Yes, we are the individuals we are to a great part through our collected experiences, but are more precise in being through comparison.
My eyes caught the “Joltin’ Joe Sparkling Espresso Black” from “Arizona” about a week ago and the first can I drank did not disappoint me. And so, I wrote immediately what my palate told me.
The bitterness which one might immediately connect with that of an espresso containing a fair amount of robusta seeds, could be connected just the same with the bitterness found in some beers (like Kölsch). Perhaps due to the taste being of a light concentration and that it is a sparkling drink.
I must make a positive comment about Arizona for an unusual point. If produced for the commercial masses, it is certainly mot common to use less, but rather more sugar than the palate needs and is accostumed to. My immediate impression perceived little sweetness, something that allows a more present coffee taste.
All I had for the mandatory comparison was my memory, and although the memory is very limited next to a one to one tasting, today I do know the memory delivered with a fair amount of accuracy.
One of my favorite drinks, one of the best soft drinks ever made, must be the Manhattan Special Espresso Soda from Brooklyn, New York. The memory comparison was very clear about the Joltin’ Joe being a drink to quench the thirst, while Manhattan Special produces a nectar with a high taste concentration level. A well diluted sirup, meant for a quiet, meaningful hour, possibly resulting in repercussive pleasure. The fact that a can contains 15,5 fluid ounces, almost half a liter, suggests that it is made for qick drinking, while an individual serving of the Espresso Coffee Soda contains only 10 fluid ounces. And we know well what is said about the contents of small bottles.
Needless to say, my memory could give me limited satisfaction, it belonging to someone with a critical mouth and having the need to share experiences with readers in a manner that will be respected by the reader as reliable and well-researched. Hence, soon enough I had to buy the two and compare in a one-to-one tasting. Now I know of the miserable judgements possible, when based on experience without comparison.
Whenever we allow it, the nose could judge, warn and speak volumes. Put two glasses in front of you: one containing an Espresso Black, another an Espresso Coffee Soda. You will already have your nostrils help delivering a whole chapter. Joltin’ Joe has a much stronger aroma than Manhattan Special, but although it says clearly coffee, it has clearly a bouquet of synthetic flowers.
The eyes cannot help but see a muddy water, as opposed to a dense brown-black fluid.
The palate has it the worst. Here is where the memory clearly shows disadvantage. Two subjects are only objectively perceived, when the perception of both happens simultaneously. I must repeat, my first bottle impressed me, but the second time around I firstly took a sip of the Espresso Coffee Soda. As I then sipped the Joltin’ Joe, the scientist in me had to fight with my palate. Obeying my palate would have meant an immediate out-spitting of this Joe.
The taste is much better than muddy water, but it comes nowhere close in quality and taste to the darling of the Manhattan Special brewing factory. They make an honorable brew, a nectar in the natural sense of the word.