I started off my holiday break picking up a trio of coffee from my friends at Kansas City’s Oddly Correct. The first one I’m reviewing is Stranger Danger, their winter seasonal espresso blend. According to two of the co-owners of Oddly Correct, Greg and Mike, this espresso should be on bar starting today (12/29/14) and will be available through March or so. This blend isn’t on their website to order yet, but I’ll bet a phone call to the shop will get you a bag if you need to be an early adopter!
Disclaimer: Oddly Correct provided KCcoffeegeek.com with a complimentary sample of this coffee. This is not a paid review (neither are any others on this site) and the complimentary sample did not affect the outcome of this review.
Oddly Correct is a local Kansas City coffee roaster and shop that is near and dear to my heart because it was their coffee that really opened up my eyes to what lighter roasting can do and that coffee has tons and tons of nuanced flavors. I have been drinking their coffee and following their progress since before they even opened a retail location and were pre-marketing anywhere you could serve coffee! They’ve definitely been one of the leading forces of third wave coffee and they choose adventurous coffees and roast them with care and precision.
One of the hallmarks of Oddly’s operation is their packaging. They hand carve woodcut designs for the bags (and art you can buy at the shop) and print them all by hand on an old printing press that sits down the block in the roasting room. I was lucky enough to get a pre-woodcut bag that Greg drew with a pen as I stood there. He explained the art would be, “A creepy van with a guy serving espresso out the window to lure hipsters over…” Enough said!
On to the coffee… Stranger Danger is a blend of washed Papua New Guinea (Waghi Valley) and Mexico (Chiapas) coffees. The official tasting notes are “chocolatey body, with clove, green grape and deep fruitiness.”
I prepared my cups at home on my trusty Gaggia machine, using 18g of beans hand ground in a Hario Skerton. Tamp is with a flat bottom, serrated tamper and my aim is always to get around 30g of espresso in 30-35 seconds or so. The information Mike the Roaster gave me is to aim for a 20g dose and 28g of espresso in 25 seconds, so I’ll give that a try if my basket can take it.
My first cup of this espresso was the day after it was roasted and it was pretty much tobacco in a cup. I took a short nap after I drank it and my first thought upon waking was, “Dang, I need to stop smoking cigars!” I smoked about 5 times per year and I’d just had a cigar the previous week, but the feeling/taste that I’d smoked one earlier was unshakeable.
Over the next few days that flavor backed down, although it’s still there for me (and, by the way, it’s not unpleasant at all) and a high quality chocolate bar (think Mast Brothers rather than Hershey’s) has replaced it with undertones of dark fruits.
I made a couple cortados/Gibraltars/mini-cappuccini with Stranger Danger and they were nice. Not too sweet.
The mouthfeel on this espresso is ridiculous. It coats the whole mouth and sticks around for a long time. It’s like a syrup as it drips from the espresso machine.