Tim had just come back from WBC in Tokyo and has brought over 2 bags of roasted coffee with him. Paul Bassett - Signature Blend and Counter Culture – Tuscano so we paced them out along side Tim’s espresso blend.
Paul Bassett - Signature Blend
Tim quickly rushed over to his LaMarzocco GS3 and started to pull shots. The machine was tuned to 93C. Once everything was set to go Paul Bassett signature blend was up first. I reviewed this blend not long ago and was anxious to compare my tasting notes to the ones I had made earlier in my blog. The obvious difference was the place where the beans were roasted. The PB blend that I reviewed was roasted in Adelaide and the one that Tim brought over was roasted in one of the PB stores in Japan.
This particular bag was roasted in Japan on the 29th of July so was 11 days from roast, visually the coffee looked great with rich oils that have come through. The roast itself was a little darker as to the one Tony D’Angelo roasts in Adelaide. The beans smelt fantastic, very distinct caramel aroma was just mind-captivating. Everyone in the room was anticipating something very special. The blend itself is designed for a ristretto with coffee packed right up to the 18g line, so Tim pulled a few longer shots to get more of an espresso feel to it, still having to updose but not as much as they do in Japan. The coffee was noticeably different to what I have reviewed earlier last year, not too sure if the selection of beans has changed however the robusta bean was still present perhape 5% to 7% to give the coffee more body and hold the crema a little better.
As expected espresso was very dense and rich - full of crema that held for a very long time, due to its roast profile and selection of beans. The smell reflected the taste; distinct toasted nuts on the smell carried and lingered on the palate. The last drops were an explosion of blueberries mellowing out into sweet acidity with hints of dark chocolate. This espresso was all about mouthfeel and lingering aftertaste, very velvety with great depth and complexity right through to the last drop
Counter Culture - Tuscano Espresso Belnd
I believe that I have come through this blend in NYC at 9th street espresso. I am pretty sure they use Tuscano. There was something not right about this coffee, might have been to do with the fact that it had to travel to Japan from the USA and then a long journey to Norway. It might have been checked into heavy luggage on the way to Japan and could have been ruined from temperature changes, it was 3 weeks from its roast so should have been ok.
It was nothing to what I tasted in NYC very fruity and grassy on the smell and the teste was rubbery with sharp acidic edge that wasn’t very plesant. The crema dicepated almost straight away, so I am sure it wasn’t the best example of Counter Culture coffee, but that’s ok I’ve seen the best of it in NYC so by all means I am not doubting its capabilities. Too bad it didn’t shine through on the day!
Tim Wendelboe - Espresso Blend
This coffee was 3 days from its roast and was still very fresh, so it didn’t come out at its best but never the less was outstanding. You will notice the breakdown is right there on the bad. Tim has no secrets from anyone – what you see is what you get! He told me that he is still learning so has plenty to share and plenty to learn from others. Just by looking at the lable you can tell that this blend was designed for espresso, to add the natural acidic note to the coffee. The beakdown of sweet brazil is only 42% so I wasn’t expecting a very sweet or full bodied coffee.
The coffee was very lightly roasted with slight oils showing. Due to freshness the crema was pretty bright in colour and had dissipated very quickly. The coffee was very grassy and smokey as it was a little too young, showing distinct notes of berry acidity. Overall the espresso was very delicate and well balanced with great though and complexity throughout the cup.
The stand out of the day was PB signature blend, this coffee is all about the mouthfeel and a large spectrum of different flavours. I also loved the rich crema that held for a very long time, excellent!
My second favourite was Tims espresso blend and my least favourite out of the 3 was counter culture blend.