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Alternative to Black Cat Espresso
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Discussions > Espresso > blends > Alternative to...  
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cafecreme
Senior Member


Joined: 10 May 2009
Posts: 6
Location: NYC
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Rancilio Silvia
Grinder: Rancilio Rocky
Roaster: Counter culture coffee
Posted Sun May 10, 2009, 6:10pm
Subject: Re: Alternative to Black Cat Espresso
 

My favorite is still Counter Culture Expresso Aficionado, and I tried many others but I still come back to it. That coffee has this depth in flavor that I love dearly.
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espressoaddict
Senior Member


Joined: 18 Mar 2009
Posts: 346
Location: Seattle
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Rancilio Silvia V3 (Primary)...
Grinder: Baratza Vario 2009 and...
Vac Pot: None
Drip: Melitta Single Cup, Bodum...
Posted Fri May 15, 2009, 10:10am
Subject: Re: Alternative to Black Cat Espresso
 

malachi Said:

Hairbender is best at a lower brew temp and higher dose than Black Cat. I'd suggest giving it another shot.
Hi Malachi,

I'm brewing this at about ~200 F, and getting acceptable results.  I'm doing about 19 grams in a double basket (ridge).   Pulling Ristretto's about 1.25 total ozs in about 25 secs.  

If you like Black Cat, you might want to try Big Truck from Olympia Coffee roasting. Of the "local" beans you have access to, it's probably closest to the Black Cat.

Posted May 8, 2009 link

I checked out their website and their espresso scored a 91 which is pretty high.  Don't want to go off-topic, but I gave them a call and asked if they plan on distributing in the Seattle area.  They have plans hopefully.  Mentioned Whole Foods in Bellevue is a good supermarket as they have a higher volume of picky customers.  That is where I get my weekly fresh Stumptown Hairbender and just bought Holler Mountain Blend for French press, but heard it's good for espresso too.  Haven't tried it yet, still waiting for the CO2 to degas another day.

Another espresso Blend I just tried and like is Cafe Vita's Cafe Del Sol.  You may be able to comment on this as a straight espresso, but I seem to like it straight or prepared as a CAP.  The espresso shop Jitters in my area uses this as their espresso, and it is convenient, I can buy the beans fresh from them too for only $10.00/lb.  No need to pay shipping costs.  It is also delivered weekly at the same WholeFoods.  However, I'll try the Big Truck someday. Thanks!

Beavis Said:

Bonsai Blend Espresso

Origin: Not disclosed.

Notes: Located in Everett, Washington, north of Seattle, Velton's Coffee is a quality-focused small-batch wholesale roaster. Visit www.veltonscoffee.com or call 206-250-6130 for more information.

Posted May 8, 2009 link

Hi Beavis,

I personally talked to Velton and he is the ex-master roaster of Top Pot Doughnuts. I believed he personally crafted their Diplomat espresso blend.  Anyway, he noted Bonsai Blend a being a very flavorful espresso of being sweet and entirely well-rounded overall.  So, yes this is on my list of want to try espressos.  This can be bought at a few local groceries in Seattle or at Seattle Coffee Gear.  It can also be ordered directly from his website. He did not have an optimal temp with this blend, but mentioned to try 202 - 204F .

Thanks!

Tom
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TL3
Senior Member


Joined: 25 Jul 2007
Posts: 22
Location: CA
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Elektra Semiautomatica
Grinder: Gaggia Commercial
Drip: bodum
Roaster: iRoast
Posted Sun Dec 20, 2009, 4:58pm
Subject: Re: Alternative to Black Cat Espresso
 

My current Seattle favorite is the Cafe Umbria Gusto Crema. A great straight shot and cappuccino shot.

 
"Caffeine is the only drug addiction I can support"
Can one be a master of accidental latte art?
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espressoaddict
Senior Member


Joined: 18 Mar 2009
Posts: 346
Location: Seattle
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Rancilio Silvia V3 (Primary)...
Grinder: Baratza Vario 2009 and...
Vac Pot: None
Drip: Melitta Single Cup, Bodum...
Posted Sun Dec 20, 2009, 7:20pm
Subject: Re: Alternative to Black Cat Espresso
 

I'll have to try that one.  I saw it at my local supermarket.

Thanks!
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canon
Senior Member


Joined: 9 May 2006
Posts: 418
Location: North Carolina
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Faema Legend
Grinder: Monolith, Compak K10 Fresh,
Roaster: Hottop B
Posted Mon Dec 21, 2009, 3:05am
Subject: Re: Alternative to Black Cat Espresso
 

Of all the CC coffees that I tried Aficionado was the hands down favorite.  I need to try is again since I switched machines.  My current favorite was highly rated by Coffee Review and I tried it and they were right.  Palermo by Moorecoffee.com is extraordinary.  I prefer it to both Redline and Black Cat but taste is totally subjective.  Moore Coffee offers free 2nd day shipping which helps as well.




cafecreme Said:

My favorite is still Counter Culture Expresso Aficionado, and I tried many others but I still come back to it. That coffee has this depth in flavor that I love dearly.

