Coffee: The Elixir of the Mind.
It is impossible to imagine a career in the capital markets without the aid of a certain mind stimulating beverage, yes coffee.
In case you are wondering how a man from the land of the double double is authorized to speak to on matters of such great importance; the answer is: the taste of marketing isn't typically satisfying.
But I digress.
Here is what I have learned after spending numerous hours talking to and consulting for an award winning Espresso Master:
* A proper espresso shot is 7-8 grams the way the Italians do it. Any less is watery and any more adds unnecessary acidity to the taste. This amount optimizes both the taste, tactile experience and the return per pound.
* If a cafe is using 20 or more grams for a single espresso, you are going to end up on the bottle (Pepto Bismol).
* Great single varietals are expensive, rare and the harvest quality changes frequently.
* Jamaican Blue Mountain was considered by the Italians to be the perfect single varietal
* Blending was developed by the Italians to sustainably mimic the taste of great singles by using a variety of different less expensive singles. The result was a more consistent taste profile and an excellent tactile experience at a more palatable price.
* Espresso is a blend.
* A perfect blend is constructed by balancing a fusion of body, flavor, aroma, and acidity.
* The most remarkable blend I have ever tasted was created using 14 different singles.
* Cocoa-vanilla, bitter-sweet and complex are terms that typically describe outstanding espresso blends.
* The espresso experience is heavily influenced by factors such as: humidity, the type of machine used, how the beans have been cured, the water ph and your own personal ph. Try the same blend from the same machine over multiple days and some of these subtle differences will become clear.
* Great coffee is delicious even when cold. You can't taste coffee when it is hot....which is of course the objective.
* If your coffee seems to taste worse as the price of the "c" market rises, you are probably noticing that many coffee roasters sell price. Taste and quality are marketing concepts.
* A little cream and sugar can enhance the taste of a pour over. A tiny bit of sugar enhances an espresso and can reveal its complexity. If you need to double it up: stop lying to yourself and get a piece of cake instead.
* A pour over provides as good a taste if not better than a machine costing 10 grand...and it fits better in your overnight bag.
* Water has a significant influence on the taste of a coffee. Try some different spring waters through your machine.
* If you have to choose between a great grinder and a great coffee or espresso machine, go with the grinder. A great grinder will optimize the taste of a mediocre machine for an excellent outcome. A great machine will not typically compensate for a subpar grind.
* While baristas will have you believe that latte art somehow denotes a superior coffee, they don't realize that the art should be the coffee itself....Frankly if you need that much milk and a cool drawing on top, the coffee itself probably isn't worth drinking. In other words when you put the words art and latte together it is simply another way of putting lipstick on a pig.
After 2 cups of the Turks Island this morning and just completing 3 shots of espresso, an elixir appropriately called "la Futura", I am feeling great.
So tell me: what have you learned from drinking coffee and espresso in your hood?