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Caffè and peaches

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“Agreeable”, I thought, enshrouded and lulled by the aromas from my espresso cup.

After coming to senses (more or less), I realized: Ten years ago, in Germany, it was difficult to find fresh espresso beans. Recently I have ordered from three roasters, namely

My favorite is Kaffeebrennerei’s No. 1 – oily, pitch black beans, yielding the most powerful, yet smooth coffee I have ever had. Most of the beans I had ordered were very fresh, demanding exposure to air in order to develop full flavor. As far as I could tell by the expiration date, no charge was older than two weeks.

Then again, the production of a good shot of espresso, like a good loaf bread, seems to rely on factors that are obscure or out of reach to most of us. Coffee experts (a good share of them self-proclaimed, like me) say, that the notorious 25-second rule is universal (do they mean “universally accepted”?). Science seems to agree:

Click on image for a clean view (Source: Scientific American, Inc.)

Looking at the above image I am feeling ignorant, because I remember pulling 60-second shots of espresso that did not taste rancid or smokey. The stage of brewing is the second time that parts of the beans are exposed to heat, so I would attribute the level of smokiness also to the degree of roasting. And the rancidness to the amount of fats inside the coffee bean.

Maybe I just don’t like the idea me standing next to the coffee machine with a timer. No, I don’t like that image.

On a more sinister note: The fruit market has stopped carrying “wild peaches from France”. This means, peach season is over; the juiciest and sweetest of all, Prunus persica var. platycarpa, has become unavailable. I had a little caffè. I feel better.

Written by theinversecook

17 August 2007 at 17:32

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