The end of June saw me taking a very short trip (24 hours) to New York City for a concert (Stone Roses at Madison Square Garden). While there, I naturally had to pick up some coffee! I was limited to what I could find within walking distance of Midtown, but luckily for me, there were plenty of options. I snagged this bag of Birch Espresso at one of their shop locations.
As sometimes happens, when I went to the checkout, I had the following exchange with the barista.
Barista: Do you need your beans ground?
Me (slightly horrified): Oh, definitely not! Doesn’t that hurt to have to even offer??
Grind your beans right before brewing, kids.
Whole bean: aromas of milk chocolate and red fruit (bing cherry, raspberry).
Espresso: It took me some time to get a handle on this espresso. The faster pours got me buttery and red wine flavors, but as I tightened up the grind, it revealed chocolaty flavors. It was particularly good as a ristretto shot.
Favorite parameters: 17g in, 19g out, 201 degrees F, 30 sec pull. Syrupy texture and milk chocolate flavor with a cheery, bright finish. Very nice!
With milk: I have stopped drinking milk and things like lattes altogether so I’ll be depending on Shutterbug’s opinion for this category. His comments: “Very good! It’s… milky.” I think that’s actually a compliment, in that the espresso + milk doesn’t taste weird to him. That definitely happens sometimes in this house…
AeroPress: This tasted much like the espresso when brewed as a concentrate. However, once I added a bit of water, it toned down the brightness and made for a rich, flavorful, multi-dimensional coffee that kept me sipping. I actually ended up using my last beans from this bag in this method and was sorry when they were gone; I would have enjoyed having this again!
Summary: A good multitasking espresso bean, whether you’re drinking it straight or with milk. Particularly tasty when pulled ristretto.