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Date: 26 Jan 2007 09:33:04
From: Jeff
Subject: Good Espresso in Boston?
I have a question for Bostonians:

I'm a long time home roaster wondering what a good cup of espresso
tastes like. I don't get it often, because its always tasted pretty
foul to me. Now I'm afraid I'm traumatized, but I have to assume that
if properly prepared, I might start to appreciate it. I think part of
my problem is that the coffee I roast and brew for myself is so good,
that I have little tolerance for second rate or worse that I normally
find elsewhere.

I prefer coffee black, city-roast, and certainly not the
Charbucks/Peet's style of dark roast. I usually have Kona, or Latin
American, roasted to before second crack, currently with a Gene.
(Aroma-roast, three Hearthwares, Alp, Whirlypop are in the closet.)

I live just west of Boston but often travel to the various 'burbs.
Can someone recommend a shop where I might find a cup that will change
my impression of espresso? Anywhere around town is OK, as long as I
don't have to pay $20 to park.

Thanks,
jeff




 
Date: 28 Jan 2007 06:37:48
From: Omniryx@gmail.com
Subject: Re: Good Espresso in Boston?


On Jan 26, 10:36 pm, Jeff <jef...@foo.net > wrote:

> I had always assumed that espresso was only a way of making bad coffee
> ginally drinkable. Although my wife frequently has some "espresso
> flavored beverage," she's come around to preferring my coffee to
> anything served at our local Starbucks, etc.

Well, you know, some perfectly respectable people of impeccable taste
just don't like espresso. This group can create the impression that a
love for espresso is the natural evolutionary end point of coffee
appreciation.

That's not so.

Never be made to feel even the tiniest bit inadequate, inferior,
unlearned, or lacking in gustatory sophistication because you don't
like espresso.



  
Date: 28 Jan 2007 15:42:31
From: Jeff
Subject: Re: Good Espresso in Boston?
Omniryx@gmail.com wrote:
>
> On Jan 26, 10:36 pm, Jeff <jef...@foo.net> wrote:
>
>> I had always assumed that espresso was only a way of making bad coffee
>> ginally drinkable. Although my wife frequently has some "espresso
>> flavored beverage," she's come around to preferring my coffee to
>> anything served at our local Starbucks, etc.
>
> Well, you know, some perfectly respectable people of impeccable taste
> just don't like espresso.

I've always felt I was in that group. ;-)

> This group can create the impression that a
> love for espresso is the natural evolutionary end point of coffee
> appreciation.

Oddly, it seems that is fairly new - 5 years ago there was more
discussion of the relative merits of vacuum pots versus FP.

>
> That's not so.
>
> Never be made to feel even the tiniest bit inadequate, inferior,
> unlearned, or lacking in gustatory sophistication because you don't
> like espresso.

No, its more the feeling that I might be missing out on something.
Also, espresso lovers have a lot of nice gadgets to play with.

It does seem a bit disconcerting that most of the recommendations I
received came with a disclaimer that I'd be lucky if I caught the
barista on a good day. Do people actually like espresso or do they
just live with a dream of someday experiencing the elusive God Shot?



   
Date: 28 Jan 2007 14:49:34
From: Lloyd Parsons
Subject: Re: Good Espresso in Boston?
In article <ZNCdnftnEO0jlyDYnZ2dnUVZ_tyinZ2d@comcast.com >,
Jeff <jeffmo@foo.net > wrote:

> Omniryx@gmail.com wrote:
> >
> > On Jan 26, 10:36 pm, Jeff <jef...@foo.net> wrote:
> >
> >> I had always assumed that espresso was only a way of making bad coffee
> >> ginally drinkable. Although my wife frequently has some "espresso
> >> flavored beverage," she's come around to preferring my coffee to
> >> anything served at our local Starbucks, etc.
> >
> > Well, you know, some perfectly respectable people of impeccable taste
> > just don't like espresso.
>
> I've always felt I was in that group. ;-)
>
> > This group can create the impression that a
> > love for espresso is the natural evolutionary end point of coffee
> > appreciation.
>
> Oddly, it seems that is fairly new - 5 years ago there was more
> discussion of the relative merits of vacuum pots versus FP.
>
> >
> > That's not so.
> >
> > Never be made to feel even the tiniest bit inadequate, inferior,
> > unlearned, or lacking in gustatory sophistication because you don't
> > like espresso.
>
> No, its more the feeling that I might be missing out on something.
> Also, espresso lovers have a lot of nice gadgets to play with.
>
> It does seem a bit disconcerting that most of the recommendations I
> received came with a disclaimer that I'd be lucky if I caught the
> barista on a good day. Do people actually like espresso or do they
> just live with a dream of someday experiencing the elusive God Shot?

