By now, if you have spent more than three minutes on this blog, you know I like espresso. I like it a lot. You should also know by now that I have tasted a lot of different types of espresso, methods of extraction, etc, etc. Some shots have been pulled by espresso champions, some in renowned cafe's and not so renowned, and of course shots at home.
Looking at the entire spectrum of espresso I have tasted, there are some memorable shots at the very top of the heap. Some I use as reference points, or more appropriately baseline excellence - they vary from exotic and spicy to uber-chocolate, from winy fruit to floral delicate, maybe mango, maybe fig, maybe nutty, maybe... well you get the idea. I like it all, done well. Today I am still reeling from an espresso shot that made my reference point explode, today I pulled a perfect shot (for me). It doesn't matter if it was caused by under-extraction or over-extraction, channeling, dosing this, dosing that, off center pull or whatever. Maybe it was technically brilliant and could have been used for a technical showcase, or not. Again, for now, it doesn't matter what caused this moment, nor does it matter the imprecise blend ratio of post-roasted beans I used. What does matter is that... it was unforgettable, and in my own kitchen!!!
A lot of effort has gone into that moment. Thankfully Doreen has put up with my obsessive passion, maybe its the side-benefit of drinking fresh homeroasts at her office or pretty good latte's at home that helps. ;-)
For those several minutes, now past, where I held a perfect espresso and experienced a million neurons exploding in a flash of recognition, it has all been worthwhile. If it never happens again, that's OK; for now, as always, I have a new benchmark with its associated siren's call beckoning me towards its dreamy shores in an attempt to surpass what was a perfect shot.
Thankfully, the shot more than made up for this mornings not so perfect latte art and the obviously dirty rag I used to wipe down the exterior of the espresso machine last night (quite obvious if you click on the photos) - oops.
May 10, 2006