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Thread: What am I tasting in my espresso?

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    What am I tasting in my espresso?

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Hi again :)

    I hope I dont sound too snobbish here... but Im getting this distinct taste and smell in my black shots and I dont know what it is... and short of being able to visit someone who knows and ask them personally, here I am :)

    Its not a lemon warheards face-sucking sourness, but its high in the nose and on the top and back of my tongue. Its not a burnt flavour, in fact on the tip of my tonge the crema is creamy and sweet. Its not overpowering (usually), and with milk its just coming through as ... "punchy", while still allowing the coffee to taste creamy and the milk sweetness is coming through. I find its more noticeable if I extract too fast or too slow.

    The crema isnt huge - about 50% crema/black on a good shot. On the weekend I made one that looked all crema while it was pouring, but settled to about 50/50.

    Is it something I should worry about? I want to try the occasional ristretto / macchiato but at the moment theyre making me squint as I drink! (Milk coffees are 100x better than before my upgrade)

    Last week was the first time I properly combined my new K3T, Giotto, and fresh beans (Tanzania Kyaurinde roasted by Andy on 16/11). Ive probably made about 5-6 doubles since dialling in to where I think its correct. I also calibrated it to just over 9bar using Gregs gauge. Im still making small changes to the dose to try and get it just right (seems too easy to overdose). Ive found if I fill the 15g VST and level it off with beans, it is just about right for grinding into the 18g VST and tamping. I have to press the tamper right down so the top is almost level with the basket or it will touch the screen.

    Any ideas? Any barista thinking of flying up here for a visit? Ill supply the coffee!

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    Re: What am I tasting in my espresso?

    Have you tried something other than the Kyaurinde? Its particularly bright to the point of tart. If you are getting this result with just this one bean, thats probably normal. Try something with a little less acidity.

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    Re: What am I tasting in my espresso?

    Is it a brand new Giotto? Could be it might have a little seasoning to do to get rid of the new copper flavour. My Reale took a few weeks to get rid of that hint of bright, coppery, tongue on 9v taste ;)

    But sounds like youve got a nice rig there - enjoy the ride!

    Matt

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    Re: What am I tasting in my espresso?

    thanks :) part of my long-service-leave is sitting on my bench in shiny chrome ;)

    Quote Originally Posted by 203E3C38362A37363038530 link=1321847865/1#1 date=1321852604
    Have you tried something other than the Kyaurinde?
    no, not since completing my "upgrade". What does "acidity" taste like?

    Quote Originally Posted by 1736203A343D3A3D34112A103C35353636530 link=1321847865/2#2 date=1321856763
    Is it a brand new Giotto? Could be it might have a little seasoning to do to get rid of the new copper flavour. My Reale took a few weeks to get rid of that hint of bright, coppery, tongue on 9v taste Wink
    No I bought it 2nd hand - everything else is new though. It is a bit like a 9v taste now you mention it... I did a descale a couple of months ago but its done a fair few shots since then on my old grinder.

    Problem is, Ive never tasted an espresso other than my own before...

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    enjoy black coffee JamesM's Avatar
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    Re: What am I tasting in my espresso?

    when was the last time the group was cleaned (flushed?) and you should maybe replace showerscreen/seal also (cheap).

    approx 1liter of pure black sh1t came out of my E61 when I picked it up. (during backflushing). feral.

    explain how you descaled, did you pull the water level probe and let the boiler flood? even after the descaler was gone, to really flood out the chemicals?

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    Re: What am I tasting in my espresso?

    If its 2nd hand - shouldnt need a season. But maybe a good clean and backflush? Although a dirty machine will just taste foul - and leftover detergent from a flush will taste soapy… so maybe it is the type of bean …

    Quote Originally Posted by 666E66616B6D0F0 link=1321847865/3#3 date=1321859357
    What does "acidity" taste like?
    The acidity has a much sharper more spicy (but not sour (lemon) or bitter (pepper)) taste. If a wine analogy would help, to my palette its more like a light fresh chardonnay than a smooth rich Cab Sauv.
    Some beans are just much smoother, thicker & even silky (some brazils etc) where some beans are cleaner & brighter with more spicy flavours (some africans).
    I guess this is where the blending comes in - sometimes you want to add a hint of orange zest to your chocolate!
    But youll certainly notice it in espresso - Im still trying to find a home roasted blend I like. But when youve got the beans from Andy (so you know the roaster is good), and theyve rested for at least 7 days (most beans can be pretty bright early on, but settle down in flavour and develop a deeper richness between 7-10 days), and if your grind/machine and technique are on track (only you can judge that!) - then maybe those beans as a single origin just arent your thing.
    There are lots of beans I can happily leave for others! :)

    Happy experimenting
    Matt

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    Re: What am I tasting in my espresso?

