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  • 3rd wave breaking?

    From this morning's Age Epicure. The final paragraph may well be a suggestion that the (3rd) wave is about to break for coffee from espresso machines....

    Make mine with milk
    mugshot
    matt holden
    Between 80 and 85 per cent of coffee orders at a busy cafe are for caffe latte, flat white or cappuccino. With 30 millilitres of espresso to about 150 millilitres of milk, that’s a lot of dairy.

    So how do we get the coffee to taste like, er, coffee with all the cowjuice? Traditionally, one answer is roast dark, and blend in some robusta. But Darren Silverman from Black Velvet Espresso in the city says the key is to look for ‘‘flavour that rings true when you put milk with it’’.

    ‘‘You can do it without roasting dark,’’ Silverman says, citing Black Velvet’s Night Swimmer blend of Brazil, Indian monsoon, Ethiopia Yirgacheffe and Costa Rican microlot. ‘‘The Indian Monsoon is a big, richly flavoured coffee that’s almost too much on its own,’’ he says. ‘‘But in a blend it’s lovely.’’ Small Batch roaster Tim Varney says it’s time to lose the mindset that blends are for milk and single origins are for black. ‘‘That’s bollocks,’’ he says. ‘‘There are only a few coffees that don’t work with milk.’’

    He draws an analogy with wine: ‘‘A sommelier would never say, ‘Would you prefer a blend or a single origin?’ For example, burgundy is a single varietal and bordeaux is a blend. But you’re having a conversation along the lines of, ‘Well this one tastes like this, and this one tastes like that’. ‘‘So rather than asking, ‘Can you taste the coffee through the milk?’, we need to make it a little more complex by saying, ‘These are the kinds of flavours you get with milk and coffee combined’.’’ Varney says people (wrongly) assume that earthier coffees work better with milk. He cites an Ethiopian Hunkute: ‘‘A classic Ethiopian – floral, herbal, citrus, delicate – which we all thought wouldn’t work with milk. But when we taste it with milk it’s fantastic: you get a lovely malted milk flavour, very much in balance.’’

    Does he roast specifically for milk? ‘‘We roast to have an espresso taste fantastic. That’s the priority. It’s really difficult to make a good espresso taste bad with milk – unless you’re putting too much milk in.

    ‘‘There’s been a tendency over the past three or four years for specialty roasters to push the limits of transparency in their roasting style, highlighting acidity and allowing the coffees to speak for themselves. But if you push that too far you get underdeveloped flavours: sour, astringent, vegetal. That can be masked in milk, but it’s going to taste terrible in espresso.’’

  • #2
    We can only fervently hope.

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    • #3
      That article is so 4 years ago http://coffeesnobs.com.au/general-co...-cresting.html

      Wake up Hipsters.

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      • #4
        Im not a fan of this third wave coffee, however if there is a market for it so be it. I don't see it staying around for long like a traditional espresso though. What I will say is though Darren Silverman has a point you don't have to roast dark to get great flavour from milk based coffees. Having had his coffee and the very blend he is talking about it rings true. Just finding the right beans and roasting them to there best potential will make a great milk based drink.

        I must add I don't wish to be negative about third wave coffee, like I said there is a market for it and for those who have a passion for it that way its great to see. As much as I say I don't think it will be around in the future, like it is at the moment. I'm happy to eat my words if roasters and cafes alike who serve it can sustain the trend for years to come.

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        • #5
          What would you call "traditional espresso"?

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          • #6
            A shot of coffee with or without foamed milk of some sort. That doesn't taste like biting into a lemon because the beans used to produce the espresso have barely seen the end of first crack.

            And what would you call a traditional espresso?

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            • #7
              I don't have a firm answer I'm afraid. Meant to add in my previous post, I agree with much of what you said and was just interested in a bit more of your view. But I think that the espresso most of us drink at the moment has changed significantly from those served in Italian coffee bars. I don't know of many places that use around 7 and 14 g doses anymore - most are up around 10 and 20. Other differences as well, but given espresso's relatively short history, I wonder if there is a "traditional espresso".

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              • #8
                Originally posted by coffeechris View Post
                A shot of coffee with or without foamed milk of some sort. That doesn't taste like biting into a lemon because the beans used to produce the espresso have barely seen the end of first crack.

