Espresso may very well be the tequila of the coffee world. To some, the word alone evokes memories of late nights in college spent guzzling bitter, amber liquid, not for the flavor, but certainly for its desired effects. To others, appreciating the drink is a mark of sophistication. Despite the small proportions of the beverage itself, espresso plays an enormous role in the coffee world.
I would argue that espresso is a lens through which all other elements of the coffee industry (including green coffee quality, service standards, proficiency in roasting, and skill in preparation) are magnified. Here is an introduction to four fantastic espresso blends available at your favorite Phoenix area cafes -- and one that you should go ahead and pass on, forever.