Monday, July 27, 2009

We need better coffee in this town!

Almost everywhere I go in this town the coffee could be better. I met with Shawn from Public Coffee House and discussed the mediocrity of your average coffee house in the Twin Cities. Most have good product and most are roasted well, but what they lack seems to be the execution of the coffee. Too many espresso's are over extracted and not enough attention is made on the barista end. I'm not knocking the good baristas in town, there are some, I'm talking about the college summer job barista with no training. And I'd venture a guess that 80% of the coffee houses in town don't "execute" their product well. I think due to different factors. It's cheaper to hire a student to serve coffee. But you could train them! Additionally, atmosphere seems to take precedence over the actual coffee. Most places work hard to provide a hip, comfortable environment to update your facebook status but they don't follow through with excellent coffee. And that's what I'm talking about, excellent coffee! It can be so much more. Sure we've made strides and bounds when it comes to buying fair trade beans and roasting locally, but unless you take the bean to its logical and oh so delightful conclusion it's all for naught.

Making espresso is a complicated process yes, and that may take some effort to learn, but the rewards are absolutely divine. And isn't that what people should be searching for in each cup, a bit of the divine, the fruit of the gods? And what about the public? They don't ask for great coffee because they don't have any point of reference other than the overly sweet and syrupy concoctions most places offer. They don't know that coffee has over 700 aroma descriptors compared to wines 150. They don't know about the nuances and subtleties that are contained in each and every perfect espresso.

If the public knew they wouldn't put up with mediocre coffee, they'd demand the best. So I will keep trying to get across to readers the importance high quality coffee AND high quality training. They go hand in hand. And I will keep pushing people to brew better and better coffee, because we can and we deserve it. You deserve to know everything an espresso can be. Once you taste the perfect espresso you won't be able to settle for anything less...


  1. Thrilling conversation followed up with an excellent post. I didn't even see you taking notes.

    Better ingredients, better training, better espresso...

  2. Dude, you inspired me. My son is rolling into town for a visit next week but let's get together after for some more good joe... And maybe at farmer's market too...