AUTHOR: wheretherearewolves TITLE: return to authenticity? DATE: 10:38 AM ----- BODY:

This is just the first of many posts about coffee.
Everyone wakes up and drinks coffee just like we take a piss and brush our teeth, but there are few cafes or roasters currently that produce a culture that has the same mentality behind why I drink coffee.
In my 17 years as a barista I have spent some quality time behind the bar on both sides of the coast; Seattle and now Philly and you know what I've found? Every customer is right. Everyone has their favorite cafe, their favorite barista, and their favorite drink. So you say opinions are like assholes-everyone has one and thats true. The guy with the gigante-triple-nonfat-butternut-crunch-latte with extra whip can't have the same expertise as someone who cups the newest organic fairtrade shadegrown with his hipster barista cronies, right??

This is my humble advice. Just make coffee and drink it. Educate yourself and formulate your tastes without affectation.

In Italy there is no take out cups which I love, the barista dresses well, wears designer glasses, pulls 7 drinks in 2 minutes while he makes fun of your ugly outfit that you've put together. All the while he flirts with your girlfriend in front of you and is still charming. How does he do that?
The espresso is pulled perfectly, perfect crema that makes you want to throwdown and make babies and the coffee tastes right everytime and there are no Synesso machines or 17 gram shot pulls in Italy. You know what? I had a coffee in Tuscany, small town called Sena Lunga. I went into the cafe where an old lady made me an amazing espresso with the least amount of coffee I have ever seen in a single gruppe head. She pulled this languid syrupy shot in a original e61 and it was simply amazing. I asked her where she got the machine and she looked at me dramatically discusted, "Ohh! i got that in 1961 -original, my machine!"

As Americans because we created Starbucks we think we created espresso. I think it is going to take a while for people to understand that we are still quite knew in this game. How is the guy with the vente triple blahblahblah different then the Afficianado's socially-politically correct roasted coffee with insane crema made through a $10,000 machine? There both slightly obscene.

My friend Marc Vetri is a great chef and when we were talking about coffee he made this analogy with cooking. I'm loosely quoting him but for the most part he said, "Everyone can make an amazing meal when you've got white truffles, but what kind of meal can you make when you just have cauliflower?" I find this relative to a knew elite style of consuming coffee that deals with certain varietals selling for $30 and up per pound. First, you're getting hosed, and second I feel that you're missing the point. The point is the soul and beauty in life isn't derived through decadence. In Italy they use robusta in some of their blends, because they are notoriously economic and they want to make something taste excellent with beans that are sub par, now that is an art.



Much of the beauty in coffee is in restraint. Restraint in the creation/roast of the coffee, restraint and respect in craft in creating a drink and I ask everyone to look into the history of coffee to reflect and formulate ideas about taste and return to authenticity.
-------- WHERETHEREAREWOLVES: return to authenticity?

Monday, November 20, 2006

return to authenticity?


This is just the first of many posts about coffee.
Everyone wakes up and drinks coffee just like we take a piss and brush our teeth, but there are few cafes or roasters currently that produce a culture that has the same mentality behind why I drink coffee.
In my 17 years as a barista I have spent some quality time behind the bar on both sides of the coast; Seattle and now Philly and you know what I've found? Every customer is right. Everyone has their favorite cafe, their favorite barista, and their favorite drink. So you say opinions are like assholes-everyone has one and thats true. The guy with the gigante-triple-nonfat-butternut-crunch-latte with extra whip can't have the same expertise as someone who cups the newest organic fairtrade shadegrown with his hipster barista cronies, right??

This is my humble advice. Just make coffee and drink it. Educate yourself and formulate your tastes without affectation.

In Italy there is no take out cups which I love, the barista dresses well, wears designer glasses, pulls 7 drinks in 2 minutes while he makes fun of your ugly outfit that you've put together. All the while he flirts with your girlfriend in front of you and is still charming. How does he do that?
The espresso is pulled perfectly, perfect crema that makes you want to throwdown and make babies and the coffee tastes right everytime and there are no Synesso machines or 17 gram shot pulls in Italy. You know what? I had a coffee in Tuscany, small town called Sena Lunga. I went into the cafe where an old lady made me an amazing espresso with the least amount of coffee I have ever seen in a single gruppe head. She pulled this languid syrupy shot in a original e61 and it was simply amazing. I asked her where she got the machine and she looked at me dramatically discusted, "Ohh! i got that in 1961 -original, my machine!"

As Americans because we created Starbucks we think we created espresso. I think it is going to take a while for people to understand that we are still quite knew in this game. How is the guy with the vente triple blahblahblah different then the Afficianado's socially-politically correct roasted coffee with insane crema made through a $10,000 machine? There both slightly obscene.

My friend Marc Vetri is a great chef and when we were talking about coffee he made this analogy with cooking. I'm loosely quoting him but for the most part he said, "Everyone can make an amazing meal when you've got white truffles, but what kind of meal can you make when you just have cauliflower?" I find this relative to a knew elite style of consuming coffee that deals with certain varietals selling for $30 and up per pound. First, you're getting hosed, and second I feel that you're missing the point. The point is the soul and beauty in life isn't derived through decadence. In Italy they use robusta in some of their blends, because they are notoriously economic and they want to make something taste excellent with beans that are sub par, now that is an art.



Much of the beauty in coffee is in restraint. Restraint in the creation/roast of the coffee, restraint and respect in craft in creating a drink and I ask everyone to look into the history of coffee to reflect and formulate ideas about taste and return to authenticity.

2 Comments:

Blogger AndyS said...

"the soul and beauty in life isn't derived through decadence....Much of the beauty in coffee is in restraint."

Real wisdom here, thank you. And the photos are gorgeous.

7:53 PM  
Blogger CoffeeGeek Bloggin' said...

yeah, thanks to Andy for pointing out this blog too.

Awesome post. Said it so much better than any way I've ever lumped criticism on the whole trend towards triple baskets / ristrettos / spanking the single basket thought process rampant in the industry - on this side of the pond.

2:39 PM  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home