Perpetual_Buzz Senior Member Joined: 16 Nov 2005 Posts: 330 Location: Charlotte, NC Expertise: I live coffee
Espresso: Pimped Silvia Grinder: Rancilio Rocky Drip: No drip, French Press Roaster: Whirley Pop/Char-Broil Grill
Posted Tue Sep 12, 2006, 6:16am Subject: Re: Black Pearl espresso from ChrisCoffee
I received my sample around Aug. 28th.
I really enjoyed the "Black Pearl" blend...Some of my thoughts are/were, Extreme Dark Chocolate/Cocoa up front, very smooth shot with the punch of a Sumatra (I'm guessing) in the finish that lingered but in a nice way, medium+ body. Loads of persistant crema.
Not only did it make a very nice shot, this blend also made a very nice cappuccino and iced latte. It really cuts through milk well. I found it to be a very versitile blend, working well in several types of drinks. I had no problems pulling shots with this blend on my home setup (PID'd Silvia), it was very consistant even at 4 days out of the roaster.
Shhh...don't tell anyone, but I still had a bit of this left over this morning (19 days out of the roaster) and it still had wicked crema, nice body, the bite at the finish was toned down, it still had the cocoa, but I found a nice hint of vanilla in the shot that I didn't notice when it was really fresh...ristretto, of course.
Edit...forgot to mention my pid temp setting was 228.
Everybody needs an addiction.
I'm not addicted to coffee, I just have to have a cup EVERY morning.
Posted Tue Sep 12, 2006, 12:51pm Subject: Re: Black Pearl espresso from ChrisCoffee
Chris sent me the first version ("Sample A") and this last one as well. Here's what I told him on 9/7:
I did receive and cup the coffee over a week ago. In addition I pulled many shots for straight espresso and cappas and brewed it in different ways, as well. I think it's much improved from the "Sample A" I received previously.
It is very sweet (Brazil?), has a fruity (citrus) tang (Ethiopian?), especially in the finish. It has smooth, rich body, good balance, persistent crema and in general is an excellent blend. In my opinion, the roast level was spot on. Any darker and it might have lost the fruit and turned ashy.
Posted Wed Sep 20, 2006, 8:55pm Subject: Re: Black Pearl espresso from ChrisCoffee
Hi...I received my Black Pearl 2 days ago...it was in transit 4 days...so I figured it was ready to pull...I refused to look at this thread (as much as I was dying to)...haha)so as not to get influenced.... My first shot...My Mazzer SJ was too tight...after 35 seconds...1/2oz...I was going for 1.5 oz doubles... dialed back Mr. Mazzer just a touch...the fresh ground smelled slighty of Harar...but not quite blueberry..mnore like dark cherry...I distributed the gring into my bottomless pf using the Weiss(thank you John) technique, a light level tamp, then a 35 lb 2nd tamp....the 2nd pull ...excellent...luck was with me...30 seconds, no blonding 1.5 oz... the crema was a beautiful chestnut-like brown...not reddish...and non stop...there was no dark ring around my porceline cup, so I figured I was in the temp ballpark...based upon my 2 years with Anita, I'd say around 199-ish...just a guess... TASTE(S) My impressions....FWIW...I make no claim as a taste expert...I just enjoy my espresso.... Early in the tasting process I got fruit...that black cherry thing I smelled in the grind, and a touch of some citrusy thing...not sure what...overall Black Pearl seems a bit brighter than say Monkey Blend...but not unpleasantly so...I won't compare BP to blends from our other fine, friendly Pro roasters.... MOUTH FEEL: Very creamy, medium body...the middle and ending portion of the swallow produced some nice bittersweet dark cocoa...and another nice feature...no tobacco aftertaste! Later that afternoon, I inserted the triple basket, measured 21 grams, did the WDT.... An awesome looking (at least to me) pour, took 12 secondsbefore the droplets became a stream...30 seconds later, a 1oz triple...it was delicious..obviously a bit more "viscous"...still, I liked the balnce a bit more with my double...YMMV VISUAL: The crema lasted a long time...subsequent shots yesterday and today were the same...I've noticed this coffee produces a beautiful puck...it also required, at least for me, a slightly coarser grind than several other blends I purchased and/or roasted....I think this may be what makes it so easy to get a nice looking pour... I won't hazard a guess as to the components in Chris' blend...not my business, anyway... Nicely done, Chris.
NOTE....before posting this, I glanced at a few of the earlier posts....didn't see the "cherry thing", did see the "Chestnut brown" reference..that's an easy one... I don't appear to be as far off with the rest of you as I thought I might be, given my ancient taste buds! Y'all enjoy!
rstevens Senior Member Joined: 17 May 2006 Posts: 23 Location: Albany, NY Expertise: I love coffee
Espresso: La Spaziale S1 Vivaldi II Grinder: Mazzer Mini-E Drip: nope- French press Roaster: Behmor 1600
Posted Thu Sep 21, 2006, 4:37pm Subject: Re: Black Pearl espresso from ChrisCoffee
So far I have gone through 2 pounds of Black Pearl and I really enjoy it. Just to expand my horizon of espresso's I ordered a pound of Black Cat which is a favorite of many folks here. Although I do appreciate the differences and the complexity of the Cat I find my taste more to the Black Pearl. The Black Cat is a much darker roast and does not seem as forgiving as the BP. I sense much more chocolate and caramel flavors with Chris's blend. I am still quite new to espresso so I am not yet able to articulate the flavors as many of the more experienced members here...but practice makes perfect. Lucky for me Chris is just around the corner so no delays and costs for shipping :)
iginfect Senior Member Joined: 8 Dec 2003 Posts: 346 Location: herkimer new york Expertise: I love coffee
Espresso: vetrano Grinder: versalab m3 Vac Pot: yama 5 cup Drip: melior french press Roaster: hot top kn-8828p
Posted Fri Sep 22, 2006, 4:43am Subject: Re: Black Pearl espresso from ChrisCoffee
I like a lighter roast for espresso and am reluctant to try anything with the word black in the name, makes me think of Char$. Based on the postings I'll try it. I was on the phone earlier this week with Chris and they offered me BP and did state it wasn't too dark. AND they will be selling green in the future. SM look out. They were sooo nice on the phone and gave me a deal on the Rocky.
jim_schulman Senior Member Joined: 19 Dec 2001 Posts: 3,772 Location: Chicago Expertise: I live coffee
Posted Tue Sep 26, 2006, 4:52pm Subject: Re: Black Pearl espresso from ChrisCoffee
I got a sample today, apparently four or five days past roasting, and have pulled four singles.
It's a very "workable" blend, changing smoothly by temperature and shot time/volume (i.e 35 second ristrettos to 25 second normales). Cooler, larger, briefer shots have a discrete amount of ctirus and a buttery/light body. The aftertaste has a creamy alkalinity that is a bit remiscent of artichoke (Andy nailed it). As the shots get shorter and hotter, a Bourbon almond with cocoa takes over, and the fruit goes to a subdued sour cherry.
Overall, this is a very "classic cup" Bourbon dominated shot. This is a hard taste profile to pull off; since the high grown coffees needed usually have an overwhelming citrus flavor. Rocket Roaster's Classic blend is in the same vein, and has more exuberant fruit. The Black Pearl is creamier and more understated on the acidity.
If you're looking for espresso that has the same flavor as those great brewed cups of coffee you remember from the past, packed into the little cup, this is the one.
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