Going out during the pandemic turns the smallest enjoyments into extraodinary experiences. We went for a walk around Amsterdam to catch some fresh air and stopped by Brandmeester's to taste their Espresso, their V60 and buy some fresh beans.
During my chat with the barista on service I explained I was looking to taste proper espresso's as comparison to my manual espresso brews from the Flair. I was also wondering whether or not espresso bars utilize lighter roasts for espresso at all, but am starting to find out that the typical bar espresso is using dark roasts, especially for the base of (the more popular) milk-drinks.
This led me to trying their espresso and buying bag of the beans they used. The beans are called Aficionado, a dark roasted melange of beans from Indonesia, Costa Rica and India. The espresso tasted like the typical Italian style espresso's I have had before with dark, earthy tones and long chocolate finish.
Opening up the bag back home I was surprised that the roast was less dark than I expected. Darker than the typical single origin specialty coffee but by far not as dark as I've seen. Other things that sprang to mind were that these darker melanges produce a little less fluffy grounds, as in less volume, which I notice mostly because of the small tamp distance.
Getting the grind dialed in was more of an interesting and tasty exploration instead of the usual frustrating wasteful letdown. Starting at the Perfetto's 1,0 the flair completely choked and just produced a couple of drops that still tasted pretty good. Setting the grind to 2,0 produced runny but still quite drinkable result, and the looks of the 1,5 shot were so pretty it brought tears to my eyes. After settling on 1,625 I only pulled perfect shots that were close to, if not subjectively better, than the shot I tasted at the shop.
Thick crema, lovely 🐅 striping. Sweet chocolate, caramel, maple syrup, dutch "stroop", with hints of granola and barley. Such a consistent rich taste, it is one of my alltime favorites and will definitely get another bag of these as a baseline for my darker espresso's!