Ritual's new espresso (Sweet Tooth) has settled in.
I've run through a couple pounds of it now.
1 - This is a true "signature espresso" in the sense that it is a unique and personal espresso the represents the values, taste and goals of Ritual. That's something special - and something all coffee roasters should shoot for.
2 - It's not an espresso everyone is going to love.
3 - It's reasonably easy to work with - though I think home baristas with non-stabilized HX machines might struggle.
It's a very (very) well named coffee. First sips are dominated by intense sweetness (cane sugar, light, processed molasses, honey, touches of caramel) and floral notes (jasmine, rose). As the coffee cools it becomes quite tart and bright, with strong flavours of pomelo, green grape and persimmon. The sweetness continues, but the cup becomes dominated by the acidic fruit. In the end of the cup a nice pomegranate note emerges (though I do get some hints of astringency as well).
It does seem a little hollow however. It hits the center of the palate almost exclusively and there is a "hole" in the middle of the profile.
This hollowness become more noticeable when combined with milk - where the lack of the deeper darker tones results in "simplistic" profiles.
I found it best quite significantly updosed - and at a higher brew temp than I'd expected. Shot volume was good - and the shots look gorgeous in the cup.
Because of the tartness - I think home machines that have a declining brew temp could prove challenging. Shots could come out as noticeably sour in some cases. I'd suggest pulling shots quite short in this case.
Overall... a good espresso and a big step forward for Ritual.