Minggu, 16 Mei 2010

Kopi Luwak Coffee

As Philip Richardson, my co-worker and fellow coffee snob, wrote about on his blog yesterday, a few of us in the office got together for a cupping of the Kopi Luwak coffee. Philip received this as a Christmas gift from a partner and I was totally thrilled that he was willing to share it. :)

It’s not surprising that you probably haven’t heard of Kopi Luwak coffee. For one thing, only 500 pounds of beans are produced a year. For another, it’s about $200/lb and upper crust espresso shops sell it for about $50 a shot. To
top it all off, the coffee is literally collected from the shit of an Indonesian cat called a Luwak, which lives in trees and eats coffee beans.

No kidding. The little sheet of paper included in the package says…

The resulting coffee is said to be like no other. It has a rich, heavy flavor with hints of caramel or chocolate.

Other terms used to describe it are earth, musty, and exotic.

Musty?

I had originally suggested to Phil that we get in touch with Dave Schomer of Espresso Vivace, arguably one of the best baristas in the world. Turns out we needn’t look outisde the halls for talent and equipment. Terry, our CRM Perf Test Lead, is a fellow coffee fanatic. He showed up yesterday with a Brewtus Expobar (as recommended by David Schomer), a Mazza Mini burr grinder, and something that totally blew my mind: a gram-weight scale. When it comes to coffee, the CRM team doesn’t mess around.

Terry was measuring 23 grams to the shot and with a quarter pound each of bold and medium roasts, gave us exactly ten shots. Enough for each person to get a shot from both roasts.

The Bold. It was go big or go home, so we started off with the bold. Damn, these guys aren’t messing around, this is good coffee. The pull started dark and evened out quickly, staying a rich brown all the way through. Taste was good, with full expression of all the oils in the bean, but I wouldn’t have paid $50.

The Medium. Realistically, I’m not ever one to pay 50 bucks on a shot of espresso, but this one might change my mind. Stunningly better than the bold, it was absolutely fantastic with a rich caramel color and a thick, thick, thick shot from top to bottom. Not a single hint of bitterness with a delicious sweet taste coating the inside of my mouth at the end. I dare say it cleanly beats Vivace, though at the price…

Wow. Pretty good for something that came out of the tail end of an Indonesian cat.

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