It was in my best interest recently to be awake, alert, and somewhat sharp.  As in knife sharp?  Well, if that’s the standard, I needed to be sharper than that.  Unfortunately, I was out of coffee.

This is my review of Kiuchi Brewery Hitachio Nest Espresso Stout.

There were a lot of choices but I wound up buying this one from LavAzza since I happen to fancy this blend and it was coincidentally on sale.  Plus, I’ve been siting on this beer for a while…

Can I get one that isn’t fair trade?

There is a misconception about espresso somehow being stronger than regular coffee.  This is a sort of a myth.  Most of this is drawn from espresso having a much more robust coffee flavor than the typical scoop of Yuban on mashed potatoes.  In truth, a serving of coffee from the traditional drip system Americans know and love contains 65-120mg of caffeine.  A serving of espresso on the other hand is merely 30-50mg.  The difference if course, is in how it is served.  Drip coffee is spread out over what is normally 8oz or more.  At 8-15mg per ounce, that venti adds up to a higher volume overall.  Espresso is served in a single ounce, and is 30-50mg.  It is similar to a pint of beer vs. a shot of whiskey.

Espresso of course isn’t really a different type of bean, nor is it roasted in a remarkably different way.  The difference of course is the machine used to make it.  It is surprisingly fun from an engineering perspective, especially if you are into steampunk.  It is essentially a boiler, heating water to 1.5Bar, forcing steam through a series of pipes to condense and force water at even higher pressures through a densely packed “cake” of ground coffee.  This machine was designed in the 1880’s to brew as it filled the tiny mug in a minute or two.  In a sense, Espresso is one of the first versions of instant coffee, because once the machine is primed it will make Espresso on demand.

Hence the name “Espresso”.

How does this beer stack up?  Being a product of Japan it is exactly what you expect:  well crafted, and good qualify for a more than fair price.  The problem of course it is also understated and almost boring. Good, solid coffee stout though, so its a good call for daydrinking. Kiuchi Brewery Hitachio Nest Espresso Stout 3.5/5