Elusive, exclusive…espresso

For the better part of my life, I have had a major beat down courtesy if espresso. I will now take you for a journey that will not necessarily answer questions, nor enlighten you in anyway but hopefully bring you some amusement.

I have been a serious coffee enthusiast for almost three years now. What drew me to the realm of coffee smut I do not know but for me the velvet texture of precision steaming opened my eyes to specialty coffee obsession.
I feel that it is easier to become excited about things such as glistening textured milk and latte art than about intense, Bruce Lee powerful espresso. That makes the first step of serious coffee drinking made up of lattes, mochas and frivolous things like that. Next comes the cappucino or the macchiato. Finally is the espresso, the step that some people never get to but is the things most coffeenuts go nuts about.
Alright so we’ve finally gotten to espresso and you take your first sip and maybe you’re thinking…”what is this feeling???”
It kicked my ass first time around (and probably the next 50 times) but I kept going back for more. To be honest I don’t think I could taste anything but raw intensity until maybe some time this year, almost 2.5 years after I got “seriously” into coffee. But all those experiences of drinking espresso without knowing what the hell I was drinking got me to this place, a place where I think I can finally appreciate it. Now the aromatics, the body, the lingering finish, the origin is something I can evaluate and distinguish.

This makes me wonder: am I slow?? Is that why it took me so long to develop?? Or: I’d espresso is so elusive, and so exclusive what are these people tasting when they first try espresso??

I don’t think that true espresso appreciation occurs until you taste the complexities of the drink and also understands the complexities involved in the preparation where the barista battles all the variables out to destroy your quest for espresso perfection.
Espresso, you have stolen my youth.

Final words:
I don’t think there is such thng as a god shot. What you thought was a god shot is synonymuously known as a fluke.

Had an amazing espresso from work. Has to be my most favourite coffee we’ve had and can be described as passionfruit custard.

First post completely done on iPhone. I’m proud of this.

Baristas! Please make espresso as approachable as you can. Be knowledgable and impart that knowledge.


7 thoughts on “Elusive, exclusive…espresso

  1. “What you thought was a god shot is synonymously known as a fluke”.

    Truth fact. A fluke of biblical proportions.

  2. Tim, I don’t know if you’re being serious or what. HAHA.

    I just feel that great espresso requires fundamental knowledge of what’s going on so that your #JIMP results can be repeated.

  3. I agree with you that the so called “god shot” is a fluke, but I still like the thought that somewhere out there is a shot waiting for us, at different times and spaces in life, that will blow our minds and cause us to rethink our view of espressi. That being said, consistent #JIMPable results are very important in the life of a cafe. As an enjoyer of fine things in life, hunting for that one shot to blow your mind would be a waste of time, money, and palate. If one day you stumble upon the ultimate #JIMP shot, enjoy the moment, take a picture, and blog about it.

  4. I think that there are shots that can blow our minds that don’t have to be god shots. Maybe our definition of god shot is different. To me a god shot is something that happens to a barista that is unexplained and results in a #JIMP nectar of the gods in an espresso cup. I think that I’m just inherently against the term ‘god shot’ and therefore everything associated is automatically ruled out in my books.

  5. The perception of nectar of the gods however changes over time with your experience as a consumer of espresso. That is amplified as you learn more about everything involved in the drink’s preparation which results in the god shot being a rarer occurrence as you familiarize yourself with fantastic espresso. It sucks, but that’s the curse of having a palate.

  6. I think what also contributes to a godshot is the context and ambience of the environment in which you are drinking. For example, if someone pulled me a pretty good shot on top of mt. kilimanjaro and I was not expecting it, chances are it’d be a godshot because of the experience and the feeling.

    I think your development of palate is definitely something to consider. To EVERYONE who starts our drinking / tasting things with complexity, it is hard to distinguish things straight away. But as you compare and taste differences in coffee/wine/cheese etc, you begin to be able to build foundations in taste and have reference points in which you can determine what is good or bad. I think espresso is definitely elusive – I don’t think we’ll ever be able to tame it. Is it exclusive? I think it comes down to how the barista is skilled or able to pull the shot. If they are skilled and can make it very approachable, then why can’t all people enjoy it?

  7. I’ll take this last opportunity to beat the ‘god shot’ topic to a bloody mess.

    I think that the ‘god shot’ term is outdated. Rewind to like 5 or so years ago or whenever the first usage of the term was. Espresso was especially volatile and just altogether wild. Now that we live in a world of temperature stability, temperature graphs, adjusting of set temperatures, consistent grinds, delta timer mods etc. etc. the fluke is just not that likely. We are now dependent of x-factor things such as ambience, and mountainous peaks to achieve a GS.

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