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Sweet Maria's Liquid Amber Espresso Blend
I wanted an espresso blend that was potent, sharp, intense; but without excessive mustiness, fruitiness, or earthy flavors. But I wanted it also to be complex and hint at all of those tastes, and more! Here's the product of a lot of overly-caffeinated days of experimentation: the Liquid Amber Espresso Blend. It is named for the rich color and multitude of crema it produces. The blend was fairly complex to come up with ... after I found the general tastes I wanted, emerging from aroma and first sip through the very long aftertaste (if I don't cleanse my palate with water I will taste this coffee for 20+ minutes) I needed to play with the exact percentages. The specific blend, hey ... it is my secret! But I will tell you that the 5 coffees that really worked toward the flavor goal I imagined ended up surprising even me! I will say that there are Dry-processed, Wet-processed, and Monsooned coffees in here. I will also admit that there is a modicum of quality Robusta. And to keep this a mystery, the blend contains some coffees not on our list. Extracted in a properly functioning, clean espresso machine the blend produces a lot of crema, making the mouthfeel very thick and creamy. The sharp pungent bite to the blend is not bitter, and fades into a rich tobaccoy-milk chocolate aftertaste. If properly roasted (not scorched) the blend will not be ashy, something I really don't like in espresso. (With any espresso, if the aftertaste turns acrid and bitter after 3 minutes or so, clean the heck out of your machine.) In the Liquid Amber Blend there are hints of fruit, mushrooms, sweet smoke, caramel, and cream in the extended aftertaste. This blend works extremely well in milk drinks, meaning by that a true cappuccino (6-9 oz.) or machiatto. I make no claims for Latte ... is there any coffee that tastes potent mixed down 8:1 in a Slurpee-sized cup of milk? Please note: in 2005 I changed the type of Monsooned coffee. It is paler, sweeter, and is not a coffee we offer on our list. It's a special purchase for the blend to increase sweetness and reduce mustiness. -Tom
Liquid Amber Note:If the coffee arrives and doesn't appear evenly blended, this is because of the vibration during loading and shipment. I can positively guarantee you that the blend was packed in the exact, correct proportion (we are extremely careful about this), but the difference in size/density of the Monsooned/non-Monsooned can make them separate a bit with vibration. Just give it a stir....
Grade: All top grades
Processing: Various Process
Crop: All current crop
Appearance: 0 d/300gr, 17-19 Screen
Intensity/Prime Attribute: Bold / Pungency, Power, Aftertaste
Roast: I advocate a Northern Italian style roast (really a Vienna roast, stopped 30-45 seconds into 2nd crack), but the blend works very well at the darker Southern Italian style roast (a full French roast actually, at the peak of a rapid 2nd crack). Either way, get this into 2nd crack and allow proper resting that espresso demands: 48+ hours is best. This blend works great in air and drum roast machines and I developed it testing-roasting on both. If you notice a tingly "baking soda effect" in your mouth, then the coffee could use more rest.