Terrible technique, great results - Page 2

Beginner or pro barista, all are invited to share.
mr_pedro
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Postby mr_pedro » Mon Mar 19, 2012 4:55 pm

Randy G. wrote:I have enough great, good, OK, and bad espresso that I can tell the difference. If I can sip it straight without wanting to spit or make a face, I figure it's already above average, but even that is often hard to come by. When the coffee-taste in a cappa is disgusting you can only imagine what the straight espresso would be. Have had a few of those...

Yes, the bitterness not being overwhelming is generally when it hits my benchmark for coffee in a commercial environment.

Now, let's be clear. I am talking about coffee shops and not restaurants. I would never order coffee in a restaurant

Well, I am from Amsterdam and I would never order coffee in a coffee shop :roll:

espresso machines at 1st-line.com
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Postby faris » Tue Mar 20, 2012 6:21 pm

Thanks for all the replies everybody.

I love the idea that the taste I'm getting is worn bits of burr :-)

The beans, incidentally, are Lavazza Super Crema. Described by them as "Just an all-round wonderful flavour - hints of spice, dark chocolate, caramel and malt".

I was also very interested to learn about the lack of tamping not necessarily having the effect I was expecting.

Similarly with the milk frothing - yes, could well be they are so good that I'm missing the things I thought I should look for.

Unfortunately there are no "pro" coffee shops around here. There are a couple of chains an hour or so away, and maybe you'll get an idea of my poor taste buds when I say I do like Costa a lot, while Starbucks is just "OK", but I don't get to those very often due to the distance.

Anyway, I think we'll work on the assumption, for now, that it may well be the topping that's giving me the taste I like. So I'll also experiment with "naked" espressos everywhere I go in order to get a real feel and taste for what's going on.

I've had to give back my borrowed grinder so I'm currently using stale stuff that I ground in bulk yesterday just before giving it back. I'll have to start looking for something cheap and nasty to keep me going until I can afford a good grinder. Sigh.

Thanks again for everybody's input.

mr_pedro
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Postby mr_pedro » Tue Mar 20, 2012 10:12 pm

Espresso pour speed of heavy vs. light tamps

Here is some reading about the effect of the tamp on the flow.

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Bak Ta Lo
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Postby Bak Ta Lo » Tue Mar 20, 2012 10:50 pm

O/T

This is off-topic, but your post reminds me of my favorite story from "This American Life". The story of the Vienna Sausage factory in Chicago, and the mystery of why their hot dogs lost their special flavor when they moved in to a new factory. After the move the hot dogs weren't as good, despite the most state of the art equipment, using the same ingredients, etc. Everything had been accounted for yet for a year and a half they couldn't figure out why they didn't taste right and didn't have the right color.

It is act #14: http://www.thisamericanlife.org/radio-a...60-minutes


(Spoiler below, if you do not want to listen)

The reason, which they only figured out while chatting about the old days, was Irving who didn't make the move to the new plant, but who had wheeled the hot dogs from the manufacturing room to the smoke house. The thing was that this took a while and served as a cooling period because it took 30 minutes to do the walk through the twisting factory. There was no Irving at the new plant - there was no need - and it was Irving's trip was the secret ingredient. So they built a new room to leave them in and cool and that new addition was to recreate the effect of Irvings walk.

The point of the story? well obviously one could take several things from it, but the point TAL makes is that even when they thought they were doing everything right while building the new factory, sometimes we don't know why we are successful in the first place.
(source: http://inreblog.com/2008/12/19/in-re-ir...-hot-dogs/)
LMWDP #371

fauzigarib
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Postby fauzigarib » Wed Mar 21, 2012 6:29 am

Great story about the sausages! Being a business owner, I love stories like that! Thanks for sharing.

Gotta agree with Randy about the lack of demand for quality in this field. The meteoric rise of certain mermaid-emblazed chain coffee houses is testament to this fact.

However, I gotta say that in the field of premium coffee, I have seen that there is not much driving the public to have that mouth-watering espresso. Mention to Joe Q about the price of your Domobar, and 9 out of ten of them would be in shock, perhaps secretly thinking I can get an equally good coffee out of my Nespresso machine.

Granted, I live in Pakistan, so maybe there is something that I don't see in the US / UK markets, but I feel that the public needs entertaining, involving, and most importantly wide-reaching-easily-visible-almost-in-your-face advertising / messages to make them care and shift their paradigms towards trying something like perfectly extracted espressos.

In my (ongoing!) quest for great espresso, I ended up reading the Espresso, My Espresso website cover to cover... IMHO, there are fewer people than we would like who would be willing to go through such an extent for a cup of coffee

Anyways, just my 2c worth of rambling... Interesting turn this topic took.

Fauzi
-Fauzi

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Bluecold
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Postby Bluecold » Wed Mar 21, 2012 7:01 am

Then again, it's quite hard to mess up a shot of Lavazza Super Crema. Especially if you add milk. Even months old it tastes quite decent.
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mr_pedro
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Postby mr_pedro » Wed Mar 21, 2012 10:36 am

fauzigarib wrote:Gotta agree with Randy about the lack of demand for quality in this field. The meteoric rise of certain mermaid-emblazed chain coffee houses is testament to this fact.


I can understand, and I am also disappointed when I get bad coffee. But we also have to understand that it is "we", the coffee geeks, that are the odd ones out. The big crowd puts sugar or milk in their coffee and even adds other flavors, they are not looking for the right balance of sweet/acid/bitter/caramel. So in a profit driven commercial environment we should not be surprised it is difficult to find businesses that cater to our needs.

Little Tokyo - Coffee, Espresso, Teas, Chocolates
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LaDan
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Postby LaDan » Wed Mar 21, 2012 10:50 am

mr_pedro wrote:Well, I am from Amsterdam and I would never order coffee in a coffee shop :roll:


Huh? What am I missing here?

malling
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Postby malling » Wed Mar 21, 2012 12:48 pm

Ha ha funny,

coffee shops in Amsterdam are not for coffee Lovers, but for people who prefer other stimulants such as cannabis and marijuana

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LaDan
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Postby LaDan » Wed Mar 21, 2012 3:22 pm

^^^ Hahaha! No, really?? So where do they sell coffee?

I was thinking that maybe that has something to do with the girls in the windows, but it didn't make sense either. LOL