Lately I have become a big fan of Victrola Coffee Roasters. I happened upon them by pure luck; I had been using their equally good Seattle-based competitor Espresso Vivace Roasteria and I had fallen for Vivace's Vita Roast, but in the interest of finding just as good or better roasts I tracked down Victrola since I had recalled seeing their name while in Seattle once.
Until about the last month, Victrola offered just one espresso roast on their website, Streamline, for which I fell even more. Though not quite as productive of crema as was Vivace's Vita roast, its flavor appealed more to me when it came to drinking the espresso shot "straight up". I am not one who can take too much of the bitterness characteristic of some espresso roasts, and Streamline had the upper hand on being sweeter.
Well, when placing my latest order a week ago, I noticed that Victrola were offering a new espresso roast called "Triborough Espresso - Organic" so I thought I'd give it a shot and added a pound of the beans to my order. Now I wish the whole order had been for the new roast!
Let me put it straight: If you are looking for an espresso roast for drinking straight shots, then so far this is it for me! I actually feel bad using it to make milk-based espresso drinks. There is absolutely no hint of bitterness. It is flavorsome, sweet, and "more-ish"!
This is how Victrola describe the roast:
This well balanced, heavy bodied espresso first hits your nose with a delicate floral sweetness, followed by a buttery caramel mouth feel. Take the time to savor the marzipan, clover honey, and bittersweet chocolate as they lounge around on your tongue.For newbies at pulling shots at home, just note that what you gain in flavor, you might loose in crema production. It is a little more work to get good crema with these beans. I'm not saying they don't produce crema; they do. It's just a relative thing - of the three espresso roasts I recommend, Vivace's "Vita" is the most productive of crema, followed by Victrola's "Streamline" and "Triborough" in that order.
But note that is the order of my least to most favored roast, and this could be because of the amount of Robusta beans added to the blend: while these beans generate more crema, they exhibit a higher level of bitterness. So it's a trade off between flavor and crema. For me, the "Triborough Roast" wins hands down! Go get yourself some!