Some of us that don't drink much straight espresso have those neat toys
too, you know?

An Americano is certainly better than most coffee made in other ways,
but it takes a superior espresso shot to start it. Bad espresso
shot=bad Americano

And then there is my personal favorite, the Cafe Crema. 6 oz of pure
gold, pulled in 25 seconds through the puck. Yummy!

I will admit that with my better grinders and better espresso machine, I
appreciate an espresso shot more often, but not everyday.


 
Date: 28 Jan 2007 06:33:37
From: Omniryx@gmail.com
Subject: Re: Good Espresso in Boston?
As I said, 1369 can be up and down depending on whose hand is on the
wheel. The brewed coffee is consistently reliable.

I've found Simon's to be hit and miss, too. Sometimes real good,
sometimes atrocious. But then, I must admit that I'm not fond of
Terroir blends.

Just goes to show ya....



 
Date: 26 Jan 2007 20:39:23
From: Felix
Subject: Re: Good Espresso in Boston?
Jeff laments:
> too bad I don't still have a resident parking sticker!

It's been a while since I moved to Chicago, but I'd be surprised if you
had trouble finding parking in/near Ball Square. Even Davis Square
wasn't that difficult a few years ago.

Another highlight in that area was/is Verna's, which was recently
acquired. I'd stop there first ... Maybe park at Davis, walk to the
doughnut shop, then up to True Grounds, eat breakfast, walk back to
Davis to take the T to Simon's, sample something there, and then dilute
the caffeine with a bowl of soup at the Japanese food court in Porter
Square before returning. Window shopping is optional, of course :-)


Felix



 
Date: 26 Jan 2007 16:45:17
From: Felix
Subject: Re: Good Espresso in Boston?
TJ (invict...@gmail.com) reiterates:
> Simon's Coffee [...] in Cambridge, MA is very delicious!

This shop gets a lot of ink in this Boston Globe article:
http://simonscoffeeshop.com/globe_article1.html

Simon's isn't listed at Terroir's web site, but there is an entry for a
Somerville shop that buys bread from my favorite bakery (Nashoba). It
should be easier to park near here:
http://truegrounds.com/


Felix



  
Date: 26 Jan 2007 22:21:06
From: Jeff
Subject: Re: Good Espresso in Boston?
Felix wrote:
> TJ (invict...@gmail.com) reiterates:
>> Simon's Coffee [...] in Cambridge, MA is very delicious!
>
> This shop gets a lot of ink in this Boston Globe article:
> http://simonscoffeeshop.com/globe_article1.html
>
> Simon's isn't listed at Terroir's web site, but there is an entry for a
> Somerville shop that buys bread from my favorite bakery (Nashoba). It
> should be easier to park near here:
> http://truegrounds.com/
>
>
> Felix
>
Thank's for the recommendation, and thanks to those who offered the
1369 and Simon's. Curiously, all of these are within a few blocks of
places where I lived and worked for many years in Cambridge. It looks
like I'll have to take a ride back to the old neighborhoods; too bad I
don't still have a resident parking sticker!

As for Terroir, my last green bean buy was out there - its a nice
setup and we've been enjoying George's selections for the last few
months. I never associated him with espresso, but now that I think of
it, my wife took "Espresso 101" at the old Coffee Connection years
ago. IIRC, she was embarrassed to "spit out" and ended up going on a
shopping spree after the class! I'm hoping that we'll be able to go
out to Terroir in Acton for a class or tasting. Actually, I could use
some more green, so maybe I'll go out there again and ask for some
espresso!


 
Date: 26 Jan 2007 16:26:39
From: chardinej
Subject: Re: Good Espresso in Boston?
>How would home roasting teach you how to brew espresso? What if your
> home roasting technique and equipment were poor, but you didn't know
> it? Calibrating your palate with a visit to a respected shop is a very
> good idea.
>
> shall "made the rounds of some S.F. and Berkeley shops this week"

Read the first line of the original post:

"I'm a long time home roaster wondering what a good cup of espresso
tastes like".



