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  • the perfect temperature

    Hi guys, to all those who like to control every step of the process! Are the machines really giving the best coffee with their preset temperatures. What is the correct or best extraction temperature from fresh grind to sweet dark brew to the mouth?

  • #2
    Re: the perfect temperature

    Originally posted by 7C5349520852080A3A0 link=1243003548/0#0 date=1243003548
    Hi guys, to all those who like to control every step of the process!  Are the machines really giving the best coffee with their preset temperatures.  What is the correct or best extraction temperature from fresh grind to sweet dark brew to the mouth?
    There is no ONE exact answer...

    It is variable and depends on teh type of coffee and the method your going to use...

    As the old saying goes... Coffee boiled is coffee spoiled... But some methods come close...

    One might ask, with a question presented the way you have...  What product are you intending to sell ?

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    • #3
      Re: the perfect temperature

      From experience I used to have a very rigid idea as to how to make espresso and also the correct temperature at which to set it. Its definitely one way but not my preferred point of view anymore. In practice Im finding that so called perfect temperature changes depending on

      the coffee
      age of the coffee
      dosing style
      tamping pressure

      Its all inter-related, and depends upon what you seek out of the coffee itself and how you read the pour in relation to taste and texture of the espresso. This becomes more and more apparent as you start switching between blends and single origins searching for that sweet spot. I used to scoff at people changing temperatures by .5 deg C and now I find myself able to pick up the little changes that occur as a result of it.

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      • #4
        Re: the perfect temperature

        v nice and nice quotes, but i was told today that coffee is best extracted at around 90 deg as that was what the machines are set to. I think there must be something a little daft with that as i know that there is no way my mouth can handle those temps without ingesting most of my mouth skin. I have been told that 70 deg is the number.

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        • #5
          Re: the perfect temperature

          My issue is that when you are at the automatic machine side of the market there is no control over the temp of the water as is flows over those beans you have so carefully listened to, while roasting, in your corn popper. What are these machines set to and is it benefiting the "amatures" time. What is the better(if you wish) temp that us back yard boys should be aiming for.

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          • #6
            Re: the perfect temperature

            Originally posted by 517E647F257F2527170 link=1243003548/3#3 date=1243005155
            i was told today that coffee is best extracted at around 90 deg as that was what the machines are set to.
            Ive been meaning to ask a similar question as yours as Ive been quite confused after buying one of Erics themometer kits that sit in the group head of my E61 machine. Ive always read that coffee should be around 91 to 93 degrees, but after getting readings from the thermometer, Ive found that I like it best extracted at around 80 degrees (even going down to 74 degrees for trial), as anything higher than 86 degrees makes the coffee bitter.

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            • #7
              Re: the perfect temperature

              Originally posted by 4E617B603A603A38080 link=1243003548/3#3 date=1243005155
              v nice and nice quotes, but i was told today that coffee is best extracted at around 90 deg as that was what the machines are set to. I think there must be something a little daft with that as i know that there is no way my mouth can handle those temps without ingesting most of my mouth skin. I have been told that 70 deg is the number.
              Around 90°C is the desired temp for extraction. But this temp is at the shower screen where the water hits the coffee. By the time the espresso lands in the cup it has cooled considerably. After all, its only about 30mls of liquid gold.

              If you wish to add milk, about 65°C is the preferred temp to heat the milk to. Any hotter than 70°C and the milk is scalded.

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              • #8
                Re: the perfect temperature

                Thanks that helps, so, is the crappy coffe bought from unnamed chains made absent mindedly by a child of zero care and talent, that always ends up burning your mouth and tasting, in a word horrid, because the machine they use is set too hot?

                My machine is just a very basic type and i find that the coffee coming from that is drinkable, temperature, immediately even as an espresso shot, no need for cooling, and of course it tastes supreme.

                So i can see that the extracted coffee once in the cup has cooled considerably fron the recommended or maybe preset 90 deg.

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                • #9
                  Re: the perfect temperature

                  Originally posted by 705F455E045E0406360 link=1243003548/7#7 date=1243042603
                  Thanks that helps, so, is the crappy coffe bought from unnamed chains made absent mindedly by a child of zero care and talent, that always ends up burning your mouth and tasting, in a word horrid, because the machine they use is set too hot?
                  It may be because theyve burnt the coffee, but if its burning your mouth, it means whats in the cup is too hot and most of what is in the cup is milk (unless youre drinking an espresso or long black or similar). So Id say its more likely that theyve overheated the milk. Burnt milk will taste bad, and that would also explain burnt mouth. From my experience, it seems that overheated milk retains it temperature for a long time.

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                  • #10
                    Re: the perfect temperature

                    Originally posted by 515A5149425F0507300 link=1243003548/6#6 date=1243008608
                    Originally posted by 4E617B603A603A38080 link=1243003548/3#3 date=1243005155
                    v nice and nice quotes, but i was told today that coffee is best extracted at around 90 deg as that was what the machines are set to. I think there must be something a little daft with that as i know that there is no way my mouth can handle those temps without ingesting most of my mouth skin. I have been told that 70 deg is the number.
                    Around 90°C is the desired temp for extraction. But this temp is at the shower screen where the water hits the coffee. By the time the espresso lands in the cup it has cooled considerably. After all, its only about 30mls of liquid gold.

                    If you wish to add milk, about 65°C is the preferred temp to heat the milk to. Any hotter than 70°C and the milk is scalded.

                    Yep in a nut shell.

