Sunday, January 26, 2014

Java Bowl Of Soul

Stemming from Idaho, the Java folks decided to open their fifth shop and first outside their home state in Westport. Cool new addition to the local scene, all organic coffee beans, sweet vibe.

I'm on a quest for a decent cup of espresso in these parts. Having spent time in France and Miami I know what a good cup of espresso tastes like. It has to be pipping hot, and taste like coffee, a rich, thick, almost Turkish* coffee-like thickness, no bitterness, no sourness, a good cup of espresso shouldn't even need sugar, it's naturally sweet.

Sadly, what's happened around here, and it must be a disease, is this ridiculous, almost pathological addiction to high priced, super-extraction machines, which transform any cup of espresso, into tasting like the beans have been wrung out of a dirty dish rag!

Maybe there's a setting on these machines, where you can ask the barista, to set the controls to "old fashioned" so I can once again enjoy an espresso the way it was meant to taste.

A "good" espresso should take 25 seconds to pour, and have very little crema... Busy coffeeshops tend to rush it, which results in acrid tasting shots with too much crema on top!

From Sweetmarias:
"Bad taste? Bitterness in espresso is a popular complaint. Before you blame the coffee, you need to make sure the machine is clean. A very bad, acrid bitterness results from machines/coffee handles that are dirty. A thorough cleaning of a neglected machine can be a considerable undertaking. I cleaned a La San Marco for 2 days straight trying to remove the cause of my bitter espresso. When the machine is clean, you should be able to do a dry-run with no coffee in the portafilter (meaning, run hot water into the cup through the coffee handle) ... then let the water cool and taste it. If it tastes good, your machine should be clean."

*Kibberia which recently opened a second restaurant in Westport down from Danbury makes a pretty decent cup of Turkish coffee!

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