Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

What should espresso taste like?

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

  • What should espresso taste like?

    This might be a dumb question. But what is a good espresso shot supposed to taste like? Lately I've been wanting to get into espresso. I personally like the process of it. It's more then just making a cup of coffee. I've researched machines, watched videos, and read a number of different things about espresso. But what is it supposed to taste like. My wife loves going to Starbucks. She gets some salted caramel mocha light frappacino thing. To sweety for me though. But I wanted to try the espresso. So I bought a doppio and was not impressed. It tasted bitter\burnt and had no body to it. It almost seemed watered down. For a place that's supposed to make great coffee, they don't hit the spot here. I'm going to try a different coffee place to see if there is a difference. From what I have been reading espresso should have a completely different taste then what Starbucks gave me. I would like to get a machine but all of them in my price range have really good reviews and really bad reviews. It's so hard to decide. I might have to save up money and get one that is worth it. Any how, if you were to describe a perfect spot of espresso, how would you describe it? I want to be able take my taste buds on the right path to paradise. Which path can I take to get to the right road for espresso excellence?

  • #2
    Welcome to Coffee Snobs Kmc, to answer your question a little more info, including your locality, your coffee preference at home etc would help.

    What your being served at Starbucks is unlikely to be gourmet quality coffee.

    Why not give us a bit of information about yourself in the profile area?

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Kmcogar View Post
      This might be a dumb question. But what is a good espresso shot supposed to taste like?
      At first, perhaps not that good if you are only used to sweetened milk-based coffees. A bit of an acquired taste in my opinion and it has to be made well. Try the Good Coffee Where for some recommended places. Some of these were posted a while ago so the cafe may have changed owners and baristas. Starbucks is not a likely place to experience good espresso as they usually cater for the milk-based crappacinos you described.

      Personal tastes vary but when properly made, espresso can be heavenly. Some slam their espressos down. I prefer to sip it and enjoy the changing flavours as it cools. The best espresso I ever had was an Indian Monsooned Malabar, made at a well-known Sydney cafe. More body than Elle McPherson. The planets must have aligned at that time because I ordered a second shot and it wasn't as good.
      I usually wait until I have a superior grade coffee in my grinder when making at home. A good grinder is a must for good home espresso

      Comment


      • #4
        I am living in Hawaii right Now. Its good weather but good coffee shops are few and far in between. Starbucks are everywhere. Starbucks kind of sucks though. I brew with a French press mostly. It taste the best that I can brew at home right now. I would really like to start drinking espresso though. I'm all about quality over quantity. My taste buds deserve better then what I have been giving them in the past. I always drink my coffee black. I tried a lattebut it seemed like too much milk. I really want to expand my coffee horizons

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by flynnaus View Post
          At first, perhaps not that good if you are only used to sweetened milk-based coffees. A bit of an acquired taste in my opinion and it has to be made well. Try the Good Coffee Where for some recommended places. Some of these were posted a while ago so the cafe may have changed owners and baristas. Starbucks is not a likely place to experience good espresso as they usually cater for the milk-based crappacinos you described.

          Personal tastes vary but when properly made, espresso can be heavenly. Some slam their espressos down. I prefer to sip it and enjoy the changing flavours as it cools. The best espresso I ever had was an Indian Monsooned Malabar, made at a well-known Sydney cafe. More body than Elle McPherson. The planets must have aligned at that time because I ordered a second shot and it wasn't as good.
          I usually wait until I have a superior grade coffee in my grinder when making at home. A good grinder is a must for good home espresso
          That indian monsoon Malabar sounds heavenly!!!

