Espresso Vivace Roasteria
David Schomer’s Blog | Cutting-edge espresso technique and equipment review

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espresso coffee 2013 book revision 3

Once again I am forced by progress to revise my original book:” Espresso Coffee: Professional Techniques”.  The impetus for this is bottom-less porta-filter techniques and theory, and the absolute perfection of steamed milk texture with Shojiro’s new steam tip, the Foam Knife 1.

What is new:
* Perfect milk foaming tool: Shojiro Saito’s “Foam Knife 1″ combined [...]

Nuova Simonelli Aurelia-machine review

This summer I went to Coffee Fest Seattle to compete in the new espresso contest.  Although I did not place with my sweet Harrar, I found something more valuable.
My visit into the competition arena began with Signor Gianni Cassatini enveloping me with his trademark Sicilian charm, a warmth so overpowering I was convinced it must [...]

Roasting for Espresso

The range for a Brazil.  Roasting lighter produces a flavor dominated by citric acid, darker and the flavor is dominated by bitterness. In between is a world of varietal notes shading from sweeter into more bittering.
ROASTING FOR ESPRESSO David Schomer, July 2012

The key to developing your espresso roast is precision feedback. The better you are [...]

The Persistence of Crema, (Espresso Theory)

Crema at about 10 seconds after shot finished.

When I toured Italy in 1989 and 1991 I was reminded by roasters and food critics that one sign of an expertly made espresso was long lasting, thick crema.  And at the time in our shops, crema remained thick and persistent for 90 seconds or more.
Then when we [...]

Flow Rate revisited 2012 (theory)

Hello Readers,

As I mentioned some years ago, improvements in espresso equipment or technique often reveal something new about the tricky coffee. Like Ukranian nested dolls, open one and, ha, there is another tiny doll. In the case of temperature-stabilized machines such as the Synesso or LaMarzocco we can see now that flow rate, the speed [...]

Refractometry and Espresso Quality

There has been some good work done on using digital refractometry to asses total dissolved solids in coffee.  Naturally I was curious to see if a refractometry index (RI) reading could actually be a use ful number to asses the quality of espresso coffee.
I bought the Atago Pal 1 and read up on it.  Refractometery [...]

Geneva Sullivan my partner at Vivace

Dear Reader,

Often I have written about how small business is so tough it will polish you to your best self, or grind you up. And, in twenty four years it provides ample opportunity to run smack into your limitations. Now in my case I’m a wee bit of a hot house flower and I wilt [...]

Dolce Blend- “Schomer’s Opus”

Dear Reader,
After twenty years of roasting and blending I feel that this year’s Espresso Dolce has all the elements I am seeking, balance, sweetness, and complexity. Please allow me the conceit to label it myself as my opus, the best art I can do.
In tasting, the perfectly pulled shot of this blend reveals salted carmel, [...]

Micro-particle Migration in Conical Grinding Systems

Micro-Particle Migration in Conical Grinding Systems
Let me start with an unusual apology this time….A few years ago I announced that I was partnering with LaMarzocco to design a direct dosing, conical-burr grinder. I am very embarrassed to admit that we failed to produce any machine. The “S-Grinder” project has ground (hee-hee) to a halt. LaMarzocco [...]


Dear Reader,
Something new under the sun…the “Foam Knife One” from Espresso Parts NW is a steam tip with a slit on the end, about 6mm in length, and a 1.2 mm hole in the center of the slit. It fits on LaMarzocco and Synesso machines. I recieved it in a sample pack of three innovative [...]