TJ Shade Grown Espresso Blend Coffee

If you really love coffee then the ultimate coffee taste of course is espresso.

Every day I wake up, take a shower and start thinking about making my morning “cap”. I wouldn’t get out of bed otherwise.

If like me you own an espresso machine, and make your own espresso, then the first thing is starting with very good coffee. Now I generally buy whole beans that I get here in NYC at Fairway or Zabars or Porto Rico Imports, and grind the beans myself every few days, so its always freshly ground which is ideal. If I was less lazy I’d grind just enough coffee every day just for that use!

Still I saw this bag of espresso coffee on the TJ “new product” shelf a few months back and thought I’d try it, even though its already ground into an espresso grind. Its called SHADE GROWN ESPRESSO BLEND ground coffee. It comes in a vacuum sealed aluminum bag with an attractive hand drawn design and lettering. Nice. Opening the bag, you will get that wonderful “just ground coffee” smell!

The bag says, “Our espresso blend comes from shade grown, hand picked,  100% Arabica beans.  The coffee beans come from a family owned plantation with farms located Matagalpa, Nicauragua. It is rich in flavor with attractive notes of nuts and cacao”. I couldnt have said it better myself. This is really good stuff!

It reminds me of the well loved ”Cafe Bustelo” but a bit darker roast, and it’s clearly a much finer quality coffee of course. A 14 oz. bag of Ground Espresso Blend sells for $8, at the time of this writing (Fall 2017). Which is not a bad deal for about $9.25/lb for a single estate blend from Nicaragua.

If you make your own espresso either in a machine where you tamp the coffee into a porta-filter (I have this exact one called “Cafe Prestige” pictured at right, which is a good basic espresso machine which I bought a few years back for just $100). Or if you make your own espresso perhaps using a “Moka” express type maker for the top of the stove, I think you will really enjoy trying this ground espresso to make the coffee. In fact, if you want to “get into” making your own espresso on the cheap, this little Moka style make I found on Amazon is only $16 for a 2-cup model, which might be a good “starter kit” where maybe later you might get a fancy electric machine – once you get hooked on making espresso at home! Which you probably will.

The bag says: “For Espresso Brewing: This grind is already set up for any type of machine. For a double shot use 1 1/2 tablespoons. Strengh of shots may vary by machine”. If you make your own shots you know there’s a period of trial and error and a little testing till  you get it just right for your taste. For me, I use two slightly rounded standard espresso scoops in my double-shot basket and tamp it lightly but firmly till its completely even on top. This makes me a nice double shot strong enough for the small  amount of foamed milk I use for a “Cap” every morning.

Bottom line, if you like espresso roast coffee, try this. I think you will enjoy it as much as I do.