Barley espresso - is it still espresso?

December 15, 2011

I have been following a thread discussing barley espresso.  The thread has devolved into some mean spirited commentary but the original poster did expand my horizons. I never had a clue this even existed as a beverage let alone a coffee alternative. After a fair amount of bickering if it even deserved to be called espresso of any kind (which never was fully resolved) most agree this is not really espresso. A beverage, yes, but not true espresso. Apparently the idea is an old one since during World War Two the Germans used roasted grain to stretch thin coffee supplies or replace expired coffee supplies all together.  One post did find this quote from a blog about barley espresso: 


"Why do Italians love Barley Espresso? First, there is a long list of health benefits to drinking Barley Espresso. But I discovered another cause as I spoke with our limousine driver on our return trip to the airport. Italians often enjoy Espresso socially which leads to consuming a lot of Espresso! Our limo driver said that at a certain point, he has to give up the espresso shots and switch to a shot of Barley Espresso. Since in Italian society it would be an offense to refuse the invitation to drink espresso together, Barley Espresso provides a healthy way to remain social. The barley espresso is the newest addition to the healthy lifestyle in Italy."



So this popularity is due to the lack of caffeine and the ability to drink shots late into the evening so as not to appear rude.  I do not see much in the way of commentary with regard to taste for this brew so until someone I trust pony's up eight bucks plus shipping to pick up a sack of this roasted grain and posts that it tastes great, good or even passable, I will just wait with rising anticipation in hopes that somebody loaves it....



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