I finally tasted blueberries in my coffee. I’ve heard others talk of their experiences with the blueberries in a cup. It was their “aha” moment with single origin espresso. Well, I’ve only had single origin shots of espresso once so far, and that was at Cartel Coffee in Scottsdale, AZ. It was good, but I certainly didn’t get blueberries in my cup. Not sure if it was because it was a South American single origin instead of an African, but there were no blueberries.
Most espresso you get from commercial coffee shops serve a blend of different beans. They combine them through trial and error in cupping sessions to get the taste they want. It’s not easy, and good espresso blends are still mighty enjoyable. But no blueberries.
So how did I finally get the blueberry experience? Well, it wasn’t at a cafe at all. The story actually begins with an early Christmas present on St. Nicholas’ Day in 2016. Growing up in Germany, we celebrated St. Nicholas’ Day on December 6th by leaving a boot outside the door of our bedroom the night of the 5th. My parents would fill the boot with candy (and switches, usually) and it’s a tradition I’ve carried into adulthood with me for my kids.
This last year, I got Mike a Christmas gift and decided to give it to him early- on St. Nick’s Day. The gift in question was a manual espresso press. After reading some reviews, and watching some videos, I decided on the Staressso device. Mainly due to its affordability and its advertised ability to generate nine bars of pressure. It was about half the price of a ROK espresso press and looked a little easier to use. Like anything, Mike set out to master the device in relatively short order.
About three weeks after getting him the gift, he invited me over to try a shot of Staresso espresso. He offered me a couple different offerings, because he had a flight of Angel’s Cup opened already. Angel’s Cup is a blind tasting service that give you a certain amount of beans from various roasters you’re supposed to try and see what flavor notes you get. Then you check the enclosed card and see what beans you tasted, what flavor the roasters think you should get, and who the roaster is. I didn’t blind taste test this one. I found blueberries listed as a flavor on one of the cards and tried them.
The card in question was a roast from Speckled Axe, a roaster from Maine that uses wood fire to roast their beans. I believe the offering was one of their naturally processed Ethiopian coffees. Well, Mike worked his magic on the Staresso and produced a flawless shot of single origin espresso. It wasn’t a full shot, 1 ounce or 28 grams, but maybe 15 grams. It was enough for me to taste it. That most mysterious and hard to find flavor profile. I tasted blueberries. I tasted blueberries and it was awesome.
The tremendous flavors reminded me again of why I love espresso. Don’t get me wrong, pour-overs and other presses are wonderful and all. But shots of espresso, to me, are where the heart of true coffee is at. I love it. And now, I finally got those elusive blueberries. Thanks Mike.