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

Archive for the " General " Category

Espresso Theory-Water Purity and Mineral Content

Dear Reader,
Let’s revisit a factor I have not written up for 15 years.¬† Water purity and mineral content.¬† For about a year in 2006 we had water formulators to “tune” our brewing water to a specific mineral content.¬† The effect on the flavor of our coffee and tea was sublime.¬† But what is the¬†best water [...]

Espresso Theory-pressure profiling

Dear Reader,
Pressure profiling essentially describes the abilityof the espresso machine to change the brewing pressure during the extraction of a shot and then save your changes in a program to be repeated on the bar.  The hope, of course, is to improve espresso coffee.
I see no increase in espresso quality through pressure profiling.  My opportunities to play [...]

Equipment-direct dosing grinders

Dear Reader,
After many efforts to assist in the manufacture of a new grinder with no Italian-style dosing hopper (read: air/coffee mixing device that contributes annoying clacking sounds to the espresso bar) I decided to just outfit my own DRM grinders with Mazzer cones. (I use the mixed-burr model with the rubber drive belt.) A few [...]

Artisan business-structure and philosophy

Dear Reader,
Once again thank you for your patience waiting for my infrequent posts.
Back when I was reading everything, the early 70s, the book that I was the most influenced by was a philosophical tome by Robert Pirsig.¬† With a pink cover and the pop title of “Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance”,¬† I had [...]


Right now I think it is fair to say that the espresso machine world is in the midst of a revoloution.  The march toward the stabilized brewing water temperature, employing digital controls and improved group head designs, is no longer the sole domain of Synesso and LaMarzocco.  That means I may not be aware of excellent equipment [...]


Against all reason and better judgment the SCAE has asked me to speak on espresso bar design at the world barista contest this June in London.
It is true that Geneva and I have designed our bars ourselves, employing the architect to bring our vision into reality.  In general, Geneva specializes in back-bar design (the detailed [...]

ESPRESSO TECHNIQUE:monsooned robusta effects on flow rate

Dear patient reader,¬
Some unexpected effects on barista techniques, specifically on  monitoring the flow rate,  have come up after we dropped robusta from our blend a couple of months ago.
Background: After sourcing mild flavorful robusta coffee in the mid ’90’s I have used robusta in our blends to enhance crema viscosity, mouth-feel, and duration in the [...]

Equipment Review-Slayer Espresso Machine

Dear Reader,
Here are a couple of pictures from my visit to Slayer.¬† My complete test of the integrity of the brewing system will come later¬†this month.¬† But, just looking at it I am reminded of the espresso machine “sculptures” created by Kees Vander Westen.¬† I can tell you now that the look,¬† and feel, [...]

Artisan Business-synergies

Dear Reader,
Sorry for slow posts lately, I am on vacation in Montana with my sons Taylor, and Andre.  When I return to Seattle I will research the new machine, Slayer, and post a review.  Hwoever, while casting hoppers into the Montana rivers I often ponder the beautiful synergies that develop around a business if passion, [...]

Artisan Business-Service Memo

Dear Readers,
This is one of my favorite pieces to try to describe what we do as espresso pros….it started out as an in-house Quality Control (QC) memo but I hope you find it useful.
Professional Barista-
Mission, Style and Artistry
The espresso pro is so many things at once, a host, an artist in a highly technical culinary [...]