                And what would you call a traditional espresso?
                I would disagree with the with or without milk part. But don't take my word for it.

                In my opinion, it's all defined here;

                http://www.espressoitaliano.org/file...inei_hq_en.pdf

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Talk_Coffee View Post
                  From this morning's Age Epicure. The final paragraph may well be a suggestion that the (3rd) wave is about to break for coffee from espresso machines....

                  Make mine with milk
                  mugshot......

                  ‘‘There’s been a tendency over the past three or four years for *specialty roasters* to push the limits of transparency in their roasting style, highlighting acidity........ if you push that too far you get underdeveloped flavours: sour, astringent, vegetal. That can be masked in milk, but it’s going to taste terrible in espresso.......’’
                  Odd that this should appear in CS today, as it describes to a "T" an espresso I ordered and consumed while out this morning.

                  Odd that people who are trying to reinvent the wheel are the "specialty roasters"?????

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I've been in the UK for the past 2 months and the specialty coffee I've ordered (Has Bean, Coffee Bean Shop) has tended to be light or light-medium roast and quite acidic, to
                    the extent that I thought my technique was wrong and I spent a lot of time messing around with the grind, water temp etc to try and get it right. (for an
                    aeropress). Some of them seem a bit like fruit tea.
                    The Has Bean blend I like is labelled "old school" and with a bit of work I can find less acidic beans. I think we may be stuck with light roasts for a while.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by richard_m_h View Post
                      ........... I think we may be stuck with light roasts for a while.
                      I thinks its well enough known that the things we all read in internerd forums tend to make us all believe that some things are really really BIG, when in fact they may well be far from it.

                      There will be other roasters that will do a more traditional style of roast.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by richard_m_h View Post
                        I've been in the UK for the past 2 months and the specialty coffee I've ordered (Has Bean, Coffee Bean Shop) has tended to be light or light-medium roast and quite acidic, to
                        the extent that I thought my technique was wrong and I spent a lot of time messing around with the grind, water temp etc to try and get it right. (for an
                        aeropress). Some of them seem a bit like fruit tea.
                        The Has Bean blend I like is labelled "old school" and with a bit of work I can find less acidic beans. I think we may be stuck with light roasts for a while.
                        If you're in London, Square Mile beans are a little darker (I prefer select Has Bean SOs for aeropress though). There's a place on Portobello Rd called Coffee Plant that roast their own, and they are certainly not 3rd wave...perhaps too consistently dark (i.e. every bean into 2nd crack), but I haven't had enough time to form an opinion quite yet.

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                        • #13
                          Just keep in mind, beans can still look dark on the outside but be hideously underdeveloped in the middle. Appearances aren't everything.

                          However, weighing in on this 3rd Wave debate. I think at the moment the field is stepping away from who can get away with the lightest roasts. We realised that we actually didn't like our espresso! And then we roasted darker but then it tasted to 'roasty' so then we roasted lighter and so on and so on. (Otherwise known as the downward spiral of death).

                          Now, most of the industry is looking at the development of the beans and quality control. This is being led by Rao and Perger. Now I think the industry did stuff up and didn't listen to the customers but now I think it's about to turn around...

                          Michael

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                          • #14
                            My feeling is that the third wave thing regarding coffee was pretty much a figment of the collective minds of some of our hipster barista's, a small group attempting to foist a product onto their customers that the customers had no interest in.

                            A few of the cafes we frequent around Adelaide are set up with gear that looks like it escaped from a science lab, to this day have never seen the stuff in action.


                            "If a man has good corn or wood, or boards, or pigs, to sell, or can make better chairs or knives, crucibles or church organs, than anybody else, you will find a broad hard-beaten road to his house, though it be in the woods"

                            Ralph Waldo Emerson.

                            In other words:

                            Build a better mousetrap and the world will beat a path to your door.

                            I'm not seeing any broad hard-beaten roads to any of the third wave establishments, in face the exact opposite.


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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by mwcalder05 View Post
                              Just keep in mind, beans can still look dark on the outside but be hideously underdeveloped in the middle. Appearances aren't everything.
                              I think this is the key - just dropping beans earlier is not always the way to a good SO coffee. But roast them longer, then drop them before 2C - now we're talking some interesting aeropress/filter/espresso results - without the need for the above (or the super-sour third wave cats-bum-lips syndrome brews!)

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