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Thread: good pour, good timing... bitter taste?

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    good pour, good timing... bitter taste?

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Hey guys,

    just thought id ask a question...

    i have an em6910, and have worked out the right grind and tamp and so forth... i press the pour and it has a beautiful pour.. syrupy thick... and the beans are fresh, crema is also lovely and thick on top...

    so to my disappointment, everytime i taste it, i get a bitter taste like at the back of my tongue... not that pleasant...

    once i put milk in it... it tastes good, no dramas... but i would prefer not to mask my drink in milk (even tho i prefer milk based coffee)

    is there any tips on fixing this? should i lower the espresso block temperature on it? up it? what are your thoughts?

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    Re: good pour, good timing... bitter taste?

    How long does it take to pour the shot? What beans are you using?

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    Senior Member Yelta's Avatar
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    Re: good pour, good timing... bitter taste?

    Quote Originally Posted by 3037010405600 link=1256978897/0#0 date=1256978897
    Hey guys,

    just thought id ask a question...

    i have an em6910, and have worked out the right grind and tamp and so forth... i press the pour and it has a beautiful pour.. syrupy thick... and the beans are fresh, crema is also lovely and thick on top...

    so to my disappointment, everytime i taste it, i get a bitter taste like at the back of my tongue... not that pleasant...

    once i put milk in it... it tastes good, no dramas... but i would prefer not to mask my drink in milk (even tho i prefer milk based coffee)

    is there any tips on fixing this? should i lower the espresso block temperature on it? up it? what are your thoughts?
    I know the purists will recoil in horror but Ive always taken my shots with about half a teaspoon of sugar, makes a word of difference.
    Like you I find a straight shot somewhat bitter, regardless of the beans I use.
    Heres an interesting link http://www.home-barista.com/coffees/...gar-t2028.html ;)

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    Re: good pour, good timing... bitter taste?

    Quote Originally Posted by 302E2C28263A27262028430 link=1256978897/1#1 date=1256980987
    How long does it take to pour the shot? *What beans are you using?
    im using espresso wow at the moment... for 30ml it definitely takes less than 30 seconds... hard to tell with the LOADS of crema on top of it... but yeh... (you count the crema on top yeh? or just the shot?)

    generally use fresh beans for it... but for just about any bean i get the same result

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    Senior Member Yelta's Avatar
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    Re: good pour, good timing... bitter taste?

    Quote Originally Posted by 3136000504610 link=1256978897/3#3 date=1256982807
    Quote Originally Posted by 302E2C28263A27262028430 link=1256978897/1#1 date=1256980987
    How long does it take to pour the shot? *What beans are you using?
    im using espresso wow at the moment... for 30ml it definitely takes less than 30 seconds... hard to tell with the LOADS of crema on top of it... but yeh... (you count the crema on top yeh? or just the shot?)

    generally use fresh beans for it... but for just about any bean i get the same result
    As a guide a shot of espresso 25 ml should take approx 25 seconds, I imagine what you are getting would be a little thin (under extracted)

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    Senior Member Coffee2Di4's Avatar
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    Re: good pour, good timing... bitter taste?

    Just your taste buds if its happening with just about every bean you have?

    I always find straight espresso bitter and slightly unpleasant, which is probably why Ill never be a cupper.

    There is a method that Chris from Talk Coffee taught me about where on the tongue you are tasting the coffee and what it means in relation to bitter or sour, but I just cant put my finger on it at the moment (the information, not my tongue!)

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    Re: good pour, good timing... bitter taste?

    Quote Originally Posted by 5E796F7D65160 link=1256978897/5#5 date=1257023317
    There is a method that Chris from Talk Coffee taught me about where on the tongue you are tasting the coffee and what it means in relation to bitter or sour, but I just cant put my finger on it at the moment (the information, not my tongue!)
    yeh maybe it is my tastebuds... not refined enough perhaps? haha...

    also i believe sour is along the middle and front, acidic tones are noted on the sides of the tongue and bitter at the back of your tongue... if it is really bad and bitter back of tongue and your throat too haha ive had that before...

    this is what i can remember...