    Ive found this tasting chart from site sponsor Di Bella very handy:

    http://mydibellacoffee.com.au/httpdocs/PDF/DiBella_Tatsting_Notes.pdf

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    Re: What am I tasting in my espresso?

    Quote Originally Posted by 6C474B43556B260 link=1321847865/4#4 date=1321859996
    when was the last time the group was cleaned
    its probably due for another backflush, but I did backflush it a few times when I got it. I descaled using the boiler level probe method and flushed lots of fresh water the same way. The next day I did it again!

    This "taste" seems to be there across different beans - perhaps its just the acidity Im not used to? Sometimes it seems too much though, what would you do wrong when extracting to enhance the acidity too much?

    Ill try these beans again mid-week and see how theyve aged.

    thanks :)

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    Life-long Learner DesigningByCoffee's Avatar
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    Re: What am I tasting in my espresso?

    Maybe the new machine has introduced a new variable that wasnt there in your old setup - what did you used to use? These HX machines can highlight very subtle nuances… which is why theyre great :)

    Quote Originally Posted by 3A323A3D3731530 link=1321847865/7#7 date=1321917890
    This "taste" seems to be there across different beans - perhaps its just the acidity Im not used to? Sometimes it seems too much though, what would you do wrong when extracting to enhance the acidity too much?
    This is getting way into personal preference/technique territory, but I can find that sometimes a more traditional coarser grind/faster pour (the whole 25 sec thing) can highlight the acidity - but a slightly finer grind/lighter tamp can help to fill it out more and remove this.
    Recently with really fresh, lightly home-roasted beans Ive been needing to head towards really slow, dripping pours (sometimes even taking 40+ seconds - shock horror ;) ) but this has really improved the flavour & removed the brightness without introducing any bitterness - where the faster, more standard pours are too thin & have that higher acidity.
    But Ive recently started roasting slightly darker - and Im now having to speed up the pour again to get rid of that burnt/bitter flavour that crept in with the same pour!

    In the ends, its all a dance - personally Id try a slightly finer grind & lighter tamp with those beans - and see what happens! Then let us know :)

    Matt

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    Re: What am I tasting in my espresso?

    Quote Originally Posted by 5E7F69737D7473747D586359757C7C7F7F1A0 link=1321847865/8#8 date=1321922616
    In the ends, its all a dance - personally Id try a slightly finer grind & lighter tamp with those beans - and see what happens! Then let us know* :)
    And therein lies the crux of what is needed.... :)

    Dont get so hung up on numbers, theyre only guides. What is more important than anything else, is what the coffee tastes like in the cup and whether you like it or not. Experimentation is the name of the game, never be afraid to try something new, so long as it lies somewhere within the boundaries of acceptability.

    I cant remember the last time I used numbers to prepare and pour an espresso; results in the cup is all I go by. The most difficult aspect to "get right" time after time, is the dose in the Filter Basket, and possibly distribution of the dose after that. Once you can reliably and consistently dose your basket with the correct volume of coffee for your particular machine, pretty well everything else will fall into place.

    Start experimenting, I reckon... ;) 8-)

    Mal.

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    Re: What am I tasting in my espresso?

    Quote Originally Posted by 0B26222E234F0 link=1321847865/9#9 date=1321947962
    Dont get so hung up on numbers
    Im not, I promise! :)

    So I tried again last night, beans now 6 days old. Grinding a tad finer, and tamping a tad lighter, which means I need a smaller dose or Id hit the screen again. I got the dose right (or at least, not completely wrong!). This one sure looked the part - smoother, darker, more than 50% crema - I almost ran for the camera ;D If anything, the volume was possibly a bit small - maybe 2 20mL shots.

    Still quite "squinty" (Im using that word till I know what the taste is) when black, but a good body. With milk this was one of the best lattes Ive made. Smooth & creamy.

    I think my dosing / tamping still needs improvement as the speed of the pour fluctuates throughout the shot (kind of fast and slow spurts about mid way through), so Im thinking theres some unevenness in the puck. Either that or the fast spurts are the more volumnous crema and the slower bits are the black liquid...

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    Re: What am I tasting in my espresso?

    Quote Originally Posted by 0B030B0C0600620 link=1321847865/10#10 date=1322010151
    I think my dosing / tamping still needs improvement as the speed of the pour fluctuates throughout the shot (kind of fast and slow spurts about mid way through), so Im thinking theres some unevenness in the puck.
    Sounds like channeling. So, yes work on your technique.

