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  • Sour Long Blacks

    Hello CS,

    Its a question that has been bothering me for a long time now and ive experienced quite a few sour long blacks. I dont mind a bit of sour or acidity as ive read on here and i actually quite like it but some places just over do it and all i taste is a sour coffee. Recently i went to Frisk in northbridge perth and man was that one of the worst long blacks i have ever had, sour, sour and more sour. One of the best ive had would be Mrs S offering in perth or the corner store cafe in Brisbane (that was REALLY good, actually the coffee there is some of the best ive ever had)

    So CS, what makes a bad long black and how could i direct the barista to make it strong and punchy yet not too sour.

  • #2
    Re: Sour Long Blacks

    Sour or bitter?, probably over extraction of shot releasing all of the bitter nasties. Try a longy at a quality focused cafe like Ristretto, Epic, Bench, Cafe 54, Elixir or Lowdown and taste the difference

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    • #3
      Re: Sour Long Blacks

      Definitely sour, its like putting a lemon in my mouth (for the really bad ones). I have tried the longies at epic and elixir and they definitely arent that sour. I was just wondering about the reasons why it occurs and how i could direct the barista (lets say at an unknown cafe).

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      • #4
        Re: Sour Long Blacks

        Light roast profile or water temp too low are first hhings to spring to mind.
        Could be beans used.

        Im sure there are other reasons too.

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        • #5
          Re: Sour Long Blacks

          are you having their espresso blend or a lighter roasted single origin??

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          • #6
            Re: Sour Long Blacks

            As hard as I try, I cannot think of any other description than "sour" for what is served up in many (usually) trendy shops as being "third wave" coffee

            Somehow, I just cant get my taste buds around "citrus notes" AND "floral" AND "astringent" as being altogether desirable in a coffee, whether it be from an "in" place or not.

            I swore, once I left the fibreglass industry I would never again experience the astringency which followed accidentally ingesting acetone, yet, here I am years later paying $3.95+ for the privilege.

            I just have to accept my tastes have become "old school" and be proud of it, I think.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Sour Long Blacks

              Could be the temperature on the espresso machine is low, could be the beans are too fresh ( not de gassed), or a light roast. There are many roasters roasting lighter ( third wave), for espresso, which can indeed be very sour. I agree with littleroundman. What I would like to do for third wave is wave it goodbye. Your not old school mate, because third wave light espresso roasting is not new school. I put my money on the fact that in a few years, light espresso roasters will look back at their profiles and say " what the hell were we thinking?!?".

              So check the roast, age, see how you go.

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              • #8
                Re: Sour Long Blacks

                HeHe,

                fractalsonfire mentions his experience in my home town, Perth

                I make a habit of trying at least one new and/or different specialty coffee outlet a week.

                Next time fractals in Perth Ill give him the names of 2 "in" places which I guarantee will serve him long blacks so "juicy, floral, citrus and mildly astringent" they will curl his teeth, or at least strip the enamel from them.

                As my sig. says, Im Too uncool to be third wave

                And every time I fire up my Ponte Vecchio and open up a bag of non third wave S/O beans, Im bloody glad of the fact, too

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Sour Long Blacks

                  The best way for me to wrap my head around the individual nuances of long and short black coffee is to roast my own at home and then to experiment with all the variables to see what produces the best result

                  At work I start with a base of approx 60mls of hot water in the bottom of the cup, then leave the cup to sit from between 30 and 60sec to allow the water in the cup to drop from boiler temp to 95C - then add 45mls of coffee on top from a double baskert - preferably single origin

                  Personally I would be reluctant to tell someone how to make a coffee in a commercial setting - either theyve got it or they dont - but I have been known to offer to make my own from time to time ...

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                  • #10
                    Re: Sour Long Blacks

                    Originally posted by 5F5A47475F56415C465D575E525D330 link=1313595662/7#7 date=1313658197
                    HeHe,

                    fractalsonfire mentions his experience in my home town, Perth

                    I make a habit of trying at least one new and/or different specialty coffee outlet a week.

                    Next time fractals in Perth Ill give him the names of 2 "in" places which I guarantee will serve him long blacks so "juicy, floral, citrus and mildly astringent" they will curl his teeth, or at least strip the enamel from them.

                    As my sig. says, Im Too uncool to be third wave

                    And every time I fire up my Ponte Vecchio and open up a bag of non third wave S/O beans, Im bloody glad of the fact, too
                    My hometown is Perth... I live here, but i definitely dont want a coffee that curls my teeth or strips the enamel from them What are the places anyway? Ill be sure to stay the hell away!

                    Thanks for the replies anyway, gives me insight into why i get bad long blacks. Maybe i can ask how they roast the coffee... At least itll give me an idea whether to stay away or give a try.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Sour Long Blacks

                      Most of them will have no idea about the roasting of the coffee. Most cafes just buy a blend. It seems a lot of the cafes that use five senses often have their own blends and were quite involved in the process. I suspect you wont be needing to ask those cafes as the results will be all the proof that is needed to show what they are doing is correct. Take a look at their hopper. You should be able to gauge the roast by looking at the beans. If what you see are dark beans then it is likely it isnt the roast making the coffees sour.

                      I dont mind some acidity in my long blacks and would take it any day over a bitter coffee.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Sour Long Blacks

                        I dont think ive ever had a bitter coffee... Or my taste buds arent as sensitive to it or they actually prefer it and i just dont notice it.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Sour Long Blacks

                          Originally posted by 22362527302528372B2A222D3621440 link=1313595662/11#11 date=1314084725
                          I dont think ive ever had a bitter coffee... Or my taste buds arent as sensitive to it or they actually prefer it and i just dont notice it.
                          Yeah, same here. My taste buds are sensitive to crazy sourness, which I seem to be getting more and more often around cafes...

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