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How Hipsters ruined your coffee

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Where are all these trendy fashionable coffee shops that keep getting referred to btw , id like try some of them out please


I write a blog, it's nothing to do with coffee ...

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So we should feel sorry for him working in the media and having to turn out patronising lazily researched copy? Don't think so.

 

The irony was lost on you

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I don't like Jay Rayner but I think he's spot on here.

 

Trendy / modern / fashionable espresso, as served in trendy / modern / fashionable coffee shops is, for a lot of us who just don't warm to the taste, sour and unpleasant. That's all he seems to be saying. It isn't easy to find somewhere that does more "traditional" espresso really well. You need to go to Southern Europe for that.

 

This is kind of what I'm uncomfortable with. "Sour & unpleasant" isn't, or should be anyone's goal. You can make any kind of espresso badly. If it genuinely is sour & unpleasant take it up with the barista/staff, if you don't get any joy, don't buy there any more. If there aren't enough cafes doing "traditional" espresso well, take it up with the ones that are doing "traditional" badly. Going into a trendy espresso bar serving light roasts that you don't like, buying a drink you knew you weren't going to like (which both Hoffmann & Malatesta concede, in the article, is a possibility), then confirming that you don't like it isn't anyone else' s fault. Who are these people putting guns to folks heads & making them repeatedly buy things they don't want? It's never happened to me.

 

There is also an inference in the article that there is a movement deliberately sabotaging espresso, and that sour, acidic drinks are the goal, which is a little absurd...I'd be mad to suggest that they don't happen, but so do bad traditional espressos...they are all ruined in the last 30seconds of the bean's existence, by one person, take it up with them...rather than pay, smile & come back for more of the same.

 

Remember, there was also a time when traditional espresso was trendy/modern/fashionable. ;-)

Edited by MWJB

“Coffee evokes the most insane reactions in people”, Rene Redzepi.

 

https://markwjburness.wordpress.com/

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The irony was lost on you

 

I did read your original message as sarcasm then started to doubt myself when I read that comment lol.

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I think the main problem with independent coffee shops is that you don't know what you're going to get taste wise unless you go in and either talk to the barista or try a drink.

 

Coffee is as complex and as varied as wine can be, but what would happen if you went into a shop that sold one type of wine? Well some you'd like, and some you won't. Coffee is no different, and really it's where I think most shops are missing a trick at the moment. If one customer prefers a dark, deep chocolate roasted coffee, why give them the choice of only a light acidic type, and vice-versa? Hopefully we'll get to a point where you can walk into any shop and ask specifically for your drink by bean type

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The irony was lost on you

 

No it wasn't - I just ignored it


Londinium-R - EKS43 running SSP Silver Knight burrs

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I did read your original message as sarcasm then started to doubt myself when I read that comment lol.

 

Don't worry. You haven't gone mad.

 

It was sarcasm :D

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What all this clearly shows, is that if you take the worlds most expensive coffee machine then grind shit, it still tastes like shit and not coffee......odd that hey!

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I just don't think the venom poured on this guy by some of you is even marginally justified.

It makes me wary of expressing an opinion on this forum, because after all that's all he did.

 

In any case, who cares, whatever..., good night.


Rancilio Silvia V3 with Auber PID, Eureka Mignon.

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I just don't think the venom poured on this guy by some of you is even marginally justified.

It makes me wary of expressing an opinion on this forum, because after all that's all he did.

 

In any case, who cares, whatever..., good night.

 

You seem to care!!


AKA Toffee chips

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What all this clearly shows, is that if you take the worlds most expensive coffee machine then grind shit, it still tastes like shit and not coffee......odd that hey!

 

As the old adage goes 'you can't polish a turd' :o

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Hopefully we'll get to a point where you can walk into any shop and ask specifically for your drink by bean type

 

Go into rave you pretty much can do this there, but that comes of having the beast grinder on the bench


AKA Toffee chips

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I just don't think the venom poured on this guy by some of you is even marginally justified.

It makes me wary of expressing an opinion on this forum, because after all that's all he did.

 

In any case, who cares, whatever..., good night.

