Will Frith
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» As it cools

Specialty coffee in Vietnam: Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City) coffee shops, roasters, and baristas, and Dalat green coffee farmers, processors, and evangelists.

The Importance of Ongoing Practice

Calibration. I've been fooled by hopes and acidity. In L'usine today, I witnessed their coffee delivery - boxes with Illy logos on them. Not that I dislike their coffee, but I've never been blown away or taken to a magical land by the espresso it produces. Properly prepared, it usually makes a pretty good/decent espresso, especially the first day after breaking the seal on one of their hopper cans. But never have I enjoyed it as much as that first double ristretto on L'usine's outdoor patio. (emotions and taste perception?)

Have I never had a well-prepared Illy espresso? I've had it at least a dozen times at different cafes with various standards. Plus, I'd like to think I'm an adequate barista and I've had a couple of chances to play with it in a commercial setting, all leading to the same verdict of "pretty ok, but not amazing." Granted, I've never had a fresh metal hopper to open and burn through - it's always been valve bags (don't recall seeing roast dates...).

Nevertheless, it's a good wake-up call for me. In order to stay calibrated, I must find some great coffee soon. More likely, I'll be ordering up some goods from my buds at Olympia Coffee just to keep in mind what I'm working toward.