Review: 49th Parallel Coffee Roasters Old School Espresso (Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada)

Of the seven bags of coffee I purchased during my time in Vancouver, I’d say this bag from 49th Parallel was the only one specifically marketed as espresso (the Matchstick Catalogue No. 39 was described as being fine for both espresso and coffee), so I was pretty excited to see what it would be like at home on my equipment. It would have been nice to experience a shot of this pulled in their shop, but I sadly didn’t have time for that on this trip.

Whole bean: Dark chocolate aroma. Even though this was labeled a medium-dark roast, these beans were not oily at all (hooray!!!!) and they also had a lovely even roast to them. Great signs.

Espresso: It took me a few tries to dial in the grind and decide on a suitable temperature, but once I did, I enjoyed these shots very much. Consumed straight, there was a really nice balance of chocolate and nut flavor. I didn’t get much caramel, but the shot was relatively sweet. No problems drinking this straight.

Favorite parameters: 19 grams in, 42 grams out, 208 degrees Fahrenheit, 25 second pour.

With milk: This espresso shines well in milk. In a cappuccino, the flavor was just as the bag stated: caramel, chocolate, and nuts. Decadent, easy-drinking cup.

AeroPress: Super, SUPER smooth prepared this way, with a lot of chocolate almond flavor. Very pleasurable to drink. Not the most complex coffee, but immensely satisfying.

Summary: I had a good experience with this Old School Espresso – it tastes terrific straight and in milk, and it makes a wonderful cup in an AeroPress. I didn’t taste it made with other methods but I suspect it will make a great cup no matter how you do it – it’s a versatile blend that gives consistently good results.

From the roaster: caramel, nuts, dark chocolate

49th Parallel Coffee Roasters Old School Espresso

Review conducted 14-15 days post-roast.

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