Espresso Neapolitan - Mr. Espresso - Dark(er) Espresso Review - Page 2

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#11: Post by Milligan »

I'm to the bottom of the bag, a few shots left so a good time to make some final notes. I've got the feeling the coffee has peaked (7/14 roast date.) It doesn't need a finer grind yet, but it is losing some of the creamy caramels that were more present when first opening the bag.

There are two sides of this coffee. Straight and with milk. I enjoyed a ristretto as a straight shot more than the longer pulls but it didn't have nearly enough heft to push through milk at a 1:1. Extending up to around a 1.75:1 made for a lighter milk drink. A 6oz cap is as far as this coffee can go at my current dose, but the 3oz Cortado I had was the sweet spot.

Straight shot:
1:1, 200F, 17g->17g, 24s, 8ml/s PI, 8bar to 6bar
Creamy chocolate and caramel. Hint of nuttiness. Balanced with a touch of acidity but no astringency on my palette. Lacking depth and nuance. While it does have traditional chocolate, caramel and nuts they aren't highly pronounced. If sticking to basic flavors, I'd expect them to explode on my palette instead of simply being present.

Milk shot:
1.75:1, 192F, 17g->30g, 28s, 8ml/s PI, 8bar to 6bar
Chocolate with fleeting caramel. Nuttiness is diminished. This shot rides on the edge of presenting the roast/wood/smoke that is found at the boundaries of a pleasant extraction (to my taste.) A milk drink could be confused with any rather generic medium/dark roast coffee that is dialed in for milk. Certainly not one I'd purchase again for this use.

Final thoughts... I need to correct my first post where I said "without the annoyance of wood/roast." This initial impression came from my lucky initial parameters where I happen to hit a nicely balanced shot right off the bat. After further exploring the coffee there is plenty of smoke/wood to be found right outside a narrow band of parameters. Low ratio needs high temp, fast PI, and short time pulls while higher ratios (up to only 2:1 but not above) needs low temp, fast PI, and traditional pulls. Outside of correct balance of ratio, temp, and grind/flow/time, a lot of wood/smoke/bitterings can be found which did not add anything to the cup for me. When all things come together it is, okay.

I finally went to their website to see their tasting notes after exploring the bag. I'm not sure where the "hazelnut" is. I had the impression of more of walnut if anything other than vague "nut." Dark chocolate and caramel seem appropriate though.

I want to thank TomC and HB for putting this on. I've enjoyed the process and love to hear everyone else's thoughts. Thanks!

EXTRA CREDIT: It would be interesting to hear what everyone thinks the bean origins are in this blend. My thoughts are: Brazil natural (nuts, chocolate), something a bit cleaner like a Colombian excelso, and 10% or less robusta. I don't taste strong robusta influence but some of the beans look small and round like robusta.

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#12: Post by HB »

Thanks to the Mr. Espresso for sponsoring this review, and thanks to the reviewers for their write-ups. :D
Dan Kehn