Last month, I traveled to Denver to visit Novo Coffee roasters hoping to collaborate with those fine folks on the creation of the perfect espresso blend.
Needless to say, we were successful! After sampling everything under their sun, I decided to pull from a couple of their single origin roasts and custom blend the perfect espresso for Atlas.
Now, I understand that what constitutes the perfect espresso is entirely subjective. So, here is a little insight into Atlas’ mission. Here at the shop, we strive to select and provide the very best product available. ‘The very best’ is sort of relative, though. Some find the rarest small-lot boutique micro-roast bean to be of the highest quality, while others prefer a robust, consistent and satisfying brew suitable for the addition of milk and sweetener. This presents the fundamental problem: How do we satisfy both?
Coffee, while tasting like, well, coffee – can also be bursting with subtle region-specific flavor nuances. For example, we offer two coffees for our drip selection at the shop – Ethiopian and Guatemalan. Our Guatemalan has a dominant flavor profile of milk chocolate, peanut butter and malt. This is the sort of profile that, while sweet and delicious black, is enhanced by the addition of milk and sweetener. In contrast, the Ethiopian has dominant flavors of dark chocolate, citrus and blueberry. This makes for a sharper, darker-tasting brew – the sort of coffee that just sings as a black coffee, but the profile can be somewhat muted with the addition of milk and sweetener.
So, what does this all mean when creating our espresso? Well, 9th Parallel North has characteristics of both. 9th North is a blend of beans from Panama and Ethiopia. The beans from Panama provide a smooth and silky profile of toasted almond, milk chocolate and cherry pie flavors. This is complemented by the addition of the flavors of fresh ripe blueberry, dark chocolate, toasted coconut and wildflowers found in this particular Ethiopian roast.
This all translates to possibly the smoothest, silkiest, most dynamic and robust espresso we have ever tasted. The first sip is appropriately acerbic, washing the palate with a salvo of flavor. The second sip is smooth, sweet and each and every piece of the profile dances, vying for attention. Each sip smoother, begging for another. When paired with milk, the strength of the profile, greater than the sum of its parts, stands out. The flavor of the milk shares the palate equally with the coffee – Smooth, sweet and balanced. And, I assure you, this espresso makes the most divine Mocha ever to be consumed by man or beast.
So yeah, we like 9th North – no, we love this stuff! But we want you to love it too. So, today, 3/16 and debut-day for 9th Parallel North, we want you to come in and try it. So, come on in, ask for 9th North by name and your espresso drink is on the house. Have it big, have it small, have it as a shot, have it iced, have it sweetened – however you do, just have it!
Oh, and where does the name come from? Well, check out the geographic coordinates of Vulcan, Panama and Wellega, Ethiopia ;)
As always, we are so appreciative of you, our fans, our regulars, irregulars – without all of you, we are nothing, really.
Thank you so much for helping Atlas realize the dream, every day.