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Help me identify a taste/flavour/note in horrible coffee.

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  • Help me identify a taste/flavour/note in horrible coffee.

    It's something I've only found a few times, mostly in chain bakeries but I've had a few awful ones in restaurants/cafes who looked like they knew what they were doing - a taste that is overwhelmingly reminiscent of cheap vodka; an alcoholic punch in the mouth.

    What do you call that? It's not bitter, about halfway between that and sickly sweet and I've never tasted anything like it before (besides strong, bad grog).

    *EDIT* I've also never had a coffee that had a "hint" of it, it's either the entire flavour of the coffee or not present at all. I've just had a thought; could it be that the places I've experienced it use robusta-heavy blends?

  • #2
    sure they were not serving this instead?

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    • #3
      Not at Baker's Dozen, last I checked.

      Might have to do some experimenting with high temps and supermarket beans (and robusta) to see if I can replicate it...

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      • #4
        A dirty Espresso machine perhaps?

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        • #5
          milk based drink or black?

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          • #6
            Originally posted by axisa View Post
            milk based drink or black?
            Milk each time.

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            • #7
              it could be the milk - have you ever tasted burned/over heated milk?
              I've experienced a very weird taste before that I tracked down to being machine cleaning solution - but I'd say that is rare. You've got me wondering now.

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              • #8
                Could be the milk being slightly soured?

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by taco View Post
                  Could be the milk being slightly soured?
                  Id be willing to bet that they reuse / top up / reheat milk jugs.

                  Seen it done lots of places, big jug that just keeps getting topped up and put back in fridge. Regional cafes / bakeries.

                  If they are doing this you can safely bet the beans will be stale and all the equipment poorly cleaned / maintained, all these factors probably contribute to the bad taste.

                  Last time i saw these practices was at a place where a relative maintains the building and rates there coffee highly. The smell of the place and look of my mothers latte was enough for me, which she could not finish. I told said relative they have no idea what they are doing and that its rubbish. I was told that the operator had been doing it for 40years so must know what they are doing and they like to keep with traditional Italian espresso methods.....people lap this sh*t up.

                  Anyway theres my story for the day.

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                  • #10
                    =/

                    That is nasty, and not something I'm interested in trying to replicate :P

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Dragunov21 View Post
                      Milk each time.
                      Maybe the cow got into an onion patch?

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                      • #12
                        I think i've encountered exactly what you're describing. 'Petrol' is in my tasting notes.. Or yeah metho/vodka..

                        Ive encountered it with milk as well and actually the more I think about it I think I've also encountered just IN a bottle of going-off milk..

                        Brain lightbulb.

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