loquacious brag week: novo’s la josefina

August 27, 2008 – 9:13 pm

we don’t care that these taste descriptors are meaningless to you — other blogs brag about their coffee spoils all the time! and so, we hereby parlay an unprecedented stretch of excellent brew — a home junkie’s full house — into an ENTIRE WEEK of loquacious gloating. amorphous crack-metaphors for the romantics, cupping notes for the serious students and a 17-point scale for the churlish analytics!

** novo’s colombia la josefina espresso has got to be one of the most dramatic letdowns we’ve encountered in some time … sorta like assuming certain well-heeled presidential candidates are a lock for the nomination only to discover — no, oh no — they’re toast!

ah, yes. for the confluence of oblique denver jokes, this blog apologizes.

toast. definitely some of that, charitably speaking. funnily enough, novo’s own description of this spro isn’t all that far off from our exasperating experience. just substitute “dandelion” for “sweet grass” and “bitter cacao seed” for “chocolate,” and you’re almost there. add also, severe hoppiness.

desperate to find the sweet spot, this blog even e-mailed some folks with product experience, to no avail. we dosed high and low, pulled hot and cool, tight ristretto and slightly gushing espresso, as well as combinations thereof. the grass and hops, it just didn’t go away. the blogbrother was in town the weekend we wrassled the stuff — a pricey gift from a denver bud who lives above a novo — and, ultimately, we went in search of another coffee. even the cappuccinos tasted flaxen.

still stranger: the best shot we had, by a mile, was this week, more than five weeks after the roast date, when we chucked the remaining bits into the grinder on a whim and pulled some uber-tight, 17-gram soft-water ristrettos at about 199 degrees. the hops had mellowed slightly to barley tones, while huckleberry and unripe rhubarb glimmered through. the mouthfeel and freshness, of course, had long since departed.

give it an 8.

p.s. whew! just discovered “la josefina” is an actual place in colombia. this blog was half-scared this coffee was a monument to, you know, swashbuckling people named joseph! that was close …