  
Date: 27 Jan 2007 00:52:00
From: Marshall
Subject: Re: Good Espresso in Boston?
On 26 Jan 2007 16:26:39 -0800, "chardinej" <chardine@nbnet.nb.ca >
wrote:

>>How would home roasting teach you how to brew espresso? What if your
>> home roasting technique and equipment were poor, but you didn't know
>> it? Calibrating your palate with a visit to a respected shop is a very
>> good idea.
>>
>> shall "made the rounds of some S.F. and Berkeley shops this week"
>
>Read the first line of the original post:
>
>"I'm a long time home roaster wondering what a good cup of espresso
>tastes like".

And you said: "My initial reaction was: if you're a home roaster why
don't you know what a good cup of espresso tastes like?!"

What is your point? You can home roast and make great espresso or home
roast and make terrible espresso. I don't see the connection.

shall


   
Date: 26 Jan 2007 22:36:22
From: Jeff
Subject: Re: Good Espresso in Boston?
shall wrote:
> On 26 Jan 2007 16:26:39 -0800, "chardinej" <chardine@nbnet.nb.ca>
> wrote:
>
>>> How would home roasting teach you how to brew espresso? What if your
>>> home roasting technique and equipment were poor, but you didn't know
>>> it? Calibrating your palate with a visit to a respected shop is a very
>>> good idea.
>>>
>>> shall "made the rounds of some S.F. and Berkeley shops this week"
>> Read the first line of the original post:
>>
>> "I'm a long time home roaster wondering what a good cup of espresso
>> tastes like".
>
> And you said: "My initial reaction was: if you're a home roaster why
> don't you know what a good cup of espresso tastes like?!"
>
> What is your point? You can home roast and make great espresso or home
> roast and make terrible espresso. I don't see the connection.

You guys are both completely missing the point. I homeroast and make
delicious COFFEE. I don't make ESPRESSO. I have never made espresso
nor owned an espresso machine. In my life I've had less than a dozen
cups of espresso, and probably only 2 or 3 of those could legally be
called espresso in Italy.

I have, however, roasted about 1000 pounds of coffee over the years,
but it has all been used for coffee. Delicious coffee, brewed with
French Press, pour-over, vacuum, Eva Solo, but mostly auto drip, I
confess. But all coffee, not espresso!

I had always assumed that espresso was only a way of making bad coffee
ginally drinkable. Although my wife frequently has some "espresso
flavored beverage," she's come around to preferring my coffee to
anything served at our local Starbucks, etc. It was only after
following this group for a number of years that I've reconsidered.
Although I still don't have any personal experience, I'm willing to
believe that the espresso talked about in this group is not the same
swill that I've tasted.


 
Date: 26 Jan 2007 13:00:59
From: TJ
Subject: Re: Good Espresso in Boston?
Along the same lines with www.terroircoffee.com, <A
HREF="http://www.google.com/maps?hl=en&client=safari&rls=en&q=simon%27s+coffee&near=Boston,+MA&cid=0,0,4979768535342780120&ll=42.384217,-71.119454&spn=0,.02&sa=X&oi=local&ct=image" >Simon's
Coffee (map)</A > in Cambridge, MA is very delicious! Simon the owner is
usually on the bar and offers different types of Terroir Coffee for
espresso use. Check it out!

-TJ



 
Date: 26 Jan 2007 12:58:54
From: TJ
Subject: Re: Good Espresso in Boston?
Along the same lines with www.terroircoffee.com, simons cafe <A
HREF="http://www.google.com/maps?hl=en&client=safari&rls=en&q=simon%27s+coffee&near=Boston,+MA&cid=0,0,4979768535342780120&ll=42.384217,-71.119454&spn=0,.02&sa=X&oi=local&ct=image" >Simon's
Coffee (map)</A > in Cambridge, MA. Very delicious! Simon, the owner is
usually on the bar and offers different types of trroir coffee for
espresso use. Check it out!

-TJ



 
Date: 26 Jan 2007 08:53:51
From: chardinej
Subject: Re: Good Espresso in Boston?

Jeff wrote:
> I have a question for Bostonians:
>
> I'm a long time home roaster wondering what a good cup of espresso
> tastes like. I don't get it often, because its always tasted pretty
> foul to me. Now I'm afraid I'm traumatized, but I have to assume that
> if properly prepared, I might start to appreciate it. I think part of
> my problem is that the coffee I roast and brew for myself is so good,
> that I have little tolerance for second rate or worse that I normally
> find elsewhere.
>
> I prefer coffee black, city-roast, and certainly not the
> Charbucks/Peet's style of dark roast. I usually have Kona, or Latin
> American, roasted to before second crack, currently with a Gene.
> (Aroma-roast, three Hearthwares, Alp, Whirlypop are in the closet.)
>
> I live just west of Boston but often travel to the various 'burbs.
> Can someone recommend a shop where I might find a cup that will change
> my impression of espresso? Anywhere around town is OK, as long as I
> don't have to pay $20 to park.
>
> Thanks,
> jeff

My initial reaction was: if you're a home roaster why don't you know
what a good cup of espresso tastes like?!

