Ok, I’m going to say something deeply unpopular in current coffee circles, and really out of trend, but I don’t care, as its what I think. Espresso is not the be all and end all in the world of coffee. See I’ve done it. I’ll try and explain why I think this to give you a little in sight in to my murky mind.
Espresso is a brew preparation method that gives an intense, immediate view of a coffee or blend of coffees that is quick and uncomplicated. I find assessing an espresso fairly easy in comparison to evaluating any other brew method. Its there and its in your face. It’s a lazy way and uninspiring way to drink coffee for compared to filter. I also find it incredibly elitist (something I’m not a fan of). You need a fantastic grinder, top-notch machine, bottomless pockets and endless time chasing the perfect shot (which is never achievable). The preparation method takes over what is ultimately important, and that is to enjoy a cup of coffee for what it is, a beverage.
Reading a lot of other peoples opinions on the internet, and talking with influential people in the world of coffee, I’m starting to get ticked off that people are confusing coffee with espresso. One is the product one is a brewing method and need to be thought of in two separate ways. Coffee is bigger and more important than any thing else in this thing called coffee.
I sit here drinking a cup of Colombian grandma coffee fresh from my aerobie. I’ve just looked down at the mug and its empty. I’ve been so busy ranting that I didn’t realise I was drinking it, I didn’t rate it for its intrinsic quality’s or think this is a 7 balance, but you know I REALLY enjoyed it (I think, it could be a mixture of the coffee and ranting : )).
I think we are in danger (as an industry) of losing sight of what its all about, every where you look there is a barista competition and new machines and grinders, and people asking is this an espresso bean how would it work in a blend. I am getting the feeling that espresso is taking over the world. I know that a lot of the readers here will go “hell I just buy coffee”, but I also know there are some people who read this who influence coffee, and the direction its going in.
Now I’m not turning my back on espresso for ever and throwing away my espresso machine (in fact the opposite, I have an order in for a new espresso machines so I can sit at home with my spazio two group and enjoy espresso more at home). I’m also working on a new blend at the moment for the site, which is going to blow you all away. I have also agreed to work (read agreed as ripped his hand off) with the current UKBC on his competition blend for next year’s competition. But what I’m trying to say is enjoy coffee be it espresso, filter french press or a cheap jug that you let the grinds sink to the bottom. Don’t lose sight of it’s a drink to be sometimes evaluated, worked on, developed but ultimately enjoyed. This weekend turn of the espresso machine for one day and dust off the filter machine or the french press, and try something different and don’t evaluate it drink it and enjoy.