In the early morning, when our baristas get to Repose to unlock the door and open the shop, the first and most important task of the day is to “dial in” the espresso. We pour fresh, whole beans into the grinder, measure approximately 21 grams of coffee into the portafilter, and groom and tamp the shot to evenly pack in the grounds. We pull a shot, measure the time it takes for the first drip to fall and fill up the glass, and taste. Depending on the acidity and flavor of the coffee, the grind is adjusted to make the espresso coarser or finer, and to control how quickly the coffee saturates the water. We continue this process (adjust, grind, pull, taste, repeat) and fine-tune the blend until it tastes exactly as it should: bright and full-bodied, with fruity notes of lemon and berry.
Over the past two years at Repose, we’ve learned that creating truly high-quality coffee is an art in and of itself - and paying attention to small details matters. The constitution of the beans is always changing, and even though the steps to dial-in may seem trivial on their own, each one is essential to serve a shot of espresso that can be enjoyed as it’s meant to be, every time.
There are certain crafts which require precise attention, actions taken consciously and with great care - and developing incredible coffee is no different. When a master practices their art, we often underestimate the amount of time, patience and dedication that needed to be given over a lifetime to become the best. Even more overlooked is the craftsman's nuanced attention-to-detail, the daily refinements, and the subtle changes made to sharpen the technique which would one day allow them to surpass all others.
In the same way, the flavor of our espresso and the design of our space depends on the small adjustments we make every day, and as we improve, the small details start to hold more and more weight. To keep our shop up and running, there are a million different things to consider on any given day - but we focus on the details of our coffee and the way it’s served first. If we can do that well, the rest will take care of itself.