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Officially depressed about coffee now.
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Discussions > Coffee > General > Officially...  
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Laowai
Senior Member


Joined: 29 Oct 2012
Posts: 21
Location: Beijing, China
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Eupa TSK 1819A
Grinder: Feima 600N
Posted Fri Mar 21, 2014, 1:03am
Subject: Officially depressed about coffee now.
 

That's all there is to say, I'm officially depressed about coffee.  Not *MY* coffee mind you, but that of the outside world.  I go to a client meeting at a big ritzy hotel to chat over coffee.  Silly me orders a double espresso.  $10.  Top of the line machine, great grinder, and what comes out? It looks like pot-brew with soap scum on top.  Total investment on that equipment had to have been no less than a solid $10k.  My crappy little machine and cheap little grinder cost practically nothing ($150) and I get crema and full wonderful flavors every time.  Real crema, as I made some slight modifications to remove all pressurized-basket components.  My beans are also nothing special, they are not handpicked by siamese midgets in the remote foothills of a forgotten land.  Just normal cheap beans that run me $12 a kg and are roasted same day they are dispatched, arrive same day.  Grind out a 21.5g dose, stir, level, tamp, 30 seconds and it's go time everytime.  Thick oily crema that clings to the sides of the cup, leaving me licking it clean.

That $10 double? It looked like someone forgot to rinse the soap out of a glass and dumped pot coffee in it.  It tasted like it was burned and stale pot coffee at that.  I complained after the meeting, no one else seemed to notice anything out of the ordinary.  One even commented how good it was.

Is all outside coffee like this? No, I have seen some fake crema that vanishes in a minute.  I'm sure the cat-poop coffee place that charges $40 a cup has better, at least I'd hope so for that price, but places like that are not about quality, more about showing off a status that can waste $40 on a thing because reasons.

Could my coffee be better? Sure, ditto on the grinder and machine and everything else.  But I fear it would spoil me even more, seeing as what I get for 25 cents a cup tops what they pass off as espresso on the street for $10.

</rant>
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jonr
Senior Member


Joined: 25 Jun 2013
Posts: 298
Location: Americas
Expertise: I like coffee
Posted Fri Mar 21, 2014, 7:01am
Subject: Re: Officially depressed about coffee now.
 

Most places don't have anyone who cares or knows what decent coffee tastes like.   Some places care at some point (hence the expensive machine) and then drop the ball later.

I've been out of the country and when I got back I used some of my stale beans and it was far better than anything I could find on the trip.
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z0mbie
Senior Member
z0mbie
Joined: 26 Sep 2013
Posts: 354
Location: Online
Expertise: I live coffee

Posted Fri Mar 21, 2014, 8:55am
Subject: Re: Officially depressed about coffee now.
 

you learn to not order coffee from anyone other than at specialty coffee house.. I usually order Tea.. They can't possibly mess that up.
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CMIN
Senior Member


Joined: 14 Jun 2012
Posts: 1,375
Location: South FL
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Crossland CC1
Grinder: Baratza Preciso
Posted Fri Mar 21, 2014, 9:07am
Subject: Re: Officially depressed about coffee now.
 

I've been to quite a few "nice" coffee shops, ie. over 7 figures spent building out the place and interior, 20k+machine and grinder setups.... and the coffee was bad especially espresso. That goes for almost any restaurants, or fancy hotel etc. So many seem to think that's all they need, and all they have to do is grind beans and coffee will be like Leprechaun crapping gold. They have no clue as to dialing in, all those fresh roasted bags and full hoppers are complete waste then. I was at a shop once and asked for a double, girl prepped it popped it into their LaMarzocco and pulled a double in less then 20 seconds. I already knew like mehh this isn't going to be good lol, sure enough first sip was so sour and under extracted. I rarely say anything but that time I did and mentioned that it was pretty bad and needed to be ground a bit finer as it pulled too fast and was underextracted, girl gave me look and attitude and said that's what espresso is and supposed to taste like. I mean what am I going to say to argue that with her lol... was like whatever, asked for a pour over. Was bad too, and wifes frap or whatever drink she got didn't like either. I paid and the girl asked if those drinks were better and I said nope, and walked out leaving no tip lol
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cerridwyn
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cerridwyn
Joined: 6 Jun 2010
Posts: 506
Location: Inland Empire California
Expertise: I live coffee
Posted Fri Mar 21, 2014, 6:29pm
Subject: Re: Officially depressed about coffee now.
 

z0mbie Said:

you learn to not order coffee from anyone other than at specialty coffee house.. I usually order Tea.. They can't possibly mess that up.

Posted March 21, 2014 link

Oh, yes they can. While I am not quite as much of a tea snob as I am a coffee snob, the difference between whole leaf tea that hasn't been in a flow through tea bag, steeped at the right temperature for the right amount of time.... Well, you get the picture....

When in doubt, water with a twist is safe.

 
The world needs more outstanding coffee.

