Mo' Better Clarity - Page 4

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

#31: Post by malachi »

I've eaten at Bar Bambino somewhere between 5 and 10 times.
Never had a bad meal. Some unevenness in service - but the variance seems to range from enthusiastic but slightly distracted to professional.
"Taste is the only morality." -- John Ruskin

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drdna

#32: Post by drdna »

My experience at Bar Bambino was so negative that I actually still get angry thinking about it. The food was simultaneously inedible and inexcusable. The wait staff provided the thinnest verisimilitude of caring, the person making espresso (I cannot in good conscience call her a barista) was entirely condescending. I would love to give them a second chance, but I get so upset thinking about going there and throwing away good money that I cannot bring myself to consider it.

Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me...
Adrian

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Fullsack

#33: Post by Fullsack »

Unimpressed by my "thick" espresso, my Italian girlfriend has gone her own way and is now a master of the Fellini Move on a La Pavoni. Her preference for clarity evolved from her early days as moka pot devotee.
LMWDP #017
Kill all my demons and my angels might die too. T. Williams

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Marshall (original poster)

#34: Post by Marshall (original poster) »

Just a little follow-up. The San Francisco Chronicle had a feature on coffee shrines of the Bay Area last week. Bar Bambino was one of only two restaurants singled out for the quality of its coffee. story here.
Marshall
Los Angeles

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drdna

#35: Post by drdna »

Huh, well, I am still not going back there!
>:(

On the other hand the espresso at Spruce has been acceptable and I actually had a good cup at the Village Pub. Blue Bottle does have good coffee, and Ritual: well... I've had some good shots and some sink shots. I mostly avoid it due to the unbearably smug hipster attitudes everyone in there is affecting.
Adrian

hperry

#36: Post by hperry »

drdna wrote:Huh, well, I am still not going back there!
>:(
Maybe hard to generalize, though, from a single experience - particularly given the positive reactions of several others. Everyone has a bad night, I suspect - even some of my favorite places.
Hal Perry

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malachi

#37: Post by malachi »

drdna wrote:Blue Bottle does have good coffee, and Ritual: well... I've had some good shots and some sink shots. I mostly avoid it due to the unbearably smug hipster attitudes everyone in there is affecting.
That's odd.
I avoid Blue Bottle due to the smug hipster attitude and prefer Ritual (and find the Blue Bottle coffee marginal at best).

To each their own I guess.
"Taste is the only morality." -- John Ruskin

da gino

#38: Post by da gino »

I keep coming back thinking we're going to have something about clarity or the DC Mini posted one of these days, but we've had pretty good thread drift here!

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Martin

#39: Post by Martin »

Marshall wrote: We then talked about the idea of "clarity," the ability of a shot to display many distinct flavors. . . .
There's something incomplete about this (probably offhand) "definition" of espresso clarity as "the ability of a shot to display many distinct flavors." In a previous clarity thread I mentioned (or did I just think it?) "movement," that completes the experience. For a shot to display many distinct flavors, the flavors rise and display sequentially, otherwise, there's just a one-dimensional muddle--which might be tasty, but not so interesting. Sometimes the flavors hang around for a while, sometimes they appear for just an instant, sometimes they emerge as an identifiable "third" flavor as when two or more flavors combine in a novel way.

IMO the phenomenon of "many distinct flavors" is most powerfully affected by cooling, amount of crema in the sip, the blend or SO, and a certain mental readiness to receive the flavors that are present. Each of these is independently affected by machine conditions of design, temp, pressure, basket, etc.
They immediately understood what I was talking about and said that the deep and narrow La Spaziale and Dalla Corte baskets were good at producing sweet, chocolaty shots, but could not do "clarity" like a La Marzocco.
I've had pretty extensive experience with both the Vivaldi II and the DC Mini. I'd agree with this analysis. Given appropriate beans and grind, both machines excel at the crowd-pleasing cheap thrill of chocolaty, heavy shots. Yum.

IMO, this "advantage" of the machines can also mask the fruits and florals that are still there but more easily overwhelmed by the heavier (less clear?) shots from the Viv II and the DC Mini. Is it possible that these two deeper basket, double boiler machines require roasts and blends that are uniquely suited to the characteristics of the machine? I had some slight confirmation of this when I was home roasting and blending. I thought differently about degree of roast and proportions. This is harder to do on the Mini now that I'm using commercial roasts.

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another_jim
Team HB

#40: Post by another_jim »

Martin wrote:IMO, this "advantage" of the machines can also mask the fruits and florals that are still there but more easily overwhelmed by the heavier (less clear?) shots from the Viv II and the DC Mini.
The trigger for this whole thread, the supposed lack of clarity of the DC Mini, may well be in the realm of the anecdotal and non-replicable.
Jim Schulman