All shots were pulled double blind - Vince got numbered bags, tasters did not know the coffees. Barista was allowed to tune the coffee and shots any way he wanted before finally pulling two doubles and serving.
For the US / Canada Round:
Sammy Piccolo, 3 time CNBC Champ, 3 time top three WBC finalist, Barista (Vince felt he shouldn't work his own coffee, even if double blind) Colter Jones, CNBC Champ, Taster Barrett Jones, Taster Andrea Piccolo, Swiss Water QC, Taster Mark Prince, Taster Peter van de Reep, Barista, Optional Taster Les Kwon, Optional Taster
Should be fun. Pics, deets, everything to follow in the testing. I'm seriously thinking about giving the Italian coffees a 10% "bonus" to counteract any age issues. It's really an unfair battle as far as I'm concerned, because of the age of the coffees.
It sounds like I own stock in the company or something, but S.Passalacqua faithfully represents the last thread of an old school devotion to doing things right. For me, and for the people of Naples, it is as important to the landscape as pizza, music and romance.
IMO, it's not a fair match. But we're countering the article on Coffee Review, which tested US Available Italian blends vs a few US-based coffee blends.
In my case, I didn't just want to go to the store and pick four or five unknown (to me) Italian-roasted and blended coffee, so I did some research before selecting which ones to try. Pellini was a top favourite of a few Italian friends who know coffee and espresso, and also the recommendations of a large Vancouver importer. Segefredo is the #1 roaster in N. Italy, huge, probably bigger than Starbucks. And there's Illy in the mix.
Still, I'm considering giving a concession bonus to the Italian blends, based on age of coffee. Then again, I'm not... all of these coffees feature "best by" dates months in the future. If they think their coffee is good right up until those days, perhaps they don't need a 5 or 10% points bonus in the testing.
JacobS Senior Member Joined: 5 May 2006 Posts: 156 Location: Copenhagen Expertise: I love coffee
Espresso: GS/3 Grinder: Robur Roaster: Probat '73 RE 1 Sample...
Posted Mon Sep 3, 2007, 7:27am Subject: Re: Peet's, Baskets & Italian vs. N. American Blends by Mark Prince
He he, who said it had to be a fair match - but we could hope for a fair conclusion.
The thing I find unfair is comparison of mass-produced products against specialty products.
If your Italian coffee is as fresh as it gets in states then there shouldn't be an age-bonus IMHO. When I'm comparing the local roasters to Passalacqua the age is counted in days for the local stuff and in weeks for the Italian stuff, because that's what I have to chose from.
harrymanback Senior Member Joined: 15 May 2007 Posts: 214 Location: slo*cal Expertise: I live coffee
Espresso: expobar brewtus ii Grinder: la cimbali md6, baratza... Drip: nah...bodum press(es) Roaster: modded wear•ever popcorn...
Posted Mon Sep 3, 2007, 8:12am Subject: Re: Peet's, Baskets & Italian vs. N. American Blends by Mark Prince
i agree with the above conclusions from mods and garyh: this should be about competition b/w what's available in the north american marketplace -- so no point adjustment. i think the most applicable comparison is one off the shelf: "is that vac-sealed can of italian import better than my fresh roasted third wave shop?"
after all, if the question was about absolutes, we already have a competition for that...and an american roaster won "best espresso" honors this year in that head to head. i would think in terms of the absolute scale, our best would be comparable to their best (finally...50 years later); however, that bean said, i think all cg'ers would admit there is still a much higher percentage of quality coffee per the local market place, in italy vs. north america.
but i think the real question -- and the one you were shocked to see the results of in ken davids' review, mark -- is imported italian better than fresh north american?
"i should pull up the hardwood to see if there's carpet underneath! . . . no, that's never the case."
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