Recommedations for a "traditional" espresso

Discuss flavors, brew temperatures, blending, and cupping notes.
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#1: Post by TheMadTamper »

I haven't been here for ages, I've been dialed in and in cruise control on espresso for a while. I've been on a Paradise Nuevo subscription a few years. It's been my "house" blend and haven't had a reason to change. This will be blasphemous to the HB crowd, but I've never been overly worried about staling in all coffees. Some taste rancid. Nuevo has been lucky, I've used a bag sitting there for a year and while it tastes different from a fresh bag, is still a tasty espresso, just different.

However that all ends now. I had an overabundance of coffee, my subscription got away from me. So I've been running through old bags (with still tasty espresso) that I last ordered before they raised the price in January. I was ok with the price going up a bit, but when it renewed today the price seemed high. I couldn't figure it out at first until I went back and realized they raised shipping from $3.49 flat to a whopping $16 between November and December, and then raised the coffee from 50-something to 60-something, about $15 in January, for a whopping almost $30 increase per bag between Nov to Jan to nearly $80 a bag. And that was BEFORE inflation kicked in.

No thank you. I'm done with them permanently. After being a customer for a decade plus that leaves a sour taste in my mouth more than the stalest of all coffees. I'll drink Folgers before I touch that. I switched to them originally due to a good price and a local roaster that similarly rocketed prices out of the blue and brought their "ok" product in a stones throw pricing distance from the better roasters. Now they've gone the same route.

Which brings me to two questions. First, what do you guys recommend that's a more "traditional" middle of the line profile (not 2nd wave chocobomb, not third wave A Tea Named Coffee. Just espresso. There's quite a few out there that aren't a whopping $80 per bag shipped, some I've tried but it's been years, some I haven't tried. Nicoletti isn't the bargain it used to be and their quality seemed to variable. The price is ok, I like the product when it's good, but not when it's not. Considering going with Jusuma, Chris's, Redbird, but there's probably others I haven't tried. I had a mixed experience with Buena Vista a few years ago, I loved some not others, but I hear they've changed a lot since then, and I know I'm not up to date on roaster knowledge. Nobody will have an answer but I'd like to find one that can store without going rancid like the Nuevo was, but it's not necessary.

My second question is, also blasphemous, I also don't hate Lavazza. It won't be my main roast, but I can get ok prices on it, and wouldn't mind throwing it into the mix to save some cash. But navigating their catalogue of confusing names isn't easy. Does anyone know what from their catalog is what, what the ones to shoot for are, what's the "normal" for them, etc?
LMWDP #642


#2: Post by BaristaBob »

Bob "hello darkness my old friend..I've come to drink you once again"


#3: Post by jpender »

5.0lbs of Paradise Nuevo with shipping = $106.00 ($21.20/lb)
4.4lbs of Saka Gran Bar with shipping = $69.50 ($15.80/lb)
6.6lbs of Saka Crema Bar with shipping = $92.50 ($14.02/lb)

I don't know what you like, but I like the Nuevo and also like the Saka blends. The domestic retailer is new and getting established so it's reasonable to expect price rises after an initial period of time. And prices might be rising for many of the same reasons Paradise bumped theirs up. But for now it's kind of a bargain, at least I think so.

Coffee is only going to get more expensive. And life is going to end. Enjoy it while you can!


#4: Post by chipman »

I've been drinking Josuma's Malabar Gold recently. Very pleased, and the cost is right. $65.00 for a five lb bag. Price includes shipping.

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#5: Post by mariobarba »

Lavazza Gold Selection
Lavazza Top Class

are my two go to Lavazza coffees

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#6: Post by »

Lavazza Gold Selection is the best Lavazza blend in my opinion. Keep it at or near ristretto range and it'll keep you happy. It's very tasty. Keep frozen until you use it. Small amount at a time thawed and at room temperature is best. I wouldn't ever keep the whole bag out of the freezer. The coffee falls off a cliff after a certain amount of time. This doesn't happen if you leaved unused portions in the freezer.
LMWDP #670

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TheMadTamper (original poster)

#7: Post by TheMadTamper (original poster) »

I'm impressed by packaged Italian coffees being seriously discussed. So much is different since the days when I started this hobby. Schomer was king, chocolate was the bomb, and Italy was snubbed. Today pale acid is vogue, and Italy is.....not as snubbed as Schomer is...

Seems like a lot of praise for Saka. I hadn't thought of that one, let alone at a price competing with something like Josuma. With all the boutique roasters going super expensive and super into the light roast trend, the packaged import coffees look more appealing than they've looked since the early '00s. Might be worth considering. I'll give Saka or Josuma the next try I suppose. The shout out for Malabar Gold is a bit of confirmation bias as to where to go next, but the Saka is intriguing. The Lavazza's are a nicely lower price tier so putting that in the mix with whatever is my main blend doesn't sound like a bad plan cost-wise. I have the 3 grinders lined up and have barely used the K10 and K8. Gives me a reason to fire one up.

Seems like a few votes for Gold and one for Top Class. It's cheap enough to try both, so that's a start. For those of you doing the Lavazza (or even the Saka) are you doing the traditional 14g baskets of the "modern" 18g? I have to dig my 14's out if I go this route. I haven't used it since I was doing the Lavazza Dek in my decaf grinder.

106 for Paradise...sheesh I forgot the 80 was with the sub discount. Their pricing is just outrageous. I know there are some that are even worse and a few that are close, and I know prices are rising in general, but there's a certain price point where booze gets cheaper than coffee and you really have to wonder what you're doing with your money. :lol: Once we get into $17-20 pound, it's really starting to cross into something different. I can train myself to love commodity coffees. It makes it easier when I don't actually like most of what comes from botique coffees these days :mrgreen:
LMWDP #642


#8: Post by tv79 »

Just returned from Italy and the best espresso I had the entire time was MokaSirs Pregiato. Ordered a bag and have been drinking it since we got home.

I'm only one shot in to Saka Crema Bar, but so far the hype seems legit.