A few months ago – while enjoying a small space and a wonderful coffee – I was reminded that extravagance and simplicity, as a form of expression, are not at all related, but in their contents they are not necessarily different and even at times it might be impossible to differentiate between the two. Hence I wish to speak in this context from an extroverted and an introverted espresso way.
Around 1822 the French had built the idea of an espresso machine. They displayed a prototype at the 4th World Fair in Paris, back in 1855. It was not until 50 years later, however, that Desiderio Pavoni and Luigi Bezzara introduced an Italian version, which eventually was shown at the Milano International Fair in 1906, introducing the first commercially available espresso machine to the market.
Today a coffee extracted from an espresso machine is seen as worthiest and finest of the world. With its effect, its appearance, its taste and its quality in terms of chemical composition, an espresso has characteristics which make it a most beloved coffee, either alone, or in combination with milk.
It is called espresso and considered typical Italian not only due to its name. With culture and technology they have indeed brand marked coffee like nobody else. Many consider they have the best espresso machines and with the quantity of brands and machines in the market, they are certainly number one. It is the work of North Americans that Latte Art is such a hype, but they found the idea in Italy. In other words, culturally and practically the Italians carry great responsibility for what we understand as the pleasure of coffee today. It is perhaps this history, combined with their serenity, what contributes to their simplicity while preparing coffee, which I call the introverted approach. Their vast knowledge, their great experience and their pointed movements are quite clear in their labor. But as I asked this young man in the small space with the wonderful coffee, if he had ever heard of this wave of extreme coffee makers using not 7gm but twice and three times as much for an espresso, if he had heard of those weighing the exact amount of pressure applied while tamping the coffee in the portafilter and about those traveling to all continents just to compete with other baristi, he just looked at me quite surprised and had no clue, what I was referring to.
Since months I had decided to visit him and talk about him in my forum as one of the places worth visiting in Berlin. So I went there and afterwards decided spontaneously to visit Godshot. At Caffé e Cioccolata I ordered a Ristretto and one hour later – at Godshot – I ordered an espresso, not knowing, he would serve me a Ristretto. While drinking at Godshot and comparing the taste of both espressi, the idea of speaking about extroverted and introverted Espresso was born, for it was not possible for me to sense a significant difference between the two drinks.
I like that!
One may order a drink in two very different places and each time one could be quite sure, the drink will be a joy. In one place the celebration takes place only in the mouth, while in the other Café one is confronted with all kinds of signs pointing towards coffee making as a concept.
Sometimes you want theater and drama. Sometimes you want it simple. But Always good!