Allegria Espresso Bar

Espresso should taste as good as the beans smell.
July 22, 2007, 12:12 pm
Filed under: Espresso

For many years, I wondered how coffee could smell so good, so alluring, yet taste like filtered dirt. It just didn’t make sense, but  it was what it was, and I left it at that. I therefore never touched the stuff…until a few years ago when I spent some time in Seattle. I avoided the coffee scene for many months, but as my departure date neared, I imagined the regret I would have for not trying coffee, and more specifically espresso, in a city where my chances of getting good coffee had to be high. I wanted to give coffee one last opportunity to deliver on its aromatic promise.

At Zoka, they have an espresso blend, Espresso Paladino, that “possesses a balance of creamy, honeyed body and fine acidity in the finish. The resulting crema is flecked with caramel and cocoa flavors…” And when I tried my eight ounce latte, I found a ridiculously smooth taste that proved to me that coffee (espresso) can taste as good as the beans smell. If done right, that is. And to do it right is a terribly difficult thing to do, (which might explain why 95 – 97 percent of coffee shops cannot produce anything good. Espresso preperation is part science and part culinary art, and both require true dedication.)     

David Schomer, Owner of Espresso Vivace, has studied and toiled with espresso for decades, and he’s still working hard every day, because he knows that the more he understands, the less he understands. Understood? It’s a world that gets larger with each step, and thankfully, David isn’t alone. There are people in the coffee industry who have made it their life’s pursuit to create espresso that doesn’t send the drinker recoiling in fright. Search out these people and their shops, and you will be rewarded.

I will return to Seattle for a week in November, and this time, I will visit coffee shops every day, attempting to further my education on espresso and enjoying what the city has to offer.     


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