Favorite Espressos 2020 - Page 3

Behind the scenes of the site's upcoming equipment reviews.

What is your favorite espresso?

Coffee A = Klatch Coffee ~ Belle Espresso
36
33%
Coffee B = Dragonfly Coffee ~ Espresso Crema Dolce
46
42%
Coffee C = Caffe Lusso ~ Gran Miscela Carmo Espresso
28
25%
 
Total votes: 110

User avatar
Qporzk

#21: Post by Qporzk »

Alright, so here's my review, with a confidence factory of about 0.75 :lol:

Coffee A:
Best Recipe: 18g in, 27g out, 28 seconds at 198F, 13 on NZ
Easy to dial in, pulls best as a ristretto. Slightly roasty, sweet and chocolaty. Some orange zest, candied lemon sweetness comes out in an americano. Pretty standard in a cappuccino, with no distinct flavors showing through.

Coffee B:
Best Recipe: 17g in, 47 out, 60 seconds at 203F, 11 on NZ
Harder to dial in, pulls best as a long, low debit preinfusion shot at higher temperatures. No roasty flavors, good acidity, lots of sweetness and smoothness in a long shot. Good in an americano with nice acidity showing through, if lacking some sweetness and complexity. Nearly indistinguishable from A in a cappuccino, likely due to the low bitterness.

Coffee C:
Best Recipe: 18g in, 30g out, 27 seconds at 196F, 14.5 on NZ
Also pulls best short, but has more spicy character than candy sweetness. Gets a bit lost in an americano, likely due to the low acidity. Tasty and fairly forgiving in a straight shot, with more of a tendency towards bitterness than the other two. Best in a cappuccino, as it cuts through the milk more, likely due to the bitterness.

This was a lot of fun, but has taught me that I am much better off choosing 1 coffee for my day-to-day and really getting to know that. The switching back and forth and dialing and re-dialing in got to be pretty hard to manage by the end. Thanks for putting this together!

-Ryan

Charlemagne

#22: Post by Charlemagne »

#finalreview

Preface: I'm grinding with these medium-sized conical burrs and brewing with a Cafelat Robot equipped with a pro basket and pressure gauge. I pulled the shots described below 18g in and 36g out in 25-35s.

Coffee A is what I think of when I imagine a well executed classic comfort blend. There are no surprises here and should appeal to just about everyone who likes coffee. It's the Goldilocks of roasts -- not too roasty and not too acidic. My favorite espressos are very fruit-forward so coffee A was not the most interesting, but I definitely still enjoyed it. 3 out of 5

Coffee B threw a few curve balls my way. I started with the grind dialed in for A and was met with some seriously funky/dirty flavors in addition to the telltale bitterness of overextraction. 'How can so many love this coffee?,' I wondered. Then I did what anyone would do and ground coarser. Much better, but still some bitterness on the finish. Dropping the max pressure to 7bar (from 9) really took it to the next level. Thick crema, syrupy body, cinnamon aroma, and caramel flavor were balanced nicely by apple flavored acidity. 4 out of 5

Coffee C was super tangy and sharp at the grind setting dialed in for B. I really did not like that -- worst shot of the tasting. Going finer brought it more in line with what I wrote about A. It was much smoother with spices on the nose and milk chocolate on the tongue. 3 out of 5

Thanks for organizing this, Dan! I really enjoyed it and learned a lot about my straight shot preferences. I'd love to do this again either as a blinded free for all or as a guided/informative tasting.

DaveB

#23: Post by DaveB »

I probably woundn't be a good sommelier or cicerone, as I have a hard time putting words to flavor nuances. Since these selected coffees were chosen on the basis of being favorite comfort blends, a significant part of my judging was based on what I felt best represented the style. While I enjoyed the fruit forward-ness of A and the acidity of B, I felt C was best in milk and straight shots and had the kind of body and smoothness a comfort blend should offer. It also left the best lingering aftertaste. In fact, I won't be surprised if C is one in my regular rotation - as a counterpoint to the light and medium light-roast coffees I like to try. I felt all 3 are excellent in their own ways and have nothing negative to say about them. My ranking in order of preference as the best comfort blend is:
C
A
B
Von meinem iPhone gesendet

User avatar
yakster
Supporter ♡

#24: Post by yakster »

My favorites of the three were coffee A closely followed by coffee B and then coffee C.

Coffee A: this is the darkest roast of the three, and with my Robot did well with both with and without pre-heating the basket and portafilter. When I pulled a shot with no pre-heating, I got a sweeter cherry chocolate shot with less bitterness. With pre-heating, I got a more bittersweet chocolate flavor with less fruit sweetness and a strong finish. I noted a slightly chalky aftertaste with this coffee. The crema matched the roast and was dark with mottling. I had a hard time deciding between A and B, but I think because I normally roast lighter I really enjoyed the change of pace of this darker roast and decided that coffee A was the winner in my book. I really enjoyed making a Affogato with this coffee.

