This article on Salon.com interviews an “Italian coffee master”. According to Salon, Giorgio Milos, the master barista at the high-end Trieste, Italy-based Illy coffee, American coffee is, for lack of a better word, crap.
He launches into a screed about US coffee, before going on a tour of NYC’s “best” coffeehouses. Finally, they arrive at Stumptown Coffee. From Salon.com,
“What is called espresso here sometimes really isn’t espresso,” he wrote. (The response from readers made him qualify that, saying that any drink pulled on an espresso machine is ‘technically’ an espresso, but baristas shouldn’t be playing fast and loose with the traditional water-coffee-temperature-time formula.)…
…Our last stop is Stumptown, the superstar Portland transplant in the Ace Hotel on 29th Street. It is the one place where Milos has been before, several times, because he likes the vibe, but each time he’s come away hoping for a better espresso the next visit. When he gets his espresso there is a white stripe across the crema instead of the tigerskin. “See that? It’s burnt. The machine is probably too hot.” A second espresso arrives. It’s also burnt. “This is less than one ounce. Very concentrated, very sour, very salty.”
We leave Stumptown, Milos giving it the worst rating of the places we have visited today. As we exit onto the street, however, we both notice the same thing. There is a line of Stumptown fans going out the door and onto the sidewalk. He might not like what he’s buying, but they keep coming back for more.
My opinion? Let’s take a collection to send Milos back to Italy