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    Re: good pour, good timing... bitter taste?

    Quote Originally Posted by 526E677F6A0B0 link=1256978897/4#4 date=1256983439
    As a guide a shot of espresso 25 ml should take approx 25 seconds, I imagine what you are getting would be a little thin (under extracted)
    it doesnt appear to be under extracted... good pour and all... i measure it out but most of it seems to be crema... so it is hard to tell where i measure it to... do i just go with the crema height?

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    Senior Member Yelta's Avatar
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    Re: good pour, good timing... bitter taste?

    Quote Originally Posted by 4E497F7A7B1E0 link=1256978897/7#7 date=1257048658
    Quote Originally Posted by 526E677F6A0B0 link=1256978897/4#4 date=1256983439
    As a guide a shot of espresso 25 ml should take approx 25 seconds, I imagine what you are getting would be a little thin (under extracted) *
    it doesnt appear to be under extracted... good pour and all... i measure it out but most of it seems to be crema... so it is hard to tell where i measure it to... do i just go with the crema height?
    Its not cast in stone, I have a clear shot glass with marks at 15, 30 and 60 ml, use it every once in a while as a check, what Im looking for is 25 to 30 ml of coffee with crema on top, if your using espresso cups you will finish up with approx half a cup including crema.
    The measuring glass I mentioned came form a coffee place in Melbourne, Coffee parts have them http://www.coffeeparts.com/accessories/dosing-cups.html as you can see only a few bucks.
    Have you tried my suggestion re sugar? its not sacrilege, we all have different tastes.
    Cheers,
    Jon. :)

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    Senior Member GregWormald's Avatar
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    Re: good pour, good timing... bitter taste?

    Yes, count the crema.

    Bitterness (back of tongue) is increased by longer extractions or more water contact. Both increase caffeine, which is intensely bitter.

    With a double basket, try for 25 ml (total) in 25 seconds. Its a "ristretto" and is the only way I can drink my shots black, no sugar.

    Greg

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    Re: good pour, good timing... bitter taste?

    Quote Originally Posted by 4B7E696B5B637E616D60680C0 link=1256978897/9#9 date=1257067673
    Yes, count the crema.

    Bitterness (back of tongue) is increased by longer extractions or more water contact. Both increase caffeine, which is intensely bitter.

    With a double basket, try for 25 ml (total) in 25 seconds. Its a "ristretto" and is the only way I can drink my shots black, no sugar.

    Greg
    Agree...

    A small drop (half a tea spoon is a good start) of golden syrup realy adds another chapter to a "ristretto" as it it not overly sweet and has an interesting flavour... Has become one of my top drinks...

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    Senior Member Yelta's Avatar
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    Re: good pour, good timing... bitter taste?

    Quote Originally Posted by 654A43415669454A45434149414A50240 link=1256978897/10#10 date=1257068352
    Quote Originally Posted by 4B7E696B5B637E616D60680C0 link=1256978897/9#9 date=1257067673
    Yes, count the crema.

    Bitterness (back of tongue) is increased by longer extractions or more water contact. Both increase caffeine, which is intensely bitter.

    With a double basket, try for 25 ml (total) in 25 seconds. Its a "ristretto" and is the only way I can drink my shots black, no sugar.

    Greg
    Agree...

    A small drop (half a tea spoon is a good start) of golden syrup realy adds another chapter to a "ristretto" as it it not overly sweet and has an interesting flavour... *Has become one of my top drinks...
    Yep, as I said try a bit of sugar (The high fructose content of golden syrup gives it a sweeter taste than an equivalent solution of white sugar; when substituting golden syrup for white sugar, about 25% less golden syrup is needed for the same level of sweetness)
    could make a world of difference, some of us just naturally have a sweet tooth. ;D

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    Senior Member Magic_Matt's Avatar
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    Re: good pour, good timing... bitter taste?

