October 18, 2007

North vs. South - the Great Italian Espresso Wars

Did you hear about the great Italian Civil War, or rather the battle of the Northern Italian Blends vs. the Southern Italian blends? Well over at CoffeeGeek.com you need to read all about it. The battle included entries from Italy and then Northern and Southern style blends that were roasted here in North America. The methodology is pretty well laid out, I like it, and the details long, so settle in for a good read.

The net takeaway is that a highly skilled blender and roaster here can beat the pants off a commercial blend from Italy. It all comes down to freshness. It’s tough though if you don’t have a world-class roaster down the street from you, so it’s not always easy to take advantage of the 6,000-mile difference between locally roasted coffee and those from Italy. Now several of the North American blends can be mail-ordered, or in the case of the Allegro, you can get it at your local Whole Foods.

As you read the article, remember that these are ratings by judges, and while they are rating the overall quality of the cup, these blends and roasts might not be the kind of coffee you like; so even if something was rated the best in the world, you may think it too dark for your tastes. I would encourage you to get to know what you like and then seek out examples of that style, roast, body, etc. and strive to get better and better examples of that style.

Check out CoffeeGeek.com for the whole run-down.

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Posted by Scott Martin at October 18, 2007 7:14 AM
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