Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Espresso or Ristretto?

Let's first start with some thoughts i blogged before :

and here

Some stuff does come back, but coffee is an un going story isn't it?

Long ago it was all very simple.
You ordered an espresso and they gave you a 3cl (1oz) beverage. Strong, full of flavors, good with milk, no problems.

Then they started to up dose the filter baskets - those bloody aussie's :-) - and the drink became sweeter and more bold.

Bit by bit the espresso volume went down towards 2,5 cl and soon after you saw a lot of Barista's going back to the original 3 cl, but not with a single espresso shot in the cup, but a double; so actually a double ristretto.

Where will it end and how do we deal with it?

It is very clearly not global, but meanwhile wide spread. Although the WBC rules insist on pulling 'regular' doubles, in the field the double ristretto's are taking over.
Go visit the average San Francisco, London or Melbourne Specialty Coffee Bar, order an espresso, and they will serve a double ristretto straight away. The rules (mostly adapted): 20 grams of extra fine ground of espresso roast, approximately 1+ ounce of filtered water that's pressed through it and we have a 20 to 35 seconds dripping naked portafilter, preferably engined by a high tech pressure profiled espresso machine monster. A lot of power and complexity in the cup and great base for fine textured fresh milk.
In The Netherlands, Belgium or France this is mostly not the recipe and also Germany and Scandinavian are in jeopardy.

Normo Antwerp is the first Belgian bar only pulling ristretto's, although still splitting them (for milk drinks) with the double Portafilter. Nice initiative and double as good once this Strada is going to land at the Minderbroedersrui - go check out that monster once its in.

We, at Caffenation, have fantastic results with our double ristretto's, called Dorito (on the menu).
The naked filter technique results with the La Marzocco Linea were very shaky, but our Mistral now does a great job and the ('naked pulled') Dorito and Dorito based Flat White (16cl cup or 22cl glas) are on the rise.

The next logical step for us would be to offer this concentrated shot straight away when someone orders an espresso. Most probably this is something we can't stop happening, but what about the 'classic' espresso we spoke earlier about?
I think this still is a bloody good drink and I don't want to lose it and, as a result, weaken our menu.

So for the moment we ask our clients - certainly the international and progressive by nature ones - to specify what they want when ordering their espresso.
And the same for the cappuccino; "1 shot of espresso or a double (ristretto) based one"? "In a cup or in a glass"?

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