I have to confess that I’m not sure where these beans came from; Extract Coffee are based in Bristol but I’m fairly sure I’ve never visited them and don’t recall how the coffee came to be in my cupboard!
Still, as they’re the folks who provide the coffee for Bristol Beer Factory‘s delicious Mocha Stout, I can’t wait to see what it’s like in un-beered form.
This is Original Espresso, their entry level coffee. The grounds are surprisingly pale to look at – for some reason, when I see ‘espresso’ I instinctively expect a very dark roast.
The nose is fruity, with brambles and blackcurrants and a toffee undercurrent, and although the roast is there it’s a gentle, lightly toasted kind of roast.
Brewed, the fruit is lost but the toffee caramel comes through stronger, along with a pronounced dark chocolate bitterness.
The flavour has a hint of dark fruit and just a touch of toffee sweetness; the bitterness is there but again it’s a gentle dark chocolate rather than harsh burnt beans. Flavoursome but not rich, it manages to be gentle without being weak.
It’s the kind of coffee you drink a mugful of without even realising, and immediately make another because you’re disappointed that the mug is empty. 3.5 stars.