Tuesday, February 26, 2008

1944 Ad
(click to enlarge pic)

Coffee when well prepared

is beyond question

one of the ambrosial luxuries of life.

William M Leszynsky, MD
Coffee As A Beverage (1901)

How an espresso should look after a good extraction.

During the Civil War,
the Union Army used an early
form of instant coffee:
a thick, gooey paste, made of
ground coffee, sugar, and milk.
All a soldier had to do was
open a can and add hot water.

Here's a link to a story about
Starbucks and what they are doing today.

Hint to SB:

Instead of giving new hires books to read,
and time at a drive-thru window,
maybe hire people interested in coffee
and perfecting the shots/drinks.

No one taught me anything I
didn't already know.

And if I had no previous experience, my
drink making would have been
quite nasty really.

This is quite surprising,
since most SB use automatic
espresso machines. That and most people
that work in their stores, do not drink
or are knowledgeable about coffee.

After working 2 yrs at a store out here,
99.9% of workers are not interested
in the products (frapps don't count).

To get a good espresso out of a machine
on a consistent basis, you need to keep an eye
on your grind, how much pressure you use
to pack the coffee in your group head,
and on your extraction that's a whole nother book!
You need to keep an eye on your grinder and adjust
it a few times a day, otherwise the shots
turn to piss water. No flavor, bitter, no crema.
Where I worked, I seemed
to be the only one on a shift that would
check and do this daily.

Maybe this one day event will change
the attitude of the baristas, but, aside
from a PR standpoint, it appears
that more will need to be done
for SB to rise above Independents.

Independents rule and care!


Bob Dylan said...

Oh My God that Espresso is beautiful. Absolutely beautiful.

Bob Dylan said...

Ok I do have a question--- how can I make a good espresso without any electricity involved? I have drip method mini pots (The type they use for Vietnamese coffee that sit atop a cup) The long handled Turkish coffee pots, and a tiny French press-- I can heat the water on a gas stove --

well, you must have some tips for me, on how to make the best espresso I possibly can.

Coffee Messiah said...

bd: Thanks for noticing and caring!

Sadly, you need a certain amount of pressure and heat to extrude an espresso. The Italian Stove-tops are pretty cool, but still need heat!

The Vietnamese style is one of our favorites, but that really isn't espresso, just coffee.

Coffee, freshly roasted and ground in a French Press can't be beat.

Of course, purchasing an espresso machine, such as the ones used at coffeehouse's could set you back a bit and they need to be plumbed. We almost kept ours from our coffeehouse, and glad we didn't, 'cause we have since moved 2X and ma be moving yet again.

Capresso makes a great home machine for around $3,000. or so, depending on what do-dads you want.

We have one ourselves, that was under $2,000 refurbished, have had it 2 yrs and it's still going strong. As long as you keep it clean (it reminds you) and you put fresh water in, all is well.

Sorry about the electricity. We also would enjoy making it without if possible.

Hope that helps. Cheers!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the link to the tale of training at McStarbucks. Three whole hours of group training.

Anonymous said...

Hey, Coffee, are you on a one-man crusade to change the world? You really have found a niche, eh!

Perhaps I'll find something smaller to attempt, like how to mix a proper martini! What do you reckon? The training part could be good.

Cheers and peace.

Mary said...

I can safely say I have never seen such an espresso. I feel certain I have never had a quality one either. Oh the injustice! Next time I am in DC or NYC I will seek one out.

Anonymous said...

I have too much pep--it must be the coffee!

dennis said...

Dennis snaps a lot too--Dennis might need coooffeee.

Anne said...

nice crema!

Catana said...

My husband was a Navy man and I was a cab driver when we met, so thick gooey paste was our "usual"
I've not tasted espresso, but am sure I'd enjoy it (I do like to spice my regular--no longer paste, fresh is best--with a touch of cinnamon)
I have enjoyed your cyber journal...Happy Trails

Bobby D. said...

A neighbor told me she would make Hungarian coffee for me sometime-- I think she said an egg was involved, but I wasn't sure and didn't want to ask how an egg was involved. Do you have any info on this?

Coffee Messiah said...

phd g: Guess 3 hrs is something? ; (
Makes me wonder....is that all it will take? Hmmm

david g: Naw, I just like my coffee.

mary: If it's all done right, it's mighty delicious. It helps if the coffee is good too. And has less caffeine than drip coffee! ; )

dennis: Ha, Ha! Better stick to catnip; )

annie: Indeed! ; )

catana: Thanks so much for stopping by and leaving a comment!

dcb: Yes, egg shells and all, kinda like turkish....although just thinking about the egg mish mash might make me give up coffee. Nah!

Perhaps it has an interesting flavor....do let us know. ; )

Anonymous said...

After the water has boiled and the coffee added, eggshell is added to "settle" the grounds and make the coffee "sparkling" clear. Also known as Cowboy Coffee -- at least that's what my grandmother told me when when (as a very young aspiring coffee drinker) I questioned her practice of same ... nooo, she wasn't a chuckwagon cook, but a Dutch-German immigrant. So where she learned that, I don't know.

LET'S TALK said...

I don't know if three hours of training will improve any taste that can be duplicated by my home machine.

Coffee Messiah said...

anon: Thanks for more insight. I was sure dcb already looked the info up.

let's: Hi ya! Nice to see you. Any well versed coffee drinker can make a better drink than anyone I've experienced in a SB.

BTW, what machine do you have???

Squirrel said...

I love this blog!

robin andrea said...

I gave up coffee many years ago, but you make me wish I hadn't! I would love to have a cup, but only if it had been brewed to your perfection. Every now and then I order a decaf in a restaurant, and blech, what burnt-tasting crap.

Coffee Messiah said...

squirrel: ; )

robin: So far so good for us on the coffee side, although we too drink nice tea. Will have to post at some point.....Glad to hear you and Roger made it back safe and sound!

Anonymous said...

This is all somewhat distressing to me, as I am totally in love with SB (I dare not spell the name out, in here:-p). Provincial hick that I am, I've never tasted anything so exquisite as a 'dopio' from you-know-where.

Does anyone know of an independent here in Dallas, where I can experience...uh...the real deal? I would love to, for sure.

I don't know, maybe I don't have such a discriminating pallette. But I do love to explore!

Coffee Messiah said...

decker: We all have certain "things" that we enjoy. 4 me, especially in this regard, I know good coffee, and what they give you isn't it. They used to, but that was many years ago, before they turned into another WalMArt! ; (

Wish I knew about places in Texas. That's one of only a few states I've never been to.