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Looking for a few excellent espresso roasts to try.
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JasonBrandtLewis
Senior Member
JasonBrandtLewis
Joined: 9 Dec 2005
Posts: 6,278
Location: Berkeley, CA
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Elektra T1 - La Valentina -...
Grinder: Mahlkönig K30 Vario -...
Vac Pot: Yama 5-cup
Drip: CCD, Chemex
Roaster: No, no, not another...
Posted Sun Jan 6, 2013, 11:21am
Subject: Re: Looking for a few excellent espresso roasts to try.
 

Chanty Said:

Thank you.  I will look at these, but did notice these reviews are over 1 1/2 years old.

Posted January 4, 2013 link

Linda?

a) The list is not a list of specific reviews, but rather a listing of "tried and true" small roasters;

b) The list is not "my" list, but comprised of recommendations by people on Home-Barista.com AND coffeegeek.com whose opinions I have come to trust over the years I have participated on both sites.

c) Although the list was started in October 2009, it is frequently updated to both ADD and DELETE roasters as situations change.

d) Take any and all recommendations with at least one grain of salt, if not more.  After all, you have YOUR taste buds in your mouth, no one else's -- what may be the nectar of the gods to one may not be quite so delicious to you.  In other words, the only way you're going to find "excellent" espresso is to buy some beans and try it for yourself.  You may, or may not, like the recommendations others make.

That said, I would recommend that you take a serious look at the coffees offered by Jeff Pentel at Redbird Coffee in Montana, by Metropolis in Chicago, Caffè Fresco in Pennsylvania, Verve and Four Barrel, both in California . . .

 
A morning without coffee is sleep . . .
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Chanty
Senior Member


Joined: 26 May 2005
Posts: 223
Location: Milwaukee, WI
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Gaggia Classic
Grinder: Vario, had an MDF
Vac Pot: none
Drip: none
Roaster: I buy beans from many...
Posted Sun Jan 6, 2013, 11:51am
Subject: Re: Looking for a few excellent espresso roasts to try.
 

Thanks so much for all that info/help Jason.  I've tried a couple of these vendors & very pleased, but always looking for different quality roasters with different blends/roasts that I can try in the event of something happening whether it be roast issues/other issues or just wanting to try something new.   Will check into some of the others.  Again, appreciate your time.
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ECM
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ECM
Joined: 11 Oct 2003
Posts: 476
Location: Halifax, Nova Scotia Canada
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Quick Mill Vetrano 2B
Grinder: Mazzer Robour E
Vac Pot: French Press
Drip: no
Roaster: Fresh Roast+8,  i-roast and...
Posted Mon Jan 14, 2013, 8:09pm
Subject: Re: Looking for a few excellent espresso roasts to try.
 

I would highly recomend the Malibar Gold blend.  You can pick this up at wholelattelove or 1stline.  I currently roast this blend and it's beautiful!  

Rob
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Coffeenoobie
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Coffeenoobie
Joined: 11 Dec 2011
Posts: 2,972
Location: PNW
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: N S Oscar
Grinder: K30 & Vario W
Posted Tue Jan 15, 2013, 11:03am
Subject: Re: Looking for a few excellent espresso roasts to try.
 

I understand you get get 5 lbs of malibar gold from them at least once directly.  I have not done it yet.  I probably will soon.  I also love Amber from Sweet Maria's but they don't roast often and the shipping is high for coffee.

 
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Iluvdabean
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Iluvdabean
Joined: 7 Mar 2005
Posts: 1,217
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 19, 2013, 9:37pm
Subject: Re: Looking for a few excellent espresso roasts to try.
 

This is David Schomer's place and frankly its the best Ive ever had. They only sell espresso roasts....thats it.

"Our charter is to research, develop, and prepare caffe espresso as a new culinary art. "Espresso Vivace" translates loosely as great enthusiasm and excitement for espresso, the new world coffee.

Vivace is a partnership founded by David Schomer and Geneva Sullivan in 1988. Since 1992 we have been roasting in the Northern Italian style: searching the world for the mildest arabicas and bringing each bean in our blends to the fragrant peak of caramelized sugar content. Celebrity chef Emeril Lagasse has described Vivace espresso as the best coffee in the US, if not the world. (See reviews)

In 1995 David authored a book "ESPRESSO COFFEE: Professional Techniques" that was updated in 2004. The book is in its eighth printing in English, but is also available in Japanese, Russian, and Korean. David has also produced two DVD courses for barista training "Caffe Latte Art" and "Techniques of the Barista". These are also updated to reflect twenty four years of hands-on research.

Naturally, this research gives us very precise brewing results. This precision allows us to identify, with great accuracy, the peak development of each coffee we use in our blends. Vivace is, literally, the caramel coffee. "

Iluvdabean Said:

http://www.espressovivace.com/

Great coffee.

Posted January 5, 2013 link

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JasonBrandtLewis
Senior Member
JasonBrandtLewis
Joined: 9 Dec 2005
Posts: 6,278
Location: Berkeley, CA
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Elektra T1 - La Valentina -...
Grinder: Mahlkönig K30 Vario -...
Vac Pot: Yama 5-cup
Drip: CCD, Chemex
Roaster: No, no, not another...
Posted Sun Jan 20, 2013, 11:13am
Subject: Re: Looking for a few excellent espresso roasts to try.
 

The one knock I've heard against Vivace is that some claim it's very difficult to "dial in" and rather finicky.  I have to say, that I have NOT found this to be the case.  Indeed, I love Vivace, especially their Dolce.  Well worth trying, IMHO.

