I accept espresso that's only "OK". Is this just crazy or normal for anyone else? - Page 2

Want to talk espresso but not sure which forum? If so, this is the right one.

#11: Post by Mark08859 »

Accepting an "OK" or mediocre shot at home is (or should be) perfectly normal. And yes, budget considerations do enter into that acceptance. What I can make is still better than any of the espresso shops to which I have access. In fact, I rarely order a straight espresso anymore; usually it is now a cappuccino or a latte.


#12: Post by luvmy40 »

I have found, for the most part that an "OK" shot of espresso makes a darned good americano or cappuccino. I don't dump anything that isn't brown water.

BTW, I still have not found a single local cafe with a Barista that can produce even an "OK" shot.

They all suck!

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#13: Post by bluesman »

ZSJAF wrote:I have been in search of the perfect shot over 2 or so years. Working on the espresso game at home and going to lots of cafes. I would say in this time I have found what I like.
You've defined the issue right there. The shot may be perfect - but if it's a coffee you don't like, it won't please you. We try cafes all over the world and get many coffees we never saw before. We know enough to avoid many of those destined to displease us, but many of those we do try are too acidic, too fruity, too flowery, or too something else for our taste. If they're well made in a good shop, we drink and try to learn from the experience - we rarely sip once and put the cup in the bin. And we never "return" it. If we need something else, we just order it.

A poorly made shot is a different story. A sink shot is a sink shot. We once went to a Blue Bottle shop in SF where the barista dumped 4 himself before pronouncing #5 worthy of serving to me. I was at the bar so long after my wife and our friends got theirs that my wife came over to make sure I was OK. My home routine is also good enough to be very consistent- I haven't dumped a shot into our sink in over a year, and those that go are usually the first pull of a bean or blend new to me.

And if I'm not sure about a shot at a cafe or restaurant, I drink it and try to understand why it's not grabbing me. I often get a second just to get a better idea of what's not right and whether it's me or the coffee.


#14: Post by belegnole »

I'm a waste not want not sort of guy. So tossing a shot goes against the grain. Also as a home barista I think of myself as a student who's always learning. So especially when I'm trying to dial in a new bean I'm likely to taste the gusher, spritzer, slow, or what have you shot. That way I learn more about the bean. However even though a shot is just two sips some end up down the drain.

When I'm out and about I've learned that I shouldn't expect to get something better than I make at home. But, each one can also be a learning experience. Watching the barista and tasting the results has reinforced or taught me a few things.
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#15: Post by jevenator »

I'd rather drink water for the rest of my life than have bad, burnt coffee.

Everyone's different though. One of my friends asked me to grind some peppermint Christmas blend from a local grocery store he bought 6 months ago. I brewed him a cup. He said he liked it cause he enjoys peppermint. I took one sip and it tastes just bitter water that someone dropped a few drops of peppermint essential oil. Can't stand it.

I make my own Kombucha so that's my alternative for the evenings.

In regard to "ok" shots I'll drink them. Unless something goes absolutely horribly wrong like a choked shot or a gusher I'll drink it. It's not perfect but few things in life are perfect.

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#16: Post by malachi »

Over the last five years I've had to progressively lower my expectations as espresso quality in the US has declined.

While I'll always toss a badly extracted espresso, and usually toss between two and five shots while dialing in a new coffee, I accept that many current espresso options will never result in better than "okay" shots.

It sucks, but success is always defined within constraints, and today's coffee is a major constraint.
"Taste is the only morality." -- John Ruskin


#17: Post by bettysnephew »

While everyone relishes those perfect shots, they just do not happen every time you step up to your espresso bar. Take heart in the fact you are getting a better shot nearly every time than the vast majority of coffee drinkers in the entire world when you put the cup to your lips. And then thank the Deity of your choice when you do get one of those shots "Touched by the hand of your God."
Suffering from EAS (Espresso Acquisition Syndrome)
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