Iluvdabean Senior Member Joined: 7 Mar 2005 Posts: 1,327 Location: Kentucky Expertise: I love coffee
Espresso: La Nuova Era Cuadra/Gaggia... Grinder: Baratza Preciso/K-A Pro... Drip: Bonavita BV 1800 TH Roaster: Nesco 1010/Behmor 1600
Posted Wed Dec 4, 2013, 10:17am Subject: Re: Article: how to survive North America's terrible coffee
I did enjoy coming to your city and walking into Intelligentsia Coffee,I must say. I still have the mug I got there although the coffee is long gone. ( As an aside ) It was that same day with coffee bag in one hand,expensive camera out of case in other,with faithful Lowepro backpack case on back, that while crossing street I put foot into pothole and fell into the old ladies in front, doing a complete body roll/ plant. Guess what, the two ladies were there to help,the lens filter took the grind,and a man in a three piece suit with a gold watch stuck his arm down and said you need a hand. He yanked me up and after the embarrassment passed I was Iphone surfing a photo shop to replace filter on my Canon. Good coffee and nice city with very friendly people.
If you come to chicago, I can probably take you to 10 quality shops that roast in shop and do it right. Not to mention there are hundreds more across the city I haven't discovered yet.
Posted Thu Dec 5, 2013, 7:29am Subject: Re: Article: how to survive North America's terrible coffee
I'm glad you enjoyed your visit. The people are less friendly when in a hurry but even then they are nice when they need to. Sometimes i drop my keys in the street, have ten people getting my attention.
Intelligentsia I would probably rate 5th best in the city ;)
Intelligentsia I would probably rate 5th best in the city.
Chicago has a great coffee scene. Possibly almost as good as Alice Springs, or -- dare I say it -- Busselton. Almost.
Getting back to Intelly... I don't know nearly enough about Chicago for an intelligent comparison of shops, but we've got Intelligentsia out here as well. Since the days of yesteryear when Black Kat was the be all end all, they decided to catch the "Post Third Wave." Since then most of their coffees, especially the espressos, are too acid for my taste. On the other hand, the staffs are amazingly good.
calblacksmith Moderator Joined: 25 Nov 2007 Posts: 8,215 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 Thu Dec 5, 2013, 10:53am Subject: Re: Article: how to survive North America's terrible coffee
As has been said above, I think the biggest "error" the writer made was not understanding that regional "preferences" do not translate well to other locations. If you want to get what you are expecting to get, you better be able to tell the PBC how to make it when you are at Charbucks. This goes for anyone who goes there, not just international visitors. Then again if you go to a Charbucks, you better well know in advance it is not good coffee, easy to find yes but not good. YMMV!
PS, my personal take on the manners statement is that it was taken backwards, I TOOK IT as good coffee is easy to find if you look for it just as it is easy to find nice people with good manners down under but then again, the written word does not convey all the information the writer intended. I know I have been misunderstood and taken the wrong way because I did not make it very clear what I was saying. YMMV!
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!
takeshi Senior Member Joined: 12 Oct 2002 Posts: 1,053 Location: Houston Expertise: I live coffee
Espresso: Alex Duetto 3.0 Grinder: Super Jolly Roaster: Amaya Roasting
Posted Thu Dec 5, 2013, 2:34pm Subject: Re: Article: how to survive North America's terrible coffee
Even as an American I research coffee shops before traveling within the US. Starbucks may be ubiquitous but it doesn't mean that we all prefer it.
I'm glad the author found a way of getting Starbucks to make an almost palatable drink. I have yet to find a way to get them to make a latte I can stand. Their roast may be burnt to many but their lattes are amazingly flavorless after they add so much milk.
JasonBrandtLewis Senior Member Joined: 9 Dec 2005 Posts: 6,580 Location: Berkeley, CA Expertise: I live coffee
Espresso: Elektra T1 - La Valentina -... Grinder: Mahlkönig K30 Vario -... Vac Pot: Yama 5-cup Drip: CCD, Chemex Roaster: No, no, not another...