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Laowai
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Joined: 29 Oct 2012
Posts: 21
Location: Beijing, China
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Eupa TSK 1819A
Grinder: Feima 600N
Posted Fri Mar 21, 2014, 7:22pm
Subject: Re: Officially depressed about coffee now.
 

Perhaps that's the problem.  An espresso exposes all the flaws.  Bad beans, wrong grind, bad tamp, poor training, etc.  A latte or whatever, they just chuck boiled milk over the output and spray some whip on top, stick a brown sugar stick into it and there ya go, a premium drink.  Is the coffee component good? Who knows, who cares, it might as well be a garnish.

Look, I'm not a picky guy, I'm not a coffee snob or anything like that.  I'm not demanding "god shots" or any other crazy shit.

Here's what my rig puts out without really trying, or getting lucky with best of the best using beans a good 12 days old, with me having been awake for all of 10 minutes and still full of brain fog:

http://i.imgur.com/gygdmh4.jpg
http://i.imgur.com/i8qRGPZ.jpg

Is it a god shot? No.  Is it skillful?  No.  Can it be far far better? Yes.  But, I'd expect to see AT LEAST this when actually paying for an espresso in the outside world.  It's palatable without diluting it with milk and sugar and it gets my day started.  It looked better at first, but I let it overextract as I got distracted, and I don't really care all that much, I like it a bit bitter anyways and it's an acceptable tradeoff to me.
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TheRealScubaSteve
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TheRealScubaSteve
Joined: 22 Feb 2014
Posts: 97
Location: Massachusetts
Expertise: Just starting

Espresso: Delonghi EC155
Grinder: Baratza Encore
Posted Fri Mar 21, 2014, 7:23pm
Subject: Re: Officially depressed about coffee now.
 

I wonder if Teavana has become thou company whose name shall not be spoken on the tea forums since Starbucks bought them...

 
"But it is not a perfect world and none of us are god-shots.  As for me, I am a little over extracted and therefore slightly bitter and my crema is thin..." -Buckley
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Laowai
Senior Member


Joined: 29 Oct 2012
Posts: 21
Location: Beijing, China
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Eupa TSK 1819A
Grinder: Feima 600N
Posted Fri Mar 21, 2014, 8:12pm
Subject: Re: Officially depressed about coffee now.
 

Tea's weird here, no idea why SB thought they could make money selling overpriced shitty tea in China.  I remember when that idea first popped up and since then, it's been reduced to a tiny neglected corner of the menu boards.  Seeing as you get real, good stuff for very little and this isn't a culture that likes sugary milky teas.  Leaves + hot water, that's it.  It's the default free beverage at virtually every restaurant.  The notion of tea bags... I have literally never seen anyone use them.  Most just have a tea-bottle with a removable strainer and chug down on it all day long, mixing their own brew with florals and fruits to get it just the way they like.  I'm probably more of a tea snob than a coffee snob and I am primarily a coffee drinker given a choice.
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msboo
Senior Member


Joined: 10 Nov 2012
Posts: 259
Location: Kentucky
Expertise: I love coffee

Grinder: Baratza Virtuoso, Capresso...
Drip: Technivorm, Bonavita
Posted Sun Mar 23, 2014, 10:07am
Subject: Re: Officially depressed about coffee now.
 

While I currently don't drink espresso I've become more interested in trying some properly made since learning to brew good drip coffee at home (grinding fresh roast just before brewing @ proper temps). When not home I just pass on coffee. Still can't believe the people I see in grocery stores, some aimlessly looking at ALL the different coffees on the shelves then finally grabbing whatever. From time to time I'll ask someone IF that even tastes like coffee to them.... and most say it does not. This is also depressing. I'm more than thankful I can buy great fresh roasted beans locally on a regular basis----just wish I could get a good cup when traveling, etc. With the explosion of small roasters I've witnessed locally who knows what the future may hold in years to come. Till then it's coffee at home, Aeropress if access to hot water OR it's No Joe.
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Laowai
Senior Member


Joined: 29 Oct 2012
Posts: 21
Location: Beijing, China
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Eupa TSK 1819A
Grinder: Feima 600N
Posted Tue Mar 25, 2014, 8:49pm
Subject: Re: Officially depressed about coffee now.
 

Just have to post this, sorry, no pics, but I just double god shotted.  The stars were in allignment for me this morning I guess.  Or at least, it's what I would consider a god shot.  Everything came out smooth, wonderful thick striping, zero blonding of any sort, 100% crema just sitting there waiting for me, just perfect pressure it seems.  Oil globules suspended in the entire cup.  Somewhat sweet and full bodied, sending shivers up the spine with each sip.

And why do I post this here, in this thread?  Because for all the years I have been a coffee drinker, never, not even once have I gotten anything like this at a cafe.  Regardless of the equipment, regardless of the freshness or price.  Never, not even once.  And now I've managed to get this out of a $150 setup with relatively cheap beans.  I can count on one hand the cafes in the city that might possibly manage to provide this, and not one of them is under $15 a cup... and even then, it's more or less just guessing on my part.
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