    Google results for the tongue map are interesting... something I was taught in high school and have always accepted.

    To the OP - is it possible that part of the taste is sourness (I would have said youd taste it at the sides of your tongue rather than the back... but now know better ;))? Shots from my Sunbeam are always a bit sour, even with the temp dialed right up, p/f preheated with boiling water etc.

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    Re: good pour, good timing... bitter taste?

    Quote Originally Posted by 6D40000 link=1256978897/12#12 date=1257121898
    Google results for the tongue map are interesting... something I was taught in high school and have always accepted.

    To the OP - is it possible that part of the taste is sourness (I would have said youd taste it at the sides of your tongue rather than the back... but now know better ;))? Shots from my Sunbeam are always a bit sour, even with the temp dialed right up, p/f preheated with boiling water etc.
    it is possible... ive always thought of it as bitter with the whole back of the tongue yuck feel... but after reading about these myths of the tongue tasting...

    just so u know where im coming from...
    i went to The Rocks Cafe in sydney and asked for a short black, it was strong, but pleasant... nothing blech on the tongue... i try it on mine to get that flavour and i still get the "blech"

    i have put my espresso boiler temp up to the max to see the difference... once again, a bit blech, with milk, tastes good... even with a double...

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    Senior Member Yelta's Avatar
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    Re: good pour, good timing... bitter taste?

    Have you tried different blends? or maybe you could buy some of the beans that you enjoy from the Rocks cafe then try to duplicate the taste. :)

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    Senior Member flynnaus's Avatar
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    Re: good pour, good timing... bitter taste?

    Quote Originally Posted by 0F083E3B3A5F0 link=1256978897/13#13 date=1257129083
    i went to The Rocks Cafe in sydney and asked for a short black, it was strong, but pleasant... nothing blech on the tongue... i try it on mine to get that flavour and i still get the "blech"
    I dont think it is unusual for your coffee to taste different to that of the cafe you bought it from especially if you dont have the same sort of espresso equipment that they are using. I bought some Monsooned Mal at a cafe. What they served was absolutely stunning. When I got it home and put it through my old VBM, I was very disappointed.

    How old are the beans you bought compared to what they have in their grinder?

    You might check the brew temp of the water comiong from the grouphead. If it is not hot enough, you can get sour tasting shots.

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    Re: good pour, good timing... bitter taste?

    One other thing I dont think was mentioned is.....are you pre-heating your cups?
    Getting brew temp right and brewing into a cold cup/glass can make a difference in the taste of a short black, but you wouldnt notice so much difference if you added milk.
    OTOH, when brew temp is good for the beans you are using, and you pour into a pre-heated cup/glass you might find you enjoy it more as the espresso is not cooled nearly so rapidly when it enters the cup.

    And another thing that might affect your taste, is what you ate or drank in the last hour or so, could try not having anything for 2 hours before you taste the espresso, and so on.

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    Re: good pour, good timing... bitter taste?

    ok so a bit of an update...

    I altered the grind down to 5 (normally i had been using 7 or 8) and tamp as per usual. I pre-head all the cups with hot water and sit them on the warmer... on a side note... should i be worried about how low my grind is on my em0480? it will not end up requiring it to be so fine it wont grind it properly will it?

    I also bought a measuring glass with the measurements from one of the sponsors on here...

    Result, an improvement on the last few blacks... still an unpleasant finish, but a much better overall flavour. I am thinking maybe it was sourness... I get a bit of a "stout" flavour but not unpleasant really and I pulled about a 25ml shot in 30seconds.

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    Re: good pour, good timing... bitter taste?

    for your grinder, take out all the beans and give it a clean out of grinds.
    wind down to "zero" and see what number it is, it may even be below "zero" (doing turned *it OFF!! and unpluged) *

    the numbers are a guide, and not the same for all grinders (0480s)

    then you will no where zero is and to not go all the way to zero

    are you also "preheating" the grouphandle by flushing hot water through it prior to dosing? this might help....

    keep at it sounds like things are improving

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    Senior Member Yelta's Avatar
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    Re: good pour, good timing... bitter taste?

