Coffee cup with swirl
Feeble Swirl Coffee Art

Well, this is interesting.  I think I’ve learned a great deal about pulling the perfect espresso.  I understand what the variables are to a degree and after a couple of cups with a new bean,  ‘dialling in’ I’m usually making decent tasting coffee.  I’m not qualified at all and certainly wouldn’t give myself anything like the title of barista.

The other day, I went to speciality coffee shop as I was in town and was on my way to work after running some errands.  I picked this particular shop because they happen to have the very same coffee beans I currently have in the hopper at home.  I figured I should see what standard a professionally crafted cappuccino should reach and beings everything was equal, I could then rate my own ability, at least to a subjective level.

I’m not going to name the venue, nor the coffee itself, but what I can say is that my coffee has far more depth of flavour and far more fulfilling than the bought one.  There could be some reasons behind this, maybe it’s because I drink from a china cup at home and not a paper one or maybe it’s because I was outside.  A true test would require me to sit inside and drink from a proper cup, but time was available for that.

Alternately, maybe it was the preparation itself.  I would say, either the weight of coffee used was a bit low or maybe the grind was a little too coarse, resulting in a slightly sour, siped taste.  Everything else was equal.  From a profit making perspective and they are all businesses, let’s face it, 1g less here and there won’t make a massive difference, but then indie coffee shops don’t always have a good customer flow, so maybe it does.  Perhaps the beans weren’t bought in bulk and they are losing their freshness.  Maybe it wasn’t intentional at all and the machine or grinder weren’t calibrated just quite right.

Be that as it may, I would have sooner spent £2.50 on a coffee I made, than on this shop made and I wonder who else might agree.  I don’t want to blow a trumpet here (then again it’s my blog, why not) but I am proud of my pretty consistent coffee making.

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