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Thread: What does bad espresso taste like?

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    What does bad espresso taste like?

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    I was instore looking at machines today and tried a shot from a Rancillio Silvia.

    To my uninitiated taste buds, the shot tasted smooth, and the aroma lasted well after I drank it.

    I came home to my Breville Cafe Roma with pre-ground coffee from the supermarket, and didnt think there would be that much of a difference.

    The coffee had a very strong bitter "bite" to it which I previously assumed was the bite of espresso. Also seemed a little "sour"?

    How much of this can be attributed to my machine, the grind, and the freshness?

    Educate me :D

    Where is a good writeup on what espresso "should" taste like??

  2. #2
    Sleep is overrated Thundergod's Avatar
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    Re: What does bad espresso taste like?

    All the bad taste was because it was pre-ground coffee from the supermarket.

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    Re: What does bad espresso taste like?

    Hi TG :) I hope its ok to make lots of posts here!! I am quite excited to talk to people with a passion for coffee :p

    Quote Originally Posted by Thundergod link=1226044383/0#1 date=1226046400
    All the bad taste was because it was pre-ground coffee from the supermarket.
    But it was pressurised in an airtight can! ;D

    You know, Im still not entirely convinced that my Cafe Roma can make a *significantly* better coffee using a Rocky/Mazzer grinder with fresh beans.

    Im contemplating taking my Cafe Roma to the retailer and asking for some freshgrind!! I had a laugh

    Would that offend the retailer? Its a potential $800 purchase.......

    But it might take some time to work out a coarse enough grind for my machine haha! 8-)

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    Sleep is overrated Thundergod's Avatar
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    Re: What does bad espresso taste like?

    Quote Originally Posted by ahmadnz link=1226044383/0#2 date=1226047518
    Hi TG :) I hope its ok to make lots of posts here!!
    Im not sure...I dont post much.


    Quote Originally Posted by ahmadnz link=1226044383/0#2 date=1226047518
    Im still not entirely convinced that my Cafe Roma can make a *significantly* better coffee using a Rocky/Mazzer grinder with fresh beans.
    Trust me;it can.


    Quote Originally Posted by ahmadnz link=1226044383/0#2 date=1226047518
    Im contemplating taking my Cafe Roma to the retailer and asking for some freshgrind!! I had a laugh

    Would that offend the retailer? Its a potential $800 purchase.....
    Sounds like a good idea.

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    Senior Member greenman's Avatar
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    Re: What does bad espresso taste like?

    Welcome to CS ahmadnz, youve come to the right place for helpful information on all things coffee, but beware this site is very addictive and will make you want to spend lots of $$$$$ on shiny new equipment!!!

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    Senior Member ozscott's Avatar
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    Re: What does bad espresso taste like?

    Welcome - if you spend some time reading on this site you will see that fresh coffee is the key - home roast is good, but otherwise from this site as roasted beans or a good (good) local roaster. Then a good grinder...then the machine, with the operator being an integral and important part in every step.

    Cheers

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    Start-up Kit for a Kiwi...

    Off topic replies have been moved to [link=http://coffeesnobs.com.au/YaBB.pl?num=1226054000/0]This Thread[/link]

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    Re: What does bad espresso taste like?

    Ok perhaps the better way to ask this is "what does GOOD espresso taste like"?

    What is a generic description about HOW a good espresso is supposed to taste?

    I had something freshly brewed from a Rancilio today (I dont know when the beans were roasted though) - Im not sure if it was good or not?

    Or does it only matter if *I* like it?? Would still be good to know what it is SUPPOSED to be like though!

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    Re: What does bad espresso taste like?

    what does good espresso taste like?

    it tastes good as opposed to the bitter, rancid, biting taste you experienced from supermarket coffee.

    There is a sourness that you can smell emanating from supermarket coffee within hours of first opening the packet.

    to educate yourself further try a test:

    find a classy cafe- or boutique roastery- with clean equipment and skilled baristas:

    order and drink a coffee.

    Now go out to the suburbs and find a greasey little cafe/tuck shop with an espresso machine that has thickly encrusted milk residue on the frothing arm... You will know you have found the right place when you can smell a bitter rancid coffee smell as soon as you walk in (this is the distinctive odour of a filthy drip tray and knock box full of mouldy pucks :-[ ).

    Shouldnt be hard to find as there are thousands of these joints all across Australia.

    order a coffee- and as you sip it- try and remember the taste of the coffee from the classy place...

    then- note the boiled flat lifeless milk, the sour notes on the palate and the general poor unappetising appearance of the coffee- if it is so bad you cant finish it- - then you know you are on the right track...

    compare and contrast.

    In such a way you can see how two places- both using expensive, high-tech espresso machines- are able to produce coffee of such a varying quality. One tastey- the other truly foul...

    What are the important variables?

    1) Bean
    2) Grind
    3) Technical skill
    4) Equipment
    5) Cleanliness
    6) ?? Mystery ??

    a failure in any of these areas will affect the coffee quality. Close attention to all aspects will result in good espresso.

