In January 2012, a few months after disbanding LCD Soundsystem, James Murphy revealed that he was developing his own signature espresso blend. That was nearly two years ago. Whatever happened to his long-promised coffee? "It's done," Murphy tells Rolling Stone. "I just had some!"
The musician and DJ has been working closely on this project with Blue Bottle Coffee founder James Freeman. "It's a very neutral espresso with really intense elements," he says of their final product. "No filler, all really good single-origin beans. It's lighter than a traditional Italian roast, but not as light as a Nordic espresso…The idea is that it should have a real complexity on the palate, like a single-origin does, but not be difficult on the finish. It should be very friendly."
Murphy used his own morning drinking habits and those of his girlfriend as a guide in developing the blend. "I wake up and have a five-ounce double cappuccino – I make steamed milk and espresso – and she does a very short five-ounce Americano, which is just with water," he says. "[The espresso] should go both ways, and it should be really good espresso. We've had difficulty with that. The stuff that she likes black doesn't hold up to the milk sometimes, and the stuff that cuts the milk is too acrid on the palate in water." After much research, he says, he and Freeman have finally conquered this problem. "It's working. I've been drinking it for a month now, and I'm super-psyched about it. I even made it in an Aeropress and a pour-over, and I like it."
All that remains is actually releasing the results of their caffeinated collaboration for public consumption. "We're heavily distracted and overbooked," Murphy admits. "We did the espresso thing and met up, I guess, a month ago, and we were like, 'Yeah! All right! Let's do it! Okay! I'll talk to you soon! Later!' And we haven't really figured out how to pull the trigger."
Adds Murphy, "You just reminded me. Now I feel like a dummy. I gotta send [Freeman] an email."