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Thread: My coffee taste so much better since I …..

  1. #1
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    My coffee taste so much better since I …..

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    I have been struggling to get some consistency from pulling great shots out of my new Silvia. *My coffee was so darn bitter most of the time, but what I did was blame my tools. *“The OPV settings were too high, basket was too shallow, and (old) Tamper wasn’t good… bla bla bla….”

    Anyway, after many trials and errors and changing quite a lot of variables I finally got it…. (I can say this since I have consistently in the past week pulled many yummy tasting shots. *My gf also not complaining anymore I had a laugh). *:-* :P Lets share..


    Let’s start with what I did wrong….

    1) Coffee Blend: Since I came from a Breville background, the coffee from the Breville tasted pretty weak, no strong café alike taste, so after I got the Silvia, I went to buy the strongest Coffee Blend in the house.. Hmm.. no wonder it was bitter.

    2) 30/60 rule (60ml in 25-30 secs). *I did measure up roughly where in my coffee cup the 60 ml was at. *It was no where accurate, so I guess, I didnt adjust my grinder properly! hmm..

    3) 3 holes steam wand from the Silvia was causing me grave, the stream felt very soft. *I did purge the steam until dry then start pulling shots. *(I think the machine ran out of steam after purging hence the weak steam).


    So the reverse of the above is what made my coffee so much better..

    1) After changing the Coffee Blend to a not so strong blend, I no longer get the bitter taste…. (very important to find the blend that SUITS YOUR TASTE! IMO). *Im now using the "Sweet Maria Blend" from Di Bartoli

    2) Buying a proper measure cup really help! *No more guess work, 60 ml in 25-30 secs otherwise, adjust the grind setting. *(I think this is one of the MOST IMPORTANT analysis tool. *A thermometer is also very important for a beginner for steaming milk.)

    3) After purging the wand, I ran the water though the group head to fill up the boiler and until the boiler light turns on again. *Now I’m getting sexy and powerful steam every time. *Latte art also made easy!


    Please share if you also have great tips for making great coffee... :)

  2. #2
    Senior Member flynnaus's Avatar
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    Re: My coffee taste so much better since I …..

    Good thread SPL.G (what does that stand for, BTW)

    I think the best tip for anyone starting out in coffee is patience.

    When I bought my VBM Piccolo, I struggled for a while trying to get the right dose, distribute, tamp (DDT). I took a course with Jetblack which made a big difference and I strongly recommend that everyone starting out in espresso prep should try to do one. *I still use the DDT method Charlie showed me, stuck with it and now only get a gusher if my grind is not right.

    The first thing that made a difference to me was getting the correct dose: I tended to underdose and occasionally would over-compensate by overdosing. I used to weigh the beans before adding to the hopper. Now, its a 1/4 cups worth but try to ensure that you err on the too-much side so the grounds are a litlle heaped after dosing.

    Then the distribution: I was getting wormholes around near the handle. So I concentrated on the correct distribution around it and, with the use of a naked pf, the pours have become more even. The naked let me observe how the extraction started and areas where distribution may not have been good.

    The tamp I had no problems with: I started out with kitchen scales and developed a feel for the correct tamp pressure. What I found you need to be careful with is making sure the base of the tamper stays dry and you keep the tamper level before applying pressure. I sit the tamper on top, dont apply any pressure, just get it level. Remove and gently tap the side of the basket then tamp with the right amount of pressure - keeping the tamp level.

    Im not sure I agree with the 30/60 "rule" - its a guideline, not a rule and getting that volume correct is no guarantee that your shot will taste right. Ive had very drinkable gushers. I like my shots on the strong side so having a slow pour suits my tastes. But I agree that the measuring cup is a good idea when developing technique.

    The beans are critical but one thing you need to do is play around with the grind to try to get the best out of the bean but only buy good fresh beans. Luca made a good suggestion some time ago about only using one bean for a month or so and then learning to get the correct grind and DDT from it. It removes one of the variables.

    Finally, many of the CS sponsors calibrate a machine where possible before sale. What made a big difference to me was having the VBM brew temp and pressure adjusted. *But only after youve sorted out your grind and DDT technique.

    This is my experience and I dont pretend to be barista quality. Ill finish up the sermon *::) by returning to my first message: be patient; and the final word from Andy: Enjoy! Dont become frustrated about not achieving the success of other CSers - enjoy the ride

  3. #3
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    Re: My coffee taste so much better since I …..

    My coffee taste so much better since I …..

    Stopped comparing it to other coffees I have made in the past. Most of the time its still fresher, tastier and has better art than what I would get at most cafes.

    Started using a commercial grade machine and not a kitchen appliance.

    Now roast my own beans - But still get commercial beans to compare (especially yummy blends)

    Use a consistent dosing technique - Even if its not perfect, I know it works.





  4. #4
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    Re: My coffee taste so much better since I …..

    since I......

    Started adjusting one variable at a time.

    This ties in a little with patience like Flynn was saying. Its easy to think changing grind and dose means that youll get things right faster, but in fact its not the case. I love what Flynn iterates Luca saying - stick with one bean, learn its quirks and get familiar with it.

    Finally - sitting back and enjoying the ride. Pulling great coffee is a journey. My coffee now is better than my coffee three months ago, and I hope in three months its better again.

    Grant

  5. #5
    Sleep is overrated Thundergod's Avatar
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    Re: My coffee taste so much better since I …..

