Since I'm sourcing this coffee this is not a blind review. Some friends have asked how I can pick out many flavor notes in coffee. I treat it like time-lapse photography. The flavors and aromas unfold from the first sip through several minutes after the last. My notes reflect that sequence. Also there's a time-lapse effect as the coffee degasses and flavors open up, the coffee peaks and starts to fade. For this review I primarily used an Olympia Express Cremina and an Elektra Microcasa a Leva paired with an Orphan Espresso Pharos or Fiorenzato Doge grinder. Both are 68 mm conicals. As the coffee began staling while still producing good flavors, I tried it with a moka pot with a LIDO 1 grinder and a Caravel paired with a vintage Trosser grinder.
6 days post roast, when it's supposed to be best according to the roaster, and pulled on a 1987 Cremina equipped with a group thermometer.
Dry aroma: earthy, somewhat acidic
Creamy start with a mild golden plum sweetness and acidity
Peanut and hazelnut
Gentle walnut bitter in the aftertaste moving toward unsweetened cocoa
19 gm to 29 gm liquid = .66 brew ratio. Pulled starting at 203 at the outside of the group.
Another shot at 202 at the group with somewhat faster flow rate:
Stone fruit to peanut
Blood orange, slight grapefruit rind
A hint of raspberry
Grapefruit rind gets stronger
Finish is Baker's chocolate
Day 7: Best shot so far was with the Elektra Microcasa a Leva. 18 gm, slow flow rate, very nicely balanced between sweet, sour, bitter. I don't particularly taste fruit flavors but when thinking about the sweetness it's kind of like raspberry. It's sweeter today, chocolate and nut. With a faster flow rate a 16 gm pull had good sweetness but the lower dose emphasized bitters more, although this did not taste burnt. 18 gm shot, faster flow rate, long preinfusion, not as much sweetness as I'd like.
Day 8: 17 gm, coarser grind. Milk chocolate/raspberry, Nestle's Crunch bar, Valencia orange, grapefruit. These flavors are merged, not distinct.
The flavor was still quite good today but shots were channeling and spritzing even when I allowed more headroom, and I wondered whether this was because of the start of staling.
Day 8 moka pot using paper filter and LIDO 1 grinder. This was an unexpectedly clean cup with sweetness balanced with acidity. I tried the moka pot to see if it would stand up better in milk. The acidity of this coffee tends to merge with the milk flavor rather than punching through, but it's very mild and pleasing as a straight moka, almost like a paper filtered drip brew.
Day 9: Caravel pull since I was pushing toward flavor layering in a ristretto. It's still very good. The Caravel uses a coarser grind, it excels in ristrettos and its stock, double spouted portafilter contains any spritzers that may occur as this coffee ages. I paired the Caravel with a vintage Trosser grinder that matches perfectly with that machine.
Summary: I like this coffee's buttery mouthfeel, and its fine balance between sweetness, acidity and bitters. I described some of the subtle, sweet flavor notes as fruit flavors but they were not sharply focused. My description best characterizes the nature of the sweetness. I prefer this coffee as straight espresso. For capps I prefer a different blend from this roaster that has fewer flavor layers but has more chocolates that stand out beautifully in milk drinks.