Pls Dont Hate Me Cause I Love Starbucks Espresso. I'm looking for an alternative.

DUGT9vf8

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Sep 2, 2015
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Hi there! I'm new to this forum and as my title suggests, yes, I admit it and I apologize for committing the cardinal sin of true coffee experts; I actually like the taste of starbucks espresso. But I refuse to give them any more of my hard earned money for it because they match employee donations to planned parenthood (which sells baby parts). So, I'm on this forum to glean from all yalls expertise in all things espresso beans so that I can - hopefully - find a similar substitute (sans pp donations). Yes, I actually like the burnt, crisp, flavor of what many call "charbucks" espresso. But then again I like my burgers well done, almost burnt, my grilled chicken with burned skin and edges and my butter "browned". So maybe its just a flavor I enjoy in all things gastronomic. To me, the starbucks espresso doesn't just taste burned, although that is there. To my tastebuds, I get lots of dark burn/roasted, oily, deep, rich, caramel flavor from their espresso with no acidity or bitter aftertaste. The smell - like caramels - is the first thing that hits me and I love it. What I also love is the immediate kick of caffeine I get that gives me steady energy for several hours without jitters, over-hyperness or that "crazy in the brain" feeling one can get from cheap coffee. After about 5 hours, the espresso has waned out of my system and I can actually still get tired in the evening and fall asleep at night which is a HUGE plus to drinking the caffeinated brew (the only coffee product I've ever had that has accomplished this feat by the way). So I'm wondering if anyone can PLEASE suggest a similar espresso as my replacement go-to espresso? P.S. Has anyone else ever wondered if starbucks uses robusta beans because I've heard they are cheaper then arabica, can be roasted to burnt to mask any unpleasant flavors, and have a higher caffeine content than arabica? Thank you all so much for your input!! :coffee-bean:
 
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PinkRose

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Feb 28, 2008
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Welcome to the Coffee Forums website.

Since you described how you like a burnt taste in your other food items, it doesn't surprise me to read that you also like the taste of Starbucks espresso.

Are referring to "loving" the espresso that they make for you at Starbucks, or are you referring to beans that Starbucks sells that have been roasted for making espresso at home?

Rose
 

Mr.Peaberry

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Aug 7, 2013
889
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Welcome to the forums. Have you tried other espresso beans/shots, but find that Starbucks is what you prefer over what you've had thus far? Typically, the best arabica beans will NEVER find their way into your espresso drink, unless you yourself buy the premium beans, roast the crap out of them (and all the stuff that makes them so special), and then pull the shot yourself. It just does not make good business sense to spend good money on something, and end up with a product that cannot be distinguished from products of lesser quality. I think you'll be pleasantly surprised though, when you discover that Starbucks is more interested in a consistent customer experience, than in exploring the world of coffee for that elusive great shot of espresso.
 

ensoluna

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Apr 29, 2014
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Even though I am not espresso drinker (except those cuban espresso in Miami & Puerto Rico, they are slightly different), it seems like you really like Starbucks espresso.
if so, you should keep drinking it... perhaps while you are looking for BETTER alternatives in some other places.

Personally, I can not stand their coffee (too dark and tasteless) and latte (too weak and just bad in so many ways), I am sure there are so many people who like their stuff. I guess that is the reason Starbucks are making so much money and getting bigger and bigger.

Yes, Robusta is cheaper (about 35%, I am talking about green coffee pricing) and twice the caffeine content, but I highly doubt that Starbucks is just using Robusta for espresso.
 
OP
DUGT9vf8

DUGT9vf8

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Welcome to the Coffee Forums website.

Since you described how you like a burnt taste in your other food items, it doesn't surprise me to read that you also like the taste of Starbucks espresso.

Are referring to "loving" the espresso that they make for you at Starbucks, or are you referring to beans that Starbucks sells that have been roasted for making espresso at home?

