Friday, January 9, 2009

Espresso Vivace Vita Coffee Beans

Yesterday, when I went to Espresso Vivace, I picked up a 1/2lb. bag of beans for using in my French Press. Check out this picture:Take a look at what's written next to "VITA": 1/5. Take a guess what that number is. That is the roasting date for those coffee beans. I bought them yesterday which was 1/8. The beans were only roasted three days ago. Once the beans are roasted, the clock is ticking on how long they will remain fresh. There are various schools of thought, but when roasted coffee gets older than a few weeks, it surely doesn't taste the same as a few days after roasting.

Having the date on there isn't interesting on its own, it's just that most coffee that you buy in the grocery store or elsewhere has no date on it whatsoever. The simple fact is that most people that are brewing coffee at home are making stale coffee. If it's ground coffee, it's undoubtedly stale. Even most whole bean coffee that is sold is probably already stale.

There's one simple way to know the freshness of the beans without having a date on the package. When you brew the coffee in a French Press, as the hot water comes into contact with the grounds, fresh coffee will give off gas. It bubbles like Alka-seltzer, except with more force. The first time I saw it do that I was amazed. I was wondering what the hell was going on. The gas being given off is clear in this picture:If a picture speaks a thousand words, how about video? I plan on grabbing my wife's flip video camera and taking a video so that I can upload it to Youtube and then embed it here just so you can see how forceful the gas bubbling really is. The stuff looks alive.

The barista recommended this to be used in a French Press. It is a really good cup of coffee. The thing about a blend is that it ends up being a good all around cup of coffee. This coffee was full bodied, but like their espresso it's really smooth. It wasn't quite as good as the Ethopian coffee that was prepared in the Clover at Intelligentsia, but it was darn good. This isn't indicative of any problems with Espresso Vivace, just that the blend is probably better for making espresso than in a French Press.

If you haven't had fresh coffee, you owe it to youself to order some beans from a local roaster. For you out-of-towners, they do ship the coffee as well. Even with the shipping time factored in, it will still be fresher than anything coming out of a grocery store.

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