With a two and oh record, we refused to admit defeat and went for another go at an old foe: orange zest. First we tried a plain shot with our new found method of coating the bottom of the holder with the ground up spice. It clearly had potential but wasn't quite there yet. Though pleasant enough to drink, I still found it a bit oily and somewhat raw. A little too much like the taste you get when you bite into an orange peel for my liking, especially in the aftertaste.
Next we tried to temper that intensity by turning the shot into a macchiato, or adding a bit of micro foamed milk to it. It tempered the raw flavour alright, but a bit too much. I found the brew quite subtle, as if it were merely orange scented rather than infused. Floral is a good word. Hoping for a creamsicle air to it, I was a bit disappointed. The texture and mouth-feel of the macchiato was quite nice and creamy but the flavour just wasn't there.
But the day wasn't done yet. One last attempt to salvage the essence of orange came with the addition of chocolate to the brew. A bit of chocolate syrup to the bottom of the espresso cup changed everything. In fact, it was a world of difference. At first sip, I made as close to a squeal noise as this baritone's voice is capable of making. Delightful!
The chocolate rounded out the middle of the palate, mitigating the force of the zest. The sweetness toyed with the tip of my tongue as the orange flavour danced around its middle. It reminds me of what I imagine a chocolate orange would taste like if it were made by a master swiss chocolatier. The only downside was the aftertaste. I'm not sure if it was a throwback from earlier shots, but I definitely still had a patch of that raw oil clinging to my taste buds for some time after the last drop. I don't care if adding chocolate is virtually cheating, this one is going into the win pile.