Coming a cropper

Gizmodo celebrated some sort of food week last week. Some good stuff came out of it. Including this post on coffee. That was really good. Right up until the last heading. On espresso. The post covers the myriad brewing methods available and the range of costs involved. And then the writer shoots his credibility in the foot with this gem:

You know what? Let’s just get this out of the way: You can’t make amazing espresso at home. Not unless you’re will to spend something $US7500 on an espresso machine from someone like La Marzocco. Why? Consistency. Temperature. Pressure.

I call shenanigans. That is rubbish. Certainly a good machine in the hands of professionals is going to produce a better coffee than most people can do at home. But this is the biggest piece of rubbish I’ve ever seen. My machine was $450. It’s a machine in the class the guy mentions – but there are home machines in the prosumer/semi commercial capacity that would produce much better coffee than mine because they’re built with more control over those variables.

I’d also argue that getting the grind and the beans right is much more important than having the machine right – because at the end of the day all machines perform the same basic function – just with different abilities to control those variables.

I’m not going to completely discredit everything this turkey says on the basis of one error. Because the underlying principle, that a good cafe will make a better coffee than a good home set up, is true.


queenstuss says:

I really am a coffee snob. I pretty much only drink plunger coffee at home because I can’t consistently get a good enough cup of coffee out of my machine. It will make a good espresso – if I get the grind right – but I find the steamer inconsistent and the milk sometimes taste burnt. It’s much easier, faster, and much less messier, to plunge. I know what grind I need, I know roughly how long to leave it in to get the cup I want, and it plays the game consistently.