What does your typical espresso rate? - Page 5

Beginner and pro baristas share tips and tricks for making espresso.

What does your typical espresso rate?

6 = Extraordinary
1
1%
5.5
0
No votes
5 = Excellent
14
10%
4.5
16
11%
4 = Very Good
28
20%
3.5
24
17%
3 = Good
20
14%
2.5
16
11%
2 = Average
12
9%
1.5
3
2%
1 = Acceptable
4
3%
0 = Unacceptable
2
1%
 
Total votes: 140

User avatar
Psyd
Supporter ♡

#41: Post by Psyd »

Jasonian wrote:

I am a (not world class) competitive barista... or, rather, I will be in about three weeks. (first ever SCRBC)

I'd be curious to know how I'd "officially"(is that possible?) score, though.
Sounds like you'll know in three weeks, n'est ce-pas? ; >
Espresso Sniper
One Shot, One Kill

LMWDP #175

User avatar
Jasonian

#42: Post by Jasonian » replying to Psyd »

It depends on the judges workshop, I think.

But probably, yes.
Owner - AJ Coffee Company
HB Rocks!

Jarno

#43: Post by Jarno »

My wife and I recently had the fortune of visiting Dave Schomer's place, Espresso Vivace, in Seattle. I have to say the quality of what we experienced was totally unexpected. Espressos are dark and rich. There is very little bright acidity in it and very little bitterness as well. The texture is syrupy. The sweetness is difficult to discern in the straight espresso, I suppose because it is so concentrated, but it really flourishes when mixed in milk as in a cappuccino. I have to say that we ordered cap after cap, and I can honestly say that the first sip of the first cup tastes exactly like the last sip of the last cup.

This last statement I don't make casually. I would have to say that there have been only a handful of restaurants that I have visited where I can also say that the first bite tastes exactly like the last bite. One dish was seared emu at Le Bec Fin, Philadelphia. Another was Chilean seabass at Blue Water Grill, Chicago. Those dishes at the above restaurants as well as at Vivace have been very memorable experiences.

Putting this into context, if Vivace is a '5,' and Starbucks is a '1,' which is still a very pleasant drink, then I'm pulling a '2' on my Pavoni with an occasional '1' and a rare '3.' My shots have more brightness with little bitterness. It has good body, but only little to fair sweetness. Now that I have tasted sweetness in coffee, I have now noticed that mine certainly lacks it. I would say that if you're every in the Seattle area and you're looking for a benchmark to grade your espresso/cappuccino against, then this is a place you won't want to pass up.

Dogshot

#44: Post by Dogshot »

Jasonian wrote:It depends on the judges workshop, I think.

But probably, yes.
If the taste of your espresso is what you are interested in having rated, I hope the competition breaks the scoring down to that level. According to the USBC scoring sheets, the taste of the espresso is worth 63 out of 263 points (or 25% of your total score). In fact, according to the scoring sheet, it is more important to run a clean work station and have 20-30 second extraction times, etc. than it is to have good taste scores (although the 2 are undoubtedly correlated).

Taste scores are defined by the colour and consistency of the crema and by the balance of the beverage.

This scoring may well make sense as a measure of professional competence, but IMO would be a poor measure of a HB's espresso. Luckily, HBs are not so heavily constrained , and are free to explore coffees or brewing styles that may lead to spectacular espresso, although unbalanced, or slightly thin in body or crema (or different in some way from the USBC's definition of quality espresso).

Mark
LMWDP #106

CoffeeOwl

#45: Post by CoffeeOwl »

Somewhere at 3.5 lightly leaning to very good (4). Yet I am critical and aiming high, so my evaluation might be too demanding.
'a a ha sha sa ma!


LMWDP #199

User avatar
malachi

#46: Post by malachi »

Jarno wrote: Putting this into context, if Vivace is a '5,' and Starbucks is a '1,' which is still a very pleasant drink, then I'm pulling a '2' on my Pavoni with an occasional '1' and a rare '3.' My shots have more brightness with little bitterness. It has good body, but only little to fair sweetness. Now that I have tasted sweetness in coffee, I have now noticed that mine certainly lacks it. I would say that if you're every in the Seattle area and you're looking for a benchmark to grade your espresso/cappuccino against, then this is a place you won't want to pass up.
Well said.
To add further colour - I personally would say that Vivace is more like a 3.5 or 4 (with places like Coffee Collective pushing towards 5). So that would explain why (if Starbucks is a 1), folks like me tend to rate our own espressos so low - at least as compared to the average in this poll.
"Taste is the only morality." -- John Ruskin

User avatar
Whale

#47: Post by Whale »

I have just voted 4.

