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.
Amazing gear != amazing espresso
"They're nice espresso machines, but without a great coffee, industry standard grinder and good water chemistry, there isn't much difference between a shot you could pull on one and a Silvia IMHO." --DJ, Slayer in New York?
Where the guilty hide
"A poorly extracted coffee has nowhere to hide in a shot, but can find guiltless immunity under the shelter of a Rosetta." --Evan (Italyhound), How to recognize good espresso?
Sage advice on buying used espresso equipment
"If you're a perfectionist, you probably shouldn't buy from a slob - one person's patina is another's damage. If you're buying used espresso equipment because you can't afford the same item new, you need some cash reserves to deal with failures." --David (bluesman), Used or new espresso machine?
Motor or not, that's the question
"This choice is not about the coffee tasting, but the coffee making." --Jim Schulman, Baratza Sette 270 vs Kinu M47
True mark of sophistication
"The true mark of sophistication is understanding one's own tastes!" --Felice, Baratza Sette vs. Monolith Flat: No difference in cup?
Measuring the extraction rate of cynicism
"Many will say this endless state of innovation is good for the industry - very hard to argue with - except to say the too much breeds cynicism. Cynicism is what the high end audio world is learning to cope with right now (and it isn't pretty)." --Assaf Litai, Deliciously overextracted
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