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Sitting here drinking a 1/2 latte....
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Discussions > Espresso > General > Sitting here...  
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DeanOK
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DeanOK
Joined: 24 Sep 2012
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Location: OK
Expertise: I like coffee

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Posted Sat Nov 30, 2013, 8:16pm
Subject: Sitting here drinking a 1/2 latte....
 

... because I have been scorned many times in his community because I add milk and flavor my espresso.

So, lately I have been sampling my espresso straight and drinking my coffee with just a little milk. Not so much because I really want to drink it that way, but I am trying to get closer to the real thing so I can learn what good coffee is supposed to be. Tonight, I am drinking close to a 1/2 latte... a double with very little milk... no flavors or sugar.

I can't say it is great by my standards. I love the sweetness of a flavored milk drink. I also think good coffee adds to the whole milk and sugar equation. Its like when I smoke meat and make barbeque. I like for there to be a balance of flavors.. not too smoky, not too hot, not too sweet... I like to taste all of those in a proportion that each flavor accents the other. I don't want a mouth full of barbeque sauce flavored meat and I don't what the smoke over powering.  Now I certainly understand that many people feel that all of those same kinds of attributes can be used to describe the flavor of coffee alone, but I do like the sweetness of my flavored milk drinks. I guess that is why I have always had a sweet tooth. I like for the coffee to be a accent to the other flavors, or the other flavors to be an accent to the coffee.. whichever way you look at it. In fact, if everything is in balance, I think it is accurate to see it either way.

With that said, I am trying to acquire a taste for just the coffee, or the coffee and a small amount of milk. I made an Americano earlier this week. It was ok, but I kept thinking it would be better with milk or cream. I will continue drinking my espresso a few times per week with something closer to tradition, but I can't promise you I will ever be a "straight espresso drinker".

Success for me will be when I know for sure I am making a great shot... no matter how I prepare it. Wish me luck!
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jwoodyu
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jwoodyu
Joined: 31 Dec 2010
Posts: 857
Location: Michigan
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Allex Duetto II
Grinder: Mazzer Major
Posted Sat Nov 30, 2013, 10:14pm
Subject: Re: Sitting here drinking a 1/2 latte....
 

A machiatto is just a straight espresso with a little foam basically the same thing. Drink it the way you like it. If you are drinking shots use a demitasse spoon and give it a little stir, you might like it better.

 
Yes i have a reason for leaving SCG off my list, yes it is my opinion, yes it is subjective as opinions are by definition, no don't start a flame war because you disagree.
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qualin
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qualin
Joined: 30 Jun 2012
Posts: 654
Location: Calgary, AB
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Izzo Alex Duetto 3
Grinder: Mazzer Mini Elect. Type A
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Drip: Manual
Roaster: Considering?
Posted Sun Dec 1, 2013, 12:24am
Subject: Re: Sitting here drinking a 1/2 latte....
 

DeanOK Said:

... because I have been scorned many times in his community because I add milk and flavor my espresso.

Posted November 30, 2013 link

Yeah, I personally think that's a load. Nobody said that you had to drink your shots straight. Some people like them that way, others don't. Some beans lend themselves to
making great straight shots with a bit of sugar. Other blends or Single Origin coffees I wouldn't DARE make them without milk because they taste horrible to me otherwise.

I do have to admit that I understand the disdain shown from people when people use flavoring, because it does mask the true taste of the bean with something really artificial.
It would be like adding cola flavor to a wine tasting. I can sympathize with that. However, when someone says, "Why would you RUIN the coffee with milk?", my response is,
"Because it tastes really good and makes the coffee taste better."

To me, coffee is an ingredient and adding sugar and/or milk to the coffee can act to give it better dimension and flavor. Even hardcore Italians I know drink their espresso with
sugar and I don't blame them. It should be a drink that you enjoy, not a drink you should "suffer" through.

Now, I admit that I've grown fond of drinking the equivalent of flat whites and cappuccinos because I find that drinking lattes is too "watered down". I like the strong taste of the
coffee, that's why I got rid of my K-cup machine and got an espresso machine. Otherwise straight coffee was like drinking flavored water.

DeanOK Said:

So, lately I have been sampling my espresso straight and drinking my coffee with just a little milk.

Posted November 30, 2013 link

Some people like Italian style Macchiatos.. a dollop of milk foam ontop of a straight espresso. I personally prefer my straight shots with a 1-2 teaspoons of sugar when I don't feel
like having a coffee with milk in it.

DeanOK Said:

but I am trying to get closer to the real thing so I can learn what good coffee is supposed to be.

Posted November 30, 2013 link

Well, it's my understanding that even the most hardcore coffee geeks do their cupping by brewing their coffee using a drip method rather than an espresso method. Good coffee is
how YOU enjoy it. If you pull a shot, put some steamed milk in it and say to yourself, "Damn, this is a good coffee." .. Then you now know what good coffee tastes like. :-)

DeanOK Said:

I also think good coffee adds to the whole milk and sugar equation.