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Kmcogar View Post
            I am living in Hawaii right Now. Its good weather but good coffee shops are few and far in between. Starbucks are everywhere. Starbucks kind of sucks though. I brew with a French press mostly. It taste the best that I can brew at home right now. I would really like to start drinking espresso though. I'm all about quality over quantity. My taste buds deserve better then what I have been giving them in the past. I always drink my coffee black. I tried a lattebut it seemed like too much milk. I really want to expand my coffee horizons
            I had a suspicion you were based in the US, didn't think for a moment it would be Hawaii though, we've stayed in Honolulu a couple of times en route to mainland US in the last few years, sadly as you say the we found the coffee situation is a bit of a bit of a disaster.

            I suspect as Flynnaus hints at you may well have to go down the DIY path and look into buying an espresso machine and grinder.

            Had to Google keurig, looks like its a pod type machine, very difficult to get a decent espresso from this type of machine, probably best staying with the french press until you can get hold of an espresso machine and perhaps try buying some decent beans from mainland US, as Flynn suggests Monsoon Malabar may well be a good start, it really is a personal preference thing, perhaps buy a few different types of beans.

            Buying a reasonable grinder would not be a bad idea, you could certainly use it with the press until you get hold of a machine, something like a Rancillio Rocky would be a good low cost starting point , these can be picked up secondhand pretty reasonably.

            Well done with the profile.
            Last edited by Yelta; 10 October 2014, 11:37 AM.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Kmcogar View Post
              I brew with a French press mostly. It taste the best that I can brew at home right now. I would really like to start drinking espresso though. I'm all about quality over quantity. My taste buds deserve better then what I have been giving them in the past. I always drink my coffee black. I tried a lattebut it seemed like too much milk. I really want to expand my coffee horizons
              Welcome Kmcogar
              As mentioned, espresso is a little bit of an acquired taste. When I bought my coffee machine & grinder, the store owner (thanks TOK!) set the grinder up and had me tasting the shots as he dialled it in. My first spro's - for a previously white coffee drinker only … were therefore … quite intense!

              However, they have grown on me over time, especially as I've been roasting (it's the only way to really perfect your roasts) and now I love my morning doppio. Find them a little harsher as the day goes on though - must be a palette thing.

              However, if you're a black coffee drinker already, then the shift won't be as large.

              If I were to describe what an espresso tastes like …

              I've had two or three sublime espresso moments, all without sugar I should mention. In one (a commercial blend) the coffee tasted like a thick dark chocolate syrup (like you'd have on ice cream!). In another, my own roast of a central american bean from memory, it tasted like freshly juiced white nectarines, with an intensity like that of the centre of a lemon sherbet (you know when you hit the gloop in the centre and it just explodes?). And we can't go past the Ethiopians, which give all sorts of berry and fruit flavours over a more 'traditional' coffee flavoured body.

              I would hang in there, try different cafe's - when you get a good one you'll know

              And if you're in Hawaii - try the farms & roasters! One of the most amazing beans I've roasted for espresso are the Maui Moka - sweet, berries and chocolate, dripping out of the portafilter, thick, rich & dark … mmmmm

              Time for a road trip!
              Cheers Matt

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Kmcogar View Post
                But what is a good espresso shot supposed to taste like?
                An angel pissing on your tongue.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by richard_m_h View Post
                  An angel pissing on your tongue.
                  Nope. Not even close. A new spin on what a shower screen is tho'.... ;-)

                  Espresso = Nectar of the gods in my house.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Not everyone would like the monsoon mallabar. Too peanutty for my liking. You're half way there if you can find a cafe that grinds per cup. Otherwise the staleness is what you would be tasting. I would recommend starting with central american beans to ease into espresso

