The Announcements above the forum listing frequently contains "quotable quotes" nominated by Team HB and the membership. Entries in the announcements are limited to recent quotable quotes; below is the unabridged collection with links to their source in the forums. We hope these nuggets of wisdom and amusing quips will lead you to a deeper understanding of the art of espresso.
Getting old is better than the alternative
"I do a lot of reference cupping, and I know that there are flavour nuances I can no longer detect. Getting old sucks, except for the alternative. Basing your buying decisions on ancient guys with buggered tastebuds is also likely to lead to suckage." --Alan Frew, Opinions of coffeereview.com?
Routine can lead to taste blindness
"Habituation to the flavors of the roast one commonly drinks is the main reason good baristas can pull lousy shots -- excessively burnt dark roasts, bitter caramel medium roasts, and cutting salty/bitter light roasts -- the baristas literally don't taste it anymore, and get upset when someone tells them their shots are not balanced." --Jim Schulman, Weird case of salty espresso
Novelty toy for coffee lovers
"Not much, but [the robot barista] satisfies the relentless need for bay area residents to do something novel with their cellphones." --Tom Chips, Robot Barista?? Good bye jobs
An Illusion of the Absolute
"Digital readouts, unless properly calibrated, offer what I jokingly refer to as 'digital comfort'. They offer the illusion that the actual brew temperature is a fixed number, ignoring that (a) unless calibrated, it's probably wrong, and (b) brew temperature isn't a single data point, but a curve throughout the extraction." --Dan Kehn, Help select new espresso machine! Budget $4500
Taste and consistency
"While taste should be the final evaluation, if you are looking to improve consistency, the scale is the most important diagnostic tool there is. Taste will tell you if it's good. The scale will tell you how to make it good again." --Michael, Grinder Epiphany with the Baratza Sette 270
Even if one grinder can do, doesn't mean it will do
"Most people who advance through the coffee hobby far enough eventually end up with a Titan, and even still, they eventually abandon the idea of the all-in-one grinder. That a grinder can grind from press to Turkish, doesn't make the owner's tolerance for the hassle of going back and forth any higher." --Peter Russell, Baratza Sette: The Good, Bad, and Interesting
Borrowing for luxury is rarely recommended
"Financing an espresso machine is a sign that you probably shouldn't be buying it... borrowing to buy luxury items is most often an aberration and a terrible role model, especially before establishing a basic financial path with realistic expectations for the future." --David (bluesman), Affording coffee as a hobby
Eye cupping is not a substitute for actual cupping
"I wouldn't have dismissed it on the basis of 'eye cupping', the only way to judge coffee quality (or otherwise) is in the cup. And by that I mean actually cupping it and not putting it through an espresso grinder/machine/refractometer dance with all the attendant variables." --Alan Frew, Coffee quality based on photos
Solutions in search of problems
"There's people on sites like this who steadfastly tweak and work on stuff in search of perfection, far in excess of what is needed to simply produce a cup of coffee." --Larry, Why do expensive espresso machines need restoration so soon?
Cautionary tale from Eastern NC
"Didn't some Chess Records musician burn down a motel making squirrel stew with an immersion heater? A cautionary tale my mother told me growing up in Eastern NC about the dangers of immersion heaters. She was fine with eating squirrel." --Felice, Immersion heater recommendation
"There are many people on this and other coffee forums who believe that 'data' is the plural of 'anecdote.'" -- Bill, The Myth of the Tamp and Tamper
"I would venture to say that coffee pucks are like bowel movements - not informative unless there is a sudden change in habits without any other obvious cause. Otherwise, don't go around posting pictures of it, worrying about it, or trying to analyze it." --Ken, Judge my puck please