Not all coffee professionals like it
As a method of preparation, espresso is more like a magnifying glass than a window into the soul. It exaggerates certain characteristics of a coffee and leaves out others, making for an intense but inaccurate representation of a beans' potential. Factor in how difficult it is to prepare correctly, and you'll find that plenty of coffee professionals don't order it.
You'll enjoy it more if you ask a barista what it tastes like
A good barista knows when a customer doesn't want a flavor wheel monologue, so they might not immediately jump to offer up their thoughts, but it can't hurt to ask. If the dude looks at you funny or give a snarky reply, it's a tell that they don't actually know what they're serving and are in fact poser baristas. If they tell you that it's supposed to taste like a ripe crab apple rolled in coconut flakes or a landslide of Amazon rainforest mud, at least you know if they're achieving their goal. But if they can't give you any hint of what it should taste like, odds are its not something you'd want to put in your mouth.
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Dan Gentile is a staff writer on Thrillist's national food and drink team. He is more likely to trust a random barista with his car keys than with an order of espresso. Follow him to filing a police report about his Honda Element at @Dannosphere.