The alternative seems to be preinfusion, profiling, more sophisticated machine, etc. - complex and expensive. Would all this new stuff provide real new experiences, or would I just be using a bunch of gimcrackery to make third wave coffee taste more traditional?
In spite of the fact that I have been drinking espresso for the past forty years, I don't think my opinion counts, in fact I did not even know about 3rd wave until 45 days ago
. But I think I can share something in this respect.
Looking for fresh roasted beans for traditional espresso, I purchased few domestic blends. Among them Hologram. Well, I tried it and soon I realized that obviously I was not able to make a good espresso, or maybe that blend was too difficult for me. I really tried hard. Changing dose, grind size, time, pressure. Nothing. To me, it was absolutely undrinkable.
Fortunately one day, browsing Counter Colture web site I noticed that they were going to offer Hologram at the next 'Tasting at Ten' at their Training Center in my town. Well, what better opportunity to learn something and see how to properly fix a 3rd wave espresso, than seeing it done by the producer?
So I went to the event with a friend of mine.
Well, I am very happy I went. I had the opportunity to discover right away that the problem was not my skills, nor my espresso machine or the grinder. It was exactly the same taste and I really didn't like it. Funny because while I drank it all, sip by sip to to better understand all flavors, my friend put it back on the table after two sips (he too drinks traditional espresso).
On the other hand the cappuccino was what I think the best cappuccino ever. Probably because in addition to being really good, the flavor was something new to me, but I am still making cappuccino with Hologram at home.
So long story short, based on my little single experience, maybe with time I will learn to like "fancy" espresso too, but at least I know that in this specific case it was not a matter of hardware.