Success! Not quite in the way I'd envisioned, but I did ask for the unexpected. Today's espresso infusion was again orange, this time a blood variety but I don't think it matters. I air dried the orange zest this time, and ground it up to a fine powder in my newly purchased mortar & pestle. The aroma! As true an orange smell as can be. If therapy was needed, it would have done the trick, I'm certain.
A half blood oranges worth of zest sprinkled atop the espresso powder before tamping definitely changed the flavour and mouth feel of the brew. The orange didn't sabre its way through to a sharp note as I thought it might. It loitered at the back, nearly out of view for the first few sips. Slowly its true character emerged, oily tentacles coated my palate, growing more confident with each passing moment. A full climax never materialized but remained a subtle suggestion of possibility.
By the end of the cup, after the last drop was downed, the fun really started. The citrus oils lingered on my palate and mixed playfully with the espresso aftertaste. This to me was the most enjoyable and interesting part of the experiment. If I had been eating anything, as I often do with my daily dose, the effect would have been lost amid a flurry of macerating crumbs. The flavours danced around each other for about five minutes until they dwindled into memory.
Mr. Mad Bean and I agreed that it was a thoroughly enjoyable drink, one that definitely warrants more testing. And test I'm happy to do.