February 22, 2013


She ordered a wet cappuccino, after asking if I could make one well. I said that I could, which was the truth.

I made it, and it was good.

She called it perfection, and I didn't argue. You can't, really, when someone pays you a compliment like that. Good is, well, good. And great is great. But perfect? That's fucking perfect. It is the ideal, the best case scenario, Zeus' lightning in a cup.

And I did it!

Well, at least she said I did.

The truth is, the shots were a tad blond. Obviously, I didn't taste them, but I'd be willing to bet they were a little sour. Not bad, though. Certainly not awful. Just a little over extracted, is all.

But perfect? No. Not perfect.

But hidden behind a veil of 14ish ounces of well coifed milk, she couldn't tell.

Probably, most people couldn't. That's the thing about capps, lattes, mochas, whatever. They hide the espresso to such an extent that you can get away with sub optimal shots.

Which is not to say that you should. She may not have noticed that her shots weren't "perfect", but I did. The customer may not know, may not have ever had your best or even seen halfway decent espresso. But you have. You've seen good work, and know what it is to do good work. You've tasted properly bronzed nectar, and the acerbic shit on the other end of the spectrum.

You know. And you can't unknow. You can't forget, and you shouldn't.

The next drink up was an americano.

I followed my own advice. I was totally present, dosing and tamping by well practiced feel. I didn't rush it, didn't let my mind wander from the task at hand. I did my job, and nothing else.

And the shots? They were perfect.

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