If there were one coffee that Roaste does not carry, but that I wish they did, this would be it. It is an amazing coffee. Equally amazing to me is the fact that I did not like it at all when I first bought it. I think it is probably a coffee that demands good equipment, good technique, and the right strategy for pulling it.
The first time I bought it I had not realized yet how important dose was in dictating taste. I had been trained on a lever machine and on a lever a double is always roughly 14 grams. You may be able to up it to 16, but never to 19 or 20 (at least on a Pavoni this is true). I had seen many people post about how 14 g’s is this god given number and that one should not stray far from it.
In some sense they were right – it is easier to pull good shots at 14g’s than at higher doses as long as the coffee was meant to be pulled in such a dose. The problem is that there are many coffees out there that are not great at such a low dose even if it is the dose that Italians built their espressos around.
Hairbender is one of those coffees. It needs to be updosed. For me 21.2 grams in a triple basket is getting close to the magic number. It is a totally different beast at such a high dose. It also needs a fairly cool temperature. I’d guess I pull it around 197-198 degrees. As such it gives off an amazingly balanced and layered shot that lingers on the tongue long after you are done drinking it. It has good fruit without being too acidic and a little chocolate, but not is far, far from the usual chocolate bomb.
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