Review: Klatch Coffee FTO House Espresso (Upland, California)

I’ve had pretty good luck trying Klatch Coffee’s espressos in the past (I liked their Belle Espresso pretty well, and I LOVED their Golden Bean Espresso of 2015), so I was excited to try another one of their blends. This time around, I opted for their FTO (Fair Trade Organic) House Espresso. Since it was wintertime when I ordered this, I wanted a “comfort food” sort of espresso that wasn’t too challenging or surprising to drink – I wanted an espresso that would work well with milk and that would feel soothing to drink.

Whole bean: These were the darkest beans I’d seen in quite some time – since I’m accustomed to mostly getting light- to medium-roasted coffee, seeing the slight sheen of oil on these beans was a bit of a shock (not used to this anymore!). This smelled much like what I would expect from a medium-dark roasted coffee from the supermarket. But, though I’d be worried for drip, I knew this wasn’t necessarily a bad sign from an espresso bean given that I wanted a specific flavor profile that I thought these beans could give me.

Espresso: Klatch is one of the few roasters I’ve encountered that gives a brew recipe right on the bag. I ignored their suggested parameters at first and went a bit higher in temperature but ended up disappointed – too high of a temperature led to a musty, sort of stale flavor, though the espresso itself had beautiful mottling. When I followed their suggested parameters, the flavor was much better – a clean, nutty flavor with just a hint of brightness on the finish to liven things up.

Favorite parameters for this blend: 20 grams in, 34.5 grams out, 201 degrees Fahrenheit with a 30 second pour.
Klatch’s suggested parameters: 20 grams in, 36 grams out, 201 degrees Fahrenheit, 24-26 seconds.

With milk: This espresso made a deliciously rich and satisfying cup when milk was added. I made flat whites, cappuccinos, and lattes with this bag and all of the drinks were lovely. This is not the most complex or layered espresso in terms of flavor, but it was exactly what I was looking for at the time: an espresso that would stand up well in milk without being too bitter or distractingly fruity or floral. This espresso had a predominantly nutty flavor in my view and it worked well.

AeroPress: The beans brewed this way made a coffee with a deliciously fudgy texture and a smooth yet nutty flavor. It was very easy to drink, though I think it was slightly less flavorful than when it was pulled as straight espresso.

Summary: This espresso is simple yet satisfying. If you prefer espresso without complications, this could be right up your alley. Follow Klatch’s suggested parameters when brewing if you can, particularly the temperature suggestion – they know what they’re talking about.

From the roaster: walnut, molasses, toasted marshmallow

Klatch Coffee FTO House Espresso

Review conducted 6-7 days post-roast.

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