    If you are doubtful that freshly ground quality beans will improve your coffee - then you have no hope at all...

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    Re: What does bad espresso taste like?

    Im not doubtful at all. My doubt was in my taste buds to be honest.

    I tried to do a test today which unfortunately couldnt be blind.

    I took a "freshly" made supermarket grind double from my Cafe Roma to the shop where they have a demo Rancilio Silvia and compared the shots.

    Wow. I know its a Roma/Pre-grind vs. a Silvia/commercial grinder, but the Silvia shot wasnt perfect but still blew my luke-warm shot out of the water.

    Sure there were limitations but there was a huge difference.

    What I do now need to try to discover is "what is a good espresso", and without knowing its hard to know how to get there.

    I know places where I like the mochas. But surely the chocolate and the milk mask properties of the espresso?

    Would it be normal practice to compare the espresso shots on their own?

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    Re: What does bad espresso taste like?

    ahmadnz wrote:
    What I do now need to try to discover is "what is a good espresso", and without knowing its hard to know how to get there
    ahmadnz, i can see where you are coming from, i am pretty well much in a similar position to you, without having someone around thats experienced that can be in a mentor role for me im pretty well left to my own devices and my expectations of what i think it should taste like and what they really taste like are still clouded.

    I drink caps, but have got into the habit of sipping every shot and i know when ive hit a good one, my only trouble at the moment is replicating it, i guess it will come with experience like with everything in life but it would be nice to have someone around to fast track it a little and take the guess work out

    Darren

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    Re: What does bad espresso taste like?

    Id never had a good espresso before Chris made me one the day I picked up my new Mazzer mini.

    Up till then all the "espressos" Id had tasted strong and bitter and left an unpleasant lingering after taste, so I assumed that was what espresso was supposed to taste like.

    Then Chris made me one and wow was I impressed! It was the first time I enjoyed straight espresso.

    Thick and smooth, and left an extremely nice after taste for hours.

    Anyway Ive since developed a liking for regular espressos and its not unusual for me to make a double shot at breakfast time, followed by a double shot latte. Gets me up and runnin on all 8 cylinders for the day *:D

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    Re: What does bad espresso taste like?

    gronk62 wrote:
    Thick and smooth, and left an extremely nice after taste for hours
    hmmm, thick n smooth huh
    well im yet to achieve a shot like that, i keep reading about them though :-?

    Darren

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    Re: What does bad espresso taste like?

    Quote Originally Posted by Banjo link=1226044383/0#12 date=1226224869
    gronk62 wrote:
    Thick and smooth, and left an extremely nice after taste for hours
    hmmm, thick n smooth huh
    well im yet to achieve a shot like that, i keep reading about them though *:-?

    Darren

    Took me a few goes to get it right, and even now not every shot is good, but 8 outa 10 aint bad :)

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    Re: What does bad espresso taste like?

    gronk62 wrote:
    Took me a few goes to get it right, and even now not every shot is good, but 8 outa 10 aint bad
    well geez Gronk, i think you better go sit yourself down in a room full of mirrors and have a good hard look at yourself with that poor ratio :o ;D

    hmmm, i knew i forgot to do something yesterday, should of asked nicely and got Chris on the job for a lesson in 101 Perfect Shots

    watched Dennis in action for a while, certainly made it all look pretty easy ;)

    I made some improvements today, it will come with experience

    Darren

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    Re: What does bad espresso taste like?

    Quote Originally Posted by Banjo link=1226044383/0#14 date=1226227503
    I made some improvements today, it will come with experience

    Darren
    Youll know when ya get it right. Its like hittin the jackpot.

    Jeez I wish I could drink coffee in the evenings. All this has got me droolin for a nice espresso

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    Re: What does bad espresso taste like?

    Really good espresso makes me go "YUM" and immediately want another.

    Greg

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    Re: What does bad espresso taste like?

    Is espresso supposed to start with a bitter "bite" before the aftertaste?

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    Re: What does bad espresso taste like?

    Nup. If so Id be guessing the shot probably ran too long which would be accompanied by the shot looking thin, black and watery. Good espresso should have thickness, body to it. A bit like drinking full cream milk compared to light milk. It should also taste balanced on the tongue with no particular concentration to the front or back of the tongue. It will also be strong.

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    CoffeeSnobs Owner Andy's Avatar
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    Re: What does bad espresso taste like?


    ...or it was Illy?

    The term espresso is more about it being a 30ml shot than the expected taste. Different people, regions and countries produce the same volume of espresso in a shot but with a very different profile.

    Coffee age, style and quality all come into play.

    Try a fresh roasted, fresh ground and well made coffee and get back to us with your thoughts.

    ;)


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    Re: What does bad espresso taste like?

    Quote Originally Posted by Andy Freeman link=1226044383/0#19 date=1226278696
    ...or it was Illy?
    Funny you say that. My supermarket grind is Illy in those pressurised cans. Not sure what the instore demo beans for the Silvia were.

