Ken Davids wrote:
I should have altered brewing temperature to suit the characteristics (particularly the degree of roast) of the blends being tested.
... We aim our reviews at consumers, not retailers, so I have kept the brewing temperature on the Marzocco set at 200F, which in my reading of the debate on temperature is a good compromise setting.
onocoffee wrote:What is it that we're defending or fighting for here, exactly?
onocoffee wrote:Seeing this discussion come up again causes me to think again and wonder if we're just defending our own "sacred cows"?
Is it too ghastly to consider that a reviewer may find an espresso that so "very un-Third Wave" like the Segafreddo to be "better" than a "Third Wave Sacred Cow" such as Intelligentsia?
What is it that we're defending or fighting for here, exactly?
luca wrote:As I said on CG, I don't think that your average coffee review reader will be using a single group pidded linea. Perhaps it would be prudent for Ken to do a survey of his readers to work out what sort of espresso equipment they are using? He might even find that he needs to buy a superauto ...
It's a criticism, and a critique; comparable to my response (on the podcast) to Mark's posting of Susie Spindler's article last year re: CoE, SCAA, and NCA.
onocoffee wrote:This "discussion" has never been about "defending espresso" - it's always been about Segafreddo et al scoring higher than the Sacred Cow That Is Black Cat.
Mark Prince wrote:If that's what you think, perhaps you haven't been reading the articles close enough.
Mark Prince wrote:I think the scariest thing for me is that Peets' beat the BC in that test.
And Segefredo getting a 93? Aren't the nineties usually reserved for the upper stratosphere coffees? Ken seems to be doling them out more and more these days. George Howell's Kenya just got a 97 - and that coffee is spectacular - but the 90s have been rolling a lot as of late on CR.
BTW, I do agree that Black Cat has seen much better days.
onocoffee wrote:Mark Prince wrote:If that's what you think, perhaps you haven't been reading the articles close enough.
There's certainly a good possibility of that. Especially considering that I've merely skimmed much of the verbage written about this subject because I prefer to be doing other things than getting all worked up because Segafreddo beat Intelligentsia in a review on a website that I don't normally read.
Ryan Willbur wrote:Jay, you are right about reactions. I believe that if BC had scored higher, no one would complain.
Ryan Willbur wrote:Also, it seems like everyone in LA has been to Italy. Frankly, I'm tired of hearing that the best espresso is in Italy. I really don't believe that it is... This whole thing just adds to the frustration I feel over the issue.
The bottom line is that none of this would have sprung forth if Intelligentsia's Black Cat had scored higher than Segafreddo. Then the "World of Third Wave" would have the world as it "ought" to be.
phaelon56 wrote:But when I pull shots on my home machine I don't much care for it.
Brent wrote:phaelon56 wrote:But when I pull shots on my home machine I don't much care for it.
and that is a comment that applies I suspect to a great many of us about a great many good or even very good coffees.
perhaps Ken doesn't care overly for the north american style, and really has a leaning toward italian style?
Mark Prince wrote:This is why serious cupping events, like the BoP or CoE, or eCafe, or events organized by the Q, have panels of judges. So that one person's likes or dislikes don't skew the results if they happen to really dislike a certain profile that is acceptable to many.
It's also why there are 4 (or more) sensory judges in pretty much any barista-related event, from Jams to Comps, even in the Trans Tasman cup and the World Latte Art Championship (where, IIRC, taste is part of the score).
Brent wrote:and I think one of the challenges in judging is to try and turn that bias off - be open minded about it, and discover new stuff... but in my experience, dish water still tastes like dishwater, and no one will score it any other way.
Jim Schulman wrote:This is possible when it's a question of the overall flavor profiles; I personally like some more, others less, but can tell which coffees are outstanding in each category.
Jim Schulman wrote:Things get a lot tougher with odd tastes. I don't know if this happens to others, but several times a year, I'll find a coffee that everyone else loves completely and undrinkably foul. This is such a gut reaction, perhaps from hard wired differences in retro-nasal receptors, that it's pretty much impossible to even rate the cups in question.
Jim Schulman wrote:I've never seen anyone talk about this, but I'm pretty sure if it happens to me, it happens to others as well. I'm also pretty sure that it must happen more often at lesser intensities, so that the difference in sensitivities is not as obvious.
Jim Schulman wrote:In such cases, it's not people disagreeing about some flavor balance, but people not even tasting the same things. It is for this reason, rather than for personal likes and dislikes, that multiple judges are necessary when trying to be objective.
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