Posted November 30, 2013 link

Well, when I was growing up, my mother always used to drink her coffee black and straight out of the pot. (I still can't figure out how she does it. I can't drink hot coffee like that.)
I asked her how she did it. She mentioned to me that at first, her workplace ran out of creamer so she'd just add sugar. Then they ran out of sugar so she drank it straight. Eventually,
she just got used to drinking the coffee straight.

I do agree that straight coffee is an acquired taste. It took me nearly 15 years to get used to the taste of Silsalat, so I honestly think it won't be until I'm an old man before I finally
like the taste of straight espresso. Maybe I may never like the taste of straight espresso and will always have it with sugar and/or milk.

I do find though that as time has worn on, I like less and less milk in my coffee, but I still can't drink it straight. I can't stand a full blown latte, it's too watered down now.

DeanOK Said:

but I do like the sweetness of my flavored milk drinks.

Posted November 30, 2013 link

I would consider cutting out the flavoring and just enjoying the milk and the coffee together.. That way you get a better appreciation for all of the subtle flavors the beans are trying to
present to you. Flavoring kind of hides a lot of that, especially that horrible vanilla flavoring you get from certain supermarkets... (Coughs)

DeanOK Said:

but I kept thinking it would be better with milk or cream.

Posted November 30, 2013 link

IMHO, if you think it would be better, then just enjoy it like that... If you really seriously want to train your tastebuds, go for a cupping sometime. Not only do you get out and do something
social and fun but you really start to understand all of the flavor nuances that are out there. Don't beat yourself up because you can't drink straight shots!

 
Garbage In, Garbage Out, for every step of the process. From Beans to grinder, grounds to machine, coffee to cup.
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Coffeenoobie
Senior Member
Coffeenoobie
Joined: 11 Dec 2011
Posts: 3,031
Location: PNW
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: N S Oscar
Grinder: K30 & Vario W
Posted Sun Dec 1, 2013, 11:58am
Subject: Re: Sitting here drinking a 1/2 latte....
 

I am with you Deakok, I like sweet milk drinks, but the first thing to go was the artificial flavorings.  I found over time (a short time in fact) I went from a double shot in 12oz of milk to 10 then 6 then 3-4.  I am slowly cutting back on the sugar and I hope to cut it out totally when I get a lever machine.  The only straight shots I can drink are from levers or LM that pressure profile.  I stir my espresso and taste it on the spoon straight just to get a feel for the taste.  I don't force myself to drink it that way but I am judging it that way.   I do this not because I think sugar is wrong in espresso, just to be healthier and cut out sugar where I can.

Right now I drink what I call a cappa but is really a small latte.  I don't fluff the milk up to the dry foam stage (unless I flub the milk) and I do latte art on it.  Total 6-7 oz in an old fashioned dinner coffee cup.

I started this because I loved the cold coffee drinks in a jar at the store and they just got so pricey I felt I could do better at home.  Now they taste thin and watery to me.

 
Coffeenoobie

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emradguy
Senior Member
emradguy
Joined: 31 Mar 2011
Posts: 3,129
Location: Houston
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Duetto II; Twist v2
Grinder: M Major, Macap M4 x2, VDD...
Drip: Espro presses; Aeropress
Roaster: H-B "List of Favorites"
Posted Sun Dec 1, 2013, 9:13pm
Subject: Re: Sitting here drinking a 1/2 latte....
 

Well, first off...I too prefer espresso based milk drinks...and I add agave to them...not a lot, but about a teaspoon. If agave isn't available I either drink them straight or add raw sugar. Now I also taste my shots before dolling them up. Every blue moon, when the planets are aligned just so...I drink my own homemade cappa, cortado, macchiato without the sweetener.

So, yesterday, or maybe it was last Tuesday?...I was at the Klatch LAX (terminal 7) location. I asked for a cortado. Nobody there knew what it is, and when I told them half 'spro - half steamed milk, they said that there it's called a macchiato. Now of course, I couldn't let that go...so I said that Heather surely knows the difference and they ought to ask her.

On this trip, I was also stuck with drinking drip made with preground daily, or going over to *$$. Hmmmmmn...that's quite a dilemma right?  Well, I can assure anyone who wonders further...NO, I say again, NO, flavoring does not mask the flavor of the beans...well, maybe a little, but still. When I drank my salted caramel mocha, it still tasted like...see if you can guess...one hint: burnt to a crisp...anyone?...Bueller?...yes, that's right...ASHES!

 
.
Always remember the most important thing is what ends up in your cup!
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calblacksmith
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calblacksmith
Joined: 25 Nov 2007
Posts: 7,786
Location: Riverside, Ca, U.S.A.
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: ECM Vene. A1, La Cimbali M32
Grinder: Azkoyen Capriccio, Major
Vac Pot: 40s era Silex
Drip: Msl. Com. brewers
Roaster: gave it a try, decided no
Posted Mon Dec 2, 2013, 8:36am
Subject: Re: Sitting here drinking a 1/2 latte....
 

