Saturday, August 2, 2008

La Esperanza

Went to Ritual Roasters today in San Francisco. One of the city's best cafes, with an extensive list of single-estate grown coffees from around the world. This is the place that popped my coffee cherry, so to speak. I went there a couple of years ago because I heard the coffee was good. It was there that I had my first real espresso, saw what latte art was all about, and discovered hipster-central. (I had been drinking "espresso" for years, but nothing as good as what Ritual serves.)

So this morning I had a cup of La Esperanza from Colombia, made in their clover machine, a $15,000 contraption that was hailed as a wonderful machine by all the indie cafes for inventing a new way to make coffee, until Starbucks bought the company, and opinion has since turned.

The coffee had a weird flavor I couldn't place. Not exactly pleasant, but not that burnt-rubber flavor from over roasting. It was more....pencil led. Yes, pencil led, and shavings - sort of a woody flavor. That taste eventually mellowed as the cup cooled, and then it was more lime-citrus, followed by a buttery taste.

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