Posted Tue Dec 13, 2011, 7:06am Subject: Re: How to roast barley for espresso
I have had teas with various ingredients including roasted barley and roasted chicory root and such, but in eleven years of home roasting and making espresso, and frequenting at least three or four forums on a regular basis during that time, I have never heard of ANYONE using roasted grains to make espresso. Some have tried brewing tea with their espresso machines, and talk of putting sugar in the portafilter with the ground coffee as well as some spices (like cardamon) in there, but no talk of roasted grains used that way. And while you can define or use the term "Espresso" any way you like, if you went into a shop and ordered an espresso, it will be made from coffee and nothing else. You might do a search for alternative brewing forums like tea forums, or maybe a www search for "coffee alternatives" or "caffeine-free hot beverages" for more information.
Well, did you really expect much otherwise? Like Randy (above) I have been around the coffee scene for a while, had espresso in a lot of shops, in several states and in high coffee geek locations. I have been on this board for several years also.
Until your post, I have NEVER heard anyone mention using grain in making a coffee drink. Also like what Randy said, you can define the term as you wish but just don't expect the rest of the world to know what you are talking about if you define it as some entirely different thing.
In real life, my name is Wayne P. Anything I post is personal opinion and is only worth as much as anyone else's personal opinion. YMMV!
Feed the newbs, starve the trolls and above all enjoy what you drink!
JasonBrandtLewis Senior Member Joined: 9 Dec 2005 Posts: 6,372 Location: Berkeley, CA Expertise: I live coffee
Espresso: Elektra T1 - La Valentina -... Grinder: Mahlkönig K30 Vario -... Vac Pot: Yama 5-cup Drip: CCD, Chemex Roaster: No, no, not another...
Posted Tue Dec 13, 2011, 8:18am Subject: Re: How to roast barley for espresso
The last time grain was used to make (ersatz) coffee was in Germany during World War II, and -- trust me -- no one ever thought it was real coffee!
Coffee is produced from -- let's see -- coffee. Tea is produced from, uh, tea. Using things like mint, lemon verbena or even rooibos is not tea, but rather a tisane (see postscript below).
Can you make a hot drink from roasted barley? Of course you can -- it can even be tasty -- but it is neither coffee nor espresso.
P.S. "The English word "tisane" originates from the Greek word πτι& #963;άνη (ptisanē), a drink made from pearl barley." (Emphasis added.) "An herbal tea, tisane, or ptisan is a herbal or plant infusion and usually not made from the leaves of the tea bush (Camellia sinensis). Typically, herbal tea is simply the combination of boiling water and dried fruits, flowers or herbs."
Posted Tue Dec 13, 2011, 9:39am Subject: Re: How to roast barley for espresso
Additionally while there is a small niche that makes Rooibos tea in espresso machines, a task I myself looked into for a time (but never actually performed), none of those people actually call it espresso...they call it making tea in an espresso machine. (We'll conveniently ignore that Rooibos isn't actually tea which is a common term for Camellia Sinensis....Rooibos, like "herbal tea" is a steeped leaf/flower beverage.)
The point is, espresso is very specifically a drink consisting of Rubiaceae-family seed pods, ground, and brewed in hot water under high pressure. Espresso refers to nothing else. You can certainly make tea, Rooibos, grain or whatever you'd like to make, using an espresso machine to process it. But the resulting beverage is not espresso, it's tea, Rooibos, grain malt, or whatever it is, having been processed in an espresso machine.
We're a helpful bunch here in general, and as Jason and Randy said, we don't mind if you wish to define something by a different name...but what everyone else refers to when speaking of espresso doesn't seem to be what you're looking for, and it's extremely unlikely you'll find information about brewing grains anywhere on this or any other espresso forum. I suspect you may want to find alternative beverage groups, home medicine, exotic health food groups, etc. for such information. This is a group about coffee....if the question isn't related to brewing Rubiaceae Coffea based beverages....it's doubtful the folks here will know much about it.
I'd suggest checking out some of the home brewer (beer) forums on the net, I am sure they have some detailed info on roasting barley to best carmelize the sugars in it. From that point on if you wish to try pulling a shot of it in your espresso machine you would likely have to experiment a bit to find the best grind. The particles are going to be quite different than coffee, not extremely small "pebbles" but flakes instead. Probably try using a hand grinder like a zass.
"Coffee leads men to trifle away their time, scald their chops, and spend their money, all for a little base, black, thick, nasty, bitter, stinking nauseous puddle water." ~The Women's Petition Against Coffee, 1674
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