Choosing your coffee, experience or tasting

Dany Marquis

The democratization of residential espresso machines is leading many people to embark on the adventure while bringing a lot of disappointment. I blame it on the poor quality of extractions produced by residential machines compared to what you find at your favorite coffeeshop. Manufacturers' marketing leads you to believe that you will be able to do without your barista...

I'll get to the heart of the matter right away, forget it right away. Unless you have a commercial machine in your kitchen or at least a good semi-professional machine accompanied by a good dosing grinder, you will never be satisfied. It's a shame but that's how it is.

So, it's a waste of time to try to recreate the coffee experience experienced in a coffeeshop using a Seaco Aroma or a Bréville of some sort, to name just these two manufacturers.

Why is my coffee not as good as my roaster's?

Because residential machines do not extract espresso optimally. Point.

Yes, but what if we really want to have a good espresso at home?

At this point, no need to turn to Saint-Jude , but rather to what I call experience cafes.

So I came to explain to my customers my own version of the art of coffee blending, added to 3rd wave culture, without falling into snobbish elitism. Because I hate it when a customer remains on a bad note with Brûlerie du Quai by having purchased a coffee that is inappropriate for their preparation method. You may be surprised to learn that not all coffees are good at all brewing methods. A coffee is not a beer, or your only involvement in the process is pouring the liquid into a glass or even just opening the bottle to drink straight from the neck. Coffee requires consumers to have more dedication and understanding in order to truly taste coffee.

Distinctions between experience coffee and tasting coffee

Note that my way of introducing coffees is constantly evolving and that for the moment, I classify coffees into 2 categories which allows me to direct customers towards the right coffees.

Tasting coffee:

I put in this category, high-end coffees, Cup of Excellence, grands crus, light roasts, which are mainly intended for manual preparation (Cone, aeropress, chemex, piston, filter) or using 'a quality commercial espresso machine. Often unique, fruity, tangy origins paying homage to the terroir of their origin. This category includes all the coffees from our Réserve Sélecte collection and certain coffees from our Prestige collection .

Coffee experience:

I put in this category coffees that are intended for preparation methods using residential espresso machines or that have characteristics that lend themselves to this. We are therefore talking about deep roasting, traditional espresso, Italian espresso, “old school”, natural coffees, in which the body is in the spotlight and acidity is little or completely absent. Heavy texture, strong aroma, raw, without subtlety. I use "experience" because the difference between the coffee tasted in the cup will differ enormously from that prepared in a plunger for example or in a commercial espresso maker. This makes it very difficult to taste the terroir of the beans but will give you a pleasant espresso experience.

Preparation guide: choosing between tasting coffees and experience coffees So there you have your residential espresso coffee maker safely installed on your counter. You go to your favorite coffeeshop and ask for the same bean they use for their espresso. Or worse, you don't ask and take one of his most expensive coffees. You come home, you prepare your espresso according to the rules of the art ( the 4m of espresso ), and you take your first sip. Yuck! Aroma of vinegar and cat piss! And you feel anger rising when you think of the owner of the roasting workshop who recommended the coffee to you. What an amateur, you say to yourself! And you end up buying coffee imported from Italy at the grocery store that makes you espresso just the way you like it in your new machine.

Real life fact. Revived and re-lived.

So I have now incorporated into my customer contact this duality of coffees, intended to produce the maximum experience in your kitchen. This is why I speak from experience. Because residential machines extract coffee really poorly. However, I understand that you cannot have $15,000 commercial machines at home. We must therefore adapt to our customers. On the other hand, it is essential that everyone is aware of the limitations of residential machines and able to choose their coffee accordingly. This is despite what brand marketing or salespeople may tell you. ''I bought a really good machine, made in Italy, sold by an Italian.''...

Take advantage of the differences between tasting and experience coffees

If you have a residential machine at home, opt for experience coffee, with lots of body, texture and darker roast. This will give you a more satisfying espresso experience than trying to replicate the quality of the local coffee shop. And above all, avoid fine wines, light roasted local coffees and anything that tends towards the fruity side of coffee.

If you want to experience tasting coffee, you need to use filter and full immersion methods and master the concepts.

So, that's it for this method of distinguishing coffees which allows me to direct the customer towards the coffee which will give them the most satisfaction. It also allows us to have more control over the image of our company by eliminating at the source the possibility of condemnation of Brûlerie du Quai following obtaining a weak espresso, simply the result of the combination of a Lightly roasted tasting coffee extracted in a residential machine. Because all our coffees are good, in their own way, but they are not suitable for all methods.

PS: You have a residential machine, it is possible to have a very pleasant result in your cup, here are some suggestions in our coffee ranges that meet the definition of experience coffee:

Espresso suggestion for home

And above all, contact us if you want advice on cafes. We are there for that.


  • Michael

    Très bon texte, très juste. Cela dit , vous avez vendu de tel machines pour une certaine période, est-ce que les clients de lesdites machines one reçu ce genre d’information à l’achat et/ou un service après vente pour leur en informer?

    Concernant le débat entourant dépenser des sommes importantes sur une machine commercial pour la maison….c’est une question de priorités pour tous et chacun.

    Et personnellement, je préfère avoir un Speedster sur le comptoir et m’amortir une petite tasse de bonheur chaque matin pour le reste de mes jours que de me payé une belle vacances qui m’apporte un boneur temporaire qu’une fois au trois ans ;)

  • Jean-François Lacoste

    Vous parliez des cafetières espresso conçues pour le grand public. (breville, saeco,etc). J’ai possédé une Saeco, quelques heures seulement. Ce genre de machine était incapable de produire un espresso avec crema. Je l’ai tout de go retournée au magasin. Je possède une “La Pavoni” depuis au moins 10 ans que j’avais payée 500.00$ Vous pensez quoi de cette machine ? Merci et bonne journée.

  • Charles Bellavance

    Très excellente analyse de 2 catégories de café … pour ma part j’ai opté pour l’une des 2 meilleures machines espresso résidentielles à moins de 1000$ ( Mokita super-inox et Rancilio ) !

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published