We were honored yesterday to be among the top roasters in the nation with a 92-point review of our Brazil Moreninha Formsa Raisin coffee, written by the nice folks over at Coffee Review.
They evaluated the coffee as a single-origin espresso, which you espresso fiends out there will realize is quite a challenge. Espresso is a prep method, not a bean, despite some common misconceptions. Specifically, espresso is coffee extracted under pressure, or more precisely, 1 ounce of extracted coffee (2 ounces for a double), pushed through 7 grams of finely ground coffee (14 grams for a double), tamped at 30 lbs force, with water at 9 bars pressure and 195-205F temperature, in 25-30 seconds.
So how are the beans selected for espresso? Many people think that espresso is simply dark roast, or a more “bold” flavor combination blend. While either of those descriptors could be true, they are not necessarily true (and would be wrong with most of our espresso blends). Beans are selected for espresso prep based on what they taste like when brewed by that method. Any bean, or combination of beans, could be an espresso coffee. That doesn’t mean that just any should be.
A great espresso is a fragile and complex thing. Typically, it takes a combination of beans (a blend) to really shine as an espresso. Single coffees that make great espressos by themselves are an unusual beast. So when Coffee Review decided to review single origins as espressos, I was intrigued to learn what they would find. I knew that our Raisin coffee would shine by that method. I was thrilled to see that they found so many others that did, too, and from the very best roasters in the country.
I urge you to give these coffees a try (I’m going to order a few for myself, believe it or not). But remember, while roasting is important, what you’re really tasting here is the farming and the post-harvest processing. Only a farmer can make your coffee better, everyone else can only mess it up.