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Espresso 2010 by Mark Prince
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Senior Member
Joined: 15 May 2007
Posts: 219
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 Tue Aug 17, 2010, 8:32pm
Subject: re: espresso 2010 by mark prince

sorry to confuse; i'm aware that most specialty roasters blend post-roast.  my original statement should have be read as finding [flavors from different lots roasted seperately with their appropriate] roast profile that work well together [as a blend when pulled on an espresso machine] at the same [group head] temperature. . .

and my question remains: who here drinks "single origin" drip / press / siphon / chemex / pour-over. . . vs. "blends?"

what i glossed over in my original post was that yes, espresso does "pop" some flavors as a s.o. that may be part of something more complex in another brewing method.  but should there really be a rule: s.o. as coffee, blend as espresso?  blending as espresso may create balance or interesting flavor combinations, but you also lose a bit of each ingredient's "pop" in doing so, as well as any of each ingredient's subtleties that lingered in the background of the s.o.


"i should pull up the hardwood to see if there's carpet underneath! . . . no, that's never the case."
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Senior Member
Joined: 26 May 2010
Posts: 16
Location: Denver Colorado
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Modded up Carezza
Grinder: Rocky
Vac Pot: Yama
Drip: Various pour overs
Roaster: BuzzRoaster and SC/TO
Posted Wed Aug 18, 2010, 6:05pm
Subject: Re: Espresso 2010 by Mark Prince

EDIT - When posting I did not realize the second article had been posted already.

Now that I've read both parts I guess I'll just say that I do not agree with much of this article.

I have a semi standard thing I normally say in situations like this and it goes something like...
At the end of the day personal taste and expectation are most important when it comes to coffee/espresso. Some people will feel more comfortable with a very specific type of cup for instance. They expect and "know" that espresso is a specific thing. I think maybe this is what the OP is getting at. I normally say there is nothing wrong with that but in a way this article is pressing the notion that this view is "correct".

While I think it's far from correct and could go on for a good long while about the virtues of SO shots, expanding your thoughts about what espresso is capable of being, and exploration of coffee in general I'm aware that my opinion is only correct for me and as well....so it's just an opinion.

I think many of the ideas in this article come face to face with opposition right way, like the idea that SO shots are simplistic. It pretty much screams out "then I guess you have only had simple coffee to work with".

I've had hundreds of SO shots that are anything but the simplistic, one dimensional, boring, un-capable shots this article says must be blended in order to be worthy.

I guess I'm just lost on the entire concept of this article.


John F
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Joined: 21 Sep 2004
Posts: 586
Location: Milwaukee
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: LM GS/3 MP
Grinder: Elektra Nino
Roaster: Hottop+PID
Posted Sat Aug 21, 2010, 10:12am
Subject: Re: Espresso 2010 by Mark Prince

MarshallF Said:

It isn't a religion; it's a beverage. If a trustworthy barista recommends a new SO, I'll usually try it. If I like it a lot, I'll buy a bag. It's that simple. At least 80% of my home espressos are blends, but I'm constantly rotating through the offerings of my favorite local roasters. I'd give up espresso from boredom, if it were always the same.

Posted August 15, 2010 link

"Variatio delectat"=  There's nothing like change!

It's like eating your absolute favorite dish 3 times a day for the rest of your life.

Blends are usually tuned towards a goal, like "works good with milk" or "as straight espresso" or "100% organic version of our ... espresso". But once a roaster has found that profile that they like, how many blends would they offer? What's their blending goal, can they all be outstanding? So most of them settle for 2-3 espresso blends. And people that don't just try to get caffeinated by habit might get bored with those 2-3 blends after a while, that's where even outstanding roasters can loose a substantial fraction of  consumers' business (not coffee shops).  Single Origin to the rescue! Offer an interesting SO espresso every now and then (and before people get bored with that SO offering, rotate to a different one) and the consumers who liked your espresso blend in the first place will keep buying more of your espresso offerings.  At least that's my experience. None of the SO coffee's I've bought from roasters were the "ultimate experience", but I keep trying SO coffee because 1) I like to experience unblended espresso for the educational experience, and 2) I like to fiddle with brewing parameters. But really I don't like to be bored, like Marshall said.

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