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Thread: 3rd wave breaking?

  1. #1
    TC
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    3rd wave breaking?

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    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. #2
    jmc
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    We can only fervently hope.
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    That article is so 4 years ago http://coffeesnobs.com.au/general-co...-cresting.html

    Wake up Hipsters.

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    Senior Member coffeechris's Avatar
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    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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    What would you call "traditional espresso"?

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    Senior Member coffeechris's Avatar
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    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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    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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    Quote 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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    TOK
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    Quote 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"?????
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    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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    TOK
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    Quote 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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    Senior Member Barry O'Speedwagon's Avatar
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    Quote 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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    Senior Member mwcalder05's Avatar
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    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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    Senior Member Yelta's Avatar
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    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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    Life-long Learner DesigningByCoffee's Avatar
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    Quote 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 second crack - 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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    TOK
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    Quote 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.

    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
    Finally, an element of truth. Excellent post Michael but unfortunately all it does is exemplify that relative newcomers that think they are avante garde have bypassed the step where you go and do your apprenticeship with an established coffee house (roaster). This may well mean doing an apprenticeship with a god forbid..."commodity roaster", because these are the long term established roasters that know this stuff. It doesnt have to be rediscovered by another round of avant garde-isti....it is already well known by those with the "old time" experience.

    And also I am sorry to say this means....Rao and Perger who??????? Why are they being elevated for rediscovering what established traditional professional roasters ie established roasting industry already know?

    "The industry" did not stuff up anything (atleast in the context of this part of this discussion)...rather, a small group of shall we say "lefty newcomer roasters" stuffed up. And that I can say from having my own personal experience of running a medium sized roastery where you get hammered from both ends of the "industry". The large roasters who plaster the market with cheap coffee, and the micro roasters who claim to have the high moral ground on "quality". Funny thing is we have the experience and know how, but the newcomers (as a group) dont, as exemplified in your excellent post, for the majority of what the coffee drinking market actually wants, and have been trying to reinvent coffee to suit themselves.....go figure

    Hope that helps.

    Attilio.
    Last edited by TOK; 3rd December 2014 at 02:10 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yelta View Post
    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.


    If you want to measure "better" by beaten paths, then we end up at places like Starbucks etc.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pete39 View Post
    If you want to measure "better" by beaten paths, then we end up at places like Starbucks etc.
    And what is wrong with Starbucks? They are a highly professional retailer that cater specifically to their clientele, and do it extremely well. Their beverages may not suit the typical Australian latte drinking crowd, but they certainly do well in many prime tourist spots. They are clean, open long hours and provide free wifi. Their staff are professional and do not have an attitude. The staff are also clean-shaven , devoid of tattoos and piercings, and very well presented.
    There are many travelers who seek a Starbucks, because they know the product.
    While the Starbucks product is not favoured by the typical Aussie, they still do extremely well in certain sites. I have seen the Starbucks at Broadbeach full of customers, while the hipster 3rd wave joint nearby has a few customers, or is not even open.
    They are a coffee flavoured beverage purveyor, much like Zarraffas, and have a following.
    To many people the roast flavours of Starbucks is preferable to highly acidic 3rd wave concoctions that bear no resemblance to what they think coffee tastes like.
    3rd wave will continue to propagate spin to sell brown liquid that tastes like grass. Good luck to them.
    Instead of redefining espresso they should come up with a name for their concoctions, so the average customer will not get confused.

    How about we start the ball rolling and name it the "Purger".
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    WTF does clean shaven,devoid of tattoos and piercings have to do with making coffee?

    I am over 60 and I even wonder how perceptions of professionalism can sit around such things.

    Maybe a clean shaven barrista dressed in a suit and tie will just deliver God shots by the dozen.

    Personally I severely dislike the 3rd wave sourish, grassy coffee thing because it is just not to my taste really.

    But I just do not get the appearance vs professionalism thing at all.

  20. #20
    Senior Member Yelta's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pete39 View Post
    If you want to measure "better" by beaten paths, then we end up at places like Starbucks etc.
    My point exactly, Starbucks produce a product that suits a majority of palates and have succeeded for this very reason.

