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Lizzies journey

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  • Lizzies journey

    hi there, snobbists and snobbistas...

    today was test day... the Rocky installed, the Botticelli warmed up, and 7 different roasts to try: Peru Segunda, Rwandan Cyangugu, Brazil Peaberry, Ethiopian Harrar, PNG Sigri , Brazillian Fazenda and a very dark Indian Tiger Mountain.

    1....found the rocky produced equal crema, extraction time and flavour at 11, 12 and 13..., and that insufficient tamping produced and equally acid brew over all the roasts, all grinds.

    2.... found that the small Bot basket produced in 24 sec extraction time a fine mousetail shot wit about 10mm gold/brown crema after about 30 seconds resting,

    3... and that the double Bot basket produced a syrupy, almost bubblegum shot in about 20 seconds extraction time, with an enormous head, settling to about 20mm of red /brown crema after 30 seconds.

    4... found that all the roasts i had done came out somewhat middle of the tongue bitter, whether dark ( Rwanda Cyangugu and Peru Segunda) or medium (Brazil Peaberrry, PNG Sigri).

    so, now i need to find the sweet spot for all of these, to match the richness of flavour to their aroma.. even though i dont mind putting sugar in shorts, i would prefer not to...
    i think that my roasting times need to be longer/temps lower if i want to get the smoother, sweeter overtones...

    alternatively, i will need to settle on a blend of predominantly "sweet, chocolatey" beans... advice???

    I am wondering whether it could be the temp of the Bott? she was running at about 98-100 on the gauge on the front of the machine , but i couldnt tell you what the temp at the group was...
    the gauge temp stayed the same even after a shot every 2 minutes for about 20 minutes...

    I went to the local coffee caf; tasted some of their shots, and bought some of the same freshly (7/3) roasted beans to try out at home.
    the coffee at the caf tasted more acidic, and had far less crema than the ones i made here with the same beans... and had about the same bitterness.
    i had a look at baristas technique: ... her Rocky was sitting at 10, and she used a well-filled deep basket on a Cimbali, but she hardly tamped.
    the shots i made here were done at 94, 96 and 98 degrees respectively on the front gauge: the first one tasted somewhat acidic, and had little crema, the 2nd one had good crema , not acidic, and the last one lots of bubblegum crema, not acidic.
    the bitter-ish taste remains, though... but with a bit of sugar the flavour is divine.

    so, go figure....

  • #2
    Re: Lizzies journey

    Lizzy- I cant encourage you enough to settle on a consistent origin or blend for the next few weeks whilst you learn your machine and how to best cope with its personality.

    It may be prudent to to leave the greens for a while and grab some good and fresh commercial to play with.



    • #3
      Re: Lizzies journey

      i have taken that to heart, Chris, ...
      when i went to the caf, i bought a kg of their beans, to see what i could achieve over a period of time with some tweaks.
      still... i like my own roasts better...


      • #4
        Re: Lizzies journey

        Sounds like you are very much on the right track, Lizzie. 2MCM beat me to it -- best not to experiment with many bean origins at first, but stick to one or two and familiarise yourself with their behaviour.

        Otherwise you are introducing too many variables into the process.

        Acidity is a product of light roasts. The trade off is more complex coffee flavours.

        Darker roasts tend to exhibit less acidity, but have less complexity and more pronounced "charcoalish" taste.

        Bitterness can result from water thats too hot.

        Id try different temperatures on your Botticelli first, comparing the tastes that produce with your existing roasted beans.

        When satisfied, try roasting to different levels. But again, dont change everything at once otherwise you wont know what change did what.

        But from your descriptions, sounds like good extractions to me.



        • #5
          Re: Lizzies journey


          Yep , good to hear you are well on the way..... so much to learn and so much fun to be had......

          But just to be boring (like everyone else above) - take it slowly at first or you will end up going round in circles and get thoroughly confused....

          You have a great setup - all that is required is to master it now.


          • #6
            Re: Lizzies journey

            I am very happy with the shots produced sofar, both from the home roasts as well as from the caf-bought beans.
            and, i realise that eevery tongue is different... what i find bitter Rob finds revolting, what i find lovely full bodied wine, Rob thinks is vinegar... (but then, he is a Coke drinker.... )
            so, the " middle of the tongue bitterness" i find in my shots probably is someone elses level off sweetness...
            and, with bit of Carnation milk the various depths of flavours are just a wonderful experience....
            no,no, dont mock me...take the challenge, and put 1 dessertspoon (too much will make it taste fatty..) of full fat evaporated milk (not the sweetened stuff,nor the skinny , "lite" version) in your coffee... and let me know what you think.
            if you dont like it, you can always make caramel slice out of the rest of the milk!!
            in the meantime, i will micro-adjust my grind, pack, tamp, temp, extract sip, swallow and taste, all in the pursuit of flavour.