An Argument for the Home Barista - Page 2
Talk about your favorite cafes, local barista events, or plan your own get-together.
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While all this is true, the other large component is this: unless the place you are visiting has a real passion for coffee AND its staff shares that passion, the reality is that a home barista likely has more passion for all this. And therefore, is paying more attention to the flavor and consistency in the cup.Martin wrote:I'd add a reflexive element that a home barista employs that is not as easily found at a cafe: we guide, manipulate, tweak our gear and roasts to realize our tasting preferences ("I know what I like"); and the drink our gear and coffee produces (often unwittingly) shapes new preferences ("I never knew what I was missing.")
As I've gotten deeper into this, I've visited a number of coffee houses (no, not Starbucks lol). Curiosity, and frame of reference. And in the past many months, I can say with no ego that only two have matched or exceeded what I'm getting out of my humble ViaVenezia. The local roaster where I get my beans is one, and the other is about 15 miles away. That one cares so much that they guard their beans! They won't sell the beans. I know this because I was so impressed with the double I got from them that I asked.
While I'm in general agreement about the benefits of being a homebarista, this conversation does make me think of one of the brief highlights of the coffee scene here in Seattle, which was the introduction of the La Marzocco cafe. Top end equipment, new roaster featured every month, baristas who cared about what they were serving you... I tried to go once a month, especially when they brought in a special roaster. Not every roaster was a home run, but I still remember the pourover they served me of Mamuto AA when they featured George Howell. One of those taste experiences that haunt you later on in the best way possible. I also had plenty of excellent espressos there. They also introduced me to coffee from roasters like Coffee Collective and Tim Wendelboe. The cafe closed during covid and then was taken over by one of the larger local roasters here.