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Discussions > Espresso > Q and A > Stirring...  
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BonsaiDoug
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Posted Sun Nov 3, 2013, 6:05pm
Subject: Stirring espresso...
 

I have a friend who always stirs his espresso even though he doesn't use sugar. He says that the process of espresso is so violent that the shot should be stirred to even out the flavor.

I've never heard this before. Is there any truth to this, or is this just a matter of personal taste for him?  Or is he just a little nuts?  ;^)
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RoyceRuiz
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Posted Sun Nov 3, 2013, 6:16pm
Subject: Re: Stirring espresso...
 

I will start by saying I'm not 100% sure. I do know that the shops I frequent typically serve espresso with a spoon. I stir it a little but I'm not sure it makes a big difference. I've also wondered about how to dink espresso properly. This is my method. If celtser water is served I take a sip to cleanse my palate. I then use the spoon to pull back the crema to see it and evaluate the viscosity. I do one or two brief stirs and then sip. I usually take about 4 sips and then am done. I have switched back and forth between finishing the celtser water or not. I enjoy the lingering espresso taste but then I feel like maybe I should have finished the celtser. Anyone know the "proper" procedure or is there no right way?
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andys
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andys
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Posted Sun Nov 3, 2013, 6:21pm
Subject: Re: Stirring espresso...
 

Opinions vary, of course, but there is some discussion here.

 
-AndyS
picture page:  http://flickr.com/photos/andy_s/sets/
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BonsaiDoug
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Posted Sun Nov 3, 2013, 7:57pm
Subject: Re: Stirring espresso...
 

andys Said:

Opinions vary, of course, but there is some discussion here.

Posted November 3, 2013 link

Interesting site - thanx for the link.
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calblacksmith
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calblacksmith
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Posted Mon Nov 4, 2013, 7:26am
Subject: Re: Stirring espresso...
 

Some say yes stir others say no don't.
Some like a uniform taste, others like a layered flavor profile.

Do it if you like.
Don't if you do not.

There is no right or wrong, only what YOU like to drink :D

 
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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NobbyR
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NobbyR
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Posted Mon Nov 4, 2013, 7:43am
Subject: Re: Stirring espresso...
 

An argument for stirring your espresso is that usually the sweet part of the shot is at the bottom of the cup, while the middle part is rather bitter (and the crema is on top).

 
***
"This drink of the Satan is so delicious that it would be a shame to leave it to the infidels." (Pope Clement VIII on coffee, when he was urged to ban the beverage)
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emradguy
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emradguy
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Posted Mon Nov 4, 2013, 8:54am
Subject: Re: Stirring espresso...
 

This is a great thread!  I've been playing with stirring, not stirring for a couple of months now, and have definitely noticed a more even flavor across the shot after stirring first...I tend to prefer it myself.  The reason I started doing it is two-fold.  First, a local barista I'm on first name basis with stirred one for me when we were doing a tasting.  Second, I've been pulling a double ristretto for my wife and mother-in-law and then splitting it for their lattes, so I figured, if I stir it then they both get all parts of the shot.  

This discussion is really making me think about how I've served straight shots in the past to guests.  The father of a close friend asked me for a lungo the first time he was over to our house.  I have to say, I wasn't really prepared at the time to pull anything other than my "normal" shot (which was really a ristretto). I guess he liked it anyways because not only did he tell me so, but he refers to me as "el rey de cafe" (tr. the king of coffee - I know my coffee is good, but I don't think it's that good). However, I've become much better of late, thanks to his "challange" (he wasn't aware that it was a challenge to me to make him a proper espresso lungo).  Anyhow, he's due back soon (he lives out of country), and I will definitely either offer him a spoon or just give him one when I make his next shot.

...and I agree...thanks for the link Andy!  I enjoyed reading your post of pf. I wish you would post here on CG more often, as you have a huge amount of knowledge and experience to share.

 
.
Always remember the most important thing is what ends up in your cup!
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BonsaiDoug
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Posted Mon Nov 4, 2013, 11:54am
Subject: Re: Stirring espresso...
 

calblacksmith Said:

Some like a uniform taste, others like a layered flavor profile.

Posted November 4, 2013 link

Personally, I like the layers of flavor in my doubles. Guess it's time to experiment.
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CMIN
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Posted Mon Nov 4, 2013, 5:31pm
Subject: Re: Stirring espresso...
 

I prefer stirring, makes the shots smooth and more balanced.
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friendlyfoe
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Joined: 14 May 2013
Posts: 122
Location: toronto
Expertise: I like coffee

Posted Wed Nov 6, 2013, 5:09pm
Subject: Re: Stirring espresso...
 

BonsaiDoug Said:

I have a friend who always stirs his espresso even though he doesn't use sugar. He says that the process of espresso is so violent that the shot should be stirred to even out the flavor.

Posted November 3, 2013 link

Someone feel free to disagree with me on this, but espresso extraction isn't particularly *violent* and thats probably a bad way of explaining it. I'm no expert but it seems pretty obvious to me that espresso pours from the machine in layers and thats why stirring would make a difference.
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