lancealot wrote:After reading that they didn't bother to dial-in each coffee in the name of "fairness", I have a really hard time putting faith in any of their ratings & opinions about the coffees.
While I won't disagree with you about the "fairness" of dialing in each coffee, I will say this always brings up the issue of what parameters do you hold constant while comparing different coffees to each other, different grinders to each other, different espresso machines to each other, etc, etc. I don't have a monkey in this game with respect to Coffee Review or how they choose to play the game, however, they did at least attempt to hold several variables constant...as they clearly stated:"While espresso as a brewing method continues to evolve, it is still based on technologies developed in Italy late in the last century. The machine we used at The Crown is a La Marzocco Linea PB, and Jason (our resident shot-puller) discussed with Ruthie and Elise our typical parameters: 19 grams in, 38 grams out over 27-28 seconds, while suggesting that the day's barista had license to tweak that formula, as necessary. While this protocol might not be optimal for each and every coffee, it ensures consistency, and that's important for fairness. We also taste blind, of course, just as we do when reviewing coffees year-round."
Personally I like to read their reviews, and have tried many of the top rated coffees from their reviews over the past few years. Some I have truly enjoyed, others not so much. I guess it really comes down to personal taste in the end, or maybe I'm not a Q-rated taste tester.
Right now I've been tweaking machine parameters on a coffee for the past five days trying to zero in on a balance of sweetness/sour/bitter/chocolate. I'm almost there! If I were running a business website to compare 25 coffees in a month, I'd be in trouble! Just saying...