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Discussions > Espresso > blends > Black Pearl...  
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olypdd
Senior Member
olypdd
Joined: 3 Jan 2003
Posts: 54
Location: Puyallup, Wa.
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Quick Mill Vetrano, Elektra...
Grinder: Mazzer Mini, Innova...
Drip: Only when I'm desperate and...
Roaster: Espresso Vivace from Seattle
Posted Mon Oct 30, 2006, 9:19pm
Subject: Re: Black Pearl espresso from ChrisCoffee
 

As one who loves to try other coffees for espresso production, I find myself remaining ever faithful to Espresso Vivace's Vita blend. While other coffees I have tried are often good in some manner or another, they haven't impressed me across the board like Vivace has.  That is, until recently. Without "geeking out" about it, I will say that I was deeply impressed with Chris Coffee's sampling of "Black Pearl". It exhibited different characteristics from Vivace's coffees, most certainly, but at the same time was equally enjoyable. Chocolate, caramel flavors were in evidence, and the crema was very smooth and thicker than expected. This was the first "other" coffee I tried that impressed me in this way. I was struck by this. This was the "other" experience I had been hoping to enjoy. It's fun to try other blends, and even more fun if they are a hit.

One of the things that I noticed right away was that there was no robusta blended into the Black Pearl. I have always enjoyed robusta's contribution, if done well, to the end product in my cup. So I wondered what I would think, and quite frankly, I didn't expect to enjoy it as much as I did. All I can say to Chris and the gang is...great job. Whenever I find myself wanting for a change of pace, I know that Black Pearl is a winner.

I appreciate how Jim and the rest have evaluated this coffee, and I will now take their findings into consideration.

I have purchased a three espresso machines from Chris Coffee and have found their customer service the standard to be measured by. What a pleasure to now buy coffee from them as well.
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Mike_from_Nola
Senior Member


Joined: 3 Nov 2006
Posts: 2
Location: Albany
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Fri Nov 3, 2006, 9:19am
Subject: Re: Black Pearl espresso from ChrisCoffee
 

I recently purchased a pound of the Black Pearl.  I was previously using Vita Dolce, which I really really like.   I am a  newbie in the espresso department and have very beginner equipment, but I cannot pull a good shot with the BP.   I have a Solis Maestro Plus grinder and Saeco Classico Espresso machine.  The Saeco pressurized portafilter has been modified (ie the pressurized part ripped out) so I am unpressurized which gives me more control.  

With the Vita Dolce I would have the grinder set on the espresso line, and it would pull a pretty good double shot.  Pulled in about 21 seconds, which is a bit fast but it tasted good.  With the BP, if I have it set on the espresso line, with light tamp, it totally chokes my machine.  Two to the left of espresson line (coarser), with light tamp still chokes.  If go 2 more with light tamp I have a 10 second shot (water).  I've tried about 20 shots and can't get a good one.  A few of the shots that were drinkable with milk (but just barely), tasted thin so I am guessing that they were pretty watered down.  Any advice?
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IMAWriter
Senior Member
IMAWriter
Joined: 4 Jul 2002
Posts: 5,875
Location: Brentwood, TN
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Bezzera Strega
Grinder: Forte, OE Pharos,...
Vac Pot: Adcraft SS, Yama 8 cup
Drip: Brazen, Kalita, Chemex,...
Roaster: Behmor 1600, CO/UFO combo
Posted Fri Nov 3, 2006, 11:00am
Subject: Re: Black Pearl espresso from ChrisCoffee
 

Mike_from_Nola Said:

I recently purchased a pound of the Black Pearl.  I was previously using Vita Dolce, which I really really like.   I am a  newbie in the espresso department and have very beginner equipment, but I cannot pull a good shot with the BP.   I have a Solis Maestro Plus grinder and Saeco Classico Espresso machine.  The Saeco pressurized portafilter has been modified (ie the pressurized part ripped out) so I am unpressurized which gives me more control.  

With the Vita Dolce I would have the grinder set on the espresso line, and it would pull a pretty good double shot.  Pulled in about 21 seconds, which is a bit fast but it tasted good.  With the BP, if I have it set on the espresso line, with light tamp, it totally chokes my machine.  Two to the left of espresson line (coarser), with light tamp still chokes.  If go 2 more with light tamp I have a 10 second shot (water).  I've tried about 20 shots and can't get a good one.  A few of the shots that were drinkable with milk (but just barely), tasted thin so I am guessing that they were pretty watered down.  Any advice?

Posted November 3, 2006 link

Hi...I also noticed i had to "coarsen up" my grind a bit...BP seems to require a less fine grind than Metropolis Redline, Ambrosia, etc....
Truth is, no matter what espresso machine you have, a Maestro is not up to the task of consistent espresso grinding....The CG Mantra is "Grinder first, machine next"...check out the $300 and under category, such as Rocky, Tranquillo, QuickMill doserless and others....
Trust me, even your Saeco will produce fine consistent shots (depending on your technique, of course) using a dedicated espresso grinder....also...do you have a good stainless steel tamper?
There is a non pressurized PF and basket you can purchase directly from saeco...Might work better than your mod
Good luck...welcome to CG!

