CI: bumbling toward harmonic togetherness beverages

November 2, 2006 – 12:24 pm



in this blog’s head, “the rev” seemed dangerously candy-like. a fleeting contribution to the rampant sweet starches of fall-ish holidays … in which case we would have served our test runs to the indiscriminate cypriot and been done with it. instead, what happened was not unlike finding a knot of ripe sour cherries sprayed in nutmeg and chopped orchard foilage — sitting on your drip tray!

sigh. we’ll never rock the sensory descriptors like chandler burr.

the bursch-head had pre-ordered the honey part — a texas guajillo variety i’ve used touches of in drinks before. we generally steer clear of the sweet stuff, but this particular supply brings a smattering of mesquite spice to appropriate espressos without actually overloading things with saccharine. add to this request, by coincidence, a weekend cupping of panama organic los lajones gifted by solis jake for the birthday.

what got me was the acidity, clean and pulp-fruity like certain previous panamas, but not at all citrusy. more like tart apple and cherry. some clean earth notes, not unlike … well, husky browning foilage. the stuff of orchards, where we had, as it happens, just picked a peck of exotic apple varietals just the week befo — hey!

so we hollowed out a couple of halves — a pilfered idea, we admit. only we wanted ours to be tidier. brushed them with the lightest of guajillo honey coats. pulled a ristretto of the panama (the restriction, at lower brew temps, highlighting the fruit strands). topped ‘er off with a spoonful of wet foam.

“huh?” said this blog. “did that just work?” subsequent tweaking involved picking the apple type — pink lady — melon-balling them for a cleaner vacuity, coating with honey immediately to prevent browning, going even shorter on the ristrettos and switching to half-and-half foam. yeah, yeah — the stuff of breves. but it was only a spoonful. tried various spices on top, then nixed them.

the natural nutmeg in the panama and the sharpness of the honey cooperated fabulously. the apple’s acidity sparkled on the tongue with the first sip, blending in astonishingly with the espresso itself. served with a cream cloth napkin, the bevs were clean, drip-free, stylish. the eating afterward warn’t bad either — pink lady soaked in spro and miel. we must have served 30 or so.

add the party din and hectic pace, and you get hokey jokes about the ministerial ordination at hand. “starts out strong and ends sweet,” i said, in one delirious misstep. “like a good sermon.” what we learned, though, is that you can get frappe people to drink a strong macchiato, and shot-drinkers to agree to honey. it was a harmonic confluence of the coffee-swilling spectrum!

which sort of answers hoffmann’s sermonic plea — you can please a consumer’s palate and hawk your elitisit snobbery! in this blog’s case, it was pure accident.

UPDATE: proof this blog could never pass muster in a competition? easy! no competitor we’ve seen has ever said, “it was an accident.”


this blog takes no responsibility for the overzealous menu alliteration. or the misspelled origin. without naming names, it was the cypriot. who, we should note, is a foreigner.


who needs an ethiopian espresso marvel built with mortar shells when you can have our illustrous isomac two-group!