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Coffee B: This was the lightest of the three roasts and the most fruit forward; when pulled with pre-heating the basket and portafilter with a warm cylinder from the previous shot I taste sweet, dark fruit. When I later pulled this coffee with a full pre-heat of the basket, portafilter, and cylinder (using the pressurized portafilter with water off the boil to pre-heat) I noted more chocolate notes with the fruit sweetness and some pleasant bitterness. No chalky notes on the finish so by all rights coffee B should be the winner of the three.

Image

Coffee C: This is a dark roast but not as visually dark as Coffee A. My first try I got mild notes of milk chocolate with some light sweet, cherry notes. I found this coffee a bit mild with a 16.5 gram dose. I increased the dose to 18 grams and noted more flavorful shot with milk chocolate and apricot notes but it did have a chalky finish.

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Thanks for doing this Dan, I hope you consider doing this again next year.

Notes: I pulled all shots on my Cafelat Robot and ground all coffee with my ten year old Baratza Vario grinder with ceramic burrs with minimal dial-in and prep. I used a normal dose of about 16.5 grams for all shots except for one of Coffee C where I raised it to 18 grams to try and pull more out of the coffee. I've been supplying my own roasts for coffee for quite a while, rarely buying commercial coffee so I'm sure all three of these are new to me.

Image
-Chris

LMWDP # 272

User avatar
HB
Admin

#25: Post by HB »

And the coffees are:

Spoiler: show
Coffee A = Klatch Coffee ~ Belle Espresso
Coffee B = Dragonfly Coffee ~ Espresso Crema Dolce
Coffee C = Caffe Lusso ~ Gran Miscela Carmo Espresso

Thanks to the roasters and everyone who participated! This was fun. :D
Dan Kehn

Nine Bar

#26: Post by Nine Bar »

Apologies, we got our shipment late due to the pandemic, but here's our initial thoughts;

Here's our review;

Equipment Used: Slayer Single Group

Coffee A
Darkest roast of the group. Our results are based at 199.8° for all 3 espresso roasts. This one came out pretty acidic for our taste, and we got a lot of citrus notes on this one, lemon. For our taste we didn't like it in milk either.

Coffee B
This was our favorite both straight and in Oat Milk. We put this one through a few paces, triple ristrettos, low temp, etc. Found it to be sweet dark chocolatey, with notes of plum, awesome all around, and easily our favorite.

Coffee C
Coffee C was our second favorite. The espresso was smooth, a nice balance of acidity and liked it both straight and in milk, but I would say we preferred this one in Oat milk as a latte.


We rate Coffee B as the best, Coffee C second, and Coffee A third.

User avatar
Balthazar_B

#27: Post by Balthazar_B »

Here's a summary of our tasting experiences. First the mechanics:
  • Grinder: Monolith Conical
  • Machine: Bosco lever
  • Baskets: LM single (straight shots) and EPNW double (for milk drinks)
A: Pretty easy to dial in. Noted the roasty aroma as others have, and while it's a little prominent in singles, it makes a nice milk drink. But the main thing we've noticed is that its flavor profile definitely brings to mind the See's Molasses Chips we all gorged on as kids. After updosing a little, and grinding coarser, the roasty flavor we noted on our first go-around was replaced with a smooth burnt caramel and toasted pinenut core, mixed with dark chocolate that lingers pleasantly on the palate. Maybe just a hint of blackberry? There's no acidity to speak of -- which will make it a no-go for some and a yes-please for others.

B. Of the three coffees this was the most finicky to dial in -- its optimal zone is not very wide -- and we got the best results on singles at 21sec extractions. The shots bloomed with just-unripe stone fruit and toasted marshmallow, and a nice long cedary finish. Pretty uniformly light crema on all the shots. More acidity than is our usual preference, but grinding a tad coarser toned it down. Not assertive as the others are in milk, though.

C: We had to grind this bean *much* coarser than most other coffees we've ever had. There's a bit of Reeses Peanut Butter Cup aroma in the beans, and it gets a little lost in milk. Straight works better, but we'll need to tweak the grind -- and maybe the dose -- to see whether we can coax more interesting flavors from the beans.

Verdicts:

We liked A, B, and C in that order. While we thought B made the best straight shots by a smidge -- and after greater effort than the others, it should be noted -- it loses out to A because it's not as versatile. C is a good medium-dark all-arounder comfort blend, but maybe too polite. Not as complete in milk drinks as A, and not as delicious as B by itself. Not bad at all, just a little lost in the crowd.
- John

LMWDP # 577