Nicoletti Espresso

Discuss flavors, brew temperatures, blending, and cupping notes.
Nate42

#1: Post by Nate42 »

In response to this thread on Trader Joe's Barista espresso (no longer available) Trader Joe's Barista Espresso I asked if there were any other bargain priced Italian style blends with Robusta out there worth trying.

As one of the suggestions, I tried some Nicoletti Espresso, a Brooklyn company that has apparently been around since the 70s. 1kg bag for $28 shipped. Not quite bargain bin but you can do a lot worse especially these days. Here's my mini-review:

They advertise as light roast, and it is indeed light by typical classic espresso blend standards. Certainly not light by modern third wave standards. This is not a complaint (I wouldn't want it to be any lighter) just an observation.

It's pretty forgiving to pull in the sense that minor grind changes don't seem to make a huge difference. It makes an attractive looking shot with tons of crema. Great body and mouthfeel.
Flavorwise it has the usual chocolate and nuts, but it also has an intense "funk" for lack of a better word that I attribute to the Robusta. It also has a notable caffeine kick. This intensity makes it stand out well in milk drinks, but it's a little much straight. The funk aspect has faded over time (I am 1 month post roast now) but hasn't gone away. Age definitely has done it some good.

I've been pulling on Cafelat Robot, 17g in, 30ishg out, minimal preheating (I always hang the portafilter on the lid of my kettle while warming the water, but I don't jump through extra hoops beyond that). Just a couple seconds pre infusion, about 20 second pulls. More lungo shots, or grinding finer for longer shot time seemed to bring out more of that "funk" flavor so I have avoided it.

All in all it was a worthwhile experiment but I don't think I will be buying it again. If I was a milk and sugar guy I might get it more often.

Anyone else like this coffee? How are you pulling it? I still have about half the bag left (divided in two and put half in freezer when I received it).

kinda-niche

#2: Post by kinda-niche »

Nate42 wrote: Flavorwise it has the usual chocolate and nuts, but it also has an intense "funk" for lack of a better word that I attribute to the Robusta. It also has a notable caffeine kick. This intensity makes it stand out well in milk drinks, but it's a little much straight. The funk aspect has faded over time (I am 1 month post roast now) but hasn't gone away. Age definitely has done it some good.

I've been pulling on Cafelat Robot, 17g in, 30ishg out, minimal preheating (I always hang the portafilter on the lid of my kettle while warming the water, but I don't jump through extra hoops beyond that). Just a couple seconds pre infusion, about 20 second pulls. More lungo shots, or grinding finer for longer shot time seemed to bring out more of that "funk" flavor so I have avoided it.
I have not tried Nicoletti specifically, but your description of the ingredients of the blend and flavor notes is very reminiscent of the Malabar Gold blend that I am going through right now. One thing I'd highly recommend trying out, even if just as an experiment, is to pull it between 1:1 and 1:1.5 over 25-30s. Say, 20 g in 20-22g out, or thereabouts. This has been working for me with Malabar Gold: the "funk" from Robusta (which for me has been slight woodiness/earthiness in case of Malabar Gold, and even that has been slowly disappearing as the coffee degasses over time) will be absent at these lower ratios; and if you get lucky (assuming the beans are any similar), you may get some nice and syrupy chocolate and nuts profile.

GregoryJ

#3: Post by GregoryJ »

You can find some discussion on it here:
Nicoletti Espresso

Nate42 (original poster)

#4: Post by Nate42 (original poster) »

So unfortunately I can't do a true apples to apples comparison because I have now transitioned to coffee that I removed from the freezer just a couple days ago. But I tried increasing the dose to 18g, making the grind slightly finer, so I get 24g in 35ish seconds. This is smoother, with more chocolate and really deemphasizes the funk. Wish I had thought to try that sooner, I assumed going more ristretto would intensify the flavor and the "funk" with it. I deliberately underextract a lot of darker coffees, but this isn't that dark so didn't think to try it.

Anyway thanks for the tip, and thanks for the heads up on the older thread. I suppose I should learn to search, but hey HB doesn't like it when threads get too long anyway. :)

kinda-niche

#5: Post by kinda-niche »

Glad that the lower ratios worked out well for you!

And since you mentioned being interested in bargain priced Italian blends with robusta in it, I recommend trying out Malabar Gold at some point. At ~$14 per lb and free shipping, it's worth a shot. :wink:

chanty 77

#6: Post by chanty 77 » replying to kinda-niche »

Where did you find $14 a pound for the Malabar Gold? I checked on their website & noticed their 2 lb. offer is available at $22.50 a lb., so $45 for 2 lbs. I've never tried it because of the cost per lbs & they don't very often have the 2 lb. availability. I think you can get this from possibly other sources than the actual roaster--but don't know how freshly roasted it would be.

GregoryJ

#7: Post by GregoryJ »

chanty 77 wrote:Where did you find $14 a pound for the Malabar Gold? I checked on their website & noticed their 2 lb. offer is available at $22.50 a lb., so $45 for 2 lbs.
You have to order the 5 lb quantity
https://josumacoffee.bigcartel.com/prod ... d-espresso