[Homeroast] Why is espresso in America so bad? Italian perspective

Ben Treichel J.W.Bullfrog at gmail.com
Thu Feb 25 12:35:13 CST 2016


Do we know he doesn't. Don't know; asking

On Thu, Feb 25, 2016 at 10:49 AM, Brian Kamnetz <bkamnetz at gmail.com> wrote:

> Very interesting, Clark. Thanks for the post. This makes me miss the days
> when Tom used to lurk here.
>
> Brian
>
> On Wed, Feb 24, 2016 at 7:11 PM, Clark Barclay <pedestriancoffee at gmail.com
> >
> wrote:
>
> > LOL. Everything about this article is incorrect. In fact, it pisses me
> off
> > that someone would write with such ignorance.
> >
> > I especially like the part about how old machines work better, sure,
> maybe
> > the old technology is superior to many modern espresso machines'
> > technology, but the build up of coffee grime etc. is irrelevant. So a
> > classic car that's never been serviced performs better?
> >
> > You got to give it up to Italy for they're rich coffee and espresso
> > history and culture, but times have changed. I agree that your average
> > espresso shot in Italy is better than your average espresso shot in the
> US-
> > i'm factoring in diners, restaurants, cafés of all types, etc.- but the
> > reasons he states aren't accurate. And comparing to third wave is so
> wrong
> > . We're all drinking the same stuff, blended Brazilian beans (mainly)
> when
> > it comes to run-of-the-mill coffee- that's loaded with defects in other
> > nasty stuff thats best we don't know about. I love it when I meet people
> > from other countries that tell me they have the best coffee. and then I
> > asked him where it comes from and they have no idea. People think their
> > coffee grows in their country, haha. Trade routes and proximity to coffee
> > growing regions was once a thing but now commodity coffee is commodity
> > coffee, were all drinking the same stuff- unless of course you're buying
> > specialty grade like us here on Sweet Maria's. Globalization people.
> >
> > As a barista at a 3rd wave cafe, I've had many European customers
> complain
> > about the amount of time an espresso takes, but that's because we are
> > making it with a lot of attention. There are two main reasons why
> espresso
> > is faster in Europe: One, the coffee menu is much smaller so baristas are
> > often just blindly pulling shots during rushes, so you get your espresso
> > right as you order it. Third wave coffee shops, hopefully, make your
> > espresso to order. Secondly the barista in Italy, or your average cafe in
> > the US is not weighing, timing, weighing again, tasting, dialing,
> > adjusting, etc., your espresso. Sure, I can pull a shot in 30 seconds,
> but
> > chances are it won't taste amazing. No two shots are the same- the grind
> > setting, dosing, output etc. must be manually monitored and adjusted
> > throughout the day if you want consistent and good shots. Then again many
> > people will put milk and or sugar in their espresso so the quality of the
> > shot doesn't really matter anyway. I'm certain that those European
> > customers who complain would be happier with a shot that I carelessly
> > pulled in 30 seconds then with one that I meticulously pulled in two
> > minutes that tastes amazing. I completely respect people's desire for
> quick
> > coffee, but sometimes I just want to tell them: when in Rome.
> >
> > Also, I'd like to comment about the regional differences in espresso.
> From
> > my short career as a barista it all has to do with the café/companies
> specs
> > that they make all their baristas follow. For example, A particular
> > espresso blend at bluebottle could have a speck of 18 g in, 40 g out.
> That
> > spec will be used at all of their cafés and result in an ideally
> consistent
> > tasting and feeling shot.  There are essentially two types of espresso
> > specs, thick and sweet/sour or thin and sweet. Despite what the article
> > says finer grinds do not mean better espresso. Grind is just one of the
> > many variables, and the setting has a lot to do with the dosing and
> output,
> > not to mention personal preference.
> >
> > I also love the part where he mentions third wave cafés are not exposing
> > the true taste of coffee. Third wave cafés often focus on lighter
> roasting.
> > The more you roast coffee the more naturally occurring acids burn off.
> He's
> > got it totally flipped. acids=flavor complexity. Heat = carbon and lactic
> > acid, I can agree with the argument that carbon and lactic acid taste
> > better with milk and sugar. You don't need to like light roasts, most ppl
> > don't, but you can't say longer roast exposes more of the "true taste" of
> > coffee.
> >
> > Finally, the water comment is ridiculous. It has everything to do with
> > what treatment grid you're on. You can't make that generalization about
> > entire countries with cities on thousands of different grids and
> different
> > treatment methods.
> >
> > Ok, I'm done.
> >
> > Thanks for sharing
> >
> > - Clark
> >
> > > On Feb 23, 2016, at 6:40 PM, Michael Rasmussen <michael at michaelsnet.us
> >
> > wrote:
> > >
> > > This Rome native transplanted to San Francisco critiques and analyzes
> US
> > coffee.
> > >
> >
> https://medium.com/@sinzone/why-is-espresso-in-america-so-bad-b0606d8ddeb5#.ubzk6ojd0
> > >
> > > --
> > >    Michael Rasmussen, Portland Oregon
> > >  Be Appropriate && Follow Your Curiosity
> > > The universe is a program. You're just a subroutine.
> > >  ~ Zach Weiner
> > >
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