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PT's Coffee Roasters Bella Vita #2

Postby another_jim on Thu Jun 28, 2007 4:37 pm

PT's Coffee Company is a roaster in Topeka, where it also has several retail outlets. They are long time sponsors of Barista competitions, and Pete Licata, from their store, took second this year at the USBC. They recently became an HB sponsor, and sent the Titan Grinder Project testers a sampling of their coffees.

The first thing that stood out is their packaging. The bags came in a wooden box, which is a nice touch, but the bags themselves are quite special. Instead of the single mylar layer and flimsy seal, these sport a papery plastic outer layer and a mylar inner layer. The seal is heavy duty and, unlike those of many bags, will last as one extracts single portions from it over the course of the week.

Bella Vita #2 is an update on their store espresso blend. The roast is medium/dark with the beans showing a few spots of oil a few days after roasting. The taste is predominantly chocolate with subdued berry and dried fruit notes. The finish adds a strong note of fresh tobacco that is in no way ashy. The shot is heavy bodied with ample dark hazel crema.

The basic profile is what I'm beginning to recognize as the "Classic American Shot." Others in this genre are the granddad of the tribe, Zoka's Paladino, as well as Intelligentsia's Black Cat, and Counter Culture's Toscano. All of these taste different; but they have family resemblances. If you like these, you'll also enjoy Bella Vita.
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Postby jrtatl on Thu Jun 28, 2007 5:28 pm

I recently bought both the Bella Vita, and the Brazil from PT's.

I really like the Bella Vita. I can see this becoming one of my go-to blends. It is a "chocolate bar" blend, with a pleasing aftertaste of dried apricot. I haven't found any of the berry flavor that Jim mentions, but I'll keep trying. The viscosity is thick and luscious when pulled slightly ristretto. Plenty of crema.

The Brazil is very nice, but I don't care for it quite as much as the Bella Vita. I haven't pulled enough shots with the Brazil to fully describe the taste. Overall, my early impressions are that it is a mild coffee with a hint of butterscotch in the finish. I'll grab some more of it out of the freezer over the weekend and update the description. Just like the Bella Vita, the body is thick when slightly ristretto. Also has plenty of crema.

I really like both coffees I obtained from PT's. I will be ordering from them again soon.
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Postby HB on Thu Jun 28, 2007 10:08 pm

The Bella blend dialed in easy as pie, delivering rich chocolates and dried fruits. I preferred the shots pulled at lower temperatures (199 to 200F), though it was still good at 201F if you prefer more roast and caramel / nut flavors.
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Postby jesawdy on Thu Jun 28, 2007 11:59 pm

At Jim's suggestion, I have pulled a fair number of shots of the Bella Vita #2 that PT's shared with us (Thanks again Jeff!) as ristretto (which I rarely do), and it does make for a slightly nicer cup. For me, these have been 20g doses in the 18g "Synesso" basket, for a finished beverage of 90-110% brew ratios. My 16g normales, also nice, mostly cocoa for me with some initial fleeting fruit/berry, 50-60% brew ratios.

I would liken the Bella Vita #2 somewhat to the Intelly Kid-O blend if you like that.

I also purchased the original Bella Vita blend as well, which has been a real crowd pleaser at the office. These are superauto shots :oops: , and while I normally only do Americanos with the superauto, I've tweaked some decent straight doubles. I brought some home last weekend to try in Alexia... sorry no tasting notes but pulled very easily. I think you'd have a hard time pulling a bad shot with this blend.
Jeff Sawdy
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