    Quote Originally Posted by 78726770707F6B6D1E0 link=1244819306/1#1 date=1244842604
    The beans are critical but one thing you need to do is play around with the grind to try to get the best out of the bean but only buy good fresh beans. Luca made a good suggestion some time ago about only using one bean for a month or so and then learning to get the correct grind and DDT from it. It removes one of the variables.
    I think this idea helped me a lot. Ive roasted over 60kg of PNG Kimel as my day in day out coffee.

    Quote Originally Posted by 4E777D7D717271527F6A6A7B1E0 link=1244819306/2#2 date=1244848097
    Now roast my own beans - But still get commercial beans to compare (especially yummy blends)
    I do this too to make sure mine is still good and for some variety and ideas.


  6. #6
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    Re: My coffee taste so much better since I …..

    Since I.............

    Did some palate training.

    Knowing what you are tasting IMOP is half the battle.
    If you know what could be better, you can improve it.

    Im no expert, but it helped me.
    Only problem now is I try to identify each taste, not just in coffee, but Im learning why I like the food & drinks I enjoy so much.

  7. #7
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    Re: My coffee taste so much better since I …..

    Quote Originally Posted by 63697C6B6B647076050 link=1244819306/1#1 date=1244842604
    (what does that stand for, BTW)
    Hehe...thats bits and pieces of my full name put together...

    Quote Originally Posted by 63697C6B6B647076050 link=1244819306/1#1 date=1244842604
    The beans are critical but one thing you need to do is play around with the grind to try to get the best out of the bean but only buy good fresh beans.
    Im not too sure about this. *Anyone else has anymore opinion on the relationship of specific blend to how much you enjoy the coffee taste?.. For me, since Ive tasted several blends now (still not enough though)....and the taste are quite distinct from one to another. *Ultimately, everyone taste bud enjoys different taste so a correct blend (to YOUR preference) should determines if you will enjoy the taste imo.

    Quote Originally Posted by 556C66666A696A4964717160050 link=1244819306/2#2 date=1244848097
    Now roast my own beans - *
    Im looking into this as well, seems pretty easy from what I saw during the class @ Di Bartoli, but maybe this project is for later on..

  8. #8
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    Re: My coffee taste so much better since I …..

    No - not later... NOW

    Its easy.

    1) buy Popper.

    2) buy Starter pack.

    3) acquire 5-10 minutes of spare time on a balcony or in the backyard.

    Your palate will thank you :D

  9. #9
    Senior Member flynnaus's Avatar
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    Re: My coffee taste so much better since I …..

    Quote Originally Posted by 7B6F6969737F786F7D7D7B7B1A0 link=1244819306/6#6 date=1244942775
    flynn_aus wrote on Yesterday at 07:36:
    ... you need to do is play around with the grind ...

    Im not too sure about this.
    I mean that there isnt one grinder setting that fits all

    ...and as PL says, though also get a colander (or sieve) and fan to cool the beans as soon as roasting is finished

  10. #10
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    Re: My coffee taste so much better since I …..

    Quote Originally Posted by 526B61616D6E6D4E63767667020 link=1244819306/7#7 date=1244943086
    No - not later... NOW

    Its easy.

    1) buy Popper.

    2) buy Starter pack.

    3) acquire 5-10 minutes of spare time on a balcony or in the backyard.

    Your palate will thank you *:D
    Piccolo is right, its amazing what it does to the flavor of the coffee, roasting it yourself. It works out to only be $80 inc postage or so for a Breville popper ($50) and the starterpack.

  11. #11
    Senior Member Rusty's Avatar
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    Re: My coffee taste so much better since I …..

    One thing that greatly improved my cappuccinos was moving down to a 160mm cup. By using a bigger cup I was drowning the coffee in milk :-/

    I know this is against the trend in a lot of coffee shops where bigger is better. Ive never ordered coffee in a mug and never will :)

  12. #12
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    Re: My coffee taste so much better since I …..

    Quote Originally Posted by 664147404D340 link=1244819306/10#10 date=1244949527
    By using a bigger cup I was drowning the coffee in milk *:-/

    I know this is against the trend in a lot of coffee shops where bigger is better. *Ive never ordered coffee in a mug and never will *:)
    Sounds a bit nasty from me but bigger is better from most coffee shops, as the coffee is bad. As you said "drowning the coffee in milk" drowns out the coffee. A chef might say balancing the acid (bad coffee) with fat (milk)!

  13. #13
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    Re: My coffee taste so much better since I …..

    I cant put a definite point at which my coffee got better, so many!

    When I got a hand grinder.
    When I started to buy beans online.
    When I got a Silvia/Rocky.
    When I bought a Pullman tamper.
    When I started roasting my own.
    When I went from a flour sift to a corretto.
    When I PIDed my Silvia.
    When I started trying cold press.
    When I used a metal filter for cold press instead of paper.
    When I got a LaCimbali Cadet/Junior grinder.
    When I got a 2 group commercial.

    I am sure there are plenty more!

  14. #14
    Senior Member Rusty's Avatar
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    Re: My coffee taste so much better since I …..

    Sounds like an interesting journey :)

  15. #15
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    Re: My coffee taste so much better since I …..

    since I...

    joined this forum
    decreased my bank balance ;)
    started using my manual preinfusion technique for the silvia
    got my naked p/f
    swapped the mugs for 7oz glasses and used a single basket with them
    got a hand grinder for when I use the aeropress

  16. #16
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    Re: My coffee taste so much better since I …..

    Behmor Brazen - $249 - Free Freight
    started roasting



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