U&I Espresso is another one of those new kids on the block. When the former Ashgrove coffee shop changed hands and we saw the Dramanti Artisan Roaster sign out the front we could not help but get excited. We were having a Bean Brewding get together, so decided to head right on in. Sacha, your host at U&I, was quick to work out our identity, when a tweet was followed by the mocha as part of our order. It was a quirky ice-breaker! Being close to some BBers workplace, it is fast becoming somewhat of a regular.
Located on Waterworks Road on stop 16 of the city bus route, U&I is great for watching the world pass by. You can sit in the comfy lounge chairs or take yourself back to school and sit at the wooden pews – BYO tidy box. Looking around presents a cold drip apparatus, a siphon setup, yummy food in a display window and the WEGA Green Line – all good signs for a diverse coffee experience in a relaxed atmosphere.
Sacha devised a plan for us to enjoy a triple tasting sensation. The Panama La Gloria single origin roasted by Dramanti, served cold dripped, through an AeroPress and an espresso. Sacha told us the bean got a cupping score of 84 which was information to stimulate the conversation. Exciting times! We had only ever had the same bean two different ways – at Cup Roastery and at Reverends Fine Coffee. First up was the cold drip, dripped for four hours then stored in the fridge for seven days. The roast was medium and made us think of a red-brown ochre colour. I think Mocha Mate may have mentioned hints of caramel… with more depth and flavour later in the mouth. It was smooth and syrupy in texture – a real pleaser for the cold drip crowd.
Round two summoned the AeroPress and started us to compare notes on our AeroPress methods, timings and temperatures. Sacha delivered the Panama with fruity flavours – stone fruit came to mind. The flavour was lighter than the cold drip and made us think of orange as a colour. We were amazed that the cold drip and AeroPress seemed to taste the opposite to each other – triple tasting started to make sense.
Round three got even better when Sacha asked ‘who wants to pour their own shots?’ We jumped out of the lounge chairs quicker than a 12th man off the bench. We were given the finer points of using the Mazzer, weighing the grind and the perfect tamp. We poured ourselves double ristretto’s which gave us rich fruity flavours that mellowed in the mouth and gave a creamy texture. Surprisingly Mocha Mate voted this as his favorite of the triple treat! The real treat, however, is being able to experience coffee prepared in different ways at a suburban coffee shop. U & I and everyone else should venture out to Ashgrove for a relaxed coffee treat.
From 3 relaxed beans, we give U&I 8 beans.