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  • Starbucks Experience

    OK I cant say I really expected much but the other options didnt look much better so my wife and I ended up there for morning tea. I wasnt feeling too adventurous so we got some food and an iced chocolate, all of which was quite nice. Anyway I saw they had a collection of different roast level beans on display, a few hessian bags full of roasted coffee that just happened to get dumped artistically on the shop floor and also a brief writeup on the Costa Rican coffee they were using, its sparkling acidity and encouraging all to Try One Today!, information about their cupping and coffee making courses and so on which all lent a slightly positive appearance to things. Having sat there for a while and never actually tried their coffee for myself I started to feel a bit more adventurous and decided to find out for myself what it was really like. So up to the counter and asked the girl for a double ristretto. "A what?". Thinking (hoping) she just hadnt heard me over the background noise, I repeated "A double ristretto". She looked a bit sideways at me and replied, "Uhh, whats that?" : . Oh dear. Fair enough, not everyone agrees on what a ristretto is, but surely youd at least have heard the term, especially if youre supposed to be teaching other people how to make espresso-based drinks! I explained how to make it as an espresso cut short (for this purpose anyway), what to put it through the till as and (to be on the safe side) to cut the shot at about 15ml. I then hung loosely around the end of the counter trying not to make her feel under pressure but wanting to see how it was made. The shot started pouring, and pouring, and pouring at which point I turned away and gave up. What came out was an espresso at best, average amount of crema but fairly pale, and volume was probably more like 40ml! The taste was definitely Central American in its intensity (in my experience anyway), reasonably balanced but quite thin and moderately bitter. It was by no stretch of the imagination a ristretto, or even a good espresso for that matter.

    I didnt really expect much else, but at least now I know!

  • #2
    Re: Starbucks Experience

    Yeh, I find that if the barista doesnt know what an ristretto is, I walk away.

    The Coffee Emporium at Blacktown lists "Ristretto" on their menu so I thought, why not.. Ill ask for a double and they had no idea what an Ristretto was... now THATs ironic!

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    • #3
      Re: Starbucks Experience

      The Coffee Emporium has a "Packed" date on the beans they sell.
      A guy at work had some the other day and it raised my suspicions.
      When questioned about it he said that was the date they took it out of the glass storage bin behind the counter and put it in the bag for him. :

      Ive trained him a little though and he did asked when it was roasted; which they said was a week earlier.
      The less than best storage conditions though explain why it poured like it was much older.

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      • #4
        Re: Starbucks Experience

        I took ristretto off of my menu. I figured most of the general public wouldnt know what one was either.

        We can make them on request.

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