We’ve arrived at the last of the coffees from July’s Barista Coffee Box, another 2-component blend from Blueprint Coffee in St. Louis. This is Penrose V13 and without further ado, let’s take a crack at it!
Purchase this coffee directly for $14/12oz. They are on to V14 now…
BARISTA COFFEE BOX JULY 2017: BLUEPRINT COFFEE PENROSE V13
This last coffee from July’s Barista Coffee Box is Penrose V13 from St. Louis, MO’s Blueprint Coffee. I absolutely fell in love with the other blend in this box, Tektōn, which was super balanced, sweet and absolutely delicious. Penrose is actually Blueprint’s house espresso blend, but with the Barista Coffee Box packets only being 56g each, I decided to play it safe and drink this is a drip sample, instead. 56g of coffee gives me 2-3 chances to dial is and taste a coffee, which is risky, so I went the safe route! Blueprint named their espresso Penrose after the impossible object, the Penrose triangle. First drawn in 1934 by Oscar Reutersvärd, it was popularized in the 1950’s by psychiatrist Lionel Penrose and his mathmetician son, Roger as, “impossibility in its purest form.” Blueprint, likewise, state “perfect espresso is an imporrible goal, but we still attempt to create it.”
Penrose V13 is a blend of 70% washed Colombia Caturra, Bourbon and Castillo varieties from around the village of Sauza, east of Timaná, which was the single origin Cololmbian from Blueprint in this month’s box. The other 30% of the blend is Kimel Peaberry from the Western Highlands of Papua New Guinea. This is a mix of Mundo Novo and Blue Mountain but I’m unsure if it was washed or if this component was wet hulled. Either way, Blueprint felt like it added complexity and acidity to this espresso.
Because I didn’t want to risk not having enough of this coffee to actually taste, I brewed it up as a pourover with a 1:16 ratio of 28g of coffee to 450g of water in a notNeutral Gino dripper. I used Third Wave Water and a Handground grinder set to 3.
I get some nice brown sugar aromas from the cup. My sips at warmer temperatures were sweet and well-rounded with minimal acidity, but as the cup cooled this coffee opened up and revealed a lot more character. There is some malic sweetness and acidity reminding me of the sweetness of apples, an apple juice character, and a little of the acidity and tartness from green apples like Granny Smith. This is a pleasant, easy-drinking type of acidity, in my opinion, that is crisp and refreshing as well as bright. In the later part of the sip the acidity takes on some lime notes with a healthy amount of lime bitterness rounding out the end of the sip. I really liked this. As much as I like a sweet coffee, I do appreciate bitter flavors, too, and even the “sweetness” of coffee is understood to be in the context of what is, relatively, an overall bitter drink experience. All this acidity is well-balanced and anchored by a solid sweetness that gives depth to this coffee as well as a nice, creamy presence and medium-heavy mouthfeel to the cup.
Even though this was Blueprint’s house espresso blend earlier in the spring, it’s proof that some coffees are very good dual-purpose offerings, working as both espresso and drip. I wish I’d had enough to run as espresso, but it was so delicious as a pourover it’s easy to imagine those same flavors super-concentrated and in a tiny cup! V14 is currently available and it’s a blend of 78% washed Guatemalan coffee and 22% of a natural process COMSA lot from Marcala, Honduras. Sounds awesome!