Finally a mistake I do not regret.

February 20, 2012

Finally a mistake I do not regret.


It seems like most of my posts these days are about mistakes I have made – you know the kind where you blow up a table saw while making a stand for your espresso set up.  Okay well to be fair to myself that one mistake was probably not my fault.  I still cannot think of anything I could have done to cause that problem, but spilling milk over the surge protector that was all me.


Anyway today I was pulling shots of Chazzano’s espresso blend and decided to mix it up and pull a shot of Paradise Roaster’s Havana blend.  I was pulling the shots at 18 grams and figured that was a reasonable starting point for the other shots, too.  Both coffees are fairly dark roasts so they seemed like it would be natural to pick one up where the other left off.


I was apparently quite wrong.  I had been pulling 18 gram shots that yielded a normale (probably 36 grams of liquid) in 25 seconds or so.  They were good.  I locked in the new coffee, pressed go and almost nothing happened.  It took nearly a full minute to pull a small ristretto that was closer to a 27 gram shot of liquid output of the new coffee.


Even though it was slow I decided to try it, and do you know what?  It was fabulous.  It was a gloopy, syrupy thick ristretto that is the kind of shot I think Vivace’s coffees were intended to pull.  If I had not pulled it myself I would have been fairly certain that someone added some very good chocolate syrup into the shot.  It was so good I pulled another one 20 minutes later.  


It is funny, I used to try to pull shots like this all the time and then a while back I turned a corner and started aiming for clarity and balance.  There was little of either of those in this shot.  It was full power, full flavor.  It was the kind of shot people buy triple baskets to produce.  I bet it would have been amazing in a macchiato.  


I think this shot would not have been awarded big points in a barista competition, but I think if a friend who just loved coffee and did not study it as if it were an academic subject were over I think they would have liked this more than the shots I usually strive for.


Sometimes a mistake can pay off.  I will not make this the only kind of shot I try to pull in the future, but it is going back into my rotation for sure!

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