A few weeks ago, I had an oportunity to try a new to me coffee roaster at the suggestion of the crews at Seatle Coffee Gears. The roaster is Atomic Cafe and their blend is Espresso Intensi which is a blend that pay homage to the south Italian style of roast. The experience with ordering at the Sealte Coffee gear website was pleasant with the staffs there emailing several confirmation emails before the coffee was shipped to me. The coffee was shipped promptly via USPS priority and three days later I received the coffee nicely packed.
Now on to the coffee; the coffee was about a week post roast, not too bad but not as good as Roaste's premiere roasters that I have ordered from in the past. Opening the bag reveal that the coffee are dark roast which is not unexpected because it was described as the darkest roast in the entire line of blend from Atomic Cafe. Most of the time, I would be inclined toward light to midium roasts but recently I have been craving for some coffee that could stand up well in cappuccinos and lattes.
Dialing in the Espresso Intensi was really easy thanks to capable grinders and the freshness of the coffee. Dark roasts tend to need coaser grind setting and after about two sink shots, Iwas getting good flow and copious amount of dark crema. The espresso taste was nothing amazing; the bitterness is very strong even when brewing at low temperature. The aroma is predominantly distillates and burned rubber which is indicative of robusta content. The espresso was only drinkable when sugar is added.
However, when added with about 5-6 ounces of steamed milk to about 1.5 ounces of espresso, the drink is really good. In milk as a latte, I can taste ton of dark chocolate notes and the offensive burned rubber aroma is masked by the milk. So to cap it off, this is a coffee for the latte lovers only and not suitable for espresso. Overall, I'm still quite happy that I have an oportunity to sample this blend form Atomic Cafe. On an unrelated note, the dark crema of the coffee enable some pretty cool latte art; here is the best one I came up with: