Exotic coffee, posh cups… Must be December.

p10101221What cups are you using?  Probably not thought about it since you last bought some, maybe you’ve never deliberately bought specific cups for different coffee drinks.  Can’t say that I blame you, there are many and greater things to think about, but opening these beauties on christmas morning focused my mind on this very subject and got me through the day.

They’re 5oz cappuccino cups from the 2002 Illy collection by Norma Jean and I don’t think I’m imagining it when I say they make my coffee taste better.  Thing is cups are something of a bugbear for me.  Too big and the drink ratio is all wrong, too wide and the mouthfeel of the crema is lost.  Too thin and they lose the heat, too thick and they feel nasty on your lips.

These seem to have it right in all departments and as a bonus they look pretty too.  Thanks Kate, you know me too well.  If you’re pulling espresso into teacups or making flat whites in mugs, steal buy a proper cup and see whether there really is any truth in this.

photo00181Secondly in this two subject bumper double post is this coffee from the Galapagos Islands.  According to the packet it is a blend of washed coffees roasted in September on the island, which is a lot of information compared to commercially available coffee over here.  If you have ever drunk coffee destined for its own domestic market you will have an idea of my level of expectation for this coffee.

To the cupping lab it goes then and things start off running true to form.  Opening the bag releases a smokey tarrey aroma and a brief inspection of the beans shows them to be scorched or tipped at the ends, but the roast level is definitely closer to medium than dark and there is very little in the way of surface oils.

The surprises begin when the crust is broken in the cupping bowl.  The brewed coffee gives off a pleasant toffee and caramel aroma, with no hint of the smokeyness present in the dry bean.  The initial tasting of the coffee whilst it was till rather hot was a disappointment after the aroma, tasting fairly flat and nondescript, but given a couple of minutes to cool the sugar flavours really developed.  The cup delivered a huge amount of sweetness, with a very cocoa base propping up some burnt sugar toffeeness.  It lacked complexity and there was certainly none of the crisp acidity alluded to in the packaging, but this is indeed a speciality coffee, on a par with a cheaper Brazil or mellow Sumatra.

Many thanks to Mo & Steve for bringing this coffee for me in their suitcase, it’s been fun putting it through its paces.  Samples are always welcomed from anybody visiting coffee producing nations!

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~ by bombcup on December 30, 2008.

2 Responses to “Exotic coffee, posh cups… Must be December.”

  1. Well, I gots a couple of nice cups, but ones I’d dearly like to add to my collection are in fact tea cups. I do like them and especially the old delicate ones, real thin like and stucco – rather than white (like that flashy white mercanta cupping bowl, you’re showing off).

    People say they like those thick Nuova Point espresso cups for their thickness, and I like them too, but I like them for their shape. An espresso would have to be pretty awful to lay in demitasse in front of me for more than a few seconds. Certainly most get necked well before they cool or the dreaded “loss of crema” transpires. All I’m saying is: don’t rule out them tea cups just yet. Ta.

  2. Unfortunately this coffee is a false GALAPAGOS. It hasn’t any kind of certifications. Anybody can create a fraud for short time.

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