Possibly today, or maybe over the weekend, we will have sold our last pound of Italian Roast. This has been a fairly strong seller over the last year for us at Highwire. So why in the world would we discontinue it?
Well, first the name. All along we've let our tastes dictate how a particular coffee should taste. When we encountered the ingredients that used to be in Italian Roast we felt they would taste better with a different approach to the roast. We hit it hard with heat up front, but stop the progression before losing the origin character of the component beans. It immediately started to taste more balanced and lively with a sweeter finish. Then we started to bring in better ingredients for that particular recipe. Each of these added dimension to the blend and demanded the taster's attention. Gone was the monolithic flavor profile we had associated with the name. We also stopped thinking of it as our espresso blend. The Highwire Blend had really shown more balance and body as an espresso, so we went with it. Finally, we could no longer claim anything about the blend was especially "Italian". Rather than pretend that Italy was a point of reference for us, it makes more sense to us to make a break from that tradition and celebrate what this blend has become.
Introducing Tightrope Blend. Now that we have the lively 2012 crop arrivals to enjoy, this blend has evolved into something much more interesting than the sum of it's parts. The Tightrope Blend is an attempt to balance the lively bright flavors of the new crop coffees with the roaster's intention to bring out as much body and sweetness as possible. If you have enjoyed Italian Roast recently, the roast degree will be similar, but the flavor will be more expressive. We think you'll like it as much as we do. We welcome your feedback.