Java update: Rave Coffee “The Italian Job”

Rave coffee is a name I’ve heard several times over the past couple of years, but I’ve never gotten around to trying their roasts and blends up until recently.

A UK-based roaster, down in Cirencester (a place I have to visit at least once a month for work!), with what appears to be a great reputation. I peruse plenty of forums and they always seem to come out pretty well in conversations.

Of course, I had to give them a try. So, I ordered 3 bags. This is the review of the first one “The Italian Job”, and holy cow is it a good one.

 

The process

Before I go into trying to adequately sum up this excellent bag o’ beans, it’s worth noting that my process has changed a little, and I think every cup is better for the experience.

For “The Italian Job” I used the inverted method with the Aeropress, which yielded one of the best cups of coffee I’ve ever had. True Sunday morning bliss.

Beyond that, I’ve been learning to use my new espresso machine, and whilst my process requires work, I’m definitely starting to get some great results.

“The Italian Job” has been brewed multiple times in 5 different ways: Aeropress, Espresso Machine, Moka Pot, Hario V60 and Cafetiere. Each method requires different grinds and extraction times, so it’s been very varied, and I like to think that the coffee is put through it’s paces.

Any time I find a drink un-enjoyable, I re-brew using the same method, and try to improve my skills. Every method produced a great cup of coffee, particularly the Aeropress and Cafetiere.

 

Fragrance

Upon opening the bag, you’re hit with the strong smell of what I’d consider to be quite a dark roast. Quite bitter and powerful, but that makes way for what can only be described as this sweet cake-like smell.

“The Italian Job” is a rich, dark and subtly sweet roast, and it’s wonderful to just take it all in.

Once ground, the darkness really comes out, and you get a real strong hit even whilst still in the grinder. Very rich and almost overwhelming in how it hits you. I love it!

Body

This is where I get to use some of the words that have just been bouncing around my head since cup one! “The Italian Job” is bloody marvellous here.

When brewed properly, you get a wonderful, almost velvety, mouthfeel. A rich, very round and almost “thick” drink.

When a coffee feels like this, it’s borderline decadent. Honestly, there’s something here that just feels luxurious and like a bit of a treat, beyond just a standard every day cup of coffee.

Acidity

The acidity here is much more a balance between sharpness and brightness. Leaning more towards a little sharp, but in a good way.

You get hit with this touch of acidity which cuts through the richness an density of the body. “The Italian Job” is remarkably well balanced here, and it really hits the spot for me personally. That rich darkness with a hit of bitterness at the back, truly lovely.

Flavour

This is the big one for me. Combined with that velvety, “big” mouth feel, and the touch of bitterness, you’re met with some lovely sweetness.

This isn’t sugary sweet, though. It’s very reminiscent of that cake-like smell you get from the fragrance. I’m working on improving my taste and recognising the flavours, but there’s a lovely cakey sweetness. I can’t quite think how else to describe it.

On the back of that, you get left with this dark, chocolatey aftertaste that I’ve never properly recognised in a coffee before. Reminding me very much of some dark chocolate and the taste it leaves at the back of your mouth.

I can’t say it enough, the key work here is “rich”.

 

Overall

I don’t think I can do enough justice to “The Italian Job”. A complex, decadent treat of a coffee. Not your every day cup. This is a perfect Sunday morning treat, especially through a cafetiere or the Aeropress, where there’s typically a bit more time for extraction and bloom.

With all 250 grams of the bag being ground and brewed, I can safely say that it’s been almost an “experience”, which sounds like nonsense, but give it a go and you’ll see!

It goes without saying that “The Italian Job” by Rave Coffee is nothing less than exceptional!

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