Posted May 10, 2009 link

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Jmanespresso
Senior Member
Jmanespresso
Joined: 18 Jan 2009
Posts: 2,109
Location: Westchester NY
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Alex Duetto II
Grinder: Compak K10 - Vario
Vac Pot: Yama-SY5/SY8/TCA5
Drip: V60, Beehouse, CCD
Roaster: Hottop B
Posted Fri Dec 25, 2009, 5:12pm
Subject: Re: Alternative to Black Cat Espresso
 

The Rustico, from CCC, is my favorite from them.  When all is right with the world, the shot is so delicous.  Chocolate, Almonds, Candied Figs... Superb.  IMO.

 
Follow Your Bliss

Coffee makes your constantly overcome your prejudices and re-evaluate your own "received wisdoms" when it comes to judging cup flavors. -Tom Owen, SweetMarias
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canon
Senior Member


Joined: 9 May 2006
Posts: 418
Location: North Carolina
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Faema Legend
Grinder: Monolith, Compak K10 Fresh,
Roaster: Hottop B
Posted Tue Dec 29, 2009, 11:23am
Subject: Addendum to ....Alternative to Black Cat Espresso
 

Black Cat is an excellent espresso.  I use it all the time because I can get it locally cheaper than direct.  I notice that Vivace Dulce is on your list of ones to try.  If Black Cat is an 8, Dolce is a 9 in my opinion.   Vivace packages in 8 oz bags, which I think is smart, but the price reflects a fair pound price.  The shipping charges are less from Washington to the East Coast than it is for Black Cat from Chicago.    Intelligentsia's shipping charges are not fair and the price of the coffee is overpriced as well, compared to Dolce......in my opinion.  



canon Said:

Of all the CC coffees that I tried Aficionado was the hands down favorite.  I need to try is again since I switched machines.  My current favorite was highly rated by Coffee Review and I tried it and they were right.  Palermo by Moorecoffee.com is extraordinary.  I prefer it to both Redline and Black Cat but taste is totally subjective.  Moore Coffee offers free 2nd day shipping which helps as well.

Posted December 21, 2009 link

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mthedude
Senior Member


Joined: 28 Jan 2008
Posts: 314
Location: IA
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Nuova Simonelli Oscar
Grinder: La Spaziale Junior
Vac Pot: n/a
Drip: Cuisinart Grind & Brew
Roaster: n/a
Posted Tue Dec 29, 2009, 11:52am
Subject: Re: Alternative to Black Cat Espresso
 

I totally agree w/the above, I just ordered from Vivace on Christmas Eve, I live in Virginia near DC and shipping was $8. I got my beans on Monday afternoon (the 28th)...I was shocked.
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Iluvdabean
Senior Member
Iluvdabean
Joined: 7 Mar 2005
Posts: 1,295
Location: Kentucky
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: La Nuova Era Cuadra/Gaggia...
Grinder: Baratza Preciso/K-A Pro...
Drip: Bonavita BV 1800 TH
Roaster: Nesco 1010/Behmor 1600
Posted Sat Jan 2, 2010, 2:57pm
Subject: Re: Alternative to Black Cat Espresso
 

I liked the orignal black cat....went to Klatch and still think its great...but I ordered 4 lbs of Vivace Dolce and 4 lbs of the same in green and unless this is some kind of fluke...Im  loving this stuff.....this was this morning from my wifes Iphone...ummmm hurt me!!!!!

Iluvdabean: photo.jpg
(Click for larger image)
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espressoaddict
Senior Member


Joined: 18 Mar 2009
Posts: 346
Location: Seattle
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Rancilio Silvia V3 (Primary)...
Grinder: Baratza Vario 2009 and...
Vac Pot: None
Drip: Melitta Single Cup, Bodum...
Posted Sat Jan 2, 2010, 3:06pm
Subject: Re: Alternative to Black Cat Espresso
 

Iluvdabean Said:

I liked the orignal black cat....went to Klatch and still think its great...but I ordered 4 lbs of Vivace Dolce and 4 lbs of the same in green and unless this is some kind of fluke...Im  loving this stuff.....this was this morning from my wifes Iphone...ummmm hurt me!!!!!

Posted January 2, 2010 link

Great shot!

How did it taste is what's important.

Also, not sure if you have tried their dolce served at their cafe in Seattle to compare.  If not, they are dark red in crema appearance.  Maybe it is because they brew their shots at 203.5 F.  Just looked at your setup and it looks like you used a Gaggia Classic for that shot.  Knowing this blend is finicky, did you have trouble dialing in the temp or do you have a PID?

I'm going to try to pickup some dolce later and give it another shot on my non-PID Silvia.
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