Ristretto Roasters - Liquid Luxury
Some great coffee to kick off our new coffee/tea forum!
Alright, I'll admit it.... I'm a liquid snob. Whether it's coffee, tea, scotch, beer or bourbon - if it's drinkable, I know more about it than any sane human being should. The never-ending urge to try new things in order to find "the ultimate" never tires me in my relentless search for "the best." It's with this said - I really didn't want to try Din's coffee (a member here Dinder1 owns Ristretto Roasters), as frankly, I didn't want to have to hurt his feelings and tell him it was like drinking water that had been boiled in my shoe.
After being told over and over "you gotta try his stuff" I figured - "Eh, why not" and decided whether I liked it or not, I was going to do a little write up on it. I went ahead and ordered 2 types of beans - one I thought i'd like (Ethiopian) and one I thought I wouldn't be wild about (Guatemalan) to get the full experience. I was also sure to NOT tell Din I was going to order some, to make sure he didn't try to comp me on it, and to see the kind of service I'd receive from his staff at www.ristrettoroaster.com
It's no secret, I'm a perfectionist, and very difficult to please. Things can always be better.... service can always be superior, ingredients can always be finer. Well, with that out of the way - Din's coffee is one can purchase. Yes, it's every bit as good as my beloved bluebottle coffee - and that's saying quite a bit, as many coffee snobs call that the best in the biz.
So let's get to the buzz....
Ethiopian - Bold and heady, very rich and buttery with intense and sharp fruity notes, a grape/berry like zip. You really can't rush this one - this isn't a brew you throw into a "to go" cup and drink on the fly, as that would be like pairing a Heitz Cabernet with a cheeseburger from McDonalds. As it passes your lips, you get the typical robust dark chocolate notes, which soon become overwhelmed by the symphony of tart berry/grape-rind tartness. It has a warm, almost butterscotch like aftertaste that really gets addictive. If you take this one slow and steady - and really pay attention to every iota of flavor, it's really overwhelming (in a good way) and is a superlative brew for deep contemplation. The quick and dirty - if you know what you're drinking, and you give this brew the attention the time it deserves, you'll likely develop an addiction. I got the best results with an AeroPress, closely followed by a technivorm, then french press. A standard cheapie coffee machine did so-so, but didn't make magic as the aforementioned methods had.
Guatemala - I'm usually not wild about Guatemalan beans, as I tend to shy away from medium bodied, bright brews as I find them a bit boring as opposed to a good full bodied coffee from Costa Rica. This Guatemalan couldn't have been more of an outlier. I actually have half a mind to think someone at Ristretto put the wrong label on this bag 'o beans. This was a shockingly bold and complex Guatemalan, in fact it was bold and complex by any standard. The bold nature of this brew was reeled in line by the puzzling complexity. Even Joe Shmo - daily folgers crystal connoisseur would be able to tell this was something particularly special. THIS coffee, unlike the aforementioned African - is something that can be enjoyed in luxury at any speed. You don't have to get too deep and pay too much attention to really enjoy this wunderbrew. Vanilla, burnt sugar, caramel, cinnamon - it's a whirlwind of magnificence. Bottom line.... the African is amazing - but men, women and children, order some Guatemalan Huehuetenango and be prepared to take a sensory journey to paradise.
The Guatemalan Huehuetenango beans are incredibly tasty to actually eat. I find myself popping these things like candy. I melted a bit of chocolate, and well - these things make incredible candy.
Din... if you're listening - make some candy outta these.... you'll have a new hit!
For more Coffee/Tea discussion, check out the new coffee/tea forum!