I’ve raved before about Eiland’s Espresso X, which was a “prize-winner” in my Best of 2017 list. Eiland also regularly has bags of a second espresso available, called Espresso Delicato, so I picked one up to see how I felt it stacked up against the Espresso X. Slight spoiler: I ended up buying another bag of these beans shortly thereafter, to more thoroughly test my Prismo AeroPress attachment, so you can probably guess that I didn’t hate it…!
Whole bean: Cocoa with a bit of brightness to it.
Espresso: In general, I found that the higher the temperature, the darker the chocolate flavor. The sweet spot for me seemed to be around 203 degrees for a nice milk chocolate flavor (though I didn’t object to darker flavors, I was looking for the mild creaminess… this was called “Delicato,” after all). Lower temperatures (around 200 degrees F) had a bit of a bracing flavor on the finish that tasted a bit like detergent. Odd, and it happened in multiple shots! But again, once I cranked up the temperature a bit, that went away. Throughout the testing, this espresso also had a bit of nutty flavor that tasted like almonds/almond skin.
Favorite parameters for this blend: 18 grams in, 40 grams out, 203 degrees Fahrenheit, 22 second pour.
With milk: This had a sweet, milk chocolaty flavor with a refreshing bite to it on the finish. Went down very nicely.
AeroPress: A less intense version of the espresso shot – sweet, rich, and easy to drink. Lovely!
Summary: This is a less sweet and arguably more interesting espresso than the Espresso X. If you’re looking for ultimate chocolaty sweetness and smoothness in an espresso, go for the X. But, if you’re looking for a bit of intensity that will cut through milk more effectively, and that has a more nutty flavor, give the Delicato a try.
From the roaster: Cocoa and roasted nuts, assertive and robust, rich heavy body, good balance with steamed milk
Review conducted 7-8 days post-roast.