There's nothing quite like a good espresso with a paper - or is it a paper with a good espresso?

Espresso Hunt: the Manifesto


Admittedly, it wasn't until the closing weeks of 2001 that I first discovered espresso. Before that time, I was a tea drinker exclusively; coffee did nothing for me. Then one cold December evening in a Turkish restaurant in London, I was offered coffee. I declined. They insisted. I said 'espresso'. It began.

Spending two months in Firenze a year later only solidified the joys of a good espresso - but also perhaps, made me into somewhat of a coffee snob. I don't like filter coffee. When I drink my espresso, it should be dark, strong, with a touch of crema, and short.

Short is the key.

I've been disappointed with espresso in this city. I can go into a coffee shop and ask for an espresso 'strong and very very short' and it comes out as half a cup of coffee. An espresso should be a shot, maybe a shot and a half of coffee, tops. So I've decided to start cataloguing my espresso adventures.

From now on, when I go to a coffee shop, I will order my espresso as always, emphasizing that I want it 'short, very short'. I'll then let you know how it went.

I'm going to start with my home. I have a stovetop Bialetti model. On the plus side? It makes them properly strong, and I can pour them as short as I want. On the downside, it makes a lot of coffee, is steam powered (so doesn't have quite the same force) and is unable to give it a good crema. Still, it works for those tired mornings.

The search continues.


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