How many sins does milk really hide? - Page 3

Want to talk espresso but not sure which forum? If so, this is the right one.
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shadowfax (original poster)

#21: Post by shadowfax (original poster) »

Frost wrote:I would suggest something for 'Capp only' drinkers that I've been doing for the last 3 years. When you pull a shot, take a teaspoon and slurp it straight before you pour in the milk (I've been doing this with every shot I make for myself). Inhale it all over your mouth, taste it completely, and maybe do it a second time to be sure you got it. While you finish steaming the milk, let it sink in. This is a great way to expand your espresso experience and to improve your efforts. (also a great way to introduce you palate to the capp :)
Gary, that's a really interesting idea. I typically sample my espresso from the cappuccino cup when I make my cappuccinos; I've never thought about doing a "cupping style" sampling. I'll have to try that when I get home this weekend. Thanks for the tip.
Nicholas Lundgaard

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LaCrema

#22: Post by LaCrema »

::sigh:: Nobody really covers the importance of the final texture in their frothed milk?! I'm still trying to master the art of frothing, unfortunately I'm only lucky enough to enjoy a single cappuccino (maybe 2 if I'm lucky) a day, so my skills are still in the honing process.

In my experience (or preference in my cappuccinos) I've found that the final shot is about 60% of the equation, the frothed milk is about 40%. I feel that if my cappuccinos are too watery in texture they're a let down, my "god shot" style cappuccino is one that's smooth and creamy down to the bottom of the cup. I've pulled overly long shots that produced oil droplets in the crema, yuck and double yuck with milk, no hiding there! I've been on the other extreme, pulling short shots and found that the milk only made the shot seem weak, so does milk really hide those espresso sins?

Yes AND no, it depends on the situation:
#1, what's really going on with the shot to begin with and
#2, Which way are you trying to enjoy your espresso... by itself or in an espresso based drink?

To me milk is just another equation in the complex puzzle that makes a good espresso drink. I love an excellent shot with perfectly steamed milk, creamy, slightly frothy and smooth in texture all the way down to the bottom of the cup, that's it, it's just as simple as that.
YUM! :mrgreen:
"Outside the box Barista."

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HB
Admin

#23: Post by HB »

LaCrema wrote:I'm still trying to master the art of frothing, unfortunately I'm only lucky enough to enjoy a single cappuccino (maybe 2 if I'm lucky) a day, so my skills are still in the honing process.
Try Scott's Learning latte art with steamed soapy water.
Dan Kehn

happytamper

#24: Post by happytamper »

This morning, actually at about 1400, we got to the studio late, and I was preparing some caps with a three day old brazilian yirgacheff blend 50/50. I tasted the espresso, with tiger flecks, and it was wonderful, just the way I would like an espresso to be.

Marshall, I still steamed some milk, and hesitantly, poured it into my cup. And until I tasted it again, I felt it may have been the wrong thing to do. But the moment I had my first sip I realized I enjoy my espresso even more with some milk, soy milk (natura original)

I like my scotch straight, no ice. Yet I do realize that ice or a bit of water brings out some other notes. I am learning classical guitar but love the music of Dylan. There is simply no accounting for taste. So when you passing through we invite to the studio for some home roasted espresso, scotch, some music, and all this however you may prefer it.

Cheers

There are no sins to be covered up in espresso. There are just some good shots and some bad ones and these even when the beans comes from the best of roasters.
Mitchell
LMWDP #77

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Psyd

#25: Post by Psyd »

Marshall wrote: I hope that cappa drinkers can keep an open mind until they have sampled espresso from some of the truly great coffee bars. If they still don't like it, then, yes, they are truly "cappa drinkers."
To suggest that some folk prefer cappu because they don't like espresso is a rather large generalization. I like espresso I really like great espresso, and I really , really like a great espresso in a bit of perfectly foamed milk.
There is the suggestion there again, however subtle, that those that don't drink their espresso straight are somehow less appreciative of espresso or coffee. Much like those that suggest that putting water in good Scotch means that you're just not able to drink scotch 'like a real man' or some such. While there are (I make a flavored latte for one every morning...) those that don't like coffee much and really like a bit of caffeine hidden in a sweet milk drink, I tried to be fairly specific in my earlier post that I was talking about the former, not the latter.
When I go someplace with a rep*, I tend to order a doppio and a capp. I like straight espresso, if it's good espresso. I don't drink capps because I don't like espresso, I drink them because I like them better. Not necessarily the taste, but the entire experience.

Think of cappus as not only an orgasm, but an hour and a half of foreplay along with it. ; >
Espresso Sniper
One Shot, One Kill

LMWDP #175

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Randy G.

#26: Post by Randy G. »

happytamper wrote: But the moment I had my first sip I realized I enjoy my espresso even more with some milk, soy milk.......
To paraphrase myself, "Add milk because you want to... Not because you have to." [it was originally sugar.]

It really comes down to what you like best. I have no problem if someone prefers coffee brewed by dipping a used gym sock, filled with *$$ used pucks into a pot of boiling water, if they have tried other methods as well. I would have no respect for them in culinary terms, but I would not think less of them as a person. Wouldn't go to dinner at their home, but wouldn't discount them in terms of being a fellow human. I mean, maybe they lost their taste buds in an industrial explosion..? :shock:
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Stuggi

#27: Post by Stuggi »

Psyd wrote:To suggest that some folk prefer cappu because they don't like espresso is a rather large generalization. I like espresso I really like great espresso, and I really , really like a great espresso in a bit of perfectly foamed milk.
There is the suggestion there again, however subtle, that those that don't drink their espresso straight are somehow less appreciative of espresso or coffee. Much like those that suggest that putting water in good Scotch means that you're just not able to drink scotch 'like a real man' or some such. While there are (I make a flavored latte for one every morning...) those that don't like coffee much and really like a bit of caffeine hidden in a sweet milk drink, I tried to be fairly specific in my earlier post that I was talking about the former, not the latter.
When I go someplace with a rep*, I tend to order a doppio and a capp. I like straight espresso, if it's good espresso. I don't drink capps because I don't like espresso, I drink them because I like them better. Not necessarily the taste, but the entire experience.

