You made breakfast: Drip coffee.
You bought a pastry and are standing at a cafe bar: Cappuccino.
You stopped at a coffee shop but must be on your way quickly: Espresso.
You stopped at a coffee shop but must be on your way quickly and don’t like straight espresso: Macchiato.
You stopped at a coffee shop and have time to kill: Drip coffee.
It’s hot outside: Espresso and a glass of sparkling water.
It’s late and you want coffee but don’t want to be up all night:
[Previous scenario but you don’t consume alcohol: White tea. Or if you really can’t handle any caffeine, boricha/mugicha.]
This is a professional sport, ladies and gentlemen.
Nearly every time I mention that I lift weights, I get a variation on the theme “oh, make sure you stretch for 30 minutes beforehand, you don’t want to get too muscle-bound and stiff”.
Bullshit. Compound free-weight movements that put your joints through a full, natural range of motion is going to result in far better flexibility than using machines or your pilates crap.
I distinctly remember feeling slower and weaker after stretching when I was in grade school, either in gym class or whatever sports practice I was at.
I don’t stretch regularly anymore, thought I still stretch when around people who do in some form of weird social deference.
Edit: The abstracts for the studies cited in the linked article state “that the usage of SS as the sole activity during warm-up routine should generally be avoided” and “the findings of this study suggest that intensive stretching such as lower-body PSS should be avoided before training the lower body or performing the 1RM in the squat exercise in favor of an AD dynamic warm-up using resistance training equipment in the lower-body musculature.” They are more specific than “don’t stretch”.
Photo courtesy of this person.
This tumblr went racing. As you can see from the above, humans participating in beginner-level bike racing tend not to be elegant. None of us looked like some Swiss dude riding 50km/h into a strong headwind after six hours of riding. The bulky jackets made it worse.
The only thing I won was a raffle.
My heart rate never went below 170. It was frequently above 190.
I’ll do it again, probably.
I have twice written 2000+ word drafts about this very phenomenon, but this paragraph is better.
Today I worked a trial shift on a two group Linea.
Things I did not use:
- Volumetric shot glass
Things I did not know:
- Roast date
- Water temperature
- Water debit
- Water TDS & hardness
Things I did have:
- Grinder with timer
- VST baskets
- Good coffee
The workflow I used to execute went like this: Portafilter out and clean, onto scale, tare scale, grind coffee, weigh coffee dose, correct if necessary, distribute, tamp, flush group, portafilter in, preinfuse/timer start/scale under cup and tare, full pressure, stop at desired shot mass.
The workflow I used today was: Portafilter out and clean, grind coffee, distribute, tamp, flush group, portafilter in, full pressure and timer start, stop at 25s.
Significantly easier, and the espresso coming out made me happy.
So is the current proliferation of measurement pernicious? I realize that it yields parameters that could theoretically be replicated elsewhere, but does that actually happen? Doesn’t everyone just “dial in” each morning and find that the previously given parameters are either not working, or not to personal preference? Does the silly dance that happens as a result of the desire to precisely repeat shots merit the resulting marginal (nonexistent?) increase in consistency?
A well-designed basket gives a rapidly decreasing extraction rate as the shot progresses - the end of the shot is mostly dilution. If the grind is correct, a couple seconds longer or shorter isn’t going to significantly over- or under- extract the coffee. The strength might vary, but the balance should not.
So why do we make espresso more complicated than it has to be?