Special Offering: Single Origin Black Cat Espresso, Finca Matalapa

I supposed you can make an analogy between single origin espresso and single-malt Scotches. In both coffee and whiskey, blends are developed to smooth out rough edges from elements that might be considered too overbearing on their own. Improperly handled, single origin espressos can be overbearing: blindingly bright, one-note flavor bombs that don't necessarily warrant repeated tastings. But in the hands of a master roaster, a non-blended, single origin espresso can reach incredible heights, just like a great single malt.

Intelligentsia's Black Cat espresso is a dynamic blend-- individual components might change through the year, but the goal is to develop a consistently great espresso with a similar profile. What happens when the roasters from Intelli set their sights on taking one of the best coffees of the season to develop a single-origin espresso roast? For starters, they end up with a barista that takes 1st place in the US Barista Championships. Kyle Glanville, from Intelligentsia's LA roasting works, just took home the trophy with a performance centered on using a single origin espresso developed from the amazing crop harvested at the Finca Matalapa in El Salvador. Here is what Kyle had to say about the coffee:

I first encountered this coffee on the cupping table and knew it would make a great espresso. It was clean and sweet, with an undeniable maple character. The Finca Matalapa truly delivers as espresso what it promises in the cup. Using about 18g of coffee for a double shot, it reveals sweet floral aromatics and intense lime acidity underscored by notes of dark muscovado sugar. Its intense sweetness and balance are the fuel that propelled me to victory at the 2008 United States Barista Championship. I hope you enjoy this coffee as much as I have enjoyed using it. It’s a gem.

To celebrate Kyle's championship, Intelligentsia created a very small run of the identical roast used at the USBC. The Black Cat Project USBC/Matalapa Single Origin Espresso was roasted for one day only, for one commercial release. Volta will be featuring this amazing coffee for three days as our guest espresso, from June 3 until June 7 (or as soon as our supply runs out-- it could be gone by mid-day of the 3rd...). We will only be offering it as either an espresso ($3) or as a macchiato ($3.25).

Single Origin Black Cat Espresso, Finca Matalapa

  • Acidity: Bursting lime and Clementine
  • Flavor: Maple, pipe tobacco, dark muscovado sugar
  • Finish: Clean, sweet, citric