Skillet Doux has the lowdown on "espesso," a new coffee creation being test marketed in Chicago. The product is a mixture of espresso, sugar, a secret thickening agent, and, in some flavors, milk. The stuff that results is thick enough to cling to the cup when turned upside down, a quality control demonstration reminiscent of the Dairy Queen Blizzard.
The fact that Espesso is sold by Lavazza and seems kind of gimmicky probably turns off a lot of purists. But if a competitor in the World Barista Championships came up with it, my guess is aficionados would be applauding his ingenuity (though at twelve hours prep time, it couldn't actually be used in competition). The espresso flavor sounds especially promising:
Then, I moved on to the espresso which, conversely, was in no danger whatsoever of being mistaken for any traditional foodstuff. Though the process was exactly the same, the absence of milk made for a significant mental disconnect between flavor and texture. It felt like a wet yet light and firm mousse, but the flavor was full-on unadulterated espresso. And it was potent. We're talking pure, intense coffee flavor in cold, fluffy form. I dug it. My only complaint was that I thought it far too sweet, but as mentioned they've only been serving it for a couple of days, and I get the impression they're still working the kinks out.
And as for foodie cred, Espesso was created by Ferran Adriá, a pioneer of molecular gastronomy.
Whenever I go to Chicago, I already know where my first coffee stop is. But for shot number two, this sounds interesting enough to try.