I went to Kaldi's again. I couldn't help it! On my second, second anniversary date with my wife we stopped by and picked up two lattes. They were offering a single origin Costa Rican espresso, so I asked for it- it's kind of my new obsession. Anyway, after tasting this Costa Rican espresso, I was hooked! It was too beautiful. So soft and caressing, yet aggressive in the finish. Obviously it is a different process of evaluation due to the addition of milk, but still- delicious!
So, as I was saying, last night I went back for more. This time I lowered the milk content to a traditional 6oz cappuccino, but kept the single origin espresso. Again, I was blown away with its sweet gentleness. As i was drinking this divine creation, I took note of a few elements of the drink I appreciated. This rating system is not official in any way other than for my own purposes of organizing espresso experiences: I give 10 points to four areas of the drink, then take the average of them all and calculate the final score:
1. Milk Foam Preparation
2. Steamed Milk Preparation
3. Espresso Preparation and Taste
The first category of milk foam is important because milk based drinks really have two separate sections, the steamed and foamed sections. The cappuccino shows these two categories off most explicitly. So, for milk foam, the barista received a score of 7 because the foam "cap" was about 1/3" thick- a bit much, but still decent.
The category of steamed milk was much better. The steamed milk section was near perfection, deliciously warm, not scalded- not easily done on a 6oz drink! Therefore, a score of 9.5.
Section 3 received a score of 10 for reasons previously discussed. The espresso was amazing. So soft and balanced for a single origin!
The last section of presentation earned a score of 7.5 for decent latte art, but not great and for the demitasse cup, spoon, and chocolate covered coffee beans. Latte art is not an easy feat ever, let alone on such a small drink like the cappuccino.
The total rating ended up as a 8.625- not bad at all. Any score lower than a 5.0 overall is something not even deserving of the title specialty coffee, so nicely done Kaldi's! Thanks for the great experience. I'll be back again I'm sure. Keep that Don Mayo going!
Lord, thank you for the ability to go and pick up such great products. My health, the freedom to do so, and the shops that provide it. Keep my head deflated and on straight. Here we go.