On espresso and Starbucks

We would never have bought an inexpensive espresso machine, because we’re serious about our coffee, and we though you’d need an expensive machine to make a really good shot. But surprise: a cheap machine came as a gift from a relative. Now that we’ve perfected our technique, our home-made espresso is awesome! We’ve got flavour, we’ve got crema, we’ve got happy coffee-drinkers.

This gets me wondering about coffeeshops. Take Starbucks, for example. They sell the machine we’ve got, and you know the machines their baristas use are way more expensive and serious than our home model. Yet Starbucks’ espresso is crap. It has caffeine, so it will help a coffee addict prevent a withdrawal headache, but that’s about its only merit. Starbucks’ espresso is to coffee addicts what methadone is to heroin addicts.

This is puzzling. Starbucks claims to specialize in coffee, so why is their espresso so bad? To make it even more puzzling, Starbucks has started displaying signs that say "Come in for the neighbourhood’s best espresso" and "Espresso is at the heart of everything we do."

Baffling. Hey Starbucks, why on earth can’t you make good espresso? I can make awesome espresso, and you’ve got way more resources than I do.

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