What espresso standards, fads, and trends have reversed over the years? - Page 8

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

#71: Post by Espresso_Junky »

Marshall wrote:Couple more things that have mostly disappeared from online discussions:

1. Talk about keeping or removing the "fake crema" pressurizing gizmos that Saeco and Starbucks attached to the bottoms of their portafilters on consumer machines. Do they still have them?

2. People saying " the only decent espresso in my town/county/state is what I roast and brew in my kitchen." Quality-oriented roasters and coffee shops have proliferated so widely, that this is only true for a fairly small number of people. Aficionados still complain about how bad the espresso is in their local shops, but if many of those same shops had been serving the same espresso 15 years ago, people would have considered them shrines of coffee excellence. In other words the bar has been raised much higher.
I see your point and have been seriously involved in espresso about 12 years now. If anything, the changes I've seen/tasted over the years has gotten worse for the most part as seems so many have jumped on the 3rd wave whatever and I've yet to taste anything that I'd look forward to again from a shop or coffee I've tried already roasted. So yes what I roast/extract to my liking is better than any shop I've been into and easily on par with the best I've ordered roasted and I've had my fair share over the years. Not to mention my average 19.2 gram double costs me around .32 all said/done.

User avatar
SteveRhinehart

#72: Post by SteveRhinehart »

Marshall wrote:1. Talk about keeping or removing the "fake crema" pressurizing gizmos that Saeco and Starbucks attached to the bottoms of their portafilters on consumer machines. Do they still have them?
I still see this on /r/coffee and /r/espresso fairly often. I feel like the pressurizing widgets are even more prevalent today as we've seen more and more low-budget machines hit the market, so enthusiasts are still asking about how to dismantle them.

User avatar
SteveRhinehart

#73: Post by SteveRhinehart »

Go ahead and chalk me in as a tally for "enjoys most third wave espresso." I don't always have great experiences with the extraction, but I quite like lighter coffees with more of a balance toward acidity and sweetness than richness, chocolate, caramel, etc and I definitely don't mind longer extractions with lower overall strength. When I was first getting into espresso as a hobby I would buy bags of Vivace Dolce, and I do remember enjoying it then, but I can't drink the stuff anymore. Perhaps in another 10 years my palate will shift elsewhere. I also enjoy sour beers and natural wines, which makes me just another trendy millennial I suppose.

On the consumer side of things I see much less resistance to the idea that there can be different styles of coffee - you see fewer complaints that a shop doesn't have dark roasts, for example. When I first started working in coffee that was something of a cardinal sin, but the market for lighter coffees and a divergence from the classic Italian or classic PNW style menus has grown and people to enjoy what's on offer. There's still a market for those things as well, but the dominating sentiment for traditional cafes has waned.

User avatar
slipchuck

#74: Post by slipchuck »

SteveRhinehart wrote:I still see this on /r/coffee and /r/espresso fairly often. I feel like the pressurizing widgets are even more prevalent today as we've seen more and more low-budget machines hit the market, so enthusiasts are still asking about how to dismantle them.
Even though they produce "fake" crema to me it should not matter. It's the taste of the shot that counts.
Lack of temperature stability in these style of machines is more likely to be the main factor that produces infurer results then "fake" crema


Randy
“There is nobody you can’t learn to like once you’ve heard their story.”

User avatar
TheMadTamper (original poster)

#75: Post by TheMadTamper (original poster) »

AndyinTexas wrote:I have seen a number of references to David Schomer in this thread, and thought I would post a recent anecdote.

I was in Seattle late last month, and stopped into Espresso Vivace for the first time. It was David Schomer's writings about two decades that first enticed me into this enduring hobby. And I had only read about, but never before had the opportunity to taste, what he was describing.

Well darn if the man himself was not standing behind the counter, dialing in the espresso for the day. What a great and happy surprise for this amateur enthusiast. I introduced myself to him, and explained how he had set me on this coffee hobbyist path. He instantly and graciously invited me to pull shots with him.

During the last twenty years, I like others here have been all over the map with dark and light roasts, and with techniques, grinders, espresso machines and tools of all types. And I know taste is relative. But I swear to you, then and there David Schomer, without a scale or timer, but just looking at the cone under the bottomless portafilter, pulled the best shot I have ever had in my life.

