We had planned on announcing we were serving a guest espresso today, which would've been the Hines Public Market 'spro - same stuff used by Bronwen Serna, 2004 US Barista Champ. We had 5 lbs of the black gold - freshly roasted this week and never before served in Pittsburgh - courtesy of Jay Caragay, with whom Rich had a great visit on Thursday (that's Jay at left).
The best laid plans... sometime yesterday morning we ran out of Black Cat and this week's shipment from Intelligentsia wasn't coming until late afternoon. So, before we could scramble together any signage or an email, we had to put the big silver bag of Hines into service.
Jay uses a three group Linea with the same double baskets as we use, so we had hoped to pull shots resembling the one he served me while at his shop. Rich, creamy, perhaps a bit sweeter than as Black Cat the chocolate is more a milk or semi-sweet chocolate taste as opposed to the Cat's bittersweet chocolate bite, more or less the same caramel undertone, but with what I thought was a bit of apricot.
Lucky for us we were pulling great shots without us resetting either the Linea or the grinders. Customers enjoyed their drinks with the Hines as much as they enjoyed the Black Cat. So if you had an espresso drink here between around 10am and 6pm, you can proudly state to your coffee pals that you've sipped the famous Hines Public Market 'Spro.
Downside is we didn't get to formally introduce it or promote it in advance - we're sure many of the coffee geeks in the area would've loved to have come in and tried some. Plus, we didn't get to play with any ourselves. By the time Belle came on duty it was all but gone, so she didn't get to explore the possibilities. And other than the beautiful shot Jay pulled for me when I was at his shop, I didn't get any either. And that's a crime!
At any rate, we thank Jay for the gift, which was, as it turns out, necessary. We'll get some more Hines one of these days and give it it's just due.
And Jay, enjoy those Arturo Fuentes, friend!