As others have written before, it is very hard to make that judgement objectively and in a similar frame of reference as others.

Thus, I have not tried to compare to anyone or any other Barista or even with my customers comments. I have put a numbers on my personal appreciation of my own product in my personal taste and frame of reference.

I have made a 5-5.5 double (only one so far, 1/gazillions), where I was running around in the house wishing that I had someone to share it with. I have made sink shots (many of them) for which I am glad that I didn't serve it to anyone.

That one "5" shot was as close to "God in a cup" as I have come in my life. I am glad that that shot was pull by me. It gives me a hope that I will be able to do it again some day (repeatedly?).
LMWDP #330

Be thankful for the small mercies in life.

User avatar
Sherman

#48: Post by Sherman »

Having tasted what passes for a 3 to 3.5 in the roasting competition, I voted my Cremina shots a 2-2.5, with occasional forays into 3. Shots that I pull on the Rituale average 2.5 to 3, with dalliances into higher territory. Having an objective measure is truly helpful.

FWIW, I'd rate the last few shots I got from Intelli-Broadway at a 3, and believe that, as I get to know my Cremina and match it up with coffees that can shine in a lever, I'll be able to up my average to a 3-3.5 or so.

I'm finding that the shots that make me crave another are the 3s. Don't have a whole lot of those (yet).
-s.
Your dog wants espresso.
LMWDP #288

User avatar
BradyButler

#49: Post by BradyButler »

Whale wrote: ...I have made a 5-5.5 double (only one so far, 1/gazillions), where I was running around in the house wishing that I had someone to share it with. I have made sink shots (many of them) for which I am glad that I didn't serve it to anyone.

That one "5" shot was as close to "God in a cup" as I have come in my life. I am glad that that shot was pull by me. It gives me a hope that I will be able to do it again some day (repeatedly?).
Ahh, now you've done it. You are doomed! The memory of that shot will haunt you the rest of your days.

Seriously though... I was able to enjoy making pretty reasonable espresso until the first time I pulled a shot like that. Nothing but misery ever since... endlessly pursuing variations to technique, suspicion of blend changes, machine issues, etc... all to be able to make just.... one..... more.... shot. Just when I'm about to give up, another great one comes along to taunt me. They ought to have a 12-step program...

4 to 4.5, depending on the day.
LMWDP #379
Carolina Espresso Services - "Quality Service for Espresso Equipment"

zin1953

#50: Post by zin1953 »

malachi wrote: . . . So that would explain why (if Starbucks is a 1), folks like me tend to rate our own espressos so low - at least as compared to the average in this poll.
Interesting, Chris. Initially, I would never have guessed that you would rate your shots so low, but with more thought, I suppose that's inevitable. After all, you (along with a handful of others here) are a professional, versus the vast majority of participants on this site who are true amateurs. Professionals have a greater experience in tasting, whether as a judge in competition(s) or just as they evaluate the shots they themselves pull as well as those made by others. Most people who are in the wine trade professionally, for example, will rate wines lower than that of "straight" consumers -- regardless of how much experience they may (or may not) have. After all, 100-point scores (the "God Shots" of the wine world come along very rarely.)

Since I am a "pro" in the world of wine, I am far more critical than most when evaluating the wines I taste. But since I am a rank amateur* when it comes to espresso, I am no doubt less critical. All I know is that my shots are better than 90-95 percent of the shots I buy in coffee houses, cafés, and/or restaurants -- so much so, in fact, that I often forgo an espresso/cappuccino and opt for brewed coffee instead. (Fewer disappointments that way.) Thus, I gave myself a rating of 4.5 -- somewhere between "Very Good" and "Excellent." I based my vote on the words "Very Good" and "Excellent," and not on the numerical score. My shots are consistently very good, sometimes excellent; only very occasionally are they "sink shots," and once in a rare while do I savor a shot that is extraordinary. It is that extraordinary occurrence that keeps me striving to improve my technique.

Cheers,
Jason

* As I have long maintained, I am nothing but an "experienced newbie." Having used a Gaggia home machine for 25 years has given me some experience, but in the world of prosumer/commercial equipment and "serious" espresso, I remain a newbie with much to learn, much experience to gain.
A morning without coffee is sleep. -- Anon.