I’ve noticed that when the word “espresso” comes up, people tend to shy away and say that they don’t want espresso. The perception is that espresso is this mysterious bean that can’t be used for anything else but making espresso shots or lattes & cappuccinos. It must be too strong or too dark to make regular coffee. Alarms will go off and the coffee police will show up and write a citation if they try to make coffee from an espresso blend. It just won’t be good, will it?
It’s at the point where I’m thinking about changing the name of our Mystic Espresso Blend to “Really Nice Coffee”. So I want to set the record straight about espresso and espresso blends, and raise the curtain of mystery. Here are the facts:
- Espresso is not made from a specific bean. All different kinds of coffees are used in espresso blends.
- Espresso is not made from coffee at a specific roast. All different roast levels can be used to make an espresso blend. Some roasters make it dark; some not so much. A good roaster pays attention to the flavors that can be extracted from the particular beans in the blend to decide which roast level to use.
- Espresso is the result of a process that involves coffee at a particular grind + hot water under pressure for a certain amount of time. Very specific equipment is required. The resulting liquid is concentrated coffee. It's not that the coffee beans used to make it are stronger than other beans. The process makes a strong coffee from regular beans. Espresso is a drink, not a bean.
- If you put our Mystic Espresso Blend in your drip coffee maker, the result is not espresso. It’s regular drip coffee.
- You can use any coffee to make espresso. It’s just that some coffees taste better than others as espresso. You can use any espresso blend to make coffee and it’ll probably be pretty darn good coffee.
- We call our espresso blend “Mystic Espresso Blend” because we happen use it for our espresso. That’s the only reason. The blend has evolved and will continue to evolve over time. Many of the same components in our espresso blend are used in other blends that we make. It’s all coffee.
- There are no rules for making a good espresso blend. It’s like making a salad. There are basic recipes but you are free to throw in as many (or as few) delicious things as you want. There is Caesar salad and tossed salad and potato salad and bean salad and there are infinite variations on each type of salad. But it’s all salad and all can be delicious in their own way. So it is with espresso blends.
- Just like you can make a roast for dinner from a nice cut of beef AND delicious roast beef sandwiches from the same cut of beef, you can make espresso AND delicious coffee from the same blend of beans.