Order of Importance: Coffee, Grinder, Espresso Machine... and Barista? - Page 4

Want to talk espresso but not sure which forum? If so, this is the right one.
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#31: Post by samuellaw178 »

What about giving charbuck coffee to the 3rd wave coffee barista and see what happens? :mrgreen: Which would you choose?

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#32: Post by Marshall replying to samuellaw178 »

It might not be your drink of choice, but I bet you'd like it better than restaurant espresso.
Los Angeles

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#33: Post by the_trystero »

Marshall wrote:Allow me to encourage you to spend more time in restaurants, experiencing what they do to the fine coffees sold to them by your favorite roasters. :D If you enjoy watching grown men (and women) weep, ask some pro roasters to talk about their wholesale accounts.
Exactly. I stopped ordering espresso in restaurants even when they use great beans. The only thing it's good for usually are affogatos. I'm sure there are good restaurant baristas out there but I have yet to find a restaurant with one.
"A screaming comes across the sky..." - Thomas Pynchon

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#34: Post by nixter »

Marshall wrote:It might not be your drink of choice, but I bet you'd like it better than restaurant espresso.
I'd have to 100% agree with Marshall's take on this whole thing. I've experienced plenty of restaurants screwing up good coffee, (49th, intelli) These are places with great equipment. Whether or not the barista should even be part of the equation in this ranking is more a matter of philosophy. The espresso ain't going to brew itself after all. I think if the barista is going to be on the list he or she must be on the top. For those who would place the barista lower on the list I think they should not include the barista at all.




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#35: Post by mitch236 »

This is a very hard discussion. I think if you have never been to a cafe that serves godshot after godshot with incredible consistency, then I could see why you think the barista rates lower. But I've been to Cafe Streets where the barista (who, in all fairness was using some of the best equipment) brewed shot after incredible shot of a blend that would have caused most of us to struggle. After I experienced that, I realized how much the barista can bring to the equation.

A talented barista can know, immediately, how to dial in a particular bean without burning through bags of beans. A talented barista also knows when to discard the beans because no matter what you try, it will never be great. I witnessed that scenario when Tim at Ipsento was given a bag of xyz (I don't want to name names) beans. He pulled one shot and gave us back the bag. The beans were fresh and professionally roasted at one of the larger Chicago shops.

I guess one could argue that Streets could never produce such delectable shots without their Robur or Hydra and maybe that's true, but all the pieces of the puzzle have to be in place for greatness to occur. So maybe the list should just be a circle which would be incomplete without all four parts.

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#36: Post by samuellaw178 »

Erm, this topic is probably gonna be a hot topic of debate if this goes on. :P

But still I am not totally convinced that good barista is any more important than good coffee. Ever tried making coffee from stale char-roasted coffee from the grocery store?(Just ask this out of curiosity, I tried it and ever since I believe coffee is definitely on the top important list) It's so bitter as the chinese medicine I used to have as a kid, no matter what I tried. :| Of course, I am probably not a very good barista and it's probably due to my nature of low bitterness intolerance. Not to mention that I am pretty sensitive that the stale coffee smell in the restaurant can make me nauseous with headache.

I am really having a hard time believing that the barista that is using good coffee and good equipments like intelli or 49th will produce coffee worse than the grocery coffee. Even if it's a 10 sec gusher or made by above boiling point water, it sure can't beat the bitterness/staleness I got from char roasted coffee in my experience.

True, without barista, the coffee can't brew itself. What's on the flipped side of that coin?=PI can imagine three handsome baristi showing off their muscle in front of the machines :P We are trying to compare the importance here, not the absence of any of them.

mitch236 wrote: A talented barista also knows when to discard the beans because no matter what you try, it will never be great.
A mighty barista will know that he can't surpass the bad beans. =P

I would rate barista *very* slightly lower than coffee, but above grinder and machine. So it would be Coffee>Barista>Grinder>Machine.

I guess it would depend what bad barista or bad coffee means to each of us also. So far, the worst coffee I ever encountered is the *$ dark roasted & SBC "medium" roasted coffee from the grocery store & literally charcoal black decaf bean from local roaster. There might be barista that does not know how to make great coffee, but as long as they know the basic steps of preping espresso, it cant be any worse than spoiled beans.

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#37: Post by cafeIKE »

The missus uses the same computer with the same applications installed, but that doesn't make her an engineer. Calling an untrained incompetent 'barista' makes as much sense as calling a chimpanzee with a crescent wrench 'mechanic'

Assuming competent baristi, coffee wins.

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#38: Post by nixter »

If we assume the barista is good then why not assume the coffee is good, and the grinder is good, and the machine is good?

It's all good.

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#39: Post by jfrescki »

I would argue that with a knowledgeable and talented barista the rest follows thus still making mano the most important. If you have someone who is knowledgeable, they will use the best coffee, and understand how to get the most from that coffee. A skilled barista can also pull a good (or at least decent) shot from lesser equipment.
Write to your Congressman. Even if he can’t read, write to him.
- Will Rogers

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#40: Post by allon »

You cannot treat any of the factors as unimportant - quality of the final product is not the sum of these parts - it is more the product; if any of the terms are zero, it multiplies out to zero, no matter how stellar any of the other terms.


It clearly isn't

But it isn't quite

How would you express this as a polynomial?

Show your work ;-)
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