Dos Café Espresso System
From the Print Edition:
The Brains Behind Homeland, May/June 2012
It’s sad what passes for espresso sometimes. Even in this enlightened age of coffee awareness, the requisite combination of fine grinds, well calibrated machinery and skilled hands rarely comes together. Finding a decent espresso in a cigar bar is even harder, but Dos Café vowed to change this. In research that’s taken the Miami company from Italy to Africa, Dos Café has managed to put fine espresso in an easy-to-use format. What’s more, it provides a range of roasts that are ranked from mild- to medium- to full-bodied with the express purpose of pairing with cigars.
After sourcing Arabica Peaberry beans from Tanzania and experimenting with various blends and torrefaction (coffee geek speak for roasting), Dos Café developed three specific expressions whose flavors could be sealed in a standard pod without sacrificing richness or consistency. But the flavor of a good espresso is ultimately determined by high-pressure extraction. Using Italy and Cuba as benchmark sources for the ideal cup, the developers of Dos Café went to Naples to import Didiesse brand espresso machines, which they found optimal in their ability to achieve classic Cuban flavors with Italian standards of quality. The result is a simple setup that will probably create an espresso better than anything the resident coffee hipster at your local java joint could ever hope to pull.
Operation is easy: open a single-serving pod (40 for $24), place it in the machine, bring down the locking lever arm for tamping pressure and press a button. What comes out is a perfectly emulsified, picturesque espresso topped with a tight, frothy crema thick enough to put a pint of Guiness to shame.
Three blends are available, and each is roasted to pair with cigars. Guantanamera is the lightest of the three (however, by no means weak), intended to accompany milder cigars. The Toa Reserve blend takes strength to the second level for medium-bodied smokes, and Yatera Reserve (our personal favorite) can stand up to the most powerful tobacco. Each mouth-coating shot is alive with flavors ranging from floral caramel to bracing, earthy cocoa bean.
The Didiesse Frog ($495), pictured here, is designed for consumer use, but commercial-grade models like the Aura ($595) are also available.
And considering that an increase in convenience usually means a decrease in quality (especially in the world of coffee), espresso this easy has no business being this good.
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-- Cigar Aficionado Online Staff