If you've worked in a cafe...
you've likely heard the term "dying" or "dead shot" in reference to a pull of espresso that sits on the bar for a certain period of time. It's rumored that this trend came from Starbucks training, who gives a shot only 10 seconds after its completion before it's considered dead. Other cafes, including those in the third wave, over time have adopted this terminology and belief, although they vary quite a bit on an espresso shot's lifespan.
Theories as to why an espresso shot may end up dying range from the vaguely scientific to the completely anecdotal. On the somewhat scientific side, there is the thought process behind oxidation creating a bitter and unpleasant flavor in an old or dead shot. On the anecdotal side there are those who believe crema is the key to a shot being alive or dead. Since all of these theories aren't all that hard to test on my own, I figured this topic would not only make a great video for my Coffee Opinion series, but also be worth digging a bit deeper into.
So hit play on the video above to see my take on the life and the death of an shot of espresso.