I know what you mean about the quality of "trade" espresso and the
powerful effect home-roasted coffee can have on your perceptions.
There's quite a few espresso machines installed in shops and
restaurants in my area (200 km radius) but few can match what I can
make at home using home-roast or quality fresh beans from outside. I
apologise if this sounds like bragging but the statement is even sadder
when you consider that I have only been making espresso at home for
about 8 years, and only a couple of months with quality equipment, and
therefore have a lot to learn. Alt.coffee helps in this regard.

John



  
Date: 26 Jan 2007 17:40:38
From: Marshall
Subject: Re: Good Espresso in Boston?
On 26 Jan 2007 08:53:51 -0800, "chardinej" <chardine@nbnet.nb.ca >
wrote:

>My initial reaction was: if you're a home roaster why don't you know
>what a good cup of espresso tastes like?!

How would home roasting teach you how to brew espresso? What if your
home roasting technique and equipment were poor, but you didn't know
it? Calibrating your palate with a visit to a respected shop is a very
good idea.

shall "made the rounds of some S.F. and Berkeley shops this week"


 
Date: 26 Jan 2007 07:47:30
From: bk
Subject: Re: Good Espresso in Boston?
Ive been lookiong for an amazing espresso in Boston for years....Alas
you wont find any beyond passable.(unless a barista gets lucky)

Anyhow every couple of months terrior in acton does open houses with
tastings, there you will find what esppresso and coffee can be. The
legendary George Howell runs it. Get on their mailing list and goto
their next open house. Also they have some amazing beans although
expensive.
www.terroircoffee.com

And if you do find an amazing espresso in boston let me know! I want
one.

-bradk


On Jan 26, 9:33 am, Jeff <jef...@foo.net > wrote:
> I have a question for Bostonians:
>
> I'm a long time home roaster wondering what a good cup of espresso
> tastes like. I don't get it often, because its always tasted pretty
> foul to me. Now I'm afraid I'm traumatized, but I have to assume that
> if properly prepared, I might start to appreciate it. I think part of
> my problem is that the coffee I roast and brew for myself is so good,
> that I have little tolerance for second rate or worse that I normally
> find elsewhere.
>
> I prefer coffee black, city-roast, and certainly not the
> Charbucks/Peet's style of dark roast. I usually have Kona, or Latin
> American, roasted to before second crack, currently with a Gene.
> (Aroma-roast, three Hearthwares, Alp, Whirlypop are in the closet.)
>
> I live just west of Boston but often travel to the various 'burbs.
> Can someone recommend a shop where I might find a cup that will change
> my impression of espresso? Anywhere around town is OK, as long as I
> don't have to pay $20 to park.
>
> Thanks,
> jeff



 
Date: 26 Jan 2007 07:23:47
From: Omniryx@gmail.com
Subject: Re: Good Espresso in Boston?
"1369" on Mass Ave in Cambridge has its good days and its bad depending
on who is at the wheel. Worth a try. Very relaxed and congenial
atmosphere and the snackies are good, too.



On Jan 26, 9:33 am, Jeff <jef...@foo.net > wrote:
> I have a question for Bostonians:
>
> I'm a long time home roaster wondering what a good cup of espresso
> tastes like. I don't get it often, because its always tasted pretty
> foul to me. Now I'm afraid I'm traumatized, but I have to assume that
> if properly prepared, I might start to appreciate it. I think part of
> my problem is that the coffee I roast and brew for myself is so good,
> that I have little tolerance for second rate or worse that I normally
> find elsewhere.
>
> I prefer coffee black, city-roast, and certainly not the
> Charbucks/Peet's style of dark roast. I usually have Kona, or Latin
> American, roasted to before second crack, currently with a Gene.
> (Aroma-roast, three Hearthwares, Alp, Whirlypop are in the closet.)
>
> I live just west of Boston but often travel to the various 'burbs.
> Can someone recommend a shop where I might find a cup that will change
> my impression of espresso? Anywhere around town is OK, as long as I
> don't have to pay $20 to park.
>
> Thanks,
> jeff