I was into my second shot before the question was asked – “are you Grendel?”
By this time I’d already committed to a third coffee and made it as far as a fourth.
The first shot was the custom blend – five senses beans. Wow.
The crema was a ruddy rich reflection of the coffee underneath. I can’t say how long it would have persisted, because I wanted to pop the shot quickly. The aroma was amazingly complex and I fear that most of the espresso shots I have had before today were in fact pretty weak stuff. It’s a bit like having Cadbury dairy milk, nice enough in its own way, but then someone lets you try a handmade chocolate from premium stock – you really notice the difference. Maybe the analogy is closer to that of wine – A good cab sauv next to a great cab Sauv you will enjoy the first, but experience the second.
That’s what these shots were – experiencing coffee.
Mouth feel was immense, a rich, complex sustained chord. Unique in my experience (which I will admit is limited).
The aroma while tasting was a timber caramel with a little fruitiness like stewed prunes in a dry oaky port.
The acidity was balanced, there was a genuine spiciness to the coffee which added to the complexity and the aftertaste was chocolate tobacco. I was pretty stunned.
I had originally thought to rate these out of 100 – but I find now that I can’t do that. This was very different to anything I’ve had before and I have no context for a numerical rating. Class of its own I guess.
The second shot was the single origin. Capricorn Estate – Australian beans!
I’m still a little disbelieving that they are Australian beans – never had anything like them before.
Again a ruddy crema over an inky shot that clung to the demitasse. I’d describe the aroma as ‘fire in a cocoa factory’ a very rich slightly smoky nose that was again, very complex.
The taste was something again that I have not experienced before with a complexity I would expect from a blend before a single origin coffee. I didn’t find the same level of spice in this bean as in the blend (not a bad thing - just a difference). Huge mouth feel again – could chew the shot and the finish was smoky but not dry.
Of the too my preference would be for the blend, just because it was so vocal. But this is also the best single origin I have ever had in a café and a must-buy if we can get our hands on some of the beans.
I went on to a latte with the blend.
Practice makes perfect I reckon – this crew are very well practiced and it shows. Great microfoam – exact proportions for the latte and the temperature was perfect. In all the excitement I had been forgetting to take photos and only remembered when I got the Latte – I’ll take photos of the espresso and ristretto shots next week.
Aroma of the latte was sweet and warm like liquid toffee and while tasting I would describe the aroma as toffee toast.
This latte was like meeting an old friend for the first time.
The last coffee of the session was a flat white. All flat whites at Epic come with a rosetta and the pictures of the latte art on the wall seem to indicate a level of attention to the presentation as well as the quality.
Aroma was toffee again (this was also the 5 senses blend) and it was like drinking a toffee éclair – another well balanced full bodied cup.
I won’t go into the debate about Synessos and Crema, I know too little to argue cogently for either point-of-view. The shots and the milk based drinks were excellent and far exceeded anything I have had in a café before – no question about that. I don’t believe even a great barista could have pulled those shots on a crap machine.
I think Epic will become a landmark for coffee lovers in Perth. I have a mission to work my way through menu so I’ll be there a couple of times a week anyway. I’m looking forward to summer because I like nothing better on a hot afternoon than an affogato and Epic’s sounds very inviting.
I’ve been looking for great coffee in Perth for four years and I finally think I’ve found it. I reckon Corey knows what he is doing.
Ill blog this tonight with some photos and post the link.