We had the distinct pleasure of competing in America's Best Espresso Competition at Seattle Coffee Fest. We are always on the lookout for new coffees that will make our espresso pop, but we decided to take a crowd-sourcing approach to finding the perfect blend for Coffee Fest. First, we created two different espresso blends, one consisting of a Guatemala, Colombia and Ethiopia, the other consisting of two coffees from Guatemala and a Kenya. We cupped these blends at the roastery and then pulled shots for our friends, customers and just about anyone that would taste with us. We ended up taking the best of both blends: the spicy, dark chocolate flavor notes and creamy body that the Guatemalan coffees had to offer, and the sweet, red-fruit notes that came from the Ethiopia Sedie Konga Natural.
Once we had our blend, we headed down to Slayer Espresso in Georgetown to dial in our recipe. We lucked out when Christos Andrews, a seasoned Tougo Coffee barista and all-around cool dude, said that he’d like to pull shots of Ganesha in the competition. After playing with nearly every imaginable parameter, and consuming way too many espressos, we arrived at our recipe. From there, all we had to do was carefully roast the coffee and let it rest for a week.
The panel of international judges gave us unanimous decisions through the first three rounds. Tensions were running high as we faced off against some of Seattle’s favorite roasters, like Ladro and Victrola. With Christos at the helm, the espresso seemed to get sweeter and more complex with each shot. It didn’t hurt that we were using such an incredible machine, which uses a flow-restrictor to pull incredible body from the espresso. We were honored to face Kuma Coffee in the finals, an uber quality-focused Seattle roaster. Many of the best cafes in Seattle pull shots of Kuma’s espresso, so we knew we had our work cut out for us. Our shots of Ganesha in the final round tasted like Mandarin orange, dark chocolate, cherry, clove, cayenne, all the while retaining the creamy mouthfeel.
Enter the promo code “winning” for 15% off your purchase of Ganesha: http://www.tonyscoffee.com/shop/blend/ganesha-espresso/
A huge thank you to everyone that helped out, from Christos, to our incredible roasters, Andrew and Justin, to our friends at Slayer Espresso, and all of you who tasted with us leading up to the event. And of course, our greatest appreciation goes to the skilled professionals that grew the coffees that went into the espresso.
The winning recipe
Dose: 18.5 grams
10 second pre-brew time
25 second full-pressure extraction
Yield: 30 grams