Rose

Hi Rose. Thanks for the comment/question. Yes I'm referring to the espresso shots that Starbucks makes in person at one of their cafes. I don't have an espresso machine at home (yet) so I can't make it from beans at home (yet). -Anita
 
OP
DUGT9vf8

DUGT9vf8

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Welcome to the forums. Have you tried other espresso beans/shots, but find that Starbucks is what you prefer over what you've had thus far? Typically, the best arabica beans will NEVER find their way into your espresso drink, unless you yourself buy the premium beans, roast the crap out of them (and all the stuff that makes them so special), and then pull the shot yourself. It just does not make good business sense to spend good money on something, and end up with a product that cannot be distinguished from products of lesser quality. I think you'll be pleasantly surprised though, when you discover that Starbucks is more interested in a consistent customer experience, than in exploring the world of coffee for that elusive great shot of espresso.

Hi Mr.Peaberry :) Thanks for the welcome and reply. I grew up 15 min's from Manhattan and out with my parents at Little Italy restaurants I recall trying my Mom's espresso after dinner and liked it but sometimes it would be bitter (maybe because she'd already squeezed the twist of lemon rind they gave her on the saucer with the cup of espresso idk). But I wasn't a big coffee or espresso drinker until I got into my late 20's/30's and needed the kick in the pants in the morning to get going to work. Having grown up near Madison Ave, the advertising capital of the world, I'm unfortunately all too aware that starbucks and other similar enterprises are mainly interested in 3 things: money, loyal (or addicted) consumers, and producing the same consistent product for consumers like an assembly line whether they are consuming that product in Chicago or Shanghai. So I totally agree with you that starbucks is hardly interested in exploring the world of coffee for a great shot of espresso. I don't like starbucks except for that black liquid that they produce because it gives me the best kick in the pants for several hours then wears off so I can sleep at night (unlike regular brewed coffee) and its roasted caramel taste. Thanks for teaching me about Arabica beans. That makes sense. :) Where I live now in rural northern Mississippi (because my husband moved us here for him to return to college) the only options for espresso that I've come across besides starbucks is a new espresso cafe called Cups and a local cafe called High Point Coffee. Cups espresso tasted to me like a concentrated cup of bad coffee and High Point's espresso was slightly on the bitter side, but better than Cups. So my next adventure in espresso is to get advice here on Coffee Forums, order espresso beans online, have them shipped to me, buy an espresso machine, and make it myself. That's where I'm at at this point. Thanks again! -Anita
 
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DUGT9vf8

DUGT9vf8

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Even though I am not espresso drinker (except those cuban espresso in Miami & Puerto Rico, they are slightly different), it seems like you really like Starbucks espresso.
if so, you should keep drinking it... perhaps while you are looking for BETTER alternatives in some other places.

Personally, I can not stand their coffee (too dark and tasteless) and latte (too weak and just bad in so many ways), I am sure there are so many people who like their stuff. I guess that is the reason Starbucks are making so much money and getting bigger and bigger.

Yes, Robusta is cheaper (about 35%, I am talking about green coffee pricing) and twice the caffeine content, but I highly doubt that Starbucks is just using Robusta for espresso.

Thanks ensoluna. Yep everyone has their individual tastes and I can totally understand why you don't like starbucks. I'll have to give cuban espresso a try sometime. I'd like to keep drinking starbucks espresso until I find and good alternative but morally I can't and won't give them another hard-earned dollar of mine because of their donation policy to planned parenthood. All my best -Anita
 