Think of cappus as not only an orgasm, but an hour and a half of foreplay along with it. ; >
I drink mostly capps for pick-me-ups and general caffeine needs, while espresso is more for the fun of making it. Like pulling shots back to back just to alter some small variable just to see what happens. Plus that my espresso is just about now getting drinkable and less of an acquired taste, so that might just be it.
Sebastian "Stuggi" Storholm
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Ken Fox

#28: Post by Ken Fox »

Marshall wrote:The interesting question is how many "cappa drinkers" have just never had great straight espresso or can't make it at home and how many really don't like straight espresso, no matter how well made. I hope that cappa drinkers can keep an open mind until they have sampled espresso from some of the truly great coffee bars. If they still don't like it, then, yes, they are truly "cappa drinkers."

After a year of home roasting on my Fresh Roast, I thought I had a pretty good handle on this roasting hobby. Then I went to an SCAA show where I walked (and drank) a "gauntlet of espresso" of some top roasters and baristas. I realized my home-roasted and home-brewed coffee actually sucked, and that I was never going to put the time or money into learning how to roast it right. So, I went home, gave away my green beans and little roasting machine and have been a happy consumer of other people's roasts ever since. I am not writing this to put down home roasters, but just to point out that we all need reality checks on what "good" really means.

Personally, I find a great espresso to be a nearly orgasmic experience. So, if someone says they love coffee, but don't like straight espresso, I always wonder what they've been drinking.
Marshall, you are straying into dangerous territory.

As someone who has (implied) that a lot/most of the home roasted coffee is pretty bad, I have the scars to show that such an opinion is not always welcomed on a home enthusiast website. I think it is possible to do a good job with home roasting, but it takes better equipment than most people have, lots of time, and an attention to detail which exceeds that needed to pull a decent shot on a semi commercial home espresso machine.

ken
What, me worry?

Alfred E. Neuman, 1955

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shadowfax (original poster)

#29: Post by shadowfax (original poster) »

Randy G. wrote:To paraphrase myself, "Add milk because you want to... Not because you have to." [it was originally sugar.]

It really comes down to what you like best. I have no problem if someone prefers coffee brewed by dipping a used gym sock, filled with *$$ used pucks into a pot of boiling water, if they have tried other methods as well. I would have no respect for them in culinary terms, but I would not think less of them as a person. Wouldn't go to dinner at their home, but wouldn't discount them in terms of being a fellow human. I mean, maybe they lost their taste buds in an industrial explosion..? :shock:
Truly, it does come down to what you like best, and there is really not too much room for being judgmental--or overly sensitive--about it. I appreciate a person that's willing to try new things, and even more someone who tries something that they dislike at first, but take an interest in learning to appreciate. I know a lot of people start out in coffee this way, even when they start with the good stuff (same with beer, wine, and most other alcoholic beverages that aren't doped up heavily with sugar). When I serve guests, I only give espresso when it's requested; when I make people milk drinks, I request that they try it straight first and tell me what they think. I'll tell them what flavors stand out to me in the drink, and ask if they can sense them (usually get suspicious looks and "... maybe... sort of."). I say, up front, that I have several types of sugar, honey, and dark chocolate syrup if they would like to add those after trying the drink (not that I refuse them if they don't want to, or anything...).

To shift a little bit: We've begun to talk about how 'there's no accounting for taste,' but on the Internet, I'm often left to wonder if there's any agreeing on taste? The Internet's Achilles heel is that it's often hard to judge someone's taste experience from a post online. Sometimes it can be easy to get a feel for it, but even that is often dangerous--you can often come off assuming far more than you thought, and that can strain things. It's one thing if someone is totally new to coffee, but most people have experienced it, and are often somewhat confused about the definition of many keywords (espresso, cappuccino, latté for starters). This is real trouble. As Marshall put it, great espresso is for him an almost orgasmic experience. While I am hesitant to compare the two experiences in any further detail, I will say that, like an orgasm, espresso is certainly something that you can't appreciate till you've experienced it. Reading definitions really doesn't quite communicate the gravity of it.

I don't think there's any real way around this communication breakdown that spawns the concerns discussed in this thread--the strained discussion/confusion that results when a group of people talk about very different things that share a great deal of key terminology in the authors' minds. I can't truly know if I would like espresso straight as much as Marshall does, really, until I came to visit him in California and he made me some of his espresso. Beyond that, we are trusting in an incredible number of factors being held relatively constant in order to believe that we're all on the same page about great espresso or cappuccinos.

What we really need to solve this problem is more great coffee shops, all over the country and world. Barring that, I guess we just need patience with each other and the flaws inherent in our communication.
Nicholas Lundgaard

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peacecup

#30: Post by peacecup »

A simple test - make a badish shot of espresso (i.e. loosen the grind so it pours too fast, and blonds a bit). Taste it to make sure its bad (can't tell by looking). Then add some well-frothed milk. Does it taste better? If so, then milk has "hidden" (maybe changed) some of the bad-taste characteristics.

I also used to think real men only drink straight espresso, but I've gotten in touch with my "milk side". Now I really like milk drinks, inc. capps and macchiatos.

Others have raised the points of different blends, etc. but i also think there is a volume consideration. A lot of people (myself included) sometimes want more that two-three sips of any beverage. Milk or water added to espresso makes this possible.

PC
LMWDP #049
Hand-ground, hand-pulled: "hands down.."