Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Tasting Coffee

I'm always on a quest for a great flavor experience. Food and wine, of course, provide endless flavor fascination, but tea and coffee also blow my mind.

I've heard enough local coffee fiends rave about a little-known Bay Area coffee roaster called Blue Bottle Coffee Co. And I've tried a cup of its coffee at a San Francisco resto and remembered liking it.

Finally, I got some of its best beans in my hands, ground them manually at home, and brewed the coffee my way. The Misty Valley, Blue Bottle's very limited, top-of-the-line bean these days from Ethiopia, cost me $8.75/half-pound and was roasted the day before. It has an intense bouquet of coffee cherry, and the flavors hint of chocolate and blueberry, with a winey, fruity aspect. I love it! Exotic, intense, and memorable.

For contrast, I purchased another type, the Bella Donovan, less expensive at $7.50/half-pound. I swear it's almost a ringer for my favorite Philippine coffee, the Barako, which unfortunately is not available in the States. However, the Bella is a Ethiopia/Sumatra blend. Like the Barako, it is intensely earthy and volcanic, and laced with fresh-ground spice. I loved it, too; not seductive as the Misty Valley, but quite masculine in character.

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