Sunday, June 7, 2009

Coffee Review: Bozeman's Crema Roasting

Always looking for that elusive perfectly extracted espresso from my relatively puny home machine, I occasionally tweak the grind, tamping pressure, shot timing, frothing pitcher angle, etc... All of this helps but the product itself -the coffee- must be fresh and espresso-appropriate. I have learned that fruity African coffees translate better to brewed coffee while South American varietals seem to perform (taste) best in the espresso machine.

Recently, I spotted a new product on the shelves at the store: Crema Roasting. I selected a bag of the Guatemalan Trapichitos in the interest of science. I have tried lots of other brands - both local and national - and so far these beans are the bomb as far as I can tell. Grown by Ixil Indian families from the village of the same name, the Trapichitos beans have that slightly toasty-sweet-bright flavor that "makes" a good espresso shot. Plus, my kitchen smells great after grinding a few shots worth of these beans.

Obviously, this product is very fresh and likely handled in small batches. This is further supported by the fact that I couldn't locate a bag of the Guatemalan earlier this week, picking up a bag of the Crema Bold instead. Slightly darker in roast than the GT, the Crema Bold is a blend that extracts a bit more bitterness out of the beans to balance the toasty-sweetness. Think: high-grade bittersweet chocolate. So far, we are divided on which is better. I think it likely just a matter of what sort of mood you happen to find yourself in.

I bumped into Crema's owner a few weeks ago and I was informed that I should also give his Clarity blend a try, as this is what a few of the coffee shops are using for espresso; it's on my list once I find it. As for the two aforementioned varieties discussed today, they are in my grinder and my coffee-stained mug.

Below: the raw material and finished beverage made today with the Crema Bold

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