Working at the coffee house has been a delicious caffeinated treat. For the most part, the neighbors have been friendly, welcoming, and really supportive of a coffee that isn’t served by a multi-national corporation. But then, what would a day be without the presence of the least part?
On my first day, a fellow barista served up a double espresso. It seems that a woman ordered this beverage to-go for her husband. He was waiting outside. She received her drinks, paid with a credit card, and took off. A few minutes later, she returned.
She came up to me and sotto voce said, “This espresso is cold.” I asked if she wanted a new one, and she said, “No. That’s alright. My husband is a chef. He wanted me to tell you that it was cold.” Um. Okee doke. How about a refund? Then she repeated, “He just thought you guys should know.” What I think she was gently trying to say was “Mr. Chef said that you gave him a cold espresso.” Either that, or “Mr. Chef thinks you have discovered a great method for cold extraction and we should go into business together!”
After Mrs. Chef left again, I began my investigation. That’s right. I stuck my finger in the drink. Yes, I licked it. I am not ashamed, scientific method and all. I’d do it again. Visually, the crema was beautiful and plentiful, and the coffee seemed the perfect color and texture. On the down side, the thermometer read 57°F and any aromatics were gone, gone, gone. I went to the machine and pulled a test espresso. 23 second pull, serving temperature a piping 155°F. So much for cold extraction. Well then, why would Mr. Chef think we would serve cold coffee?
Mr. Chef doesn’t understand thermodynamics.
Quick math problem: if you put 3 fl. ozs. of 155°F espresso into a paper cup, wait 30 seconds for a credit card to clear, give it a 16 second jostle while trying to rebalance three beverages and a purse, and then take a 40 second walk across the street to deliver said beverage to Mr. Chef, who has been waiting outside on a 38° F afternoon, what will the temperature of the espresso be? If you said frickin’ cold, give yourself a gold star. Mr. Chef should know better. Props to Mrs. Chef for rolling her eyes when delivering the message. Read the rest of this entry »