Archive for December, 2010


Been plowing through my latest acquisition, “The Professional Barista’s Handbook.” There are three pages devoted to tea.  That’s two less than the section on water, and one-fifth of the size of the milk chapter.  I’m not sure what to think when author Scott Rao writes, “It would be nice to see a few more cafes treat their tea programs with a fraction of the respect they give their espresso programs.”

But I knew this before I got the book.  From the introduction: “My coffee library was chock-full […of nuts? No,] of colorful descriptions of brewing styles, growing regions, and recipes, with a few almost-unreadable scientific books mixed in.  I would have traded in all of those books for one serious, practical book with relevant information about making great coffee in a cafe….This book is my attempt to [create that book.]”  Rao could be talking about my tea library.  Coffee is still way ahead: tea doesn’t seem to have the culture of tech-oriented coffee geeks debating the finer points of chemistry.  Now coffee has Rao’s books, and tea doesn’t have that either.

Continue reading ‘Hardness?’


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