I really enjoy espresso and if I had a little cash, just laying around, I would have more MINI mods and a new espresso maker. But I digress, as I am oft to do.
I periodically read CoffeeGeek, a website targetted at lovers of all things coffee. They target both the professional barista, home consumer and that in-between pro-sumer categories.
With some of the project work I've been doing, I've been going into the office a lot recently, where there is a lovely, little used manual espresso maker. When I first moved to Seattle, I downloaded the manual and learned how to use the machine. I was never successful at making good coffee. It was drinkable, sometimes. I mastered the mechanics of making espresso, but not the art. With my trips into the office and working with new people on my team, I was able to get an education on the art points.
We have a new demand planning diretor, Chris, who is a pretty good guy (good taste in music, enjoys coffee and has a tech geek leaning in him). It turns out that he too enjoys coffee and has a manual machine at home. I took advantage of his presence and got him to show me how to tamp - something I knew to be my weakness.
My shots had a dramtic improvement just from his lessons (it turns out that I was seriously over-tamping).
The ironic thing is that CoffeeGeek had recently published an article on tamping. And many of the points that Chris offered up are in this same article.
I like irony.