After yesterday's chai disappointment left a quite literal bitter taste in my mouth, I refused to give up on what I thought chai should have been able to do to the coffee. So, I created my own spice mix to mimic the good qualities of chai and remove those elements we already know don't work.
The result was a mix of cardamom, coriander, and cinnamon. I'm hoping for the crisp, almost spicy bits of the cardamom; fresh, lemony notes of coriander; and warm complexity from the cinnamon. Just a little goes a long way with spices this assertive.
It worked like a charm. The first sip was clean and fresh, then "something weird" happened as Brian put it, and finished with citrus. Wonderful! The complexity was there. Citrus built throughout the shot and lingered a good five minutes in the aftertaste. I'd describe the "weird" bit as a swirl of complexity. All the flavours mixed in new and interesting ways on your tongue that takes a little while to sort out.
This is a shot you will enjoy for a while. It changes in your mouth like a good wine. An intense wine aged in a nutty espresso grave. The spices didn't take any of the nutty qualities of the espresso away, just added multiple levels to it. I really loved the way the three spices interacted with the coffee and each other. It reminds me of turbulent fluid motion, a pipe of some sort with a liquid swirling and rushing through it, spinning around in a flurry of activity. Top five, easily.