Tuesday, August 04, 2009

   from Nick

Is espresso dead?

Clearly not dead yet... but I've been noticing what looks suspiciously like a quiet revolt. Specialty coffee professionals seem to be more and more passionate about drip/filter coffees... and slightly less passionate about espresso year after year. Perhaps it started with the introduction of the Clover brewer.

I was told over and over from our friends in the Pacific North West, just a few years ago, that there was little-to-no interest in filter coffees in their markets. They were all about espresso drinks, and didn't care for or want filter coffees. This clearly isn't the case anymore.

The friendly folks at the industry-leading La Marzocco USA debuted some espresso innovations this year at their SCAA Atlanta Expo booth... along-side a french press grinder?

Top baristas all over seem to be spending more and more time on their siphon-brewing than anything else.

Is there something really going on, or is this just a phase?


Blogger CoffeeGeek Bloggin' said...

Its just a phase.

8/04/2009 10:07:00 PM  
Blogger Ben said...

Does it have to be filter or espresso 'winning'? Yes, there's an increasing focus on brewed coffee, even down here in the wasteland of Oz, but an espresso can still rock my world! And realistically, there's too much money invested by cafe owners on espresso machines and grinders for it to be dismissed too easily.

8/04/2009 10:41:00 PM  
Blogger Geoff Corey said...

3-Cups seems to be doing just fine without the espresso machine. They handle the occasional, "I want a hazelnut latte" request just fine by explaining what they offer and why.

8/05/2009 07:43:00 AM  
Blogger Mike said...

Could it be related to the fact that many people have not had GOOD espresso?

I believe that drip/filter coffees can hide imperfections that are covered up with cream and sugar. With espresso, many baristas will use dirty equipment or old beans and the shot is absolutely horrible. Once somebody tries their first shot of bad espresso, are they likely to try it again?

8/05/2009 08:19:00 AM  
Blogger akurutz said...

I think part of it is economics both on behalf of the consumer and the passionate coffee professional - both of which are hurting for money these days.

Top baristas are inherently curious and always looking for new ways for coffee to express itself. Most can't afford a LM or Synesso in their home, so satisfy their curiousity they play with Chemex, Siphons, Clever Drippers and even a presspot. A pass through all the Flickr accounts we look at suggests this.

As for the consumer, would be interesting to see if non clover shops are seeing a percentage shift in sales to filter away from espresso during this economic downturn.

Just a thought.

8/18/2009 07:53:00 AM  
Blogger Wilson Hines said...

I go through phases in my own house where the Faema stays quite for a couple months and the vac pots and presses can't keep clean. In fact, I am in that phase right now. And then, all of a sudden, somebody will hand me a bag of espresso to try out and I will be right back on the spro band wagon.
I imagine, to a similar degree, the people behind the bar may be pushing certain things harder when they are more curious about it or are having certain phases themselves.

8/28/2009 07:19:00 AM  
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