Finding (the) God (shot)

13 May

In my early endeavours into coffee I started joining coffee forums and occasionally reading about the concept of the ‘God Shot’; the flawless shot of espresso which is supposedly transcendant, at least if you’re going to praise it so highly as to call it a God shot it should be.[1]

I suppose what someone would classify as a God Shot would be quite subjective, as it would play perfectly to the palette of the drinker. Perhaps the cost of experiencing a huge range of coffee is that you know what an amazing acidic, sweet or earthy coffee can be like and that forms to the idea of what would be liked in an espresso.

I have drank a lot of espresso but I’ve never experienced something I would call a God Shot, I’ve had amazing shot, beautiful shots, great shots and down right undrinkable shots, but no one shot has ever stuck with me as being outstandingly impressive.

The only shot of coffee that has really stuck me, not specifically for being amazing and perfect but because it forms an important memory for me in the development of my passion for coffee and was an eye opening moment.  In 2007 I was at a training day for Welcome Break’s Coffee Primo as the brand was beginning a revamp, we were at a training and show room at La Cimbali in Coventry, I tried our coffee blend perfectly extracted from a clean, flushed and stabilised group, it was the first time I tasted another flavour in a coffee other than coffee. It wasn’t so much a God shot but a definite epiphany shot.

During the first year or so that I really started delving into speciality coffee I searched for the God shot and lamented at my failure in finding it. Over time the idea drifted from my mind.

Now I look back and rather than lamenting, I wonder if it may be a curse in disguise (or even in a demitasse) after that, would any coffee measure up, or would the God shot make every espresso after that disappointing? That concept seems direly undesirable.

I look at the concept and wonder, is a God shot real? At least insomuch as a single unimprovable and unsurpassable shot of espresso and whether it may be just a good shot that exceeded by a large factor the coffee the drinker is used to. If that is the case, then the espresso that set me on the road as a barista, and in search of it was it. I’ve had better coffees since but I wouldn’t class them as God shots. Maybe a God shot is different for everyone and mine happened to take the form of an epiphany shot [2]

I’d be very interested to hear about your experiences of a God Shot in the comments.

[1] – Perhaps this assumption is my first stumbling block

[2] – That’s right I’m coining the term

[Bonus Content]

Rejected puns from this post:

  • I’ve lost faith in God shots
  • I’m searching for God shots
  • God shots love you
  • One Nation under God Shots
  • God shots damn it
  • Praise be to God Shots
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