A guest inspires this post, she asks for a coffee, and then she complains the coffee was too strong.

I admit that it was too strong, and unless I pre-heat the milk, I am forced to over compensate by adding more espresso to the cold milk; no one can stomach a cold coffee. I made her a new coffee by pre-heating the milk, added 15 seconds of espresso and “voila”, a satisfied customer.

Actually, I discovered that coffee is mostly about the roast, the grind and the pressure of the water. Infusing the coffee for three seconds is key to activate the coffee grains and make them swell. But the grind is deeply influenced by the roast, and even if you use the same settings for grinding espresso beans, it will be dependant on the roasting. The reason is, concentration in the roasting process, a concentration of particles.

A light roast will not work the same as a dark roast. If you have the wrong coffee bean forget it, you waste your time. Now having said that each grinder works differently, and I use a Mazzer Grinder, a professional machine that grinds to whatever spec you need. The reality is, if you change roasting style, you will not get the same flow through the porta-filler.

But for most coffee drinkers, it is the milk that soothes them. The coffee is the element of contrast in taste, the milks fat and sugars please any tongue, taste #6.

Unless you drink coffee without milk, you are pretending to drink coffee. It is the same as a pepper steak that brings me to the next point.

I am beginning to think that seasoning meat is more important than the meat itself. Lets face it, I serve my guests the finest meat from mixed breed cows found in Japan. I season it and guests say, “delicious”, but I begin to wonder if using regular meat would yield the same satisfaction.