That said, it works out to $16.50 pound, plus shipping, so some may consider it a bit steep.

 
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CoffeeLoversMag
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CoffeeLoversMag
Joined: 10 Jan 2013
Posts: 218
Location: Seattle
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Mon Jan 21, 2013, 3:39am
Subject: Re: Looking for a few excellent espresso roasts to try.
 

I have read several sites regarding the best espresso machine to use and most of the time, they always mention Rancilio. Also, some reviews consider this as their top 1 pick best for baristas. This usually has 5 star rating so why have it a try.

 
Did you know...? Dark roast coffees actually have less caffeine than lighter roasts due to the fact that the process of roasting burns off caffeine.
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Jmanespresso
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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 Tue Jan 22, 2013, 12:31pm
Subject: Re: Looking for a few excellent espresso roasts to try.
 

JasonBrandtLewis Said:

The one knock I've heard against Vivace is that some claim it's very difficult to "dial in" and rather finicky.  I have to say, that I have NOT found this to be the case.  Indeed, I love Vivace, especially their Dolce.  Well worth trying, IMHO.

That said, it works out to $16.50 pound, plus shipping, so some may consider it a bit steep.

Posted January 20, 2013 link


I read the same thing about Vivace's Dolce for quite some time.  And despite Jason here repeatedly telling me he had no trouble whatsoever dialing in the blend on his HX, I still stayed away.  When I bought the Vivaldi II back, gosh almost 2 years ago now, the Dolce was the first blend I bought, because I knew I could hit those high temps it "needed".  Wammy.  Double wammy.  Literally, Ive had one shot I would call a GodShot since I started making espresso 4 years ago, and it was that shot of Dolce.

Since selling the Vivaldi, Ive had two machines.  Another HX and now, another DB.  Ive pulled Dolce on all three machines, and I can make great shots with it on all three.  I mean, maybe 8-10 years ago, Dolce was hard to dial in, but today, with the abundance of Single Origin, Super bright, City+ roast level espressos out there, Dolce is so incredibly easy to get right compared to those, its almost funny that people said it was finicky.  You want finicky?  Try the Owls Howl from Sightglass(1/16/13). Its wonderfully sweet, heavy lemon candy/meringue acidity with the texture of thick honey and this berry note which just pops on your tongue..  However, it is, for me, the hardest coffee I have ever worked with.  I pulled a total of four shots that were so delicious, it made pretty much wasting the rest of the bag worth it.(And yes, I wasted the entire 12oz bag, minus the last four shots)  Now, I do consider myself decently capable of dialing in a finicky single origin to extract its goodness, but I still struggle plenty as well.  Im not afraid of the challenge, but Im no Jim Schulman either.  But as far as Dolce being finicky???

Not in any way shape or form.  I mean it couldn't be easier.  Dose to the max of whatever your basket choice is(because it works well from low 15gram shots up to heavy 23gram shots), adjust your grind so that the flow is slow, thick and gloopy, and dont be afraid to let it run longer then you would normally.  Id say forget the timer, and go by look and taste on this one.  Ive pulled shots that lasted 50seconds or more, and were delicious(usually heavier doses though)  And as for temps, if you've got a DB, set to 203f(203.5 if you have that ability), if you've got an HX, flush so you're on the hotter side of things.  Done.

And the result is a shot which is likely going to be thicker than most espresso's you've had, its heavy heavy dark chocolate and holiday spices(cinamon, nutmeg, sometimes I notice allspice in the background), there is a slight hint of dried fruit as the coffee ages a bit, and there is little to no acidity. Its nice in small milk as well..  Machiattos or "true" 5oz caps.  Its not bad for a bigger, say 8oz drink either, but if you fancy those(I do sometimes), you might try their Vita blend, which is designed to cut throuh milk better then Dolce.

 
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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Chanty
Senior Member


Joined: 26 May 2005
Posts: 223
Location: Milwaukee, WI
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Gaggia Classic
Grinder: Vario, had an MDF
Vac Pot: none
Drip: none
Roaster: I buy beans from many...
Posted Tue Jan 22, 2013, 1:19pm
Subject: Re: Looking for a few excellent espresso roasts to try.
 

"The one knock I've heard against Vivace is that some claim it's very difficult to "dial in" and rather finicky".
I'm sorry to say I spent a lot of money on a lb. of the Vivace, and wasted 3/4 of the pound bag trying to dial it in on my Vario grinder.  I was not as impressed with the taste (I know...very subjective) once I somewhat dialed it in.  
I really like Red Bird, and don't have any dialing in issues--the same with Caffe Fresco's Ambrosia.  I just like to try different blends once in a while.
I'm so disappointed with a local (cheaper cuz don't have to pay shipping) roaster I have used for years.  I noticed over the last 2-3 months, no matter how fine I dialed the roast in, it was blonding within about 10-15 seconds.   I finally called the roaster.  He questioned my equipment (Vario grinder, Gaggia Classic espresso machine), my tamping.  I haven't changed my equip. nor methods, and they work fine on other blends.  I asked if they have changed their bean or something to do with that?  He said they use a Brazil bean with a Costa Rican bean, but about 3 months ago changed the Costa Rican bean to a Guatamalen bean.  That has to be it cuz that's about the time period I noticed the change in the "impossibility" to get a fine enough grind.  Never had that problem in such a consistent manner before.  Arghhhh,,,,,errrrrrr.
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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 Tue Jan 22, 2013, 2:44pm
Subject: Re: Looking for a few excellent espresso roasts to try.
 

I suppose it would be fair to say, YMMV.  Probably should said that before.

 
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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