 
Rob J (LMWDP #187)
My Music Production web site:
www.robertjason.com
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Mike_from_Nola
Senior Member


Joined: 3 Nov 2006
Posts: 2
Location: Albany
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Fri Nov 3, 2006, 11:23am
Subject: Re: Black Pearl espresso from ChrisCoffee
 

Yes I have a stainless tamper.    I am definitely upgrading by Christmas.  I've had the good fortune of being in the area where Chris' Coffee is located so I can play with all the machines before I buy.  Am leaning towards the Quick Mill Anita and the MACAP grinder.  I know the Solis is not the answer but it will have to do for now at least.

I will try again a bit coarser to see if I can get some improvement.
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IMAWriter
Senior Member
IMAWriter
Joined: 4 Jul 2002
Posts: 5,875
Location: Brentwood, TN
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Bezzera Strega
Grinder: Forte, OE Pharos,...
Vac Pot: Adcraft SS, Yama 8 cup
Drip: Brazen, Kalita, Chemex,...
Roaster: Behmor 1600, CO/UFO combo
Posted Fri Nov 3, 2006, 12:38pm
Subject: Re: Black Pearl espresso from ChrisCoffee
 

Hi... apologize to all for taking this off topic...but...I own an Anita...a wonderful machine, and Chris will do you right...

 
Rob J (LMWDP #187)
My Music Production web site:
www.robertjason.com
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TTomas
Senior Member


Joined: 1 Nov 2006
Posts: 49
Location: USA
Expertise: Pro Barista
Posted Tue Nov 7, 2006, 5:20pm
Subject: Re: Black Pearl espresso from ChrisCoffee
 

*
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IMAWriter
Senior Member
IMAWriter
Joined: 4 Jul 2002
Posts: 5,875
Location: Brentwood, TN
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Bezzera Strega
Grinder: Forte, OE Pharos,...
Vac Pot: Adcraft SS, Yama 8 cup
Drip: Brazen, Kalita, Chemex,...
Roaster: Behmor 1600, CO/UFO combo
Posted Tue Nov 7, 2006, 9:44pm
Subject: Re: Black Pearl espresso from ChrisCoffee
 

Hi...I don't live in Albany...but say to Chris for me...
Good luck!

 
Rob J (LMWDP #187)
My Music Production web site:
www.robertjason.com
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TimEggers
Moderator
TimEggers
Joined: 3 Oct 2004
Posts: 2,946
Location: Tiskilwa, Illinois
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: QM Anita, Cappuccino Amore
Grinder: Baratza Vario, Mazzer SJ
Vac Pot: Antique McKee, Santos
Drip: Pour Over, Bodum Presses
Roaster: RK Drum
Posted Sun Aug 5, 2007, 6:39pm
Subject: Re: Black Pearl espresso from ChrisCoffee
 

I had the pleasure of trying this blend this week.  I'll admit as this post comes much later then the ones above the flavor sounds like what I experienced.  A nice dark bean.

To me it was sharp (in a good way).  I also really liked the dark fruit and bitter semi-sweet chocolate notes.  If you want those dark flavors you'd like this blend.  It made darn fine milk drinks and I'll admit straight it was powerful yet enjoyable.

Worth a try!

 
Tim Eggers
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HandK
Senior Member


Joined: 6 Apr 2008
Posts: 4
Location: Grayson
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Quick Mill Anita
Grinder: Quick Mill
Posted Tue Jan 20, 2009, 8:12am
Subject: Re: Black Pearl espresso from ChrisCoffee
 

Although I am no connoisseur of the finer espresso blends when I purchased my Anita and grinder a year and a half or so ago I started my search for what I liked....  
Of course, this was after I learned to pull what I thought were pretty good shots.
I ordered a pound of approx 9 or 10 different popular espresso blends (over time) and although I enjoyed many blends I still was looking for something that suited my personal taste.
When received a pound of BP I found it. While I was getting ready to order another 5 pound bag, I noticed this link and thought I would add my 2 cents.

I have a hard time discriminating the various nuances of coffee taste but the flavor and consistency of Black Pearl hit it right on the head for me.
IMO, this is a great blend that has stayed that way from order to order over the last year.
Good color, crema and great espresso taste. Twice a day at 0600 I have had nothing but a great experience.

Well, back to finishing my order :-)

Cheers
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CMCM
Senior Member


Joined: 27 Jul 2005
Posts: 226
Location: California
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Rancilio Silvia
Grinder: Baratza Vario (retired the...
Posted Thu Nov 5, 2009, 11:00am
Subject: Re: Black Pearl espresso from ChrisCoffee
 

I won't pretend to describe the BP like some of you have, but I just ordered a pound as a change of pace to taste it but also to use it in setting the right grind on my new Vario.  I've been drinking Vivace's Dolce and Vita (can't decide which one I like best!!) for several years, and I found the BP to be pleasantly similar, yet different.  Very nice flavors...I can see the cocoa references, not so much the fruit or wine.  But I don't do well describing wine, either!   The BP is wonderful from the first sip to the last, and it has a wonderful finish.  I really really like it and plan to get more (unfortunately, I wasted over half of it trying to get the right grind for my Silvia.  Vivace now has a competetor for my business.  Only thing that bugged me.....no reference at all on the package as to roast date.
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