions.
Vincent

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Postby Eastsideloco » Wed Aug 14, 2013 11:12 pm

Counter Culture has some espresso blends like this. La Forza is roasted the darkest, inspired by southern Italian espresso blends. The Toscano blend is sweeter and milder, inspired by Northern Italian espresso blends. And the Rustico is more variable based on what is in season. Counter Culture even offers a deal on a trio pack if you want to try them all:

http://my.counterculturecoffee.com/coffee/espresso/

You probably have other options up or down the west coast—Italian style espresso never fell out of fashion at many west coast roasters—but Counter Culture does a really nice job of honoring Italian espresso while coming from more of a third wave aesthetic. You might also want to pick up a copy of "Left Coast Roast" to get a sense of what some of your local and regional roasters are doing, from the SF Bay up to Seattle.

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Postby homeburrero » Wed Aug 14, 2013 11:37 pm

Have you tried http://mrespresso.com/ ?

Is in your neighborhood. HB has a long discussion of them: Mr. Espresso, old-school commercial roaster, and their take on the new coffee
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Postby TomC » Thu Aug 15, 2013 1:30 am

I'd second Mr.Espresso. They offer many versions and have been doing it for a lot longer than the "3rd wave". We're fortunate to be able to source it fresh.
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Postby Intrepid510 » Thu Aug 15, 2013 2:12 am

Anyone try Linea yet? I think they are going traditional no?

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Postby drgary » Thu Aug 15, 2013 3:06 am

Barefoot Coffee does a darker blend called Haiku that is quite delicious and not over-roasted. This would be my first suggestion, and they are a Third Wave roaster. Also try Mr. Espresso's Espresso Toscano. It's similar to the Haiku and a touch mellower. I also like the Mr. Espresso Golden Gate Espresso and Espresso di Carlo. The latter two are lighter and more complex than the Toscano but aren't intensely acidic or fruity. If some of those characteristics show up try finer grind, lower dose, higher temperature. They are somewhat like Counter Culture's Espresso Rustico. Mr. Espresso has made a business of supplying local restaurants (like Il Fornaio) and their Espresso Toscano is very forgiving. Like typical Italian espresso sometimes their blends benefit from a touch of sugar and they're actually roasted for that, but I like them without. You can try the Espresso Toscano at The Coffee Bar on Montgomery, which is owned by them. They brew it with care on top grade gear. Another local favorite is the espresso blend at Cafe Trieste in North Beach, though they're not "Third Wave" either. Connoisseur Coffee in Redwood City is distributed at groceries and has particularly gentle roasts into second crack and is similar to Cafe Trieste. If you ever have a craving for Peet's but want something much more subtle you might find it worthwhile.
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Postby hperry » Thu Aug 15, 2013 6:39 am

The Good Coffee Company in Seattle is an "old school" roaster who has been doing this kind of roast since his inception. His "espresso blend" has that character. He ships, but no website, you have to call.
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Postby peacecup » Thu Aug 15, 2013 7:25 am

Stumptown in Portland I think has one - when I was with Hperry in Seattle he bought me a cappa that tasted a lot like the Italian espresso blends I pull at home. Thanks again Hal!

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Postby drgary » Thu Aug 15, 2013 10:33 am

hperry wrote:The Good Coffee Company in Seattle is an "old school" roaster who has been doing this kind of roast since his inception. His "espresso blend" has that character. He ships, but no website, you have to call.


Thanks also Hal for hosting Janet and me to the Good Coffee Company for its vintage lever machine and history. I would skip their espresso. I found it quite flat in taste. A better cup from up there would be the selections at Espresso Vivace, where Hal also took us. I'm not sure whether to suggest the Espresso Vita or the Espresso Dolce.
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Postby JohnB. » Thu Aug 15, 2013 10:54 am

Mike's Handlebar Blend might fit the bill plus he offers H-B members a 20% discount.

http://www.compasscoffeeroasting.com/bl...esso-blend
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