                    People get hung up on something they have read and then promote without understanding..

                    As per above... See Highlighted.... It will be considerable cooler by the time you go to drink it (approx 65 - 80..) Thus the reason why people have their cups on a warmer... Not a hot plate, but a warmer..

                    The biggest issue is that most people go over board on the milk.. 60-65 is great, any thing over that and Uck...

                    Note: Like every thing... These are rules of thumb... As every thing has an impact .. What sort of milk, what the day is like etc etc..


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                    • #11
                      Re: the perfect temperature

                      Originally posted by 18372D366C366C6E5E0 link=1243003548/0#0 date=1243003548
                      Hi guys, to all those who like to control every step of the process!  Are the machines really giving the best coffee with their preset temperatures.  What is the correct or best extraction temperature from fresh grind to sweet dark brew to the mouth?
                      There has been a massive, massive focus on brew temperature of late. As others have said, this is the temperature of the water going through the espresso puck. Brew temperature gets a lot of focus on the internet because it is relatively easy to measure, easy to understand and easy to write about.

                      The focus on brew temperature often takes away from the much more important and fundamental elements that you have to have in place beforehand. For example, and off the top of my head, you must have fresh coffee - thats pretty uncontroversial. You need a clean espresso machine - again, people agree, but I wonder whether people actually clean their machine often or aggressively enough. You need to dose a constant amount of coffee - another one the people agree on, but, again, I wonder how many people actually time their pours every now and then to make sure that they are consistent, as its pretty easy to move a few seconds here and there and then before you know it your coffee starts to suck. These things are the difference between coffee that is undrinkable and drinkable.

                      Grind and dose adjustment makes a dramatic difference and, IMHO, you should learn to nail this before you start to bother with brew temperature. Again, grind and dose is the difference between undrinkable and drinkable.

                      Then we come to brew temperature. Brew temperature can be both a big and a small difference. It is a big difference when we are talking about brew temperatures that are just out of the ballpark. For example, if your machine puts out water above about 96C, you are going to notice it. At this temperature, I think that its safe to say that the pleasantness of the resulting extraction will be proportional to how light the roast is. Machines that produce brew temperatures that are outside the ballpark may consistently produce espresso that is bad in some way and whether it is OK or undrinkable will depend on how far outside the ballpark the temperature is.

                      If you have a machine that is putting out a repeatable water temperature around the band between 91C and 94C, you will probably be OK for the majority of coffees around. Again, different coffees will favour different brew temperatures. Of course, this is all against a background of changes to grind and dose making a bigger difference than changes to temperature. If you have a machine like this, the water temperature coming out might mean that you develop a preference for some blends or roast levels.

                      The next step up is a machine that can produce repeatable brew water temperatures than can easily be adjusted. The key thing to remember here is that not all coffees behave the same. Some coffees have a very small window in which they brew at their best. For example, with an old light roast coffee, you might find yourself trying to strike the optimum balance between increasing the temperature to decrease acidity and decreasing the temperature to decrease ashyness. Equally, some coffees change only a little over a relatively large window. For example, a medium to dark roast pulped natural might taste fairly similar across a 3C band of relatively low brew temperatures. In most cases, brew temperature adjustments might make a difference between good and very good espresso. In some cases, brew temperature adjustments will be necessary to go from unacceptable to acceptable.

                      The difficult thing is that generalisations arent always useful, which is why I said that those previous things were examples. Brew temperature adjustment is something that you do based on taste and experience. With experience, you will start to develop a feel for what your starting points should be. The great new machines that allow very fine brew temperature adjustments are a double-edged sword, though. A barista who doesnt know what they are doing and doesnt have a good palate can easily make temperature adjustments that make the coffee taste worse. For this reason, its always funny to read posts where people say that they went to a cafe that has a particular machine with adjustable brew temperature and the coffee tastes bad, particularly when they go on to surmise that therefore the machine must not actually be that good.

                      I fear that brew temperature has become another marketing term that people are using without understanding it and, in some cases, without actually measuring it.

                      I suppose that I should quickly mention one final thing: brew temperature profiles. It would be easy to read the majority of references to brew temperature on the internet as implying that a flat brew temperature is best. Im not aware that this is an area that has been well explored, so I think that brew temperature profiles present open area for exploration. I suspect that flat brew temperature profiles have become well thought of because they are easy to understand, measure and adjust.

                      So I hope that long and rambling explanation clears things up ...

                      Cheers,

                      Luca

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                      • #12
                        Re: the perfect temperature

                        well said Luca, i am always learning reading your posts

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                        • #13
                          Re: the perfect temperature

                          While a badly calibrated espresso machine will produce bad coffee, the mentality behind the bar is the overriding factor in determining your coffee quality at any shop.

                          Many of the places serving bad coffee tend to treat their coffee and milk as invincible food products that somehow are supposed to withstand constant heating and reheating and endless exposure to oxyygen.  Unfortunately both milk and espresso are fairly delicate food substances when it comes to espresso preparation.  There is also the long held notion in some that coffee training or coffee standards come as an afterthought to their business, or that it is too hard or too slow or too bothersome to do what it takes to make coffee taste good to people like us.  

                          If we could replace these attitudes with attention placed on freshly roasted coffee, that is ground to order, and  fresh milk steamed in a sufficient manner for the coffees to be made then thered be a revolution in the quality of the product as it is served around Australia.  It would be an interesting social experiment if every cafe in oz served coffees competently..

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