Several years ago I visited Fabrice Moschetti at his place of business in Vallejo, CA (an ex-military town in the SFBay Area). Fabrice roasts coffee.
It was the beginning of a journey where I started to learn about various coffees from around the world, and a bit about roasting and a little about blending varieties of coffee beans to get well rounded flavors or even a distinct flavor profile.
Moschetti Mistral Espresso (medium roast) was the first Moschetti blend I tasted on that Saturday afternoon. I recall being amazed that the shots of espresso that Fabrice pulled for me did not have that funky, bitter, burned flavor that I’d experienced so often before at cafes from one end of the country to the other. Those experiences made me think that all espresso was funky, bitter, and burned. But this first shot from Fabrice was absolutely amazing. It was sweet, mellow, complex, and tasted of chocolate, and had hints of fruit. Whoa! I was transformed.
Since then I’ve come to realize that all those bad shots of espresso I’d gotten from Peet’s, Starbucks, and countless other cafe’s were inferior, and suffered from lack of good coffee, poor roasting and just as importantly understanding of proper technique of pulling shots.
I then discovered Blue Bottle in San Francisco, and found one more place I could go to get a decent shot of espresso. Blue Bottle is a highfalutin, look down their nose sort of roaster, and cafe. But I think they have good reason to look down their nose compared to most of the roaster and cafes in the country. They, just like Fabrice take extra care in selecting the coffees they want to roast, and how they blend them, and how they roast. And the Baristas understand the technique of proper espresso, and at times the shots they pull are just short of, “an Angel pissing on my tongue”. And both Fabrice and Blue Bottle understand that fresh is best when it comes to coffee.
And now I’ve gone full circle. Back to tasting Moschetti Mistral after so many adventures with Bali Kintamani, Ethiopian, Kona, Panama, Kenyan, Brazil, Guatemala etc. Single source coffees made me drunk with desire, and I started to avoid blends. But after a couple pounds of Moschetti Mistral, I’ve come full circle, and I’m back to blends. It’s so mellow, chocolatey, with subtle hints of sweet fruit, and complex. I’m back.
Visit Fabrice and his crew for an Open House and Coffee Tasting on most Saturdays from 9am to 1pm. It’s free, and you are likely to find local Honey being sold, organic burgers, live music etc. The line up varies from week to week.