While waiting for a friend to get off work in Melrose, I stopped by a coffee shop that friend referred me to in the past to pass the time and to continue my bean run. Yes last night was Halloween and yes, I was right near west Hollywood that night. That was all fine & well, but the point I want to make is the coffee I found at Aldante’s roasters.
Recently there have been a lot of shops pitching different coffees from African countries. Due to the elevation and topography (along with other growing factors I am unfamiliar with) they tend to run on the fruitier side with hints of berries, citrus, and melon. There are a lot of companies that do a fantastic job of this. I enjoy a cup from time to time myself. But like pumpkin pie & egg nog, certain things are best enjoyed during a certain time of the year.
With the change of seasons here in the US, weather is getting colder, leaves are changing, and berry flavored coffees aren’t fitting into this autumn theme IMO. I have had a real craving for notes of chocolate, brown sugar, maple syrup in my cup. Anything nutty and sweet really. Last night I found a shop that caters to those with such a craving. Central American countries have been known to make sweeter coffees, and this place did not disappoint. I had a cup of a single origin from Brazil and it was just what the barista ordered. This particular roast was best enjoyed a little over room temperature. All of the sweet notes hit the palette mid way through your sip. Once it hits, it’s a smooth ride and stays on the tongue for a while. It was so good, I had to buy a bag (that was roasted the previous day!)
With my current training regimen, I thought it would be a good idea to cut back on my caffeine intake. However with this new batch, I see myself finishing the bag which I normally am unable to do. This morning I was excited to open up this incredibly fresh batch and watch it brew. I knew it was fresh (not only through taking the person’s word for it when I bought the bag) because when I bloomed the coffee, it almost blossomed out of the filter. I was grinning ear to ear this entire time. Brew time was a little over three minutes, but I expected this to let the gases out of such a fresh roast. The roast profile was medium to light which I now am starting to prefer rather than the oily, darker roasts.
Again, this is best enjoyed a little closer to room temperature. It has scents of nuts and sugars almost like my bowl of oatmeal I had cooking along the side. No need for cream or sugar; there was enough flavor by itself. No sour or bitter notes on the finish either. A smooth ride from beginning to end.
Aldante does a great job at roasting and they cater to the sweeter, central American roasts. After having coffee talk with one of the guys that worked there, he offered me a cup of whatever I wanted since I had bought the beans. Espresso has been a bit of a mystery for me as far as roast blends are concerned. To make a long story short, the espresso roast I tried had a lot of elements to it. Although the volume of the drink is fractional to my twelve ounce pour over, due to the pressure of the water that passes through the grounds, the taste is a lot more descriptive than most brewing methods. This espresso was a good example of a well rounded blend of different roasts and elements. It starts off with a bright orange rind notes, and transitions into a creamier, smoother finish. Not too bright, not too sweet. The bright taste is right at the start, where I would expect an espresso to have. And the sweeter notes keep the brew from getting that bitter, sour tastes that would make one cringe. This is my new standard for espresso. A well rounded cup that doesn’t have too much of one single note. It has a strong note to start off (to catch the metaphorical eye, or tongue in this case) then go whichever different direction it wants.
Coffee makes me happy and lets me know I am not depressed. I am excited to share this with others and will try to make it back for more, and in the future find more places like this that cater to the sweeter styles to accommodate for this cuddle weather.