Wednesday, January 26, 2005

opening the stockfleth's: norwegian coffee cake

no, not kringlas. i don't know the proper name for it -- help me, thomas gauperaa! -- but the second i sipped tim's mindblowing stockfleth espresso this morning, i immediately understood what was going on. . .

let me begin by saying that i've never had a coffee quite like tim's before. it's a very proustian coffee, if you know what i mean.

i've never had it before, and yet it drove all these old memories and feelings immediately to the surface. we'll get to that later.

grab your scaa flavor wheels. it's simple, but we're going to have fun.

we'll recall that this bag created an atmosphere of roasted candied hazelnuts. alas, by now that has faded somewhat, but was still present when i attacked the kilo bag this morning.

the stockfleth espresso is a medium-dark coffee, a northern italian color; rather similar to that of the batdorf dancing goat, actually.

i believe it to be a mélange, that is, the several components of the coffee are roasted separately and then mixed together. i conclude this because a few of the beans show pinpricks of oil, while the majority do not.

alas, i didn't have time to cup this properly this morning, but simply tasted it as brewed espresso in silvia. i ran a lot of water thru her to try to bring the temperature down as much as i could to tim's instructions.

so here's my very first impression of tim's coffee: norwegian coffee cake.

the dry grounds offered a fragrance both floral and fragrant, very similar to cardamom. altho' tim suggested a rather short pull, i tried to squeak it out to 25 seconds. (tomorrow, i'll put it shorter as he recommends.)

even at 9 days old, the coffee oozed out as pure crema, and clung tenaciously to the back of a demitasse spoon. it is one of the heaviest, most buttery coffees i've seen yet.

sipping it i found a touch of citron(!), those hazelnuts, with honey and that chocolate-y sensation called "vanilla-like." the aftertaste is maybe a tad woody spice, i'm thinking clove, but i want to drink this some more to work that out.

there's also a subtle bitter quality that instantly reminded me of saffron.

no doubt this coffee tastes sweet. in my first espresso however, it seemed like it would occasionally flirt with the tiniest hint of brightness, as if it were teasing the edge.

but i didn't have a chance to let the coffee sit to cool a bit, which is often when brightness becomes more noticeable. so it might have just been the citron playing with my mind.

now you see what i mean. cardamom, saffron, clove, vanilla, citron, hazelnut, honey: the flavors of a classic norwegian coffee cake.

what the heck is it called? with a stockfleth's espresso, you can skip the morning danish because it's already there.

i made up a second shot for an italian-sized 6 oz. cappuccino. i loved this coffee in a cappuccino, it's fantastic.

the foamed milk and a pinch of splenda emphasized with sweetness and vanilla feeling of the coffee.

that's when the whole proust thing hit. . . so far, i love this coffee. just love it.

[note: in the first summer of graduate school, i was living a home, and i read swann's way in french; i checked it out of the local public library. however, the library only had the remaining volumes in english.

i have indeed read proust twice -- the second time completely in english. i make no bones that it took me 4 months to do so.]

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