Predictions for espresso in 2008

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#1: Post by HB »

For many of us, January is a time of reflection on the past year. James Hoffman's 5 Predictions for Coffee in 2008 lists his top picks for the coming year and other blog entries describe what he's accomplished in 2007 month-by-month (a lot more than me!). His blog entries got me thinking about what's happened of note in the last couple years and what I believe is to follow this year.

Without further ado, my picks for the past two years' most noteworthy achievements in espresso and my prediction for 2008:
  • 2006: Year of Brew Temperature - while this wasn't a new topic, the spreading popularity of the Expobar Brewtus and later the La Spaziale S1 double boiler espresso machines solidified the importance of temperature control among home baristas.
  • 2007: Year of Espresso Competition Blends - many popular espresso blends are sweet chocolate bombs and they dominated the competitions in years past, but 2007's brighter and more complex espresso blends took center stage. This has driven increased interest in "micro" specialty blends targetting espresso au naturel aficionados, not just the latte loving crowd.
  • 2008: Year of the Espresso Grinder - writing has been on the walls for years. For example, It's the Grinder, Stupid was written in 2005, repeating a mantra that began online in, continued through CoffeeGeek, and now is repeated on this site. What's different this time around is that (a) commentary isn't just "your problem is the grinder", it's "if you're getting into espresso and don't budget for a good grinder, you're better off skipping the espresso machine and going with a quality grinder and French press/Aeropress", and (b) discussions like Titan Grinder Project have validated what many long-time online enthusiasts have said, but in a more systematic manner. For the first time in several years, the Mazzer Mini's bigger brothers like the Super Jolly are gaining the attention of many active forum members as a worthy purchase for home espresso enthusiasts.
To clarify, my predication isn't that Titan Grinders will take over the home barista landscape, rather the focus will lessen on brew temperature, brew pressure profiles, and extraction diagnosis in favor of the less glamorous but nonetheless noble espresso grinder.

I've written myself a reminder to look at this thread same time next year.
Dan Kehn

Ken Fox

#2: Post by Ken Fox »

My prediction is that 2008 will be the year when serious home baristas finally realize that "it's the COFFEE, Stupid."

Given a decent grinder and espresso machine, the COFFEE trumps everything.

A great home espresso equipment setup, including whatever you think is the world's best grinder, will make much inferior espresso to a good but not great espresso setup plus great coffee.

Many home roasters who think they produce artisanal coffee with typical equipment used to roast coffee in the home, coupled with a lackadaisical approach, will learn in 2008 that in fact, "It's the COFFEE, stupid."

That's my prediction and I'm sticking to it :roll:

What, me worry?

Alfred E. Neuman, 1955


#3: Post by doleeo »

Ken Fox wrote:any home roasters who think they produce artisanal coffee with typical equipment used to roast coffee in the home, coupled with a lackadaisical approach, will learn in 2008 that in fact, "It's the COFFEE, stupid."

While I do homeroast and I am currently in the workings of making a "house espresso", I find this true. Every once and a while I will purchase a pound of a professional espresso i.e Hairbender, Redline...


#4: Post by SL28ave »

2008 - The year before 2009?
"Few, but ripe." -Carl Friedrich Gauss

Ken Fox

#5: Post by Ken Fox replying to SL28ave »

Come to think of it, your prediction is the most likely to be regarded as having been true a year hence . . .

What, me worry?

Alfred E. Neuman, 1955


#6: Post by SL28ave »

Forgot to add what went down in my own books,

2006: Year of Mamuto
2007: Year of Scace for the Scace2 gauge and pressure profiling, along with AndyS for his pressure profiling.
"Few, but ripe." -Carl Friedrich Gauss


#7: Post by harris »

2008 will be about Bean Inflation.

Prices will be up forty percent by this time next year.



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#8: Post by espressme »

2008 will be more of the same with a higher bar for top end equipment prices and performance. I would also expect better explanations for repairing and getting the best from the hand me down machines the rest of us buy used! ( reason= more folks now own what were considered out of sight machines a year ago, and the learning curve was shared here on HB by the early adopters!)
From the tech crew I would expect the use of transmission color densitometers to define the clarity of brews produced by different grinders through a given basket with most standard variables remaining the the same. Perhaps even prismatic Schlieren photography to define the aroma coming from a perfect brew! :wink:
my 1¢
richard / espressme
richard penney LMWDP #090,


#9: Post by SL28ave »

harris wrote:2008 will be about Bean Inflation.

Prices will be up forty percent by this time next year.
Perhaps, but I wouldn't call it "inflation". Instead: 2008 will be about the deflation of the allowance for small farmers who produce high quality to be paid little. MANY more servings are had out of a bag of coffee than a bottle of wine, and quality coffee is at least as difficult to farm as the most artisinal wine.

For what it's worth, I predict quality will generally increase too at both lower and higher price levels, in 2009 or 2010 if not 2008. We all just need to sell our souls. be smart in our approach to coffee.
"Few, but ripe." -Carl Friedrich Gauss


#10: Post by coffeefrog »

I'm not sure I agree that this year will be about grinders. Will there really be significant behavioural changes in that area? What Dan described might not be so much a shift on the subject of grinders, but a more open minded approach to the many ways of making coffee including French press (I think we have been seeing that through the 2007). Grinders have always had a very strong focus: in my first post on a coffee forum some time ago I suggested that a high quality grinder was not essential for French press and I was told that I had no idea what I was talking about because a Mazzer made a huge difference to French press.

Hopefully we will continue to see the development of more nuanced ideas about tamping this year, continuing on from the discussions of the last few months. If there is more movement in that area, then we may see more sophisticated ideas about pressure (as James Hoffman suggests). It always seems wildly counter-intuitive that a straight-line pressure profile is regarded as an ideal when the behaviour of the extraction process is anything but a series of straight-lines, but I think we have to get away from the received wisdom about tamping first.