    If you want a recipe for business failure set up to cater to a trendy minority, then when the bank forecloses proclaim to anyone who will listen that it was a brilliant product, the only reason we failed is that the public didn't understand what we were on about, in other words: we were away with the bloody fairies.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Barry O'Speedwagon View Post
    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.
    I was in London last year and checked out various speciality roasters and cafes. I thought Has Bean, Square Mile and Workshop roasted a bit on the light side in their espresso roasts. These are OK in espresso shots once you acclimatise to the high acidity but are poorly balanced for milk coffees

    As a roaster cafe my pick was Monmouth in Covent Garden (also on the South Bank). These guys have about 20 singles and blends on offer with a sensible range of roast levels to suit different brewing methods. Had some stunning COE coffees roasted for filter. Loved the filter shots concept too... V60 into an espresso glass sized serving. Nice to line up a flight of 3 or 4 different singles

    Also loved the mail order coffees from James Gourmet Coffee - tried some beautifully crafted espresso roasts that truly satisfied with milk and as espresso shots. Both James and Monmouth, for me, combine the best of old school and new school thinking. No fads, all quality

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bosco_Lever View Post
    And what is wrong with Starbucks?
    Starbucks is the elevator music of the coffee world. It's coffee for people who don't actually like coffee that much, but like a cake, a comfy chair and a chat. It's a safe, bland, consistent, comfortable, contemporary experience that has been copied now by lots of others here and abroad (Gloria Jeans, Coffee Club, Costa, Caffe Nero, etc.). That's what's "right" with it for most people and, for people who like coffee with character, exactly what's wrong with it

    In a someways places like The Grounds Of Alexandria in Sydney are like Starbucks but with a generous handful of Aussie 3rd wave coffee fairy dust sprinkled on the surface. (They even have a restored original Starbucks La Marzocco in the joint). The coffee is pretty average but the experience kicks upper-middle bogan ass

    In contrast, Sensory Lab in Bondi is so cool it's as cold as a corpse

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    Don't mean to be a prude but Burgundy and Bordeaux are regions . French law only allows certain grapes to be planted and used in those regions. Burgundy is Pinot noir, gamay, Chardonnay and there's some other minor grape varieties, and Bordeaux allows Cabernet Sauvignon, cab franc, merlot and other minor varieties. Both regions allow blending, but not with varieties from outside the region. That's why Australian Cabernet Shiraz blends were so different when they started to get discovered in France. Cab and Shiraz blend from Bordeux would be impossible because "no" Shiraz is officially allowed in Bordeaux.
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  24. #24
    Senior Member Barry O'Speedwagon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Enthusiast View Post
    Don't mean to be a prude but Burgundy and Bordeaux are regions . French law only allows certain grapes to be planted and used in those regions. Burgundy is Pinot noir, gamay,....... .
    Ahh, there's the connection. Gamay is the oenological equivalent of the 3rd wave (despite its long history).

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bosco_Lever View Post
    And what is wrong with Starbucks?
    My point was not whether there is anything wrong (or right) with Starbucks, but that something is not necessarily "better" just because its popular. There are a lot of small scale roasters who are passionate about what they do, and have a small band of appreciative followers. There are two such roasters in Toowoomba, both with very different roasting styles. Neither think the other is worse or better, just different. Zarafars are in Toowoomba too and have a much bigger following than both the others put together.

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    Speaking of Starbucks...looks like they think the third wave is worth dipping their big toe into.

    With the failure of traditional Starbucks here, maybe we will see a few big R * around the capitols?

    First Look Inside The Starbucks Roastery & Tasting Room In Seattle - Sprudge

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    Senior Member Dragunov21's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yelta View Post
    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.
    Moreso I think, it was an American phenomenon that didn't really take off here to the same extent, because coffee "culture"/tastes here are (and have always been, I suspect), very different.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bosco_Lever View Post
    And what is wrong with Starbucks? They are a highly professional retailer that cater specifically to their clientele, and do it extremely well. Their beverages may not suit the typical Australian latte drinking crowd, but they certainly do well in many prime tourist spots. They are clean, open long hours and provide free wifi. Their staff are professional and do not have an attitude. The staff are also clean-shaven , devoid of tattoos and piercings, and very well presented.
    There are many travelers who seek a Starbucks, because they know the product.
    Everything's subjective and all that, but Starbucks is "good coffee" in the same sense that Maccas is "good food". SB's primary product (if my observations are anything to go by) is a shot of coffee in a bucket of milk, often with flavouring. Are they successful, and sorted in all manners which any multinational corporation should be? Yes. But their coffee (presented as a simple espresso) is, as objectively as can be stated, burnt and bitter with no redeeming features bar consistency of flavour across the world and the fact that it bears more similarity to coffee than juice.

