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Thread: Flavour changes over the course of a single coffee

  1. #1
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    Flavour changes over the course of a single coffee

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Hi all very new to this site and indeed to proper coffee. Albeit I have been drinking larger milk-based drinks for a decade, I only recently began tasting short black/ short mac/ ristretto etc. has been a real eye-opener and am really enjoying the learning curve and keen to start making espresso at home.

    One thing i am interested in is the way say, a short black will change over a period of 5 minutes. From the time it is served to the end of the experience (usually 5 - 8 minutes). I have been drinking at some pretty reputable coffee houses (Melbourne: maling room, 7 seeds etc) and the drinks are amazing. But, the taste of a drink always changes as it cools and I never enjoy the finish quite as much as the beginning.

    So whats going on? - is it the cooling causing an elemental change? Which element of the coffee is coming to the fore towards the end of a short-black?

    Great site

  2. #2
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    Re: Flavour changes over the course of a single coffee

    Couple of things first as the coffee cools the flavours do change (or our perception of them does) either way as the temperature of the coffee (well food in general) the flavours will change. Second there are a lot of volatile chemicals involved in the flavour and they will change/dissipate as the coffee sits there so again the flavours change.

    Anyway that is what I am lead to believe happens maybe I have oversimplified things but I think it is pretty accurate.

  3. #3
    Senior Member askthecoffeeguy's Avatar
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    Re: Flavour changes over the course of a single coffee

    Im taking a guess here but many of the coffee solids probably settle in the bottom of the cup, and I often taste acidity at its strongest in the very last sip!

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    Re: Flavour changes over the course of a single coffee

    Welcome :)

    5-8 minutes for a short black wow mine are 20-30 seconds normally.

    Changes are also very noticeable in Syphon, Pourover or Clover Brews so its not just a solids thing as the solids concentrations are much lower.

    If you are hanging around at those places then try a brewed coffee and take your time with it too. Best yet is try and get to one of Seven Seeds or similar Cupping sessions used to be Saturday AM but now a weeknight I think, they are a great experience.

  5. #5
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    Re: Flavour changes over the course of a single coffee

    yeah maybe Im simply leaving it in the cup too long. I just have been trying to get as much out of it by prolonging it. But youre the right - the natural inclination is drink over a couple of minutes (and then maybe order another one :)).

    Thanks for the tip re 7 seeds cupping nights. will try to get to one.

  6. #6
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    Re: Flavour changes over the course of a single coffee

    I have experienced some coffees getting very salty towards the bottom of the cup, I can only imagine its because the salts settle in the cup.

  7. #7
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    Re: Flavour changes over the course of a single coffee

    Quote Originally Posted by 5C44414154456E5C505F0706310 link=1275472382/5#5 date=1275526996
    I can only imagine its because the salts settle in the cup.
    I can imagine someone putting salt into your cup when youre not looking. ::)

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    Re: Flavour changes over the course of a single coffee

    no way, when I say salty I dont mean an overwhelming taste. It was notable in a Harar Bluehorse I had and also took home from St. Ali years ago, the rest of the espresso tasted like blueberry pie. It makes sense that buttery/pastry flavors in coffees indicate the presence of salt in a variety.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Yelta's Avatar
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    Re: Flavour changes over the course of a single coffee

    Quote Originally Posted by 544C49495C4D665458570F0E390 link=1275472382/7#7 date=1275549222
    It makes sense that buttery/pastry flavors in coffees indicate the presence of salt. *
    It does. *:-?

  10. #10
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    Re: Flavour changes over the course of a single coffee

    Quote Originally Posted by 4D4C51564345471514220 link=1275472382/0#0 date=1275472382
    Hi all very new to this site and indeed to proper coffee. Albeit I have been drinking larger milk-based drinks for a decade, I only recently began tasting short black/ short mac/ ristretto etc. has been a real eye-opener and am really enjoying the learning curve and keen to start making espresso at home.

    One thing i am interested in is the way say, a short black will change over a period of 5 minutes. From the time it is served to the end of the experience (usually 5 - 8 minutes). I have been drinking at some pretty reputable coffee houses (Melbourne: maling room, 7 seeds etc) and the drinks are amazing. But, the taste of a drink always changes as it cools and I never enjoy the finish quite as much as the beginning.

