My cafe tasting notes grew big and gotten harder to maintain. I have recently decided to use Instagram as the platform to dump all my espresso reviews.
I am no Q-grader. I am not a certified taster of any sort. I never joined any cupping session.
I am merely a cafe hopper. I have hopped over 70+ cafes ranging from northern Alor Setar to Sungai Petani to Penang to Ipoh to Kampar to Kuala Lumpur to Melaka to Singapore.
In My Review
I try to avoid words such as 'good' or 'bad' since taste is very subjective across individuals, especially for coffee. The exception being if I really like what I tasted or if I consider the espresso to taste like what seems to be the elusive god-shot.
I do not score the espresso.
I only write down what is true to what my tongue has tasted. Calling a spade a spade.
I use words that are not sophisticated. Words that are simple. Mostly because it is easier for the readers to relate to what I have tasted.
- balance (of flavours)
- consistency (from start to finish)
- finish (aftertaste)
- Request for water.
- Evaluate the aroma as soon as the espresso is served.
- Evaluate the crema if there is a spoon provided. (Do not dip the spoon too deep, it affects the temperature hence flavour too.)
- Clean palate with the water served.
- Sip, taste and evaluate the espresso.
- Clean palate with water again if necessary.
- Wait awhile before taking the next sip.
- Note down the taste.
- Repeat sip-wait-note.
- Finish the whole cup only Instagram.
Espresso needs to be served with water regardless of water being self-served or not.
Make no mistake I am not lazy to get my own water but the point I want to make is this:
If a (specialty) cafe truly gives a damn about their coffee and quality, they will be the one who wants to ensure that you have a clean palate before tasting what they have meticulously prepared, not the other way around.
Cafe who compliments water (or even sparkling water) with espresso will get the water photographed with my espresso review and earns a special place in my heart.
I hope readers understand that reviews given are only valid for a short period after my time of visit since coffee is very volatile. Variable changes all the time, beans change, barista comes and goes and cafes may improve or get worse over the course of time.
Do not forget to enjoy!
Questions that I have asked myself lately:
Am I drinking the roaster/beans or am I drinking the barista/machine/cafe? Are baristas merely the (friendly) postman?