 

Wouldn't call it venom, people are passionate about coffee and opinions will fly.

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Each to their own with this, there will always be some who like it dark some who like it light and some who like to try the varied types of roast profile and bean type, isn't that what makes coffee great? Diversity


AKA Toffee chips

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Each to their own with this, there will always be some who like it dark some who like it light and some who like to try the varied types of roast profile and bean type, isn't that what makes coffee great? Diversity

 

Precisely so.


Rancilio Silvia V3 with Auber PID, Eureka Mignon.

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Go into rave you pretty much can do this there, but that comes of having the beast grinder on the bench

 

There's a few other places I can think of and they're roasters as well. The drive is probably through letting people try the bean before they buy a bag, and as you pointed out, you need the equipment and skill behind the counter to pull it off without having significant wastage and making it taste good

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Rayner says he was served something, "sharp & unpleasant". This isn't any style of coffee, this is a malfunction.

 

A deliberate one in some cases then, it was my overriding impression of third wave places in London (and of the LCF).


mym

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A deliberate one in some cases then, it was my overriding impression of third wave places in London (and of the LCF).

 

I think it varies in scale, to be honest, even within roasters. Take hasbean espresso blends, the jailbreak has a fair amount of acidity but is not, to my tongue, sour. The jaberwocky blend is definitely very sharp and some would call that sour, but it works very well with milk. I had a picollo at Notes today and even with the milk it was bright, but it worked well with it. IIRC from the board it was some sort of Ethiopian. Without the milk I suspect it would have been too bright for my personal taste buds. I had another one at Fernandez and Wells and that was much less acidic, and probably would have been better straight.

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I just don't think the venom poured on this guy by some of you is even marginally justified.

It makes me wary of expressing an opinion on this forum, because after all that's all he did.

 

In any case, who cares, whatever..., good night.

 

Well all reasonable opinions should be aired and treated with validity. But Rayner seems keen to point the finger(s) at light roasts, temperatures, beards, specific machine manufacturers...it's not cohesive, nor clear what the actual issue is (does he not like badly presented espresso - like most people don't - & why does he drink light, fruity espresso if he doesn't like & knows he doesn't like it). I don't think there is anything wrong with having a preference one way or the other, as long as we are clearly talking about espresso as it is intended to be represented. If there's a magic bean/roast that never underextracts, I'd like it hear about it.

 

He doesn't like the way some espresso clashes with his expectations...and that's fine, but what we as individuals mean by espresso is typically driven by our expectations, whatever they are...blanket exclusions based on perceived "movements" or ethos don't seem reasonable, whatever side of the fence you're on (not that I see why there's a fence at all).

 

What do we learn from his piece in terms of value? We certainly don't learn where to go to get his idea of good espresso. We just get a scattergun, target list of what he thinks we should avoid, for somewhat arbitrary reasons (if he wanted something that tastes like Earl Grey he'd drink Earl Grey, but he won't have bitter chocolate & caramel instead of coffee that tastes like that?). We can all write a list of things we don't like, the longer we have the longer the list...why not put the energy into positive testimonials & recommendations of the folk that are doing things right & earning his respect?

 

If you're enjoying a bean/roast/cafe Wando, tell us about it. Similarly if you aren't enjoying something tell us, but at least give us/the barista something tangible as to why you're not enjoying it.

 

Sure, enjoyment is subjective & personal...but if we can't organise our criticisms constructively, then our negative opinions/reviews seem no more, or less, subjective & personal...then how do we move forward? How does anyone holding to the notion that there is just one right way to roast & pull espresso become anything else but belittling, patronising & embarrassing? (Not that I think you were doing this, just ironic that Rayner picks up on this phrase in his belittling & patronising piece).

 

But anyway, express your opinions, this is the place to do it...just be aware that none of us gets blanket agreement, nor should we realistically expect it. ;-)


“Coffee evokes the most insane reactions in people”, Rene Redzepi.

 

https://markwjburness.wordpress.com/

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Mark, this is not meant as taking a shot at you, but you always seem to dive in whenever someone says that they find coffee served to them somewhere, made in whatever method as tasting sour and unpleasant.