[quote651348

So, yesterday, or maybe it was last Tuesday?...I was at the Klatch LAX (terminal 7) location.[x]

Not sure of the day?? LOL! I've been there :D

I have also been to that location, for the most part it was OK, I THINK it was Klatch and not Charbucks, heck I had stuff on my mind and really did not pay all that much attention, then again, it was very early in the morning too!

If I had known you were in the local area, I would have come to see you or at least offered you a spot at my coffee bar in my home.

 
In real life, my name is
Wayne P.
Anything I post is personal opinion and is only worth as much as anyone else's personal opinion. YMMV!

Feed the newbs, starve the trolls and above all enjoy what you drink!
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emradguy
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emradguy
Joined: 31 Mar 2011
Posts: 3,129
Location: Houston
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Duetto II; Twist v2
Grinder: M Major, Macap M4 x2, VDD...
Drip: Espro presses; Aeropress
Roaster: H-B "List of Favorites"
Posted Mon Dec 2, 2013, 12:11pm
Subject: Re: Sitting here drinking a 1/2 latte....
 

Thanks Wayne!  I appreciate the thought and would love to visit you sometime.  On this trip, we actually just changed planes at LAX and then flew directly to Santa Maria.  My brother is stationed at Vandenburg.  I still have lots of friends and family in the LA area though, and my wife has a friend in your neck of the woods even (actually in Riverside).  I even have a cousin I'm quite close with who lives in Rancho Mirage, so one of these days, I'm going to let you know I'll be close by...and hopefully, we'll be able to hook up for some 'spro.

 
.
Always remember the most important thing is what ends up in your cup!
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Iluvdabean
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Iluvdabean
Joined: 7 Mar 2005
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Posted Wed Dec 4, 2013, 6:12pm
Subject: Re: Sitting here drinking a 1/2 latte....
 

ITS YOUR JOURNEY AND IF YOU WANT LATTES DRINK THEM

DeanOK Said:

... because I have been scorned many times in his community because I add milk and flavor my espresso.

So, lately I have been sampling my espresso straight and drinking my coffee with just a little milk. Not so much because I really want to drink it that way, but I am trying to get closer to the real thing so I can learn what good coffee is supposed to be. Tonight, I am drinking close to a 1/2 latte... a double with very little milk... no flavors or sugar.

I can't say it is great by my standards. I love the sweetness of a flavored milk drink. I also think good coffee adds to the whole milk and sugar equation. Its like when I smoke meat and make barbeque. I like for there to be a balance of flavors.. not too smoky, not too hot, not too sweet... I like to taste all of those in a proportion that each flavor accents the other. I don't want a mouth full of barbeque sauce flavored meat and I don't what the smoke over powering.  Now I certainly understand that many people feel that all of those same kinds of attributes can be used to describe the flavor of coffee alone, but I do like the sweetness of my flavored milk drinks. I guess that is why I have always had a sweet tooth. I like for the coffee to be a accent to the other flavors, or the other flavors to be an accent to the coffee.. whichever way you look at it. In fact, if everything is in balance, I think it is accurate to see it either way.

With that said, I am trying to acquire a taste for just the coffee, or the coffee and a small amount of milk. I made an Americano earlier this week. It was ok, but I kept thinking it would be better with milk or cream. I will continue drinking my espresso a few times per week with something closer to tradition, but I can't promise you I will ever be a "straight espresso drinker".

Success for me will be when I know for sure I am making a great shot... no matter how I prepare it. Wish me luck!

Posted November 30, 2013 link

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takeshi
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takeshi
Joined: 12 Oct 2002
Posts: 979
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Posted Thu Dec 5, 2013, 2:40pm
Subject: Re: Sitting here drinking a 1/2 latte....
 

DeanOK Said:

... because I have been scorned many times in his community because I add milk and flavor my espresso.

Posted November 30, 2013 link

Bah!  Who cares what others say...  I drink what I like.  People can say that "milk hides all" but that certainly isn't true as far my tastebuds are concerned.  Otherwise I'd be happy with lattes from Starbucks.  One from a good coffee shop is an entirely different animal.

DeanOK Said:

Success for me will be when I know for sure I am making a great shot... no matter how I prepare it.

Posted November 30, 2013 link

That, on the other hand, is worthwhile IMO -- not that you need my validation or that of anyone else.
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JasonBrandtLewis
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JasonBrandtLewis
Joined: 9 Dec 2005
Posts: 6,398
Location: Berkeley, CA
Expertise: I live coffee

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Roaster: No, no, not another...
Posted Thu Dec 5, 2013, 5:08pm
Subject: Re: Sitting here drinking a 1/2 latte....
 

takeshi Said:

Bah!  Who cares what others say...  I drink what I like.  

Posted December 5, 2013 link

AMEN to that!

 
A morning without coffee is sleep . . .
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