Blue Forty Two melds notes of bittersweet chocolate and citrus so well, fresh squeezed lemon enveloped in flavors of chocolate syrup, carob, and baking cocoa, fading to pulpy orange flavor, and fresh grapefruit. Full City to Full City+. For espresso.
"Blue Forty Two!", an often-yelled quarterback command, signaling a play pattern, and pre-cursing the Center's snap of the football. Yes, believe it or not, we're going to draw a connection between quarter back's play calls and our newest Workshop espresso blend! The blend consists of mostly wet-processed African coffees, 2/5 Ethiopian and 2/5 Rwanda, and as such packs quite the acidic 'punch'. The West Ethiopian coffees are from Limu, and on their own show a mix of chocolate and orange flavors when pulled as espresso, and a resonant lemony tang is easily discernible all the way up to Full City+ roast level (the darkest we tried). The Burundi isn't quite as citric, but still quite vibrant, especially in comparison to most coffees from Latin America. And it's an all bourbon cultivar as well which bodes well for level of sweetness. I have to say, it was tempting to just do a three-bean blend with these three coffees, as I'm a big fan of sweet, bright shots. But in an effort to take a little of the acidic edge off, we've mixed in a small amount of Costa Rica honey processed coffee, which lends a subtle fruited side, clean sweetness, and softens the acidic snap if only by a small margin. And 'snap' is what brings us back to "Blue Forty Two"....the snap of the football, and a snappy acidity in the espresso. OK, I'm reaching just a little with this one. But it also gives us an opportunity to resurrect the art used on an old favorite Sweet Maria's t-shirt from year's back!
If you liked #41, Afiliate Romano, you're sure to be a fan of Blue Forty Two. Like I laid out above, this is an espresso blend with untamable acidic snappiness, and the lighter you roast, the more unruly it will be. And while not necessarily a bad thing, I would avoid City roasting altogether, as even with a long roast time, the metallic flavors that come with light roasting are a lot to contend with. Full City and Full City+ is where I think this blend shows best, where a lemony tartness is engulfed in a flavor of rich chocolate syrup, divergent flavors that seemingly pull you in opposite directions! Ristretto shots of a Full City roast boasts stacked chocolate notes: carob to cocoa, Hershey's syrup, and more. Chocolate of the more bittersweet variety are what's tasted up front, along with a closely-following citric tartness, and in volume. The initial 'zing' is like fresh squeezed lemon, but then backing off in intensity to citrus flavors like orange juice, grapefruit, and citrus pulp too. The sweetness found with the initial onset of chocolate flavors falls away a bit too, leaving behind a more bittering cocoa tone, like unsweetened baking chocolate, that fills out the finish. The mouthfeel is so viscous, and crema comes easily in both short and long shots of Full City and Full City+.