Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

What am I tasting in my espresso?

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • What am I tasting in my espresso?

    Hi again

    I hope I dont sound too snobbish here... but Im getting this distinct taste and smell in my black shots and I dont know what it is... and short of being able to visit someone who knows and ask them personally, here I am

    Its not a lemon warheards face-sucking sourness, but its high in the nose and on the top and back of my tongue. Its not a burnt flavour, in fact on the tip of my tonge the crema is creamy and sweet. Its not overpowering (usually), and with milk its just coming through as ... "punchy", while still allowing the coffee to taste creamy and the milk sweetness is coming through. I find its more noticeable if I extract too fast or too slow.

    The crema isnt huge - about 50% crema/black on a good shot. On the weekend I made one that looked all crema while it was pouring, but settled to about 50/50.

    Is it something I should worry about? I want to try the occasional ristretto / macchiato but at the moment theyre making me squint as I drink! (Milk coffees are 100x better than before my upgrade)

    Last week was the first time I properly combined my new K3T, Giotto, and fresh beans (Tanzania Kyaurinde roasted by Andy on 16/11). Ive probably made about 5-6 doubles since dialling in to where I think its correct. I also calibrated it to just over 9bar using Gregs gauge. Im still making small changes to the dose to try and get it just right (seems too easy to overdose). Ive found if I fill the 15g VST and level it off with beans, it is just about right for grinding into the 18g VST and tamping. I have to press the tamper right down so the top is almost level with the basket or it will touch the screen.

    Any ideas? Any barista thinking of flying up here for a visit? Ill supply the coffee!

  • #2
    Re: What am I tasting in my espresso?

    Have you tried something other than the Kyaurinde? Its particularly bright to the point of tart. If you are getting this result with just this one bean, thats probably normal. Try something with a little less acidity.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: What am I tasting in my espresso?

      Is it a brand new Giotto? Could be it might have a little seasoning to do to get rid of the new copper flavour. My Reale took a few weeks to get rid of that hint of bright, coppery, tongue on 9v taste

      But sounds like youve got a nice rig there - enjoy the ride!

      Matt

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: What am I tasting in my espresso?

        thanks part of my long-service-leave is sitting on my bench in shiny chrome

        Originally posted by 203E3C38362A37363038530 link=1321847865/1#1 date=1321852604
        Have you tried something other than the Kyaurinde?
        no, not since completing my "upgrade". What does "acidity" taste like?

        Originally posted by 1736203A343D3A3D34112A103C35353636530 link=1321847865/2#2 date=1321856763
        Is it a brand new Giotto? Could be it might have a little seasoning to do to get rid of the new copper flavour. My Reale took a few weeks to get rid of that hint of bright, coppery, tongue on 9v taste Wink
        No I bought it 2nd hand - everything else is new though. It is a bit like a 9v taste now you mention it... I did a descale a couple of months ago but its done a fair few shots since then on my old grinder.

        Problem is, Ive never tasted an espresso other than my own before...

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: What am I tasting in my espresso?

          when was the last time the group was cleaned (flushed?) and you should maybe replace showerscreen/seal also (cheap).

          approx 1liter of pure black sh1t came out of my E61 when I picked it up. (during backflushing). feral.

          explain how you descaled, did you pull the water level probe and let the boiler flood? even after the descaler was gone, to really flood out the chemicals?

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: What am I tasting in my espresso?

            If its 2nd hand - shouldnt need a season. But maybe a good clean and backflush? Although a dirty machine will just taste foul - and leftover detergent from a flush will taste soapy… so maybe it is the type of bean …

            Originally posted by 666E66616B6D0F0 link=1321847865/3#3 date=1321859357
            What does "acidity" taste like?
            The acidity has a much sharper more spicy (but not sour (lemon) or bitter (pepper)) taste. If a wine analogy would help, to my palette its more like a light fresh chardonnay than a smooth rich Cab Sauv.
            Some beans are just much smoother, thicker & even silky (some brazils etc) where some beans are cleaner & brighter with more spicy flavours (some africans).
            I guess this is where the blending comes in - sometimes you want to add a hint of orange zest to your chocolate!
            But youll certainly notice it in espresso - Im still trying to find a home roasted blend I like. But when youve got the beans from Andy (so you know the roaster is good), and theyve rested for at least 7 days (most beans can be pretty bright early on, but settle down in flavour and develop a deeper richness between 7-10 days), and if your grind/machine and technique are on track (only you can judge that!) - then maybe those beans as a single origin just arent your thing.
            There are lots of beans I can happily leave for others!

            Happy experimenting
            Matt

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: What am I tasting in my espresso?

              Ive found this tasting chart from site sponsor Di Bella very handy:

              http://mydibellacoffee.com.au/httpdocs/PDF/DiBella_Tatsting_Notes.pdf

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: What am I tasting in my espresso?

                Originally posted by 6C474B43556B260 link=1321847865/4#4 date=1321859996
                when was the last time the group was cleaned
                its probably due for another backflush, but I did backflush it a few times when I got it. I descaled using the boiler level probe method and flushed lots of fresh water the same way. The next day I did it again!

                This "taste" seems to be there across different beans - perhaps its just the acidity Im not used to? Sometimes it seems too much though, what would you do wrong when extracting to enhance the acidity too much?

                Ill try these beans again mid-week and see how theyve aged.

                thanks

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: What am I tasting in my espresso?