    I went out and bought an espresso from a reputable cafe. It was served quite hot to my surprise. Maybe thats because I usually drink milk coffee and didnt know how hot espresso is served. Certainly hotter than Im used to when I pull shots from my Cafe Roma.

    The aroma was enticing. But the taste was quite sour actually! And the sour taste got worse by the bottom of the cup? The taste was "full-bodied", but not as thick as I imagine espresso CAN be. The crema looked thick and "reformed" itself after each sip throughout the entire tasting.

    All in all it was ok but sour - my taste buds or something wrong with the shot? Well I guess you have to taste more to learn more.

    I still havent got any answer about whether milk makes it harder to judge an espresso by masking some of its properties?


  22. #22
    Sleep is overrated Thundergod's Avatar
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    Re: What does bad espresso taste like?

    Milk steamed properly is sweet.

    Seems like the shot fell short of the mark.

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    Re: What does bad espresso taste like?

    Hope this is not too politically incorrect


  24. #24
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    Re: What does bad espresso taste like?

    If your tasting it as sour it probably was sour. The only difference I can think of is that a good shot may taste a little bit bitter if you have just eaten/eating something sweet.

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    Re: What does bad espresso taste like?

    I always seem to get a bit of a bite in the mouth when I make an espresso, not bitter or sour tasting, but a similar (albeit not as strong) sensation as if I had just bitten a piece of lemon, but Im not an espresso drinker, so am unsure if this is normal or not.

    There is no bitterness in the aftertaste, more of a tingling on the tounge as the strength of the espresso lingers in my mouth.

    Ive had some long blacks and quite enjoy those as a change from my normal latte, but I definitely like the sweetness of the milk with the latte more.

    Sen

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    Re: What does bad espresso taste like?

    Not an espresso drinker myself but given the single basket is hopeless leaving me using only the double basket, I have one spout pouring into my normal latte glass and the other into a shot measurement glass. Since I would tip it out anyway, I always try the shot from the shot glass and more often than not I get an aftertaste that I can only describe as being metallic. Is that normal?

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    Re: What does bad espresso taste like?

    Quote Originally Posted by doryanthes link=1226044383/20#22 date=1226368766
    Hope this is not too politically incorrect
    [img]STARBUCKZ LOGO[/img]
    I had a laugh

    Starbucks does not serve good coffee, however, often is better than a lot of sites from here. Sometimes a ultra great tasting coffee is not everything; sometimes I enjoyed *in a starbucks, not only for the coffee but for my company sitting in one of the sofas of Starbucks while looked as rain fell on the outside.


  28. #28
    Senior Member javabeen's Avatar
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    Re: What does bad espresso taste like?

    Quote Originally Posted by ahmadnz link=1226044383/20#20 date=1226353888
    Funny you say that. My supermarket grind is Illy in those pressurised cans. Not sure what the instore demo beans for the Silvia were.

    I went out and bought an espresso from a reputable cafe. It was served quite hot to my surprise. Maybe thats because I usually drink milk coffee and didnt know how hot espresso is served. Certainly hotter than Im used to when I pull shots from my Cafe Roma.

    The aroma was enticing. But the taste was quite sour actually! And the sour taste got worse by the bottom of the cup? The taste was "full-bodied", but not as thick as I imagine espresso CAN be. The crema looked thick and "reformed" itself after each sip throughout the entire tasting.

    All in all it was ok but sour - my taste buds or something wrong with the shot? Well I guess you have to taste more to learn more.

    I still havent got any answer about whether milk makes it harder to judge an espresso by masking some of its properties?
    I liken espresso to drinking wine - for me they were both something that I had developed a liking and appreciation for and its still going on.

    Im also still appreciating that the flavour differences are quite subtle and not in your face. eg sweetness for me is not like a lump of sugar, but like the sweetness you get from eating very dark chocolate with a hi percentage of cocoa.

    It takes some time to calibrate your palate to identify the differences eg Acidity can often be misinterpreted for sourness and until you know what to taste for, you might not know the difference. Unless you have a very good palate that is ;)

    Just keep trying espresso from reputable cafes that other espresso lovers have visited and had good experiences. And ask the barista what you can expect to taste when you order the espresso. Tell them what you like if they offer a variety of beans to try and see how these meet you expectations.

    Javabeen.

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    Re: What does bad espresso taste like?

    I find it hard to compare espresso when milk is added - further more then there is chocolate, as a mocha drinker for my sins.

    I will try espresso "neat" for the next wee while to see if I can learn more about my palate. After all its useless trying to strive for something at home when you have no concept of it in the first place.

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    CoffeeSnobs Owner Andy's Avatar
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    Re: What does bad espresso taste like?

    Behmor Brazen - $249 - Free Freight

    YES.
    Drink more espresso, less milk. Learn what you like and dont like and then learn where and how to get it.

    Hope this is not too politically incorrect
    Ditto...

    ;)






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