Posted Thu Dec 5, 2013, 5:07pm Subject: Re: Article: how to survive North America's terrible coffee
Well, it truly is a rather "lame" article -- not least for slamming coffee in North America for not being like it is in Australia! Neither is it like coffee in England, or Italy, or . . .
I can actually relate - on a trip to San Fran I went to what was supposed to be a top cafe and ordered a flat white. The barista told me he knew what that was, but when I got it back it was nothing like what I was expecting.
Yes, well besides the horrid and (to locals) insulting use of "San Fran," trust me: if I go into a bar Australia and ask for a Sazerac, I'm sure I'll be disappointed as well. (Virtually) No one in this country drinks "flat whites." Off the top of my head, I cannot think of a single café/coffee house in the SF Bay Area that has them as a part of their "regular" offerings.
The most honest and appropriate statement int he entire (and rather insipid) article is this:
Australians assume that all coffee in the USA and Canada is bad, partly because we're not used to the dominant drip-style filtered brew.
That's a rock-solid observation, and one akin to the lovers of Shiraz from the Barossa disliking a Côte-Rôtie or Hermitage rouge because they don't taste anything alike. No, the latter two are French Syrahs, and are very different -- in virtually countless ways -- from a Barossa Shiraz!
Posted Fri Dec 6, 2013, 12:05pm Subject: Re: Article: how to survive North America's terrible coffee
The manners comment was meant as follows: Just as if you look beyond Starbucks you can find good coffee, so if you look beyond the OP you can find Ozzies sufficiently gracious not to come into a North American coffee forum and insult North American coffee.
There's nothing magic about making a long black or a flat white. The first is a water-first Americano, while the second is a latte with the milk steamed to the loose side of "latte art." Either one -- No biggie.
Is the coffee scene generally better in the Land Down Undah than it is in North America? Depends what you mean by "better." Here in the States, we hit the extremes of wonderful and undrinkably awful more frequently than they do in Oz.
The problem with finding good espresso here in the States is that -- by and large -- US baristas are woefully undertrained. The job is so underpaid that it garners no respect, and turnover is so quick it's not worth it to invest the time and money in training -- especially for the sort of operators who pay the low-ball wages which make frequent turn-over inevitable.
Good espresso requires good baristas a helluva lot more than it does great machinery. How often have you had a lousy cup at an expensive hotel bar, or restaurant? For me, the answer is "often." The reason, not every bartender or waiter is trained to make espresso, but every damn one of them has access to the machine.
Budgiesmuggler Senior Member Joined: 20 Oct 2012 Posts: 6 Location: Sydney Expertise: Just starting
Posted Sat Dec 7, 2013, 4:14am Subject: Re: Article: how to survive North America's terrible coffe
Well you now have a Toby's estate in New York so hopefully there is at least one sure flat white in the country :)
I've not spent enough time in the states to draw a comparison, but in Australia you can now at least find a decent espresso in most small towns. Cafés with bad coffee in Sydney generally struggle because there is a really strong cafe scene here.
15 years ago the "cheapachino" reigned supreme - a spoon of instant with steamed milk. We have luckily moved on a bit since then!
Having spent 5 years in the UK I can say with authority that the coffee there is woeful. I luckily found that gwilym was around the corner do that made the place bareable! Before that Starbucks was the best there was.
Posted Sat Dec 7, 2013, 5:39am Subject: Re: Article: how to survive North America's terrible coffe
Well you now have a Toby's estate in New York so hopefully there is at least one sure flat white in the country :) Having spent 5 years in the UK I can say with authority that the coffee there is woeful. I luckily found that gwilym was around the corner do that made the place bareable! Before that Starbucks was the best there was.
LOL. Change of targets. I'm begining to understand why New Zealanders abroad are so offended when you mistake them for Australians.
Toby's in Brooklyn. On my to do list last September. Unfortunately didn't make it there over 3 days due to the number of other quality coffee joints in the locale.
Coffee is generally lousy in the UK. But Gwilym is based in London. World class coffee is available if you can be bothered to look. In most cities you can find good coffee if you can be bothered to look.
Forgive the sweeping generalisation regarding Australians. It was meant as a counterpoint to the sweeping generalisations you like to make regarding coffee out with Australia.
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