October 3, 2014
Workshop #33 was planned specifically with darker roast espresso in mind. Not that Full City+ should be the benchmark, but one that shows well closer to 2nd crack than some of our other blends in the past. For cupping, we roasted to three different roast levels - City+, Full City, and Full City+ (just a few 2nd snaps). The aromatics are super intense across this roast spread, City+ showing dark berry and florals amidst brooding chocolate roast tones (the latter builds quite a bit at darker roast levels). Full City+ has a smokiness from roast that goes well with rich dark cacao smells, and a sweetness that doesn't quit. Pulling espresso shots, it probably goes without saying that the lighter roasts are quite bright, and in my opinion, City+ is just a shade too light for more than a single shot. Still, at this lighter end of the spectrum, it tastes like lavender infused chocolate, with lemon/citrus oil acidity. Full City tones down citric tenors, and builds chocolatey bass notes (even 'base' in this case!), along with a sweet sugary aspect, like butterscotch syrup, that holds on in the finish. This is such a sweet blend at this roast level, with any roast flavor well integrated into the espresso profile. The mouthfeel is so thick and creamy (not to be confused with creme, of which this coffee produces plenty), and the viscous liquor only reverberates the aforementioned profile. Full City+ delves into smoky chocolate, but fruits and acidity aren't obfuscated. Peach syrup and blueberry come through, and allusions to pulpy citrus still liven up a short pull. This is a home run espresso, definitely hitting wilder notes, but with enough chocolate and sweetness to appeal to a more 'classic' espresso audience as well.