Dang. Just lost my last reply!
1. I was naive to think that every shop should be pulling decent shots just because they have good equipment and SHOULD!
2. Taste is completely subjective. Longs lines out the door at Red Lobster and Olive Garden. Once on "Hell's Kitchen" Ramsey made cheese soup with spray cheese, pate with hot dogs and served catfish cavier (you can't even GIVE this stuff away!) They all raved about it because they wanted to like it. I'm happy with the majority of my shots. A year from now, I might be dumping the majority of them.
3. I won't blindly go into a new shop and order espresso. I will only go to Kopplin's and Rustic Bakery and other shops that have been recommended by people with good "taste."
Thanks for everyone's input!
Forgive me if this was not the intent, but this reads totally sarcastic to me. If that's not the case, again sorry. However, I'm a little disappointed by your takeaway from the discussion.
I feel your pain. Where I work it's the staff who try and the owner who doesn't. We're expected to make 5 drinks in 3 minutes so there's no dry towel being used. A tamper? I have my own but the shop doesn't.
I drink espresso when I make it, or I buy it down the road.
And Joseph, I've gone to great pains to email detailed "how to" instructions to them and to everyone else working there. In one ear and out the other. A couple of my co-workers are doing an excellent job but not all.
They steam two pots of milk at once; one is for hot milk and the other is for "foam". Milk is added as the level goes down. It's gross to watch and even worse to sample.
If the location wasn't amazing they'd have no customers. As it is, the location really keeps things running.
Down the road from me there's a place with excellent espresso...but undrinkable drip. Customers are too polite to complain so both places will continue to put out far below what they are capable of.
I just don't understand the mind set of not wanting to do a good job.