Time and Temperature Espresso and Dialing in Our Espresso
We have featured Time and Temperature espresso from Tandem Coffee Roasters as our house espresso for about 26 months (you know if it was a toddler). Working with one espresso this long allows you to better understand the espresso, appreciate the roaster, and value the coffee farmers in a deeper way. Time and Temperature is a blend that changes with the season. Throughout January the blend consists of Ethiopian Illy, Kenya Gakundu, and Colombia Las Brisas. We have been able to pull a tart berry custard topped with warm brown sugar notes. These notes come from the talent of the farmer, the environment in which the beans were grown and the palates of both the roaster and the barista. I can’t help but think about how many plants I’ve killed in comparision of these very talented and devoted farmers growing such exquisite coffee plants.
At our shop we keep a record of how we dial in the espresso throughout the day. Just a small notebook covered in coffee stains with scratches and notes and torn pages. In it’s purest form it’s the story of our journey for self-improvement and commitment to quality. It allows us to not only better communicate to other staff members about what we are tasting throughout the day, it allows us to track how season, weather, and different bean configurations impact the parameters of pulling a delicious espresso shot. This process has been transformational in our ability to more efficiently dial in as well as speak about the espresso to our customers.
Tandem Coffee Roasters is based out of Portland, Maine. I first went to visit Tandem in August of 2014 and went back August 2015 because well the weather is much nicer in Maine than Louisiana in those late summer months. Tandem was launched by Will and Kathleen Pratt in 2012. Will use to work at Blue Bottle in New York but took his skills to Maine to open a small craft roastery in a little space off the beaten path. In 2015, they opened a second location in an old gas station more in the heart of Portland’s food and drink destination. When I visit Portland I often feel like I’m in New Orlean’s sister’s home. It is so familiar but with its own personality and much better summer weather.
Tandem Coffee Roasters has quickly become one of my favorite roasters in the country. Always consistent, always a component partner for a small shop like mine, and always reminding folks of their strong commitment to quality. You can get a taste of Portland, Maine everyday on our espresso bar and we now sell retail bags so you can enjoy in the comfort of your own home.
Side note : The term ‘dialing in’ is what the industry calls finding the most perfect parameters for the espresso. There are several parameters that are under discussion while dialing in an espresso. Temperature (how hot is the water coming out of the machine), dose (how many grams per espresso), and time (how long is the water streaming into the coffee, out of the machine, and into the cup). This is why Tandem Coffee Roasters named their house seasonal blend Time and Temperature.