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  • Blonding - what exactly is it?

    Ive got my technique to the point where Im in the ball park of the 30ml in ~25sec. However, Im having difficulty in determining where exactly the fabled "blonding" point is. I get the dark chocolate colour for a few seconds. This then turns quite quickly to caramel, tiger flecking and all. But then it just carries on and very gradually gets lighter. There is no distinct point at which I could say blonding has occurred. I note that around the 20-30sec mark I get 1-2mm bubbles popping up in the crema. Is this the blonding point? Any guidance on this? I know it’s all about taste but I’d like to get myself in the zone first.

    Bob

  • #2
    Re: Blonding - what exactly is it?

    Might be better to see it in action

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FxXtDtKruaA

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=90i0cibwdNY&feature=related

    Coffee Glossary
    Blonding
    The color transition of an espresso pour from dark brown and striped to a light, uniform pale blond. Normally occurs in the last third of the pull and is a signal to end the pour. This overly-blond portion of an espresso is thin, nearly flavorless, and if allowed to continue will dilute the body and taste characteristics of a shot


    KK

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    • #3
      Re: Blonding - what exactly is it?

      Originally posted by Koffee Kosmo link=1222855075/0#1 date=1222859080
      Might be better to see it in action

      1: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FxXtDtKruaA

      2: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=90i0cibwdNY&feature=related

      KK
      At about 20sec in 1:

      And at about 15 Sec in 2:

      I would expect that some may wish to comment and even disagree... but for my system and the beans etc I tend to notice the change in taste when I see the colour and consistency change.. as per about the times I indicated above. I also only watched once as when watching a real pour, in real time, it can happen quite quickly and sometimes it takes a second or two for me to realise what I was even doing / looking for.. A Hypnotic state is what happens to me when I start to watch closely...

      NOTE: Time is not the catch all... It changes in response to the impact of all the inputs.



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      • #4
        Re: Blonding - what exactly is it?

        I agree AM.
        My first pause on the first one was at 21 sec.
        By 24 sec its bad, so you have to be quick.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Blonding - what exactly is it?

          I support the points above...

          Once youve decided where blonding "probably" is with those beans youre using, experiment with taste. Run 3 shots consecutively, using the same dosing, distribution and tamping technique.

          First one take to full blond (count the seconds precisely), second shot to a second or two less, and the third shot a second or two less again. Youll soon figure out at which point you prefer to stop your shot.

          Some coffees benefit from reaching full blond, some taste better short. I tend to err on the side of short than long. Short can taste a bit more intense (I can handle that), longer is always bitter :P.

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          • #6
            Re: Blonding - what exactly is it?

            Originally posted by Intellidepth link=1222855075/0#4 date=1223015513
            First one take to full blond (count the seconds precisely), second shot to a second or two less, and the third shot a second or two less again. Youll soon figure out at which point you prefer to stop your shot.

            Some coffees benefit from reaching full blond, some taste better short. I tend to err on the side of short than long. Short can taste a bit more intense (I can handle that), longer is always bitter :P.
            Sooo... stopping the shot short, does that mean like 40ml in 18-20 secs (double)?

            And does this mean we shouldnt expect to get the "full" 60ml without going into blond territory?

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            • #7
              Re: Blonding - what exactly is it?

              The biggest offense of blonding is that it thins the body of the espresso. I have let pulls go very long and tasted that thin, light colored stream at the end, and while it has a body just slightly more viscous than water, it doesnt taste bad— just thin. Now, if you have sipped a sample from early in the stream, and THEN sampled the thin ending stream, the early, rich taste will taint the thin streams taste.. Thats "Randys Coffee Theory of Relatively."

              The blonding to be wary of is when it hits early and suddenly. That is a sign of channeling and will result in a bad tasting espresso because of under-extraction. When blonding happens slowly and progressively at the end of the pull (like beginning at 20-25 seconds) it is a normal occurrence and not to be "feared."

              I think that there is little correlation between those two events. Slow blonding is benign, fast early sudden blonding is evil.

              Lots of variables there, and it would depend on a lot of factors such as the coffee, the extraction temperature profile, your preferences, etc.

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