This is a special one! One of this blogs biggest fans (snoffeecoblers?, snoffeecobs? cobpeople? let me know in the comments below) has submitted some beans for me to review. All the way from Berlin, I got this bag of Altberliner Traditionsmischung. It has been this fan's specific go-to bag of beans for many years.
To mark this special occassion we will give these beans a thorough examination: we'll try not one, not two but three different brew methods with these beans and see if they are any good.
To be clear: this is not an espresso roast. It is a blend designed for filtercoffee. But since I have acquired my new Flair Espresso Maker I want to pull a shot with every bean I can get my hands on. It is quite a light roast and as we all know, you have to work extra hard to get good espresso extraction from very light roasts. As I was still practicing, I pulled three shots, 2 of which turned out quite sour. After dialing in the first two, the third shot (quite finely ground at about the 5 mark on the encore) was better balanced, had a rich thickness, a creamy buttery taste and I could even find some oranges, pecan, chocolate and dark sugary melasse.
The aeropress brewed a lot better and more consistent with these beans, adding some extra earthy dark tones to the nosing and tasting notes. However, in comparison to the espresso the taste palate was quite flat and less exciting than other beans we have tasted using the aeropress method.
Which leads us to the Bialetti Moka Pot, which was also the brewing method that was also the go to recommendation by the aforementioned snoffeecob fan. I agree that this is where the Altberliner Traditionsmischung really shines. I weighed out 15g of beans instead of filling the Bialetti filter completely to make an honest comparison, and the result is a very nice middle ground between the rich but inconsistent espresso taste and the more dull aeropress brew. The Bialetti turned the beans into a strong, flavourful brew. Much less sourness and even adding a little bit of sweet, banana and ginger notes to the taste.
Was definitely not disappointed! Thanks again for the beans and when we are allowed to visit Berlin again, I'll be sure to drop by and give their espresso beans a try as well!