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Espresso: Espresso Blends
When buying coffee for espresso, does the coffee have to say "espresso blend?"
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Discussions > Espresso > blends > When buying...  
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ccolton
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ccolton
Joined: 23 Jan 2012
Posts: 132
Location: Wilmington DE
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Bezzera BZ07
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Posted Tue Feb 21, 2012, 6:56am
Subject: When buying coffee for espresso, does the coffee have to say "espresso blend?"
 

Hi all,

Since joining this forum, I have become aware of:  how little I knew (and know) about coffee; and the variety and quality of coffees.  So, first, thanks to everyone for taking the time to offer so much help.

My question is not so simple as it may seem at first blush.  I recognize that espresso is a coffee estraction method and not a cofffe, per se.  What I really want to know is this: do people generally stick with espresso blends.  And, if not, how do you know what other types of coffee will be good.

As a follow up to this question, since the variety of flavors of coffees labeled "espresso" is truly amazing, what is the significance of a coffee roaster naming the coffee "... espresso?"

Thanks,

Chris
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NobbyR
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NobbyR
Joined: 10 Jul 2011
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Location: Germany
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Posted Tue Feb 21, 2012, 8:06am
Subject: Re: When buying coffee for espresso, does it have to say "espresso blend?"
 

There's not much significance to that label. Espresso is basically just a way of preparing coffee. You can use any coffee beans to brew espresso. Results may vary though, i.e. not any coffee tastes just as good when prepared as espresso. It's a matter of trial and error.

Coffee sold under that label is considered appropriate for making espresso. Also dark roast are sometimes called that way.

 
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"This drink of the Satan is so delicious that it would be a shame to leave it to the infidels." (Pope Clement VIII on coffee, when he was urged to ban the beverage)
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ccolton
Senior Member
ccolton
Joined: 23 Jan 2012
Posts: 132
Location: Wilmington DE
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Bezzera BZ07
Grinder: Le 'lit PL53
Posted Tue Feb 21, 2012, 9:41am
Subject: Re: When buying coffee for espresso, does it have to say "espresso blend?"
 

Hi NobbyR,

Thanks for the reply.

NobbyR Said:

There's not much significance to that label.

Posted February 21, 2012 link

I figured this was the case, but wasn't sure since there is such a variety of flavors.  Just this morning I drank an espresso blend that had a strong chocolate flavor and switched to one that had a mild fruit flavor.

Chris
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emradguy
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emradguy
Joined: 31 Mar 2011
Posts: 3,165
Location: Houston
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Duetto II; Twist v2
Grinder: M Major, Macap M4, Pharos,...
Drip: Espro presses; Aeropress
Roaster: H-B "List of Favorites"
Posted Tue Feb 21, 2012, 10:50am
Subject: Re: When buying coffee for espresso, does it have to say "espresso blend?"
 

not too long ago there was a thread about using a single origin Kona for espresso, and the "reviews" were very good.  I have never tried s.o. espresso, so for me, I would probably look for some reviews/recommendations by experienced tasters or enthusiasts (like some of the guys here I've grown to respect) and take it from there to start trying a few.

 
.
Always remember the most important thing is what ends up in your cup!
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ccolton
Senior Member
ccolton
Joined: 23 Jan 2012
Posts: 132
Location: Wilmington DE
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Bezzera BZ07
Grinder: Le 'lit PL53
Posted Tue Feb 21, 2012, 11:07am
Subject: Re: When buying coffee for espresso, does it have to say "espresso blend?"
 

Hi Ron,

Thanks, but, of course, you are among this group!

emradguy Said:

look for some reviews/recommendations by experienced tasters or enthusiasts (like some of the guys here I've grown to respect) and take it from there to start trying a few.

Posted February 21, 2012 link

All of the recommendations - yes all - have been great coffees.  I am not really trying to find a new one, since Jason's list of roasters is long enough to keep me busy for a while, just trying to figure out a little more about this whole new coffee ezperience.

Thanks again.

Chris
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emradguy
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emradguy
Joined: 31 Mar 2011
Posts: 3,165
Location: Houston
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Duetto II; Twist v2
Grinder: M Major, Macap M4, Pharos,...
Drip: Espro presses; Aeropress
Roaster: H-B "List of Favorites"
Posted Tue Feb 21, 2012, 12:03pm
Subject: Re: When buying coffee for espresso, does it have to say "espresso blend?"
 

