Moving away from espresso

September 12th, 2006

This one will doubtless cause a little debate.

In some ways I have been relieved to speak to people like Steve Leighton, Stephen Morrissey and read on Pulling Shots about a kind of movement away from espresso when it comes to coffee for our own pleasure. I think if you truly get excited about coffee itself, as well as the process of serving it, then you are often looking for a more honest coffee experience than an espresso.

It seems odd not to use honest for espresso, as everything seems very much emphasised, clear if not even laid bare. But all too often it isn’t the coffee that is left open to scruntiny but the barista. I think I’ve used the phrase before but I just want to taste the coffee in the cup and not the person tasting it. The more we obsess and learn about espresso the less we are able to simply enjoy it, and the greater our capacity to pick it to pieces and to look for the faults. Often, especially even, when it is our own shot.

With more traditional methods (french press, drip, cupping bowl) and their newer little twists (Clover, Aeropress etc) I think it is a little easier to let go and just taste the coffee. Espresso so often falls below expectation (of course it can dazzle and amaze and be thrilling, I am not debating that!) but I would gladly accept a cup of brewed coffee from a barista and give them an honest opinion because it would not be their cup of Colombian CoE, in same way that it would be their shot of espresso.

Drinking brewed coffee like this allows me to take great pleasure in the bean, and all that surrounds it, influences it and makes the cup what it is. It allows me to stop worrying what I am doing, and to explore in a more genuine manner. Which is a good thing.

[tags]espresso, opinion, coffee, barista, clover, aeropress, brewed coffee, coffee brewing[/tags]

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