It's new espresso week! I've been drinking the Anodyne Nerve Tonic espresso for two weeks now and here's what I've found.
Are you new to Espresso?
Espresso can be on fickle bi.... That's right, working with espresso is a tough game. There are so many variables to manage to get that perfect shot. However, there are a few coffees that I feel are perfect for the beginner home barista. The Nerve Tonic Espresso is just one of those coffees. The blend is what I would consider a 'base' blend for most espressos. The base coffees in a great espresso blend are usually nutty and chocolatey in flavor. Then you will round that nutty\coco flavor with a brighter more floral or sweeter coffee to balance out the shot. It's that brighter coffee that can be harder to work with in more craft blends as your shot needs to be dialed in to get a perfect balance of all those flavors.
The Nerve tonic espresso is an amazing base coffee and as such makes for a great espresso for beginners. As you have more flexibility in your shot parameters. Which means it allows you some flexibility to create an amazing shot of espresso.
I started with my base recipe
- 18.5 grams of coffee
- 201 degrees water temp
- 28 sec pull
- 36 gram beverage
This is the formula that I always start with. Pulling a 2 to 1 shot ratio or lungo. Cafe's for the longest time were pulling ristretto shots, 18.5 grams in 18.5 grams out. But the shots are getting longer and longer as we are starting to see more balance in the shot, especially with blends.
At the base formula that shot had a great chocolatey base with a slight amaretto finish. It blended really nicely with milk presenting a very smooth cappuccino.
- 18.5 grams coffee
- 201 degree water
- 30 sec pull
- 19 grams out
After adjusting the shot parameters to pull a ristretto the taste didn't change that much. I lost a bit of the amaretto finish. This is what indicated to me that this would make a great beginner espresso. Two widely different recipes resulted in a very similar espresso. With coffee also being towards the lighter side of the medium roast profile you don't have to have a high end grinder to be able to get the coffee tight enough to pull a shot. A good bur grinder should be able to do the job with this coffee.
Looking over the roasters tasting notes I would agree with the flavor profile. I try not to look at the tasting notes until I have time with the coffee as to not persuade my palate. In this case I would have to agree. The coffees listed in the blend are South and Central America. If I had to guess a good amount of the blend would be a classic Brazilian base coffee and the slight amaretto finish would come from the central American coffee.
If you would like to try this coffee for yourself click here Anodyne Coffee
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