Now that the Election Fever had passed and the PKR-DAP-PAS coalition (Barisan Rakyat) had form government in the 5 states of Penang, Kedah, Kelanta, Perak and Selangor, it’s time for them to get down to their work. Let’s hope that positive changes will drive our country’s economic, social and political arena to higher growth and maturity.
It is time for me to re-focus my attention to the journey in discovering better espresso. Some people call it the espresso nirvana. Some term it the espresso “god-shot” where it felt as if god has blessed the cup.
Got myself some freshly roasted Highlander’s Supreme Blend.
After dialing in the grinder and pulling a couple of “sink-shot”, here are the results:
The shot above are done using those espresso glass from Starbucks. Heh heh heh.. Once I manage to convince one district assistant manager of Starbucks to give me one of their glass. She was kind enough to oblige me. One thing I can’t fault Starbucks is their customer service. I was after all once a very regular Starbucks customer.
If you notice the line on the glass, it measures at 30ml, which is the default measurement for a single shot of espresso.
What i pulled was not a regular espresso, but rather a ristretto. A Ristretto basically refers to a “restricted” shot. That shot above is about 23 to 25ml. Generally, ristretto gave a more intensed shot and the flavours are more pronounced.
This is espresso in a Bodum Double Wall Thermo-Glass. The sizeof the glass is 3oz or 90ml. What I have there is a double ristretto, about 45ml. A regular double espresso is about 60ml.
Wow, look at the crema. And this is from 100% arabica coffee beans, about 1 week from roasting. The taste is intensed, mild acidity, full bodied with a tinge of sweetness and very slight bitterness. Please do note that a good espresso is not BITTER. But having a very slight bitterness is actually desirable. And more importantly, it does not have any bad after-taste. (My previous ranting about espresso.)
I have been using Highlander’s Blend for some time. But it was only recently that I manage to find the correct combination in bringing balance to the (force?) whole espresso experience. I grind it finer, tamp it lighter…lo and behold.. it works ideally on my Gaggia Baby machine. Not forgetting the most important factor, the excellent La Scala M5 grinder.
Hi KF Chan,
Balance in the force? ha…a star wars fan? back to coffee…
Did you use the same method you mentioned last time? One notch finer with the grind and light / medium tamp?
Yeah I think with different beans and also with aging beans, the method has to change a bit. The grinder is a factor too. I use a Gaggia MDF a good grinder though not in the class of M5 or Mini Mazzer or Rocky…the main weakness is the wide step adjustment. That’s why the tamp becomes vital…in anycase my own experience (usually) has been more coffee = richer espresso..there are exception to the rule of course…..
I think to be able to apply the right tamp to the coffee is really a high skill. I remember Mark Prince, a senior editor at Coffee Geek shared about his espresso making experience with Paul Bassett, former WBC winner. He said Paul could look at the coffee coming out from the grinder and immediately decide on the strength of the tamp….usually he’s right. Of course there are others who said tamp is not a factor…I guess if it works for you, then it’s great!
Anyway, can you get Supreme Blend that’s 1 week + – old? I would be interested to get those….one week is still very nice….let me know when you get those…perhaps I can order some from you….
Forget to comment on the espresso itself…very good deep colour…rich crema….looks very nice indeed….
Are you shap the photo just after your pull ? The crema on the ristretto seem too dark for me. Seem like over extracted 🙂
Hopefully it is because of dioxide while you snap the photo 🙂
nope.. didn’t really sharpened the photos.. but I do notice the crema is always darker when I made ristretto. If I make a regular double, the crema is lighter. Hmmm.. maybe next time i’ll do both different pull one after another and compare.
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wow… thick crema. im guessing that i can only get that blend shipped from singapore, am I right? Would be great if I can find it somewhere in KL.
Actually, I’ve been trying to find good blend in KL (just got home from NZ). If you dont mind sharing, can you recommend any places/coffee roasters in KL for good coffee blends ? Thank you.
Welcome back Faiz.
But there is no Micro-roaster in KL. Such a shame.
Kia ora Faiz,
You can get freshly roasted beans from San Franciso, KLCC outlet, their espressoo blend is called Cable Car Blend, or CCB.
I also know where to get the Highlander Supremo beans in KL, and also Lavazza, Illy. Email me if you’re interested.
Kia Ora! Cheers Liu for the info.