Wow ! I take my hat off to the guys at HR Higgins (79 Duke Street London), i.e I’m impressed. I was sceptical about trying Indian coffee beans for espresso, but I’m sure pleased that I gave in and bought a 250g bag from HR Higgins during my last trip to London – should have bought 2 bags.
Quintessentially coffee is one way I describe this wonderful aromatic and crema rich coffee, ideal for espresso. It has the main characteristics of how most people will describe coffee: a lovely aroma – even people that don’t like coffee, love the smell and if you want people to lounge in your cafe, the smell of this bean brewing will do the trick; it has a wonderful dark reddish colour – beautiful for pictures – I took some and will share with you sometime God willing ! it has a sweetish taste that can make you sell espresso to those who think it is just a bitter dark drink; it has wonderful thick crema, the sort that sits on top of your lip like thick double cream. I also carried out some other tests; the sugar test – even with thick brown sugar crystals (I only buy brown demerara sugar) it still took at least 7 seconds before the sugar dropped below the crema cloud to the bottom of the cup.
For example, I put sugar on top of my freshly brewed espresso, got my camera out and still got to take a picture with the sugar just beginning to drop.
I also passed it through the after taste test, whereby, even with my regular cappuccino fix in the morning, I was still able to feel the glossy after taste in my mouth for at least an hour after consumption. However, there are some other things you may wish to know about this experience – it is dark roasted by HR Higgins, which naturally contributes to the colour and aroma – this means that for me HR Higgins have roasted the bean right, however, another roaster might roast it a bit lighter or darker, taking away from the experience I had. Also, although when made as an espresso, it is sweetish – hard core espresso and coffee lovers might point to its lack of body (i.e, it doesn’t hit you like perhaps a Kenyan coffee might). I liked it so much as an espresso and for a cappuccino that I didn’t want to sacrifice it for another brewing method, so I can’t tell you how it would taste when brewed for the filter or French Press methods. They always say, if you have fresh roasted coffee, consume it within 2 weeks, but with this bean, it didn’t last a week in my house and that’s just with me drinking it – no ! I’m not selfish, it’s just that my wife doesn’t drink coffee, but she loved the smell of this bean.