Fine tea is so much easier than coffee !!

I was raised on coffee and drank it for years before I discovered tea. I still like an occasional “good” cup of coffee or espresso or latte. Recently I started seeing a woman who is almost as dedicated to strong coffee in the morning as I am to tea, and so I decided to get a good espresso maker to brew her a fine morning latte. Then I headed over to the coffee sites to learn how to become a good barista.

Geez is making a good espresso/latte complicated – and expensive! A decent burr grinder alone, which they all insist is necessary, can be hundreds of dollars. More than some espresso machines. Then there is of course the machine itself and the choice of pressurized vs. unpressurized portafilters (only non pressurized apparently give good “crema”), but then the grind and the tamp (with tampers that cost more than a serviceable Yixing teapot) become critical and require lots of practice. While tea drinkers discuss tea types and tea pots on Steepster, coffee geeks engage in endless discussions over fineness and tamping of grinds, different brewing methods and machines, how to extract crema, how to froth milk. One almost has to be an engineer to properly use or modify an average (but still expensive) home espresso machine to extract good crema. More and more apparently roast their own beans because they go bad or deteriorate over a short time after roasting, and within days of grinding.

Thank your lucky stars, tea drinkers: even the most persnickety, didactic tea drinker’s daily ritual is positively idyllic and bucolic by comparison.

3 Replies
chadao said

Well put, sir!

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That’s what I’ve been trying to tell people… they don’t believe me…

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I can totally agree with the meter of this thread.
I used to think coffee was coffee., my how that opinion changes when you sip a well brewed coffee or espresso. After that I too explored how to make better, than I had settled for, by getting online and studying the ways to brewed and select fine coffee. First importance was quality coffee. I prefer Organic/ Fair Trade/bird safe in that order. The coffee bean should be chemical free or those by products will be tasted in your brew. Don’t believe me? try a cup of Organic, cleanse your mouth, then a cup of Non organic, and let your taste buds tell you. Quality matters. Next step was to switch to a French press for coffee brewing. Big thanks to my best friend for insisting on this for me. Priceless advice for anyone who wants to drink coffee. Lastly if you like espresso get a machine and a recipe book. Do yourself a favor and get one that is not a “push button” espresso maker. We tried one and it failed to produce the proper cup, that the old one did and still does.

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