Last week, I was still exploring really getting La Vega dialed in as espresso, experiencing a little too much acidity, particularly from the VST baskets. Switching to the IMS Precision Double 16/20 gram basket which tends to provide a slower flow than the VST, even though they are both marketed as being “precision baskets”. The same recipe on both simply warranted better results through the IMS which I generally feel tends to highlight a little more sweetness, tone down acidity, but can sometime loose some nuances in some coffees. That wasn’t the case with this one, as the IMS basket allowed flavors to actually come through the overpowering brightness I was experience with the 18 gram VST despite grind, time, or brew ratios.
Pulling shots at:
- 19.2 grams in to 30-32 grams out
- In 32 seconds around 203*F
This recipe in the IMS basket seemed to warrant the best results with the higher temperature and shorter shot toning down the acidity and allowing more berry and honey sweetness to come through. There is a subtle creamy vanilla body, which I found to have the best mouthfeel when pulled at these slightly shorter ratios.
This washed Heirloom varietal from the YirgaCheffe region did play well as espresso in both the IMS and VST baskets, again with the IMS providing a little more syrupy sweetness and the VST bringing a little more citrus tang up front, but this time in a good way. This coffee was sugary sweet with a slightly spiced floral note and a subtle but very noticeable bittersweet chocolate lingering finish. This coffee needed about the same grind as the Colombian above, I enjoyed shots at:
- 18 grams in > 30 grams out
- 28 seconds at 203*F in the 18 gram VST basket.
Where I felt this coffee really shined, however was in the V60. Like La Vega, the coffee had strong honey scent when brewing, but with a little more jasmine and floral aroma as well. The coffee had a lighter mouthfeel, as could be expected with a washed coffee, but was delightfully crisp. It changed as it cooled, being a little more subtle and tea like when hot, and developing more citrus notes and the same light but noticeable bittersweet chocolate lingering finish. I brewed this in the 02 size Hario V60 at:
- 1 : 15.5 ratio – 21.9 grams to 340 grams of 200*F water
- 30 second stirred bloom
- Steady pour to 200 grams, stir.
- Additional keeping the slurry equally saturated and washing grounds off the sides of the filter.
- 2:30 – 2:45 brew time
My wife, who generally describes coffee to the degree she likes it, texted me saying it was “damn good”, and I agree. It was complex but approachable, sweet, but nuanced, and delicate but held its own. I don’t drink a lot of washed Ethiopian coffees, but this is the kind that persuades you to try more.
$10.30 for a 250 gram bag when you buy 4 bags or more, shipping is always free, and orders are always processed lighting fast. Mountain Air continues to be one of my favorite roasters, and these coffees are why. Check back next week when I take a look at one last coffee from Mountain Air as pour over and espresso.