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by saoye View Post
                      Not everyone would like the monsoon mallabar. Too peanutty for my liking. You're half way there if you can find a cafe that grinds per cup. Otherwise the staleness is what you would be tasting. I would recommend starting with central american beans to ease into espresso
                      Fair enough. It was an anecdote about my espresso experience, not a recommendation. In fact I wouldn't recommend it. I have tried roasting and making MM espressos but none have matched that first cup and I've given up on it.
                      I also said "Personal tastes vary". Many might find Central Americans too acidic and espressos don't have to be made from single origins.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Like the Chocolate, Coffee and Walnut cake that my Grandmother made when I was very young, too young to drink coffee. I'm sure there was a hint of fruit peel in that cake too. Alas that recipe now lost - but I can make espresso that is a fond rememberance.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by flynnaus View Post
                          The best espresso I ever had was an Indian Monsooned Malabar, made at a well-known Sydney cafe. More body than Elle McPherson. The planets must have aligned at that time because I ordered a second shot and it wasn't as good.
                          I have also shared this experience with a Monsoon Malabar! Nobody ever believes me. I did not have it as an espresso though that is the difference, it was a siphon brew. Nevertheless exciting to read as most people's idea of the best coffee experience would not point to this coffee I was raptured by the body and what tasted like a hazelnut praline with a heavenly sweetness..*sigh* I'll never forget. So off topic, I apologise to the OP.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Have to agree with Matt. Having just bought home some maui yellow catura (maui coffee co, Lahaina) you Hawaiians are blessed with some sensational home grown beans. I'd be roasting at home... That yellow catura would be the smoothest long black I've roasted and drunk at home. I drunk it through my aeropress and espresso machine and loved every drip. Good luck with your search!

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Kmcogar View Post
                              This might be a dumb question. But what is a good espresso shot supposed to taste like? Lately I've been wanting to get into espresso. I personally like the process of it. It's more then just making a cup of coffee. I've researched machines, watched videos, and read a number of different things about espresso. But what is it supposed to taste like. My wife loves going to Starbucks. She gets some salted caramel mocha light frappacino thing. To sweety for me though. But I wanted to try the espresso. So I bought a doppio and was not impressed. It tasted bitter\burnt and had no body to it. It almost seemed watered down. For a place that's supposed to make great coffee, they don't hit the spot here. I'm going to try a different coffee place to see if there is a difference. From what I have been reading espresso should have a completely different taste then what Starbucks gave me. I would like to get a machine but all of them in my price range have really good reviews and really bad reviews. It's so hard to decide. I might have to save up money and get one that is worth it. Any how, if you were to describe a perfect spot of espresso, how would you describe it? I want to be able take my taste buds on the right path to paradise. Which path can I take to get to the right road for espresso excellence?
                              Hi Kmcogar

                              Thanks for providing a location to work with. According to a lot of US tasters, Hawaiian Kona is one of the best coffees in the world. I would be checking out some local coffee place that roasts the local beans for a starter. When I lived in the US, I tried several award winning Konas and would rate them as a good sound starting point for your journey into espresso. FWIW, my own rating for Kona would be good, not excellent coffee beans.

                              Internationally the debate is still on, however a good Kenyan, Brazilian, Nicaraguan or Colombian would be near the top of most lists. They are really easy to get in the US, which gives you a good chance to obain them... I would like to add Ethiopian, however I could not get even a mediocre one while I was over there. Perhaps they only sent over the floor sweepings (they were nothing like the Ethiopian we get in Oz).

                              There are also some "outliers" in the coffee world: Kopa Lowak (the cat one) & the above-mentioned Monsoon Malabar. To me, MM has a truly wonderful initial taste which morphs all too rapidly into an aftertaste of mouldy jute. A good excuse for a scotch chaser... if one is needed.

                              Anyway, you could also consider buying direct from one of the better local farms and roasting your own, getting a decent grinder (as a guide, similar price to your espresso machine should work) and then starting to master an espresso machine.

                              Oh, one other point: if it is bitter, it is NOT a good espresso shot. It should hit the tongue like honey and have a delightful foamy texture... The main issue is the intensity: over the top "flavour hit" for some tastes. Starting by adding around the same quantity of water (at circa 140 Fahrenheit) in the cup before the coffee shot can lessen the shock without destroying the whole experience.

                              No way have Starbucks ever approached that AFAIAC.

                              Enjoy your journey


                              TampIt

                              Comment

                              Working...
                              X