So I went back home, reinvigorated, with the conviction that there is no one truth or technique, and that what is new is not necessarily best, which after all is the point of the title of this thread.

That's a really awesome story! I'm not really a fan of Schomer's style, or Vivace's beans in general, but I've got to admit, I find that story inspirational on the power of tradition and feeling the variables as opposed to this lab equipment driven nonsense proliferating these days! I'm kind of an instant fan now!
Marshall wrote:Quality shops.
I suspect that's going to be more true on the West Coast and in the urban areas overall. In suburbia I don't think it's so universal. My fairly populous, rapidly urbanizing, not far from urbania East coast suburbia has no cafes short of Starbucks and one or two other supra-regional chains (granted, all of which are better than Starbucks...) But there's a Starbucks and a Panera on every corner selling "espresso." Gas stations and doughnut chains dominate the overwhelming majority of coffee, including "specialty coffee", even versus Starbucks and Panera, And occasionally a restaurant or breakfast shop has an espresso machine and makes a few a day (probably.) I think one or two proper cafes opened up (no idea what their quality was like) over the years, and generally closed within a year or so. Hard to compete against Starbucks' lifestyle marketing and the sheer force of nature of the gas stations and Dunkin. Even the long stretch between the urban areas with a million upscale shopping areas, office parks, towers, etc....I can't think of a single dedicated cafe that's not really a restaurant, a million chain restaurants, the ubiquitous Starbucks every 50ft, or something built into one of the Whole Foods and such to slurp while you shop served up by a high school part timer. I suppose one could say I'm missing a business opportunity....but honestly, I don't think I'd open a cafe even were I in a position to do so. I just don't really see a market for it... The demographic is certainly right, but the market and demand are simply lacking on a level that I'd say a cafe, while it could be made to work, would be an ultra high risk business to the point that you'd have to either be nuts or a visionary to try it.

If anything I'd say the interest in specialty coffee in the general populace on this end is probably lower than it was, in general, a decade ago. Before, it was pretentious and trendy. Now it's kind of a forgotten 90's thing, replaced by liquor trends such as craft beers and wine bars. The existing brands continue to endure, Keurig and Sunoco have what most people need (a caffeine delivery mechanism), and Bux and Dunkin have all the fancy caramel hazelnut milk anyone could want. Most of that is enough to placate any curiosity in "gourmet coffee", and people are generally pleased with what they can get everywhere from chain kiosks and drive-throughs. Under 24oz of milk and 3oz of Torani in a paper cup, do you really need to separate the maraschino cherries from the lemon zest?

Sure, in the city centers there's more than there used to be, but I don't get the feeling it really left the metros. Oddly, the two real dedicated cafes I recall seeing in the past 10 years that endured more than a year were out in the middle of farm country. :? Suburbanites do love their caramel hazelnut milk from a drive-through window!

Great mention of the pressurized portafilters though! I was just thinking about that a few weeks ago as I revisited my department store machine history.
Espresso_Junky wrote:Not to mention my average 19.2 gram double costs me around .32 all said/done.
Haha, I love to rationalize it like that too. "It's only $0.32 a shot!" (*If I discount the $6k+ in equipment used in the process....) :oops:
LMWDP #642

Espresso_Junky

#76: Post by Espresso_Junky »

Actually I built my entire setup (including the roaster) for a great price and it's long paid for itself. Only actual cost these days is the greens and a small amount of electricity.

User avatar
Chert

#77: Post by Chert »

I live 25 minutes from a city of 50K and a group of cities all nearby that represent more like 130K. There has been a trend into 3rd wave coffee here, but not quite reaching the quality of the bigger west coast cities, even Spokane. I arrived to Resilient Roasters today to see that their cafe of most 3rd wave style, has receded into what I suppose is more lucrative, sugary drinks of their drive-ups, Roasters Coffee. So maybe even 3rd wave is just a fad in some places. I definitely felt like a snob in my dismay of the changes they have made.
current musing: HUKY roasting over electric heat