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Is adding sugar lame?
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Discussions > Espresso > General > Is adding sugar...  
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TheMadTamper
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Posted Tue Jan 25, 2011, 11:25am
Subject: Re: Is adding sugar lame?
 

Assuming we're talking about a classy cafe, I'd say it's like adding salt to a meal in front of the chef without tasting it.  If you taste it, and decide it needs sugar, that's probably fine...though the barista will either A) realize said customer is an espresso noob and doesn't know much about espresso taste, or B) Take it as a personal failure that he/she is producing poor quality shots, and frantically spend an hour at the grinder trying to figure out what's going wrong.  

If it's your average half maintained cafe with half trained baristi, it's doubtful they actually ARE producing good shots, and whatever treatment is required to make it possible to choke down is acceptable :)

As for why many Italians add sugar, see above.

The trouble with "sugar" and people "expecting bitter", I think has less to do with "herd mentality" and more to do with the fact that the overwhelming majority of cafes in the world actually sell bad espresso that IS bitter, burnt, and stale :) And I'm not even including Starbucks in that mix...  Most shops that sell espresso seem to think that "if liquid comes out of the PF, is brown, and fills the cup, they did it right."

If you walk into Vivace and start dumping sugar in the drinks they'll likely have some very surly guys in dark shades escort you out....by your arms (Unless they have reason to suspect that you're Giorgio Milos.   In which case you're unlikely to make it out at all....)
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TheMadTamper
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Posted Tue Jan 25, 2011, 11:30am
Subject: Re: Is adding sugar lame?
 

ilcaffedio Said:

A Counter Culture rep. once suggested that when trying to get someone new to espresso to try it, start them with shots, add sugar (and ween them off of the sugar), as opposed to starting them with milk drinks.

Even though we at CG know better; when it comes to coffee, there are a lot of pre-conceived notions that it is going to be bitter.  Add to that, for espresso the notions are that it will be very strong, and a have a lot more caffeine.  It's cultural (but worldwide), herd mentality.

To me, one of the tenets of specialty coffee is the progressive pursuit of producing coffee that is naturally pleasing to the palate, without sugar or any other additives.

Posted January 25, 2011 link


Well, if I pull enough shots to fill my Big Gulp travel mug, it DOES have a lot more caffeine ;)  It'll also be a $15 cup of coffee....that will have me jumping on cars yelling "they're coming, they're coming, they're right behind me" while frantically looking up at the sky and trying to grip onto a cloud.....but that's beyond the point... :)
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ilcaffedio
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Posted Tue Jan 25, 2011, 11:49am
Subject: Re: Is adding sugar lame?
 

TheMadTamper Said:

Well, if I pull enough shots to fill my Big Gulp travel mug, it DOES have a lot more caffeine ;)  It'll also be a $15 cup of coffee....that will have me jumping on cars yelling "they're coming, they're coming, they're right behind me" while frantically looking up at the sky and trying to grip onto a cloud.....but that's beyond the point... :)

Posted January 25, 2011 link

Something makes me think this has happened before, hasn't it? ;-)
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TheMadTamper
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Posted Tue Jan 25, 2011, 1:37pm
Subject: Re: Is adding sugar lame?
 

ilcaffedio Said:

Something makes me think this has happened before, hasn't it? ;-)

Posted January 25, 2011 link

I'll say it again, that video is a forgery!  That's clearly not me, I mean how can a human even BEND a manhole cover? ;)
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AaronMiller
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Posted Tue Jan 25, 2011, 3:06pm
Subject: Re: Is adding sugar lame?
 

If you enjoy it with sugar then go for it!  I don't add sugar to espresso, but I do sometimes for cappas.  As long as you like it...
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citizenA
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Posted Tue Jan 25, 2011, 3:30pm
Subject: Re: Is adding sugar lame?
 

fwiw as a barista I've never been offended by someone putting sugar in their coffee, nor do I think many career baristas would be either.
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citizenA
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Posted Tue Jan 25, 2011, 3:31pm
Subject: Re: Is adding sugar lame?
 

Don't get me started about people adding steamed milk to their espresso though.
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ilcaffedio
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Posted Tue Jan 25, 2011, 3:56pm
Subject: Re: Is adding sugar lame?
 

citizenA Said:

fwiw as a barista I've never been offended by someone putting sugar in their coffee, nor do I think many career baristas would be either.

Posted January 25, 2011 link

Congratulations!
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TheMummaFamily
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Posted Tue Jan 25, 2011, 5:53pm
Subject: Re: Is adding sugar lame?
 

Life is short--you like sugar?  No problem.  I personally don't like sweets, but really enjoy sweet drinks.  So, if every once in a while, I have a craving for coffee and sweetness at the same time, why not?  Is it uncouth to have a chunk of artisan chocolate on the side too?  Nah.  Enjoy it how you love it.  It really isn't anyone else's business.  You don't even get points for being the coolest in the coffeehouse ;)

 
"Three of the four elements are variable, but the fourth one has to be adaptable, knowledgeable and intuitive."  Mark Prince Click Here (www.coffeegeek.com)
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ginalola
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Posted Tue Jan 25, 2011, 6:18pm
Subject: Re: Is adding sugar lame?
 

I've been to Italy 20 times; the Italians put sugar in espresso and cappuccino;  if it's good enough for the Italians, it's good enough for me...after all, I am Ginalola.
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