Is making a perfect cup of coffee an art or a science?

At my favorite local coffee shop this morning I was reminded once again of the value of metrics in any endeavor. It was morning Joe rush hour and the espresso machine was steaming. A friendly but focused barista ground beans, flipped switches and poured liquids. At her left elbow was an assistant, himself an accomplished barista, working in tandem with the barista in charge.

While a cacophony of happy sounds swirled around them, the intent...

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