As you may have noticed, here at Baltzersen’s we recently introduced a batch brewed coffee option to our menu. As many of our guests are curious about the new brewing method, we thought we’d get head barista Niall and coffee enthusiast Helen to compare the batch brew up against the more traditional americano.
An americano is essentially an espresso diluted with water. Drinking an americano means that you can enjoy the great flavours of an espresso without the intensity.
Using an espresso machine, a small amount of water is forced through finely ground coffee under high amounts of pressure. The amount of pressure results in very highly concentrated drink.
Americano’s are believed to trace back to American soldiers adding water to the Italians espresso in the hope of masking the bitterness during the first world war.
Often known as filter coffee, this new addition to our menu is a favourite among staff members. We don’t want to brand it as filter coffee because we know it is much better than the negative american diner/bitter coffee connotations the word ‘filter’ suggests.
Instead of being pushed through a metal basket at high pressure, the batch brews water dosage falls only with the pressure of gravity over a large basket of ground coffee and eventually through a paper filter. The paper filter leaves room for less potential suspended solids (minuscule bits of ground coffee) in the coffee and inevitably a cleaner drink.
I made an americano for both Helen and myself to try. The Baltzersen’s Blend from North Star Coffee Roasters in Leeds, is the coffee used; 40% Sumatran 30% Brazilian and 30% Rwandan. This is the coffee blend we use in all our espresso based drinks.
After the first sip, Helen noted that she thought the coffee was pretty strong.
The ‘strength’ or high body of the drink is noticeable, thanks to the foundation Sumatran that cements itself in the cup during the coffee’s extraction. This is followed up by a positive acidity and sweetness from the Rwandan and rounded off with the chocolatey roast of the Brazilian coffee.
We both then tried the batch brew. This time a single origin Kenyan coffee is used from Maude Coffee Roasters, also in Leeds. The acidity and sweetness is striking and is enough to compensate for the expected lower body of this drink. Although both Helen and I have tried this coffee more than once, we are still blown away by the striking presence of flavour in the cup from start to finish.
If you’re looking for a caffeine fix with a strong, deep flavour then the Americano is for you. If you prefer a lighter, more easy-going, flavour-enhanced beverage then we would definitely suggest giving our batch brew a try.