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Organic San Remo - Dilworth Coffee

Organic San Remo Coffee

San Remo is a historic blend for us here at Dilworth. We first created the blend in 2004 for Branches Books, a store in Chapel Hill. The owner wanted a distinct blend to separate her shop from Borders, Barnes & Noble and the other bookstores around her. Almost 20 years later, bookstores like that are few and far between, but San Remo stuck around. It sold so well at her store that we kept the blend and refined it over the years. Today it’s one of our best-selling coffees, and it’s clear why.


Where is San Remo?

San Remo is a region on Italy’s west coast, just a short drive from Monaco. We’ve named this blend after that region because of its style. Our San Remo espresso blend is an Italian style roast, and we think this is a good time to go into what that means, why it’s important, and how Italian style roasts are different.

Organic San Remo - Italian Coast

Espresso is an Italian invention. The first espresso machines were created in Milan, but no coffee plants grow in Italy. The climate doesn’t allow for the plants to produce a lot of beans. Italian importers would receive all their green beans from different regions, and to create a consistent product, combined the different beans and roasted them very dark all together. The result was a very dark, oily blend, that had few characteristics of the different regions it was made of. This technique worked very well for the technology available to 19th century Milano’s. This very dark roasted coffee flavor is a taste that’s been acquired and is still around because it’s popular for very strong espresso.

Italian Style Coffee Roasting

Advanced techniques, knowledge, and machines allow modern roasters to present every bean and blend at its best. The technique chosen by the roaster is determined by the desired outcome. If we have a unique single origin that needs to be roasted light to preserve its fruity qualities, we can do that. If a roaster receives a crop that was particularly good the previous year, but is lacking now, they might choose to roast it dark or blend it with other beans to create a profile that gets the best out of that bean. Every bean, every roast, every blend needs to be assessed, tasted, and then directed to the desired outcome.

A Nuanced Flavor

Organic San Remo - Dilworth Coffee

As specialty coffee has progressed and spread, roasting styles have done the same. Light roasted espressos are a very new idea. Attempts to extract nuanced acidity and floral notes from espresso have just emerged. San Remo is a dark roast, but still not as dark as traditional beans would be for espresso. The first Italian beans would be roasted till the oil was dripping out of them as soon as the roasting was finished. San Remo has very little oil exiting the beans when the roast is finished. It’s dark, but not very dark.

Consistent Product

Importantly, Italian style roasting allows for a uniform product. It’s uniform because as the beans roast, the oils released from the varied beans mix and spread evenly. Imagine you made a ratatouille. Two very different tasting dishes can be made from the same recipe. The change comes from cooking every vegetable on its own and then combining them or combing and then roasting. Both delicious dishes, but different in flavor, texture, and appearance. The same principle applies to roasting coffee beans. Ultimately, it lies with the decision of the roaster and what they want to achieve. This blend is roasted for a bold chocolate body and a deep caramel richness.

In specialty coffee circles, “Italian” style roasts may receive a bad reputation. To some it may seem an attempt to hide inadequacies, cover off flavors, and produce a generic product. This connotation is not accurate. Roasters may use this technique to produce the volume of product their customers expect. They want to produce an identical product year on year, and what’s wrong with that? Uniformity is valuable to coffee shop owners and coffee buyers everywhere. There is absolutely a place for coffee like San Remo that is roasted to be velvety, chocolatey, and has a bold richness that shines through it.

Try the San Remo Coffee Blend

This espresso blend is great for a bold cup of coffee, and can stand up to a lot of syrups, sauces, and creams. If you want an espresso that tastes great with both 6oz of milk, and with mocha sauce and whipped cream, look no further than our San Remo.

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