Thanks for your reply in the +tamp vs. no tamp thread, JKG. I said and meant
"new school" vs. "old school" -- not new or old world.
You are right; there are many ways how to steam milk, as there are many ways
how to brew coffee.
The point I tried to make is that in many cases, there is a superior way of
doing things -- and most people who are used to their "regular way" are
surprised how much better the "other way" is.
After tasting the "other" way of preparation, most people who used to like
instant coffee prefer freshly brewed coffee. People used to drip coffee
often prefer the FP coffee. People used to buying "fresh" coffee in a can
discover and enjoy the superior taste of freshly roasted coffee. People
used to buying "fresh gourmet beans" enjoy as better tasting the freshly
home-roasted beans. In a similar way, people used to "blob of hard foam"
generally discover and like the velvety and silky taste of micro-foamed milk
combined with good coffee.
In another words, I strongly believe that micro-foamed milk tastes much
better as compared to the "hard foam" milk, and in my experience most people
agree. In fact, I never personally met a person who, after tasting
micro-foamed milk prefer the blob of hard foam. Some people prefer just
plain un-steamed milk, others prefer whipped cream on top of Viennese
coffee - but the hard foam just "does not have any taste at all" -- it just
looks impressive to some people.
Also, around coffee, it is difficult to talk about "old way" and "new way"
of preparing things. What is "old school" and what is "new school"?
In 1870s in the USA, Arbuckles Brothers promoted their pre-roasted coffee.
In their ads, the up-to-date woman told her old-fashioned home-roasting
friend: "Buy Arbuckle's Roasted, as I do, and you will have no trouble."
What is "old school" and what is "new school"? And what tastes better?
Turkish coffee vs. percolated coffee vs. drip coffee vs. French Press vs.
Vacuum brewing vs. espresso? What is "old school" and what is "new school"
of brewing coffee?
Home roasted coffee vs. store roasted coffee vs. canned coffee vs. instant
coffee? What is "old school" and what is "new school?
I believe that in the case of steamed milk, it is clear. The "old school"
coffee is the micro-foamed coffee. The "new school" is the blob of hard
foam. In this case, in my opinion, and in opinion of many who tried milk
foamed both way, agree, that the "old school" is tastier than the "new
To sum it up:
Many (perhaps most) Italian baristas make excellent espresso and espresso
based drinks; they should; espresso was invented in Italy. They generally
tamp effortlessly and hard, and they perhaps never use "hard-foam" milk in
their espresso based coffees. I consider their way the "Old School". And, in
this case, the "Old School" is superior to the "New School improvements."
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