    Quote Originally Posted by 5F586E6B6A0F0 link=1256978897/17#17 date=1257374967
    ok so a bit of an update...

    I altered the grind down to 5 (normally i had been using 7 or 8) and tamp as per usual. I pre-head all the cups with hot water and sit them on the warmer... *on a side note... should i be worried about how low my grind is on my em0480? it will not end up requiring it to be so fine it wont grind it properly will it?

    I also bought a measuring glass with the measurements from one of the sponsors on here...

    Result, an improvement on the last few blacks... still an unpleasant finish, but a much better overall flavour. I am thinking maybe it was sourness... I get a bit of a "stout" flavour but not unpleasant really and I pulled about a 25ml shot in 30seconds.
    Sounds like your heading in the right direction, 25ml in 30 sec not bad, 25 in 25 would be better, why not move the grind up a notch to 6 and see what happens?
    Have you tried the sugar option yet? only need about half a level teaspoon, you may be pleasantly surprised. ;)

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    Senior Member Magic_Matt's Avatar
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    Re: good pour, good timing... bitter taste?

    If the problem is indeed sourness - you can also increase the EM6910s brew thermoblock temperature which may help - see the advanced programming section of the manual. Maheels point about preheating the portafilter is a good one too - I pour water from the kettle over the pf when I fill the cups to preheat them - and still get a hint of sourness.

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    Re: good pour, good timing... bitter taste?

    If youve got the EM0480 grinder, is it possible that ground beans (from when you were grinding the last shot) are still in the grinders chute? Whilst checking 2 different friends setups, Ive noticed when you change the grind setting it takes a few shots to settle in at the new level. For me, an indicator of this problem is the large amount of ground coffee that shoots out the grinder when you first activate it. I think some people measure out the exact quantity of beans and empty the grinder after every shot to ensure this doesnt happen.

    Rob

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    A_M
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    Re: good pour, good timing... bitter taste?

    Trial and error... You say fresh beans...

    What beans / blend and when were they roasted ?

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    Re: good pour, good timing... bitter taste?

    Quote Originally Posted by 614E4745526D414E4147454D454E54200 link=1256978897/22#22 date=1257408510
    Trial and error... You say fresh beans...

    What beans / blend and when were they roasted ?
    they were the espresso wow, roasted 3 days before, ive used them all up tho now haha... so i need to get more fresh stuff from coffee dominion when i get the chance... but yeh... i dont feel i was doing those beans justice, didnt seem to taste good as black...

    ALSO, on a side note... I plan to do the barista course for this, unfortunately I am in Townsville... getting a chance to do the free course is difficult as it is free but the ticket to brisbane is not... hope to get round to it soon

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    Senior Member GregWormald's Avatar
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    Re: good pour, good timing... bitter taste?

    Remember also that sometime (and probably soon given your success so far) you will reach the limit of the 0480, and the only way up will be a better grinder.

    The variance in the size of the grounds means that at the same extraction time/temperature/pressure the finest grounds will be over-extracted (bitter) and the largest grounds will be under-extracted (sour). Both extremes also obscure the more delicate coffee flavours.

    It is no accident the best cafés spend thousands of dollars on high-end grinders.

    Greg
    A victim of upgraditis. ;D

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    Re: good pour, good timing... bitter taste?

    i suppose for now, I should be happy with what I have... I mean it is a decent machine and I still make decent milk coffees...

    I should prolly hold onto it for a while longer before I start a new venture into the $2000+ machines (my next upgrade I had a laugh)...


    UPDATE:
    I have just enrolled in the barista coffee course for sunbeam... I found an opening and a time that coincided with a music concert that I wanted to see... so I booked a flight, concert and course all at once... now that is efficient ;);)

    I hope this course "unleashes" the inner sunbeam barista in me haha...

