Lets talk about COFFEE - Page 241
I picked up some Bolivian beans at the beginning of the month that didn't taste too special with my default routine on aeropress. I would have kept the impression that they were mediocre, but I tried using a lower brew temperature and they were fantastic. Using unfamiliar beans can be a good opportunity to experiment and tune in one's technique.
As long as the growers care about what they're doing, I think any region is capable of producing quality coffee. I look forward to giving the next one a shot.
Love the Corsica ! - better than Phocea or Nizza IMO, although I haven't tried the reserve blends. Now they've got all these 'workshop' beans less is more sometimes....
* have been drinking A&V's french roast for the last week or so - not complaining
Workshop beans = under-roasted
Enjoy; that's the type of purchase that only has to be done once, as it'll likely outlast you.
Since the turnover is so high, they can't warm the cups on top of the machine. They place it in dedicated "heaters" filled with boiling water. The cups are really hot. Gotta be careful or you burn your lip the first time you have one. (You can see a pic of it here--it's a large pic. usually, those thingies are much fuller and the water is bubbling, sometimes slowly, sometimes like crazy.)
They often serve the espresso with sugar without asking. I preferred it without. Gotta order it amaro then.
Espresso to go is also a thing, in plastic cups covered with tin foil (Italians/Neapolitans love their plastic cups.. in most trattorias/pizzerias/tripperias you only get plastic cups for your beer, wine etc.). There are dedicated "runners" who deliver said espressos to go on tablets to local shop owners who can't leave to get their fix of coffee. We also ordered some espressos to go and spiked them with some Villa Zarri Nocino.. great stuff.
Cups are great. Really thick-walled. Machines are great (only lever machines). Grinder are good to great (I think I've seen Mazzers, some Caffe Mexicos--a "chain" that serves great coffee--use Ditting etc). They usually grind in batches of like 100-200g and when it's used up, they grind again. Only local roasteries, often large ones like Kimbo, Passalacqua etc. Tamping pressure varies.
There was some discussion in various places (e.g., here) that Italian roasts don't need to be super fresh to taste good. Most of what you described sounded pretty in line with my experiences/expectations, but wow! all manual levers! That is something else - don't think I've seen that anywhere.