I’m living up to my blog’s name…

So yesterday, I probably worked my busiest shift ever. Five pounds of coffee in roughly five hours. That’s over a hundred shots for those not in the know. It was cool.

Anyways, the real reason for this post is to ponder the idea of the “long” espresso. Yes, the (for people like me, anyways) lungo. I don’t know why people like it/order it. Recently I read on cGeek an opinion that rang true with me from a restaurateur in Oregon wanting to provide good quality espresso for their customers. She said, and I’m paraphrasing, a person who drinks (good) wine should have the palate for espresso. I think this is true by the number of baristi/geeks out there who are into the whole fine beverage thing. Look at me, I am primarily into coffee, followed by beer and spirits. I appreciate good tea, maté and other drinks.

I’m digressing, but it all leads to one thing. People do not order espresso. Why is that? Or, when they order espresso, they order it long or modified somehow. Are there myths or traditions in the way of a straight double?

I’ve had people at both of the café’s I have worked at tell me how to pull my shots. This has been addressed by Nick Cho over at Murky Coffee in DC (I think), whose store policy is you can modify your drink as much as you want except for the espresso. Espresso is a constant (well, at least one would hope). I like that idea, and it makes sense. Certain blends perform well under certain conditions. Look at the 2% Jazz espresso. Try and replicate a shot like that at home. You can’t do it, and the blend has been criticized for that. It’s because that blend needs that Synesso set at a certain temperature and handled by a skilled barista. That handling involves the shot timing. My shots will not taste right outside of a certain timeframe, and if this is what I am serving (long shots, being pulled outside of the timeframe) it conveys an image of the espresso, regardless of whether a customer likes it. Imagine comparing tasting notes between a lungo pull and a well pulled double. Yeah, no comparison, but the same blend.

Just some food for thought.

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1 Response to “I’m living up to my blog’s name…”


  1. 1 coffee activist November 6, 2005 at 10:22 pm

    my thoughts are pretty similar to nick’s thoughts… you can modify your drink as much as you want… except for the espresso. but i also think that in a latte… maybe taking the temperature up too high is also a no-no… i mean the milk breaks down and starts to taste like ass… do i want people drinking that and then thinking that it’s not that great? So those are my two non-modifiers.


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49th Parallel El Salvador La Montaña
Excellent coffee for everyday drinking. Well expressed acidity and classic El Salvador profile.

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By far the best bourbon available in BC for the price. $35 for a bottle gets you the highest rye content bourbon on the market. Lots of spice and typical bourbon corn sweetness. Excellent on its own, but also makes a mean Old Fashioned. Better than Knob Creek in my books and pretty close to Woodford Reserve.

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