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

Ben Treichel J.W.Bullfrog at gmail.com
Thu Feb 25 12:51:43 CST 2016


Yep, and the list isn't what it use to be 10+ years ago.

On Thu, Feb 25, 2016 at 12:48 PM, Brian Kamnetz <bkamnetz at gmail.com> wrote:

> I don't know either, but I am assuming Tom does not, because it has been a
> long time since he posted. Byron monitors the list.
>
> Brian
>
> On Thu, Feb 25, 2016 at 12:35 PM, Ben Treichel <J.W.Bullfrog at gmail.com>
> wrote:
>
> > 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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