perfesser Senior Member Joined: 3 Jul 2006 Posts: 1 Location: vancouver,BC Expertise: Just starting
Espresso: Silvia Grinder: Rocky Drip: AeroPress
Posted Tue Jul 4, 2006, 11:11am Subject: Re: Newbie or Not Newbie: That is the Question, Newbie Revelations
Hello to everyone who has responded to my article. A thank-you to all of you for your kind words. You've been very encouraging. I actually did not know that the article had been posted 'till a week or so after the fact. A friend of a friend gave me notice about it. A nice suprise. Since the article was written, I have collected a lot of data regarding the temp. response curves of the Silvia. I'll have to figure a method of posting them in a way that will be useful to everyone. I'm a bit busy for the next few days, but I will get around to answering everyone's questions eventually. Thanks bunches!
This would be a good context to talk about taste and gender! ;-) The association of coffee with bitterness is an important one. Even those of us who want our coffees to display as little bitterness as possible do expect some to show up. A barista was recently telling me that he got judged down in a competition because his espresso wasn't bitter enough. Coffee's bitterness is close to that of chocolate and though women often dislike bitter foods, many women enjoy dark chocolate and black coffee. Bitterness in beer is also an interesting issue and it seems possible that it might not be the same bitterness. At least, hop bitterness is quite distinct from the bitterness of dark grains or yeast. On average, women seem to prefer the latter to the former (and North American beer geeks perceive hoppy beers as “manly beers” no matter how floral they are). As those of us who are intense beer lovers know fully well, there are many beer styles which display very little bitterness if any. These include some incredibly complex sour beers and some beers which are almost cloyingly sweet. Beer, like coffee, to an extent, is also fighting the stereotypes of its associations with bitterness. Bitterness is rarely appreciated in North America. It's the prototypical “acquired taste” and is often associated with poison. (Also, women are supposedly hyper-sensitive to bitterness during pregnancy.) Still, bitter herbs and goods are well appreciated in different parts of Europe, including “chinotto” in Italy. So, Karl, do you like dark chocolate? Have you tried beers with almost no hop bitterness? Do you perceive tannic wines as the same type of bitterness as those bitter coffees and beers you disliked? As you say, it's all about the perceiving subject, not about objective “reality.”
Actually, it would be very useful to me if people had pointers to some aspects of the relationships between taste and culture.
haras Senior Member Joined: 23 Apr 2005 Posts: 3 Location: Seattle Expertise: Pro Barista
Espresso: Giotto Grinder: mini nouva simonelli/... Drip: French Press/ Melitta Roaster: Caffe Darte
Posted Wed Jul 5, 2006, 8:36pm Subject: Re: Newbie or Not Newbie: That is the Question, Newbie Revelations
Karl, When you first gave me the proof of this article I was a little worried that our time together was a little mythical...but after reading it a few times I am happy with your extremely imaginative abilities mixed with freshly learned coffee facts. Thanks, let's do that again. Sarah
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