My Favorite Espresso

This past February my wife bought me a DeLonghi espresso machine because of my increasing addiction to fine espresso. I’ve long been a coffee snob, so it seemed a good escalation of my foodie-ism. Up until then I’d basically just settled on only having Illy espresso, but with the new machine I’ve started hunting and sampling more and more.

In Charlottesville, Va., there is a coffee places called Mudhouse that’s located just steps from the hotel I stay at for the Look3 photo festival. Every morning for a week I’d take my son for an early walk and stop in at Mudhouse for a double espresso. Usually I’d have it over ice, as Virginia is damn-hot in the summer and was suffering from the type of humidity that can actually melt a human. I’d chat with the baristas and sample different coffee and espresso beans and brews. They’re not shy with giving out information at Mudhouse, and they really helped increase my espresso knowledge.

When I got home I immediately began to miss their coffee—their thick and rich brew of mud isn’t something that’s easy to achieve at home. That’s partially because of the equipment they’re using (you need to be able to play with temperatures and pressure to really pull something special from a bean) but it was also because of the beans. So here’s a little secret from BikeHugger to you—Mudhouse gets their beans from Lexington Coffee Roasters in Virginia, and it’s some of the best anywhere. Their Espresso Giusto scored a 92 from but it scores 100 with me.

Here is a preparation that includes things from various sources. The recipe is from Peloton Magazine. Pull a number of shots early in the morning and put them into a glass jar in the fridge. Let them cool there where they’ll take on a richness not possible with pouring shots over ice. To this richness add some half-and-half (I prefer it over heavy cream or milk for iced drinks) and some simple syrup. This particular cup has vanilla-bean simple syrup I made a few days ago. The cup came from our friends at Bicycling, who were nice enough to invite us to their Tour de France party (probably as a pre-apology for having BikeSnob go all “shit on Corn Flakes” on us).

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