I used to be a normal coffehouse consumer. I'd walk up the counter, order my foofy caramel-enhanced coffee drink, the people behind the counter would perform obscure and marvelous acts involving arcane-looking equipment, I'd walk away, get whipped cream up my nose, and smile with bliss as the flavors hit my tastebuds.
Now I'm on the other side of the counter, and it's just *fascinating* how much knowledge and finesse is required to create consistently excellent espresso drinks. Did you know they have to adjust the grinders day by day, because the density of the grind needs to vary depending on the humidity? I certainly didn't.
I don't have the time to go into this at great length. I will simply kvetch because my espresso has not been consistent today. Even though I *know* the owner hear believes no one is fully trained in less than two months, and I've been working here somewhere between two and four weeks, I still am irked that I'm not perfect yet.
Today, however, I was Queen of Foam, and that makes me proud. Good latte and cappuccino (sp?) foam is simple in theory, but surprisingly challenging to do well consistently in practice.