    So whats going on? *- is it the cooling causing an elemental change? Which element of the coffee is coming to the fore towards the end of a short-black?

    Great site
    Hi,

    Coffee definitely changes as it cools ... or, rather, our perception of it does. The best way to experience this is to drink a long black or a brewed coffee. If youre at Seeds, grab a clover and pour just a little bit of coffee into a cup and swirl it around. It will cool dramatically. Taste it. Then pour a third of a cup. Taste. Compare. This is why I prefer brewed coffee served in a jug or something to pour out of - when its hot, I tend to pour a small amount into the cup to get it to my preferred drinking temperature for that coffee.

    As others have pointed out, the layers of espresso in a cup are also dramatically different. Next time you get an espresso, take a teaspoon and try just a teaspoon of crema. If you are ever extracting your own espresso, a common training exercise is to pull a double shot into three successive vessels; ie first 20 ml in one, next 20 ml in another and final 20 ml in a third. You will notice that they are all different and you will probably have a preference for the first or second. If you are at Maling Room - and it is not busy - Im sure that they would be happy to do this for you. The different flavours throughout the espresso is why the world barista champion rules were changed so that we have to stir the espresso before judging it - give that a try, too.

    Finally, one thing that is either not considered very much and fairly poorly expressed online is the taste consequences of different coffee concentrations. Auction Rooms is a great place to experiment with this, seeing as they serve their long blacks half full, with a small bottle of water on the side so that you can dilute it to your taste. Taste the drink, dilute a bit, stir, taste and repeat. This is an exercise that is worthwhile repeating with espresso and ristretto - as blasphemous as that might sound to some! Dilution has now entrenched itself as an important part of my arsenal of tricks to make coffee taste better. The effects of dilution are most clear when you are playing around with a wet processed coffee that has a good amount of aromatics, such as a Yirga Cheffe, a super-duper Colombian coffee like the Carlos Imbachi or a Pacamara (provided that the green coffee is fairly fresh ... the old Pacamaras that I have tasted get very woody and astringent).

    Happy drinking!

    Luca

  11. #11
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    Re: Flavour changes over the course of a single coffee

    sorry, OT but

    so this is the next gen espresso machine...
    adjustable and repeatable:
    pressure profiling,
    brew temp (with intended changes over shot time),
    preinfusion style (ramp up style), and time,
    AND
    coffee dilution based upon continuously updated info and stats on a particular variety and season...(programmable long blacks)

    whos emailing slayer / LM / synesso?

  12. #12
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    Re: Flavour changes over the course of a single coffee

    Behmor Brazen - $249 - Free Freight
    Quote Originally Posted by 5F42464348482D0 link=1275472382/10#10 date=1275574714
    ...
    AND
    coffee dilution based upon continuously updated info and stats on a particular variety and season...(programmable long blacks)

    whos emailing slayer / LM / synesso?
    Lets get one thing clear: its the baristas job to taste the coffee and decide what they need to do to make it taste right, not the machines, and coffee concentration (together with extraction level) are matters of taste. *The machines job is to deliver the extraction conditions that the barista tells it to. *The barista controls concentration/dilution by controlling dose and shot length. *ie. it is up to the barista to decide whether a coffee should be higher dose/lower volume (more "ristretto" if that helps) or lower dose and higher volume (more "espresso" if that helps). *The last thing that we need is gadgetry distracting the barista from his or her fundamental responsibility to ensure that the coffee tastes good (as opposed to gadgetry that facilitates the barista to repeatably deliver coffee that tastes good). *If youre relying on a machine to make the call on how the coffee should taste, you might as well sack the barista and build a superauto. *Having said that, there are refractometers available to measure concentration (and thereby work backwards to measure extraction) in both espresso and brewed coffee.

    As for "next gen espresso machine", again, I think that people are led by things that they take to be self-evident, rather than by whats in the cup. *There are a few ideas that I want to test out (rather than assuming them to be self-evident), so my machine has been having open heart surgery for a few months.

    ... and, anyway, LMs and Synessos are already pretty good!

    Cheers,
    Luca



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