We're still on the Verve train this week, and for a few more for that matter, I guess I need to do a post covering how I mail order and preserve coffee in bulk to make sure I'm stocked up and utilize shipping price breaks, when applicable. Anyways, this week I'm focusing on a Single Origin Espresso (SOE) from Honduras, Edgardo Tonoco. I love Verve's description of this coffee as a face melter because that's exactly what I'm looking for in espresso. This Pacas cultivar of washed coffee is described as being "syrupy, sweet, and jammy," and that sounded good enough to persuade me to order. I have not been disappointed.
I particularly like that Verve includes the Farmlevel story with each single origin offering, along with preparation instructions, this one recommended to pull at:
19.7 grams in : 29-30 grams out in 30-31 seconds to coax out syrupy flavors of blackberry and molasses.
Their recommended parameters are assumed to be for VST baskets (though I'm not sure which size at that dose) and indicating the shot should be cut a bit short yield wise, or slightly under the 1:2 normale range to get that syrupy sweetness. I started pulling this coffee around 202F, as I remember when I visited both Santa Cruz Verve locations last year, the PID's on their espresso machines were set to 202-203F regardless of what coffee was being pulled.
19.7 grams is a bit on the high side for my setup, and I've been dosing closer to 19.5g to provide a bit more head space. I find that even with the very deep IMS Precision 16/20 double baskets, either the basket or the E-61 grouped machine seems to tolerate this slightly lower dose better. Because Verve adequately develops their roasts, their SOE's don't need nearly as fine of a grind as most other single origins. So while dialing back the grind fineness, I did end up having a few shots run longer on the yield, 38 grams or so, within those same parameters, and the some of the sweetness was definitely lost with the thinner body. I would say Verve's recommended parameters are pretty spot on, which I always appreciate, so I'm not wasting coffee trying to figure out how the roaster intended this to taste its best.
As espresso this one is a lingering, mouth coating cup of molasses. Very sweet, sugary with a slight bitterness to it, maybe a hint of bittersweet or baker's chocolate. I've been finding it very enjoyable as a straight shot.
This one turns to pure hot chocolate as a 5oz cappuccino, and I'm talking hot cocoa made with milk, not instant and water. It holds up very well in this amount of milk and provides a nice thick, sweet mouthfeel.
I'll be taking the next couple of weeks off traveling, but I'll see you at the end of June!