Today's mixture is something of a hodgepodge. At first it was going to be lightly toasted walnuts but my mortar & pestle teamed up to turn them into more of a sticky butter than a powder. So I added some cocoa powder to loosen it up and a quarter orange of leftover peel. It doesn't smell nearly as potent as any of the other experimental ingredients tried so far, but I was banking on the oils working together to coat the palate in a swirl of lingering flavours.
There was definitely a swirl, though the flavours didn't stand out as much as I would have liked. The orange was completely lost, but that was to be expected. The walnut and chocolate were there but not in any readily describable way. Muddled is a word. Indistinct is another. The addition of sugar brought them marginally forward to the middle of the tongue, but didn't make them any more pronounced as they did with the fennel seed.
The flavour was great, and definitely different from just the espresso alone, but I wouldn't have been able to identify any individual component from the mix. Brian likened this effect to a good cocktail, such as a long island iced tea. There are several liquors in it but they blend together in such a way as to create a new taste, barely recognizable as the original elements. I think this is a good way of thinking about it. We decided this compound warrants further testing but not as an espresso shot, perhaps as a cappuccino or macchiato.
Flavour possibilities I thought of today:
sweet red pepper