That's mighty nice of you, Chris...Thanks!

I, too, am going through the list of favorites.  

I just ordered more Red Bird and a second look at Espresso Vivace (David Schomer's) Vita Blend.  Hoping one will arrive today, so I can avoid using Whole Foods Espresso Bel Canto (which I bought to do some retraining on dosing and distribution).  If both the Vita and the Red Bird arrive today, I'm going to have a big problem - - deciding which one to drink first...ha!

 
.
Always remember the most important thing is what ends up in your cup!
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ccolton
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ccolton
Joined: 23 Jan 2012
Posts: 132
Location: Wilmington DE
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Bezzera BZ07
Grinder: Le 'lit PL53
Posted Tue Feb 21, 2012, 12:16pm
Subject: Re: When buying coffee for espresso, does it have to say "espresso blend?"
 

Hey Ron,

Sounds like you have a tough choice coming!  

We have a whole foods opening in a few days, I was hoping they might have some good coffee - sounds like I will be disappointed.

Right now, I have plenty of coffee - but no decaf.  At the rate I am drinking this stuff, I am jittery all day long!

Have a good day,

Chris
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emradguy
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emradguy
Joined: 31 Mar 2011
Posts: 3,165
Location: Houston
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Duetto II; Twist v2
Grinder: M Major, Macap M4, Pharos,...
Drip: Espro presses; Aeropress
Roaster: H-B "List of Favorites"
Posted Tue Feb 21, 2012, 12:50pm
Subject: Re: When buying coffee for espresso, does it have to say "espresso blend?"
 

ah, don't get me wrong on the Whole Foods Bel Canto.  It's actually pretty good and will do fine in a pinch.  In fact, we liked it better than Peet's Major Dickason's, Italian Roast, Garuda Blend and Espresso Forte for espresso.  I just think the others we've been discussing are that much better.  If your local WF roasts in house (when they open) it'll be worth trying.  I haven't tried any of their other coffees.  

We stumbled upon this because the one near my house used to have a pretty good quality barista, and she was using that blend.  Well, she doesn't work there anymore, and I'm a lot better than I used to be, and great fresh beans are just a few mouse clicks away, and...well, you get the point.

 
.
Always remember the most important thing is what ends up in your cup!
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jlib
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Joined: 28 Jan 2012
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Location: Carmel Valley, California
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Posted Wed Feb 22, 2012, 7:45pm
Subject: Re: When buying coffee for espresso, does it have to say "espresso blend?"
 

ccolton Said:

...since the variety of flavors of coffees labeled "espresso" is truly amazing, what is the significance of a coffee roaster naming the coffee "... espresso?"

Posted February 21, 2012 link

All else being equal, it usually implies a darker roast.  It does not necessarily imply the very dark oily roasts that have often been associated with espresso, though.  

An example that comes to mind since I recently tried it is Barefoot Coffee's Redcab.  Their Redcab Espresso is exactly the same blend as Redcab but one notch darker, but nowhere near what might be called French or Italian roast.

Sometimes it also implies a blend that includes a Robusta bean in the blend to exaggerate the crema.  That is more of an old-world (read Italian) habit I think.
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ccolton
Senior Member
ccolton
Joined: 23 Jan 2012
Posts: 132
Location: Wilmington DE
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Bezzera BZ07
Grinder: Le 'lit PL53
Posted Thu Feb 23, 2012, 10:08am
Subject: Re: When buying coffee for espresso, does it have to say "espresso blend?"
 

Thank, Jlib,

I am still getting acquainted with coffees for my espresso machine and am trying to learn a little more about each one.

For example, after work last night, I decided to visit a locally owned and operated roaster/coffee house and buy a pound of their decaf espresso.  Well...it wasn't as "local" as I would have liked and, not naming names, the coffee was horrible!  In fact, now that I have become a coffee snob, due in large part to the fantastic coffee suggestions from members of this forum, I took a few sips and threw it out.  I did make several shots to be sure, but, really, just smelling the beans and seeing their dark and oily complexion had me suspicious from the beginning.  These beans are off to a new and deserving home; i.e., a non-coffee snob!

So, I learned my lesson and I am about to place orders for Counter Culture's decaf, Red Bird's decaf and 1st line's medium roast and morning blend ( I can pick those up).  No more experimenting outside of the recommendations of this group!

Only good thing to say about that purchase was that I had a nice drive!

Chris
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