In Search of the Holy Grail: Mapping the Espresso Landscape

By Shanna Germain

Espresso. It’s a drink, a lifestyle, a ritual, an addiction. It’s an end-goal and a dream concoction. It’s an art and a science, a measurable entity and a mystical experience. It’s also full of controversy, misunderstandings, missteps and flawed logic.

To uncover some of what makes espresso such a complicated creation, we invited some of those in the know to give us their two shots worth on the magic and miracle that is espresso, and to guide us through the murky place in search of that most holiest of grails: the perfect shot.

Before we begin our journey, please welcome your guides, three espresso enthusiasts who speak the language fluently and who can expound upon the history, present and future of the espresso landscape. Don’t expect them to agree on everything, of course—after all, this is dangerous territory!

Kyle Glanville, director of espresso R&D for Intelligentsia Coffee.

Tim O’Connor, president of Pacific Espresso.

Carlo Odello, member of the Board and Trainer of the International Institute of Coffee Tasters and communications manager of the Italian Espresso National Institute.

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