    That's not to say they're "wrong" in the sense that something should be done about them or they don't deserve their success (alleged predatory business practices in the US aside), but they present their product as "coffee" and as you've noted, that's not quite accurate, and someone who has a fondness for actual coffee will be better served looking elsewhere, unless lemony shots are all that's on offer nearby.

  28. #28
    TOK
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    Hi mate. Remember, it very much depends on where you are. In some places SB is a saviour in a sea of mediocrity, and in other places it is the mediocrity.....

    Easy example: When you are in the southern states USA, it may well be the best coffee around. I was in Frankfort (Kentucky) 4 years ago and could get a very reasonable cappuccino, that would compete favourably with any drinkable capp from an average Australia cafe, in an SB near my hotel. Go up north and the situation is reversed...

    And of course as you say (in a round about way) the milk can hide a multitude of sins (just like a coat of paint on a wall) that we would be less likely to accept in a black coffee (which is why I seldom drink black espresso coffee when I am out and about).

  29. #29
    TOK
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    Went to a meeting at a city cafe this morning.

    It had all the "right stuff" to go with the image. The required 2 x 2 group GB5's, a couple of hipster type baristas (cord pants, beards and pom poms), and heavily tattooed waitresses.

    It was clean with requisite black decor, and very busy with office workers lined up for service, and a quick turnover of tables.

    And really, why would anyone have a problem with any of that, if the product and service is good.

    The service was great. Quick, and nothing seemed to be too much trouble given that the member of our party that placed the order, got it mucked up and the waiter had to go back and get an extra coffee and bring it back.

    Absolutely nothing to fault so far, in fact really good so far.

    I generally never order an espresso when out because I am not prepared to take the risk of ending up with something that upsets my delicate sensitivities and disappoints, however when I am wanting to assess their product, that is exactly what I will order.

    The mix of brews included 2 espresso's ("espressi" if you wish to use the Italian terminology), one being mine which is the one made and brought over without delay, when the waiter went back to correct the order for us.

    Not enough substance in the crema (dissipating), and a pithy citrus acidic character with little to no body. I could tell it was not a low end coffee origin, it was just the style of roasting and perhaps even the blending expertise...

    Disappointing really because up to that point the experience had been good.

    About an hour or more later I was somewhere else (also very busy) that serves a more traditional style of quality Australian espresso i.e. good, fresh beans (possibly not much different to the earlier cafe), but roasted per the more traditional cinnamon coloured northern Italian style of roast, using a good name brand (but not "flavour of the decade brand") multi boiler PID machine, and a grinder with large diameter planar grinding plates.

    The result, a great crema, and a well balanced (acidity/body) superior espresso (than above) on the palate (RAS accredited judge here).

    Honestly only a very small proportion of coffee drinkers fall into the coffesnob type of category, and I submit that a lot of the cyclic coffee discussioon has a lot more to do with the image and style presented by the business and the location, than with real coffee quality in the cup. Add to that, that the real success makers are staff that engage the clients, treat them well, and develop relationships. "The coffee" is really only one small portion of the mix, but it always seems to get the credit for all despite that it is not really so......hmm.......
    Last edited by TOK; 17th December 2014 at 02:09 PM.

  30. #30
    Senior Member chokkidog's Avatar
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    Behmor Brazen - $249 - Free Freight
    Had an espresso at Market Lane.

    Single Origin Rwandan something or other. Most developed roast I have ever had there.

    So delicious that I had to have another one. Even stuck my finger in the cup to get it all out.

    Biggest surprise so far this year.
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