"Espresso! My Espresso!"
An Ongoing Internet Novelette
by Randy Glass - Copyright 2002 - All rights reserved
E-mail me at email@example.com
10I was still not in a hurry to make the actual purchase. When I had come to the conclusion that the Rancilio Silvia was the machine for me we had a trip planned to head south to visit with my brother and see some friends. I didn't want to order it and have it arrive and sit on my porch while I was gone.
Give Me More! More!
While that waiting period ticked by I continued my quest, searching more commercial sites and following links found on home pages. Some of these pages and links were found by spending some time on the alt.coffee group on Usenet as well as searching through the espresso archives on dejanews.com. I found two videos online showing the drawing of espresso from two different machines. One, an unidentified machine pulling one single from Dwight Anderson and another,this time a Rancilio Silvia, pulling two singles on The Coffeekid.com website.
I viewed them separately and started having some doubts about the first one. I opened them in separate viewers and watched them simultaneously. It became immediately clear that something odd was happening.. I could easily see that CoffeeKid's video was showing the production of beautiful espresso and as the draw neared its end, the crema formed at the top of the shot revealing the rich brew below. I came to the conclusion that the first video showed a coffee product produced using a portafilter with some sort of crema enhancing device. Watch it again- even when the draw is concluded in the Dwight Anderson video there is very little espresso seen in the shot glass below the 'crema.' All there is to be seen is an ounce of crema-colored liquid with the tiniest bit of espresso at the bottom- yuchhh. If you want that then simply brew some strong coffee and put it into a blender set to frappe. The video produced by the CoffeeKid shows a beautiful cup of espresso that any of us would be proud to serve our guests.
I showed the two videos to my wife who, by this time, had absorbed quite a bit of the knowledge I had gained by my diligent websurfing. She watched the Dwight Anderson video and said, "Look at that!" pointing to screen. "Show me the other one again!" She compared the two videos and said, "Look. There's no coffee in that one! It's all foam," Pointing to the Anderson video. Examining the CoffeeKid video she asked, "What machine is that?"
I told here it was the Silvia.
"That looks really nice."
Ahhh... we are there! After examining these videos we both were more certain than ever that the Rancilio Silvia was the machine that we both could accept as part of our threesome (or foursome, as soon as we decide on a grinder).
NOTE: I was later informed by one far more knowedgeable than I that the video showing the pull we disliked above was actually from an "Estro Profi." The video was cut short so we were not able to see the "Guinness Effect." This is where the espresso looks like it is made of nothing but crema (like might be produced by a crema-enhancing portafilter), but separates into espresso with a beautiful crema layer shortly after the brewing prcess is over.