Such a well researched response to Ian's article.
It's great to see such enthusiasm.
After making espresso for over 15yrs it's amazing
that the way I have been making coffee actually has a name.
The "ALEX" method ....
I am sorry but it sounds so American..
Allot of the how to make Espresso 101 book's and video's
are like bad car salesmen productions, that have taken knowledge that has been used for quite some time and then
published it like they were put on the Earth by G0D to show the world how big their ego is.
The greatest Barista's that I have ever met and tasted their espresso's, are the quietest, most shy, hard working people I know.
Unfortunately we make coffee, we are not the top chef's which seem to get idolised by the media.
I don't know about you but I am sick to death about reading about chef's...
To be a great Barista is a selfless job. Until more people understand the years of work that we put in to achieve the delicate, syrupy liquid that we work so hard for.
It is great to look on the net and to read books
but, remember don't take it all as gospel.
What is written in books and video's may work for the author with their blend + their grinder + their machine.
That's great for them, but I bet that you don't use the same equipment as them or the same water.
Australians have been extracting espresso for 50yrs.
In the last 5 or so yrs it has become a real hot topic.
Take advantage of some of the knowledge in Australia.
It is a bit like saying after reading a book on how to drive an (American) car, you should be a great driver.
Once you have followed the path of the bean from Origin growing country, to blending, roasting then grinding to many years of extraction do you begin to understand how to maximise the finer aspects of Espresso.
I believe that owning an Espresso machine is not a right, but a privilege. Sometimes I wish there was a body of like Espresso minded people that could remove POOR Espresso machines from owner's that neglect them.