Do you like the espresso coffee?
Since I am italian, not only I like the italian espresso coffee, but also I need it!
For the italian people, espresso coffee is a habit, a tradition, a culture: something we are used to from so long that we cannot think to live without. However, find a good espresso out of Italy – and sometimes find an italian espresso! – could be a really difficult challenge.
Moreover, if one is looking for an italian espresso in Los Angeles, and in the USA, that is probably the worst place to do that, since they have their own coffee tradition, totally different from the italian one. In addition, they also try to “change things” every now and then: they love to watch, learn and reproduce differently, changing the meaning of everything!
Just to let you figure out which is my point of view, when I was a student I have been working at a bar (how the italians call the coffee place), where I have been using the professional italian coffee machines. Thus, I know which features a “perfect espresso” should have, both as an italian, an espresso coffee lover, and as a coffee maker:
- The foam: that is the first impression. I don’t want sugar in my coffe, but the sugar is the best tool to figure out whether the foam is good or not. Basically, the sugar should be floating a few seconds on the foam, and then be sinking. So, the foam should be dense and thick enough.
- The aroma: there’s a reason why the word “aroma” is internationally recognized as specifically referred to the coffee. One doesn’t say “aroma” for anything than a coffee. The aroma should be fine and good, inviting you to taste.
- The taste: good aroma, good taste. A burned taste is not good guys, is burned, not coffee!
- The temperature: as most of the aroma and the flavour come better from a hot/warm than from a cold drink/dish, for the coffee is the same. Cold is horrible! Unless you were ordering for a cold coffe, that is a differently made drink.
So, now, I can tell you about my first italian espresso in Los Angeles, and you will be able to imagine how I felt.
The first time that I asked for an italian espresso in Los Angeles that was also my last one. I was in a famous franchising café waiting for my espresso, and then I saw the lady while she was making a “coffee”: she took a cup already filled up to a half with a previous made coffee, she poured the new coffee by the machine into that half-filled cup, then she poured the “old-new coffee” mix into a new big mug, which was as a swimming pool for my espresso!
I was like: OMG! She is killing my espresso!!!
Then, as that wasn’t enough, she waited 5 minutes before alerting me that my espresso was ready!
- No foam, all destroyed during the multi-pouring process…
- Horrible taste and a bad smell, also due to the mix with the old coffee.
- … Try to drink a short espresso from a mug with a lid!
Would you like a suggestion? Don’t do that! Now I know
that it’s always better to get used to the abroad traditions in spite of trying to establish our old habits in a new place. I am drinking American coffee, with my travel mug, while I’m going to work, as the US and LA people use to do. But this is another story, that I am going to tell you next time!
And the Italian espresso?? Don’t worry! Now I bought my espresso machine and my capsules, so I can make my espresso by myself, at home, everytime I want!
There was only one last problem….
Since the american people don’t use to drink “short” drinks, they haven’t espresso coffee cups! Thus, before buying my espresso cups, I had to drink my espresso in the smallest container that I found…. a Champagne glass!!
Nancy for OnesAbroad