Jun 20, 2006
So there I was, roasting up a batch of beans (more Java Estate Prince) on the back deck, "Bing-Bong" - it's the front doorbell. A delivery van with a coffee table (how apropos) and end tables for the rec room downstairs. One of the delivery guys gets interested in the beans as I am pulling them from the cooling tray, says he likes coffee, I say "Sounds like you are a coffee guy, do you want an espresso?", "Sure, I'll go and get some paperwork and be right back". Normal so far, get to drop a good shot on a hard working guy.
To be more precise about the "Bing-Bong" and the surrounding events, I had my nose (again) in Kenneth Davids book "Home Coffee Roasting: Romance and Revival" and was comparing roasts against some representative Agtron scale slides while I was waiting for the roast batch to finish. The boys were chowing down on a snack and it was your standard issue almost ready for Keegan to go for a nap morning. Perfect timing actually as the boys were loaded in their chairs away from the ensuing end table madness. So the stage is set with Evan and Keegan looking on at the two strangers moving stuff downstairs. Now, back to the coffee-lover... I decided to pull the Brauna Estate Matas de Minas, an interesting Brazilian which I have played with for a few shots now, this Beccor is different from the Beccor Lot 152 which was creamier, more hazelnut/macadamia and all-together a nice easy sip. The Lot 141 has more of a spicy bite to it, which isn't saying much as it is still typically Brazilian (in my limited context) but shows a nice little twist with its "spice", certainly nothing over the top, in fact quite far from it. So 10gms of the Brauna and 8gms of the Harar and Mysore nuggets blend and here comes a nice little 1.5ounce shot that should be chocolate, buttery nut, bit sweet, spice, tiny bit wild. It looked nice, and having pulled the exact same shot earlier in the morning I was confident I had just laid down the espresso love. While the shot was being pulled, Evan was throwing out the comments "That my dog", "That my dad". As I put the demitasse in front of the coffee-guy, Evan shouted "That espresso", I casually asked "So do you drink much espresso?". And then the coffee-guy spoke those fateful words, "Sure, I like Expresso". And in a flash I knew how this was going to play-out. The coffee-guy peeked over the rim of the demitasse and I could sense his confusion, the tentative sip and the eyes opening wider than normal with the 2-3 second silence while his entire neural network lit-up. He made an attempt to continue the conversation but the glances back over the rim and two more thoughtful sips till nothing was left were stalling his previously easy flow. And then, "Man, that was good Expresso". I ended all coffee conversation at that point, focusing on other things, I nodded and smiled when he was thanking me again on his way out. I know with absolute certainty that he has never tasted an espresso quite like that before, I don't fault him for it, my hope is that he gets to again someday - but lets hope it's not tomorrow morning with a "Bing-Bong" at our front door.
Am I an espresso snob? I suppose I am, but I'm not above mocking myself and in this case it is well deserved mockery. Here are two fine examples of truly amateur Latte Art, I almost cringe at calling them Art - they are not world-class. You win some you lose some.