If you were to ask me a year ago what my favorite preparation of coffee is, I wouldn’t have hesitated one bit, and said “ESPRESSO. DUH.” I would probably start to passionately talk to you about the intricacies of every little aspect of pulling just one shot of espresso. I probably would start to talk to you about how one little change in grind, different tamp pressure, different water temperature all makes a massive difference in how a shot pulls blah blah blah blah… It’s easy to talk espresso. It really is..
The truth is, I always get jaded by espresso because of the inclusion of pouring latte art, and that I don’t have a La Marzocco parked in my kitchen. I get hot and bothered about espresso, because it’s (generally) where Baristas get to flex their muscles. Let’s face it, the preparation, and everything around espresso is just more attractive than with brew coffee – you have espresso machines that are worth more than most cars, shiny milk that makes sexy latte art and lots of little tools baristas use to make the espresso. Espresso really takes the spotlight over brew coffee.
I’ll tell you what though.. It’s really something to meet a barista who can hold up a conversation about coffees that aren’t available in their shop. I really do love it when I meet a barista who’s knowledgeable about the coffees available in his/her shop. I get truly impressed when folks start talking about roasters, and equipment other than what’s within the walls of one cafe. I tend to ask folks what they brew at home with, and where they like to buy their coffee. It’s really sad, but most of the time I hear “I don’t brew at home. I just drink coffee from my shop and other shops I visit.”
I can speak from a good bit of personal experience on the matter, it really makes you a better barista if you’re brewing coffees at home. When you brew coffee at home, you can take your sweet time to be intimately attached to the magic of turning bean into beverage.
Just a thought..