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    Re: good pour, good timing... bitter taste?

    ALSO/...

    Just a little off topic but not kind of not off topic question...

    you say
    Quote Originally Posted by 02372022122A3728242921450 link=1256978897/24#24 date=1257553254
    limit of the 0480, and the only way up will be a better grinder.
    so that implies that perhaps the next best step is a better grinder and then I can wait a bit longer for a machine (so i can enjoy my sunbeam more...

    is this correct? would it be good to save for a decent grinder even when using the sunbeam em6910?

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    A_M
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    Re: good pour, good timing... bitter taste?

    Quote Originally Posted by 494E787D7C190 link=1256978897/26#26 date=1257582266
    ALSO/...

    Just a little off topic but not kind of not off topic question...

    you say
    Quote Originally Posted by 02372022122A3728242921450 link=1256978897/24#24 date=1257553254
    limit of the 0480, and the only way up will be a better grinder.
    so that implies that perhaps the next best step is a better grinder and then I can wait a bit longer for a machine (so i can enjoy my sunbeam more...

    is this correct? would it be good to save for a decent grinder even when using the sunbeam em6910?
    A better grinder... *$500 plus will see you get better consistency from the 6910..

    Then later the grinder will still be suitable for your next machine :-)



  29. #29
    Senior Member GregWormald's Avatar
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    Re: good pour, good timing... bitter taste?

    I have to say that I have never used a 6910--however I have ground for a Breville Ikon using my Macap and got very good coffee.

    Greg

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    Re: good pour, good timing... bitter taste?

    just got back from the sunbeam barista course stuff... was helpful in finding some in consistencies and fixing them, and the milk texturing was a good thing too, however, a lot of the stuff I have covered myself, before then. I still found I had a slightly harsh after taste, but it was the weakest that I have ever tasted it... so an improvement! :D

    was a helpful class though.

    I will continue to try and obtain the best shot i can get on this machine...

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    Re: good pour, good timing... bitter taste?

    just an update, I ended up buying a naked group handle for this machine also... after using that, and fresh beans (of course!), i found VERY LITTLE harshness, probably the best ive achieved for this machine...

    Very happy...

    Just thought i would ask though... i assume the naked espresso made a better quality shot because:
    a) there is less metal or surface to suck the heat out of the shot, removing a chance of souring the shot
    b) i can better guage the blonding of the shot

    would this be correct in my thinking?

    thanks a lot guys, you were very helpful in my quest for a good shot :D

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    Re: good pour, good timing... bitter taste?

    Quote Originally Posted by 0A0D3B3E3F5A0 link=1256978897/30#30 date=1260836075
    Just thought i would ask though... i assume the naked espresso made a better quality shot because
    You may have opened the perverbial can o worms there mate ;D


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    A_M
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    Re: good pour, good timing... bitter taste?

    Quote Originally Posted by 3037010405600 link=1256978897/30#30 date=1260836075
    Just thought i would ask though... i assume the naked espresso made a better quality shot because:
    a) there is less metal or surface to suck the heat out of the shot, removing a chance of souring the shot
    b) i can better guage the blonding of the shot

    It helps you to manage your methos.... Yes

    As to sucking heat etc..

    1: If ya group and basket etc is heated correctly.. Should not be such a problem

    2: I would expect you would loose more temp with the larger surface area that is exposed to the air with a Nakid ;D

    I know that I always feel cooler when I get Nakid... And the same principles are involved..

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    Senior Member redzone121's Avatar
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    Re: good pour, good timing... bitter taste?

    Quote Originally Posted by 68474E4C5B644847484E4C444C475D290 link=1256978897/32#32 date=1260865160
    I know that I always feel cooler when I get Nakid... And the same principles are involved..

    Id never ask you to behave AM it just wouldnt be the same ;D



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