Why are coffee tests and comparisons so popular?
The range of coffees and espresso varieties is constantly increasing. The internet and the online shops for coffee make it possible to offer an unprecedented assortment at the same time.
For many coffee drinkers it is almost impossible to decide. Here, tests and comparisons are to provide orientation and decision support.
However, the results have to be scrutinized very critically, because methodology, candidate selection and comparability are only some of the criteria that are usually prescribed and cannot be reproduced by private coffee drinkers.
Real espresso comparisons require standards
In order to get real comparisons and reliable results, there must be standards that describe the same basis and starting position.
In most cases, an espresso machine and a grinder are used to set a standard, but this is more or less accidental and can hardly be found in most private households in the same combination.
The use of equal quantities and grindings should also ensure comparability – unfortunately also incorrectly.
For each coffee, depending on the mixture ratio of Arabica and Robusta beans, the origin of the green coffee and roasting degree, a very individual grinding/mixing ratio must be found.
This can never be standardized. With a single coffee, this ratio might be ok, with the next one too fine and over-extraction and with the third espresso too coarse, resulting in under-extraction.
o all this cannot be compared and no real evaluation is ever possible.
Every coffee needs individual adjustment and optimization
Every coffee and espresso is different. Depending on the nature of each variety, it is necessary to find an optimal point in the settings for each variety.
One speaks in this context also of the “5-M formula” (human, machine, mill, mixture, quantity). These variables are all to be coordinated and optimized at the end.
Only then is it possible to tell which coffee tastes like what when it is perfectly adjusted. However, everyone is free to let the coffee run for 15,20 or 25 seconds.
Depending on the duration of the brewing cycle, coffee tastes different again.
For example, the bitter substances are only dissolved after 20 seconds, i. e. bitter substances can be found in the coffee foam in less than 20 seconds.
Taste is king and incomparable
At the end of each coffee test is the taste. How’s my coffee? Ask ten coffee drinkers, everyone likes a different taste.
How are you going to evaluate something so difficult and individual and get a real result in tests? This seems almost impossible to us.
In the end, most of the time only coffees will be awarded, which you run as an online shop in the assortment and which you might want to push on sale.
We don’t think so much of it and therefore deliberately refrain from participating in these tests for purely marketing reasons.
At Caffaholic, you will only find coffees and brands that we also drink at all times and that we ourselves have found to be good. That must be TEST enough!
There are two exceptions – ESE pads and capsules
At present, only ESE pads and capsules are a genuine standard. As a human being, you can hardly change or adapt anything here.
Push the ESE pad or capsule into the machine and push the button.
The result is unaltered and reproducible at any time. On this basis you can make a real coffee test, otherwise not really.
One thing, however, is still left to the test organised – the choice of coffee. So what kind of coffee is actually used for testing and which coffees are allowed to compete against each other.
Due to the huge number of manufacturers, only a small selection (a pre-election of the tester) can be used. Here too, objectivity has its limits.
CONCLUSION on the espresso tests
Every large coffee and espresso test pretends objectivity and offers this in no way. Most of the time, your favorite brands are highlighted and recommended.
A test always shows only small excerpts from the large coffee range and cannot really help you in selecting coffee by taste, because every coffee on every coffee machine tastes and can and should taste different.
At the end of the day, people decide what coffee tastes like – every single one of them. The great thing about it is that you can taste and experience coffee every day anew.