Review: Novo Coffee Roasters Espresso Novo (Denver, Colorado)

For the last of my three selections from Novo Coffee, I brought home their house espresso blend that is served in their shops, Espresso Novo.

When I opened up the bag and measured out beans to pull my first shot, I noticed a green (unroasted) bean hanging out among all of its roasted brethren. A good reminder to keep an eye on your beans!

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Notice how much larger the roasted bean is compared to the unroasted bean.

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Whole bean: Smells bright and tea-like, with a fruity character. I was having a hard time putting my finger on what it was I was smelling – I knew it wasn’t a berry scent, and I wrote “mango, maybe” in my notes. Later on, it hit me – banana!

Straight shots: I was amazed at the variation of flavor that I got while adjusting the parameters. Here are my notes, verbatim (minus all the dosages, temperatures, grind settings, etc.):
1) ristretto: not bad, but very tangy like bananas
2) between normale and lungo: bland, tastes like nothing.
3) normale: rare steak??? Really meaty. Weeeeiiiiirrrrrdddd
4) normale: creamy, balanced, and smooth.
5) normale: crisp, fruity, acidic. Slight berry flavor.

Favorite parameters (#4): 18 g in, 37 g out, 200 F, 23 seconds from first drip

With milk: I totally forgot to taste this with milk (as I almost never drink milk drinks these days). Sorry!

AeroPress: The resulting brew was thick and fairly smooth at the start, with a little bracing acidity on the finish. Odd aftertaste. Overall, I was underwhelmed with the coffee brewed this way – I would stick to drinking it as espresso.

Summary: This espresso can lead to some crazy tastes (seriously, rare steak??) but it’s not bad at all once you find that little window of balanced flavor!

From the roaster: medium body, caramel, blueberry, banana

Novo Coffee Roasters Espresso Novo

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