A brand new kind of nuance in my espresso.
I recently pulled a shot of espresso and it didn’t taste like any shot I had ever pulled before. It had undertones I did not detect before. Was that corn? Was it a meat product? No, it was a little more like a mix of milk bones and Science Diet (or was it Kirkland brand – I confess I have never done dog food cuppings to be on top of the nuances).
How could a roaster make a mistake like this and roast coffee that had dog food nuances in it? These were premium beans. Perhaps the roaster was using their roaster to generate extra cash cooking up dog food?
Here is a hint, the taste was accompanied by a slight grittiness that you do not normally expect in espresso as if a few tiny grounds were in the cup. The off flavoring must have magically made the grinds slip through the portafilter basket in a way that they usually do not. Perhaps there was extra oil in there that had an odd flavoring and allowed the grind to be more lubricated and slide through the basket?
No the solution was simpler than that and closer to home. It became clear the next night. My two year old who can be a bit mischievous (is that shocking or what a mischievous toddler had figured out that demitasse cups were an excellent size for her to hold and to transport dog food and treats from the dog food container to the dog’s bowl in another room.
She and the dog thought this was a brilliant plan. I was less convinced. It looks like it is time to find a new place to store my cups – perhaps a little higher out of reach of small hands – I suppose I could also dedicate a cup or two that I will no longer use for coffee to their cause since it is nice to get everyone in the family involved on some level in the ritual! (Then again both my kids demand steamed milk at times even from before they could really say the words, so I suppose the indoctrination has long since begun).