Mr.Peaberry

Member
Aug 7, 2013
889
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Hi Mr.Peaberry :) Thanks for the welcome and reply. I grew up 15 min's from Manhattan and out with my parents at Little Italy restaurants I recall trying my Mom's espresso after dinner and liked it but sometimes it would be bitter (maybe because she'd already squeezed the twist of lemon rind they gave her on the saucer with the cup of espresso idk). But I wasn't a big coffee or espresso drinker until I got into my late 20's/30's and needed the kick in the pants in the morning to get going to work. Having grown up near Madison Ave, the advertising capital of the world, I'm unfortunately all too aware that starbucks and other similar enterprises are mainly interested in 3 things: money, loyal (or addicted) consumers, and producing the same consistent product for consumers like an assembly line whether they are consuming that product in Chicago or Shanghai. So I totally agree with you that starbucks is hardly interested in exploring the world of coffee for a great shot of espresso. I don't like starbucks except for that black liquid that they produce because it gives me the best kick in the pants for several hours then wears off so I can sleep at night (unlike regular brewed coffee) and its roasted caramel taste. Thanks for teaching me about Arabica beans. That makes sense. :) Where I live now in rural northern Mississippi (because my husband moved us here for him to return to college) the only options for espresso that I've come across besides starbucks is a new espresso cafe called Cups and a local cafe called High Point Coffee. Cups espresso tasted to me like a concentrated cup of bad coffee and High Point's espresso was slightly on the bitter side, but better than Cups. So my next adventure in espresso is to get advice here on Coffee Forums, order espresso beans online, have them shipped to me, buy an espresso machine, and make it myself. That's where I'm at at this point. Thanks again! -Anita

In your search for good espresso, perhaps you might visit coffeegeek.com ...that is another community of coffee lovers, some of whom are visitors or members here as well. You can, and should, do a lot of research to find the right machine for your needs and budget! Good luck, and post updates on your journey! Cheers - Doug
 

mars

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Apr 21, 2015
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The original espresso recipe includes a bit of robusta . Newer companies are roasting lighter and sweeter blends . The bitter taste youre catching is probably the acidity . The over roasted bean is origin eclipsed . The bean lacking acidity is very darkly roasted . Espresso tasting is my hobby but I have not been everywhere . I like portola , klatch , sump , gogetemtiger and a newer one , brick and mortar . But like I said , I have not been everywhere . I also recommend saving to buy a really good espresso machine . The low dollar machines do not pull good shots . I have tasted some nasty espressos as well lol . A good grinder is a must as well . I have a bigger grinder for my espresso but I just use a small blade grinder for my shots . Not consistent but a doser grinder makes no sense for just 1 person .
 
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DUGT9vf8

DUGT9vf8

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Sep 2, 2015
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The original espresso recipe includes a bit of robusta . Newer companies are roasting lighter and sweeter blends . The bitter taste youre catching is probably the acidity . The over roasted bean is origin eclipsed . The bean lacking acidity is very darkly roasted . Espresso tasting is my hobby but I have not been everywhere . I like portola , klatch , sump , gogetemtiger and a newer one , brick and mortar . But like I said , I have not been everywhere . I also recommend saving to buy a really good espresso machine . The low dollar machines do not pull good shots . I have tasted some nasty espressos as well lol . A good grinder is a must as well . I have a bigger grinder for my espresso but I just use a small blade grinder for my shots . Not consistent but a doser grinder makes no sense for just 1 person .

Perfect reply. That is exactly the information I was looking for. Cheers
 

friedcoffee

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Jan 12, 2016
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Buy a Keurig machine with Kcups or a Nespresso machine with their assorted flavors pack. Try all flavors at home and buy next the one you really appreciate. It's a simple thing and you wouldn't be dependent on any one else...
 

peterjschmidt

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Oct 10, 2013
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Milwaukee, WI
No offense, friedcoffee, but that is some lousy advice... first off the OP is looking to drink espresso, and second even if it was coffee Anita was after, the Keurig is not capable of producing good coffee.
 

Mr.Peaberry

Member
Aug 7, 2013
889
2
No offense, friedcoffee, but that is some lousy advice... first off the OP is looking to drink espresso, and second even if it was coffee Anita was after, the Keurig is not capable of producing good coffee.

Geez Peter...you are just plain biased. Seems a crappy coffee can't get a good word with you around...just sayin'...
 
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