 

Coffee doesn't need to be badly made to taste sour and unpleasant to an individual, it may quite likely be that whatever numbers you wish to use stack up and the coffee was perfectly made and extracted and tasted just as the roasters intend, but that person tasting it doesn't find it to their taste and it seems sour and unpleasant to them. Sour and unpleasant or indeed bitter and unpleasant don't imply a badly made coffee just one that is not to a persons taste. What disturbs me is that there is a certain element of people at large in the world who do try and come across all wine snob about coffee ( I'm not meaning anyone on here) and do look down on and belittle people who " don't get" a particular type of bean or style of coffee.

 

To me this is all a little like the whole thing with chefs/ restaurants refusing to have salt and pepper on the tables, as they believe that they make and season their food perfectly and that no-one has the right to alter that in any way. For me there is no way one chef can season a plate of food in a manner that everyone will like and agree on.

 

As for food critics and their ilk I don't want anyone telling me that I must cook my food a particular way and recipe that they find acceptable, if they think I'm a nothing provincial hick for not liking my beef bleeding on my plate I really couldn't care less, and the same goes for coffee I'll try anything once and if I don't like I'm not scared of saying so, and if I don't like it, it is highly likely I won't try it again.

 

AS for the Jay rayners of this world, we've only got the internet to blame for the fact that his views aren't already yesterdays fish and chip wrapping.


Common sense is not a gift, it's a punishment. Because you have to deal with everyone that doesn't have it !!!

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I'm surprised at the number of negative comments about an article that, viewed in the context of many similar ones, isn't really that bad (IMHO).

 

In the past couple years many, many people have been complaining that the pendulum has swung too far in the direction of sour, underroasted, underextracted espresso. This article wasn't particularly original or insightful, but it sure seemed to me that it expressed a strong taste preference without getting overly negative about folks who offer a more acidic style.

 

For what it's worth, I believe the pendulum has already begun to swing back towards better-developed roasting. In a recent trip to New York, the espressos I had at various cafes seemed to me far less sour and far more drinkable than they were just a year ago.

 

Experience has shown that some baristas and pro coffee cuppers can get thoroughly accustomed to their own acidic, underextracted espresso; after a while it tastes "right" to them. Criticism from the public and from food writers like Rayner can break into the sometimes insular professional coffee world and offer a reality check.

 

One other thing: some people here may underestimate the challenges associated with producing balanced, well-researched coffee journalism. For more perspective,

is very enlightening.

-AndyS

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I agree with Andy here, I do think that quite a few of our roasters are tending to lean on the lighter side of espresso, now there are plenty of enthusiasts and new wave coffe followers that enjoy the lighter flavour profiles, however on the whole most peole enjoy a balanced rich espresso that goes beyond medium. I know I for one tend to prefer my espresso beyond medium and enjoy an espresso to be entirely un tea like, howver that is my preference and as such I will only frequent the shops that will cater to my taste preference, as i would imagine anyone else would do.


AKA Toffee chips

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Roasters roast what will sell, but some of them do have a hand in shaping what customers want, or think they want.

 

Personally, in my kitchen, there is a place for bright and fruity coffees and that place is in milk. As unadulterated espresso I don't like it at all, but its opened up a multidimensional world for my flat whites.

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The further you take the roast the greater the likelihood the resulting espresso will lean towards coffee/caramel notes no matter what bean variety is roasted. Lighter roasts generate more individuality which doesn't seem to attract as much ire in pour over as when that same bean is used to produce espresso.

 

Using lighter roasts for espresso is, IMO, more challenging to get right as opposed to using medium plus roasts. When they are bad, they are really bad but don't think that's a reason for binning them altogether. If you get it right, a light roast espresso will have balanced acidity plus a great deal of floral and/or fruit notes. This may not be for everyone. As for the pendulum swinging the other way, the consumer will have the final say - if they don't want it, they won't buy it. But that doesn't seem to be the case at the moment.


Londinium-R - EKS43 running SSP Silver Knight burrs

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