I joke that when people put cream or sugar in my fresh roasted coffee, G-d cries and an angel loses its wings. I must claim that it’s a joke or customers will believe that I’m a bit unstable. However, what can I say when someone blogs about adding “espresso beans”? Sure, it makes me tremble like the angels during the Day of Judgement (Yom Kippur), but there is a reason for the unnatural belief in “espresso beans.” I read about recipes on blogs that ask us to find “espresso beans.” I read on coffee bags in supermarkets that are labeled, “espresso roast.” It’s so prevalent online that I should buy Google ads that say, “espresso beans.” It would probably drive a great deal of traffic to my website. However, it would hurt my soul to perpetuate this myth.
First, there is no such thing as an espresso bean. Any expertly, fresh roasted, and freshly ground coffee, ground finely for espresso may be used for brewing espresso. Any single origin coffee or blend, light roasted to dark roasted, may be used to brew espresso. Those same beans may also be suitable for French Press, Cold Brew, Vacuum Syphon, or Drip coffee brewing. We choose coffee beans, regardless of roast profile, that when brewed as an espresso, produce an excellent crema and a balanced espresso beverage without any sharpness or bitterness. So, any suitable coffee may be used for espresso.
Second, some roasters, unfortunately, will label their whole bean coffee as espresso because it will attract customers who want a dark roast. This causes me pain because most of the best coffees that I’ve used for crazy good espressos were light to medium roasts, or City to Full City roasts. Calling a dark roast Espresso Roast, is just inaccurate labeling. I am prejudiced against most dark roasts because the act of roasting coffee dark often burns off all of the incredible flavor notes that are inherent in specialty coffee. Often, the dark roasts called Espresso Roast or Espresso Bean, is often just an over roasted French or G-d forbid, Italian Roast. Italian Roast is what I call…charcoal. Charcoal makes a bitter espresso and it tears my soul asunder.
So, when a customer asks, “Do you have espresso beans?” I simply share that there is no such thing as espresso beans and direct the customer to the multitude of Chazzano coffee selections that make an awesome espresso.