Andytown Coffee Roasters - Short Strand Espresso$9.50
It has been quite awhile since I've reviewed any Andytown Coffee, but today I'm putting an end to that with my review of their Short Strand espresso blend.
The blend is currently a mix of Ethiopian and Brazilian Peaberry beans, but during the time I was reviewing the blend it consisted of Costa Rican beans instead of Brazilian beans. This isn't atypical with coffee and espresso blends, as coffee from different regions of the world is harvested at different times throughout the year.
So you could end up with a different version of the Short Strand (or any espresso blend) depending on the time of year that you buy it.
About Andytown Coffee Roasters
Nestled in San Francisco's outer sunset district, Andytown Coffee Roasters was opened in early 2014 with the help of a successful Kickstarter campaign. Lauren Crabbe and Michael McCrory are the wife and husband team at the helm of Andytown.
Andytown's café also operates as its roastery, with a small 5-lb Probat roaster nestled right in the back of the shop. I'd also be remiss not to mention their most popular menu item, the Snowy Plover, which is a shot of espresso with Pellegrino sparkling water, simple syrup, and a heaping tablespoon (or two) of homemade whipped cream.
If you are planning to visit Golden Gate Park or Ocean Beach in San Francisco, Andytown is a must-visit spot for your caffeine pick-me-up.
General Notes & Observations
Country of Origin: Ethiopia, Costa Rica, Brazil
Processing method: Unknown
Growing altitude: Unknown
Aroma: butter, milk chocolate, raspberry
Roaster tasting notes: Caramel, peanut brittle, milk chocolate
Coffee Concierge tasting notes: Buttered popcorn, citrus, dark & milk chocolate, cherry
Most of the Short Strand blend was brewed through my Mypressi Twist. However, I also dabbled with the Moka Pot, which brought out some of that nice peanut flavor that eluded me when brewing espresso.
If you’re new here, you can check out how I rate whole bean coffee here.
This was a very bright blend, packed with acidity. For the most part, I wasn't pleased with how citrusy my espresso shots came out time and again. Although this blend may not have intended to pack a lot of acidity (based on the roasters' description), my experience showed that it was ever-present.
It was tough to focus on the aftertaste considering how strongly the shot hits you at first sip. Still, those darker chocolate notes made up the finish to ultimately help balance the espresso out. Not much lingering flavor though.
Buttered popcorn and raspberry were some of the more interesting notes I picked up in the aroma, which added to its complexity. Overall though, the aroma wasn't a highlight of the Short Strand for me.
With most of my shots, the balance was off. Despite using recommended brewing parameters (more or less), my espresso consistently had an overwhelming amount of acidity that made it hard for me to appreciate the flavors that I should have allegedly picked up, like peanut brittle and caramel.
I didn't get any of that until working with the Bialetti Moka Pot.
Overall, my shots were on the thinner side of things in terms of body, but still syrupy in the sense that Andytown described on the bag. Since my blend didn't include any Brazilian beans, I imagine that this had something to do with the slightly thin body.
Again, not a whole lot of nuance in the flavors given the overwhelming acidity. There were a few surprises here and there, but nothing to really write home about.
Like lemon? Chocolate? Chocolate covered lemons?
Then this is the espresso blend for you. I didn't love it, but I didn't hate it either. I preferred the flavor when brewed through the Moka Pot.
Shots were pretty consistent across the board, and I didn't have to throw any of them out. Given the high acidity, it does take a little bit longer to dial in a balanced shot, but overall I'd say the Short Strand is a pretty forgiving espresso blend.
Never bitter, but plenty of sour. I imagine this was a mix of under-extracted shots and the overall flavor profile of this blend. Still, hard to describe as sweet.
While I didn't dabble in too many brew methods outside of espresso or Moka, I imagine this would work quite well for drip coffee given its citrus flavor and clean body.
As much as I love Andytown as a coffee roaster, the Short Strand fell a bit…well, short. Maybe the Costa Rican beans as a substitute for the Brazilian beans tipped the scale too far to the acidic side of things, but for some reason I just couldn't get many good shots out of the bag.
As Moka though, I think the Short Strand is quite good and potentially worth trying again for alternative brew methods.
I don't think I'll be buying it specifically for espresso though.
Tried the Short Strand?
If you've tried the Short Strand espresso from Andytown Coffee Roasters, I'd love to know what you thought! Please leave a review below, and if you can, include specifics on the blend's bean origins. I'd love to know how this blend does with the Brazilian Peaberry included, as opposed to the Costa Rican beans.
Oh, and if you're in San Francisco anytime soon, definitely check out Andytown!