                  Maybe the new machine has introduced a new variable that wasnt there in your old setup - what did you used to use? These HX machines can highlight very subtle nuances… which is why theyre great

                  Originally posted by 3A323A3D3731530 link=1321847865/7#7 date=1321917890
                  This "taste" seems to be there across different beans - perhaps its just the acidity Im not used to? Sometimes it seems too much though, what would you do wrong when extracting to enhance the acidity too much?
                  This is getting way into personal preference/technique territory, but I can find that sometimes a more traditional coarser grind/faster pour (the whole 25 sec thing) can highlight the acidity - but a slightly finer grind/lighter tamp can help to fill it out more and remove this.
                  Recently with really fresh, lightly home-roasted beans Ive been needing to head towards really slow, dripping pours (sometimes even taking 40+ seconds - shock horror ) but this has really improved the flavour & removed the brightness without introducing any bitterness - where the faster, more standard pours are too thin & have that higher acidity.
                  But Ive recently started roasting slightly darker - and Im now having to speed up the pour again to get rid of that burnt/bitter flavour that crept in with the same pour!

                  In the ends, its all a dance - personally Id try a slightly finer grind & lighter tamp with those beans - and see what happens! Then let us know

                  Matt

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: What am I tasting in my espresso?

                    Originally posted by 5E7F69737D7473747D586359757C7C7F7F1A0 link=1321847865/8#8 date=1321922616
                    In the ends, its all a dance - personally Id try a slightly finer grind & lighter tamp with those beans - and see what happens! Then let us know 
                    And therein lies the crux of what is needed....

                    Dont get so hung up on numbers, theyre only guides. What is more important than anything else, is what the coffee tastes like in the cup and whether you like it or not. Experimentation is the name of the game, never be afraid to try something new, so long as it lies somewhere within the boundaries of acceptability.

                    I cant remember the last time I used numbers to prepare and pour an espresso; results in the cup is all I go by. The most difficult aspect to "get right" time after time, is the dose in the Filter Basket, and possibly distribution of the dose after that. Once you can reliably and consistently dose your basket with the correct volume of coffee for your particular machine, pretty well everything else will fall into place.

                    Start experimenting, I reckon... 8-)

                    Mal.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: What am I tasting in my espresso?

                      Originally posted by 0B26222E234F0 link=1321847865/9#9 date=1321947962
                      Dont get so hung up on numbers
                      Im not, I promise!

                      So I tried again last night, beans now 6 days old. Grinding a tad finer, and tamping a tad lighter, which means I need a smaller dose or Id hit the screen again. I got the dose right (or at least, not completely wrong!). This one sure looked the part - smoother, darker, more than 50% crema - I almost ran for the camera ;D If anything, the volume was possibly a bit small - maybe 2 20mL shots.

                      Still quite "squinty" (Im using that word till I know what the taste is) when black, but a good body. With milk this was one of the best lattes Ive made. Smooth & creamy.

                      I think my dosing / tamping still needs improvement as the speed of the pour fluctuates throughout the shot (kind of fast and slow spurts about mid way through), so Im thinking theres some unevenness in the puck. Either that or the fast spurts are the more volumnous crema and the slower bits are the black liquid...

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: What am I tasting in my espresso?

                        Originally posted by 0B030B0C0600620 link=1321847865/10#10 date=1322010151
                        I think my dosing / tamping still needs improvement as the speed of the pour fluctuates throughout the shot (kind of fast and slow spurts about mid way through), so Im thinking theres some unevenness in the puck.
                        Sounds like channeling. So, yes work on your technique.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: What am I tasting in my espresso?

                          Originally posted by 323A32353F395B0 link=1321847865/10#10 date=1322010151
                          Still quite "squinty" (Im using that word till I know what the taste is) when black, but a good body.  With milk this was one of the best lattes Ive made.  Smooth & creamy.
                          Sounds like its getting there! Well done Sounds like the pour was on the money - mmmmmmm! Taste it from here…

                          Its interesting that you needed a lower dose - I often find when I change to a finer grind that even a lighter tamp still sinks in more - I suppose a coarser grind is much less compressible.
                          One thing Ive found useful in adjusting dosing correctly different grinds is simply changing the number of settling taps.
                          My standard technique is to grind enough to slightly overfill two units in the doser. I then thwack one unit in, tap the side of the PF with my finger to level, then tap on the knock box to settle. Then I thwack the doser clean.
                          Ill normally have the PF a bit overfilled at that stage, so Ill then sweep across the top (NSEW style) to get it level and remove the excess, then tamp & polish.
                          But if I know that for those beans a finer grind is needed and will need a bit more volume in there to avoid under-filling, Ill give the PF an extra settling tap before NSEW and tamp.
                          And it seems to work reasonably reliably. I do waste a little coffee this way - as I need to overfill and then chuck the excess - but its a small price to pay for repeatability - 1/2 tsp of ground!

                          Happy experimenting - and with a pour like that - the taste probably is from a bright and spicy bean!

                          Matt

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: What am I tasting in my espresso?

                            Originally posted by 434B43444E482A0 link=1321847865/10#10 date=1322010151
                            I think my dosing / tamping still needs improvement as the speed of the pour fluctuates throughout the shot (kind of fast and slow spurts about mid way through), so Im thinking theres some unevenness in the puck. Either that or the fast spurts are the more volumnous crema and the slower bits are the black liquid...
                            Any possibility of a video of a typical shot that you are getting? Would be easier than a description which is up to interpretation.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: What am I tasting in my espresso?

                              thanks guys - might try the vid over the next few days, but its shaping up to be a busy weekend so Ill see how it goes.

                              Comment

                              Working...
                              X