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    Re: What am I tasting in my espresso?

    Quote Originally Posted by 323A32353F395B0 link=1321847865/10#10 date=1322010151
    Still quite "squinty" (Im using that word till I know what the taste is) when black, but a good body.* With milk this was one of the best lattes Ive made.* Smooth & creamy.
    Sounds like its getting there! Well done :) Sounds like the pour was on the money - mmmmmmm! Taste it from here…

    Its interesting that you needed a lower dose - I often find when I change to a finer grind that even a lighter tamp still sinks in more - I suppose a coarser grind is much less compressible.
    One thing Ive found useful in adjusting dosing correctly different grinds is simply changing the number of settling taps.
    My standard technique is to grind enough to slightly overfill two units in the doser. I then thwack one unit in, tap the side of the PF with my finger to level, then tap on the knock box to settle. Then I thwack the doser clean.
    Ill normally have the PF a bit overfilled at that stage, so Ill then sweep across the top (NSEW style) to get it level and remove the excess, then tamp & polish.
    But if I know that for those beans a finer grind is needed and will need a bit more volume in there to avoid under-filling, Ill give the PF an extra settling tap before NSEW and tamp.
    And it seems to work reasonably reliably. I do waste a little coffee this way - as I need to overfill and then chuck the excess - but its a small price to pay for repeatability - 1/2 tsp of ground!

    Happy experimenting - and with a pour like that - the taste probably is from a bright and spicy bean!

    Matt


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    Senior Member saoye's Avatar
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    Re: What am I tasting in my espresso?

    Quote Originally Posted by 434B43444E482A0 link=1321847865/10#10 date=1322010151
    I think my dosing / tamping still needs improvement as the speed of the pour fluctuates throughout the shot (kind of fast and slow spurts about mid way through), so Im thinking theres some unevenness in the puck. Either that or the fast spurts are the more volumnous crema and the slower bits are the black liquid...
    Any possibility of a video of a typical shot that you are getting? Would be easier than a description which is up to interpretation.

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    Re: What am I tasting in my espresso?

    thanks guys - might try the vid over the next few days, but its shaping up to be a busy weekend so Ill see how it goes.

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    Senior Member trentski's Avatar
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    Re: What am I tasting in my espresso?

    Is the taste sour like lemon or bitter like dark chocolate or cocoa? or something else?

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    Re: What am I tasting in my espresso?

    OK, so I made some more coffees last the weekend, and one this morning.

    On the good side: the initial sharpness has gone. Im putting that down to the age "post roast" of the beans (10 days still there a bit, 15 days gone)

    On the bad side:
    The crema is still a bit thin
    Im also getting maybe 40 - 50mL in 25s rather than 60 so perhaps its a bit chocked.
    Theres still a slight sour aftertaste, which disappears with milk (mmmm, creamy!)

    Sorry havent got around to vids yet, another operation in the family (thats 3/4 of us in the last 3 months! Im knocking wood, burning incense, and sacrificing good coffee in the hope that I stay out of it! Not really, Im not superstitious, just a bad sense of humour!)

    Anyhoo, my next question is: What roaster and blend is your favourite for doppio espressos, maybe doppio ristrettos, with a good crema, and not too bad in milk either. Or is this what they all try to do? (they must be willing to post as well).

    thanks :)

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    Re: What am I tasting in my espresso?

    Quote Originally Posted by 777F77707A7C1E0 link=1321847865/16#16 date=1322703167
    Im also getting maybe 40 - 50mL in 25s rather than 60 so perhaps its a bit chocked.
    Glad the initial sharpness is going. Might just have been the beans settling.

    Quote Originally Posted by 777F77707A7C1E0 link=1321847865/16#16 date=1322703167
    The crema is still a bit thin
    Quote Originally Posted by 777F77707A7C1E0 link=1321847865/16#16 date=1322703167
    Theres still a slight sour aftertaste, which disappears with milk (mmmm, creamy!)
    This is quite the conundrum! If the pour is overly slow - the taste should get burnt/bitter - too fine a grind or too hard a tamp.
    But if the crema is thin and taste is sour - that often describes a pour that is too fast/too coarse a grind.

    Quote Originally Posted by 4E7F687170777C71671E0 link=1321847865/11#11 date=1322010756
    Sounds like channeling. So, yes work on your technique.
    Could this be part of the problem? If the PF is being overfilled (is it hard to get on?), then the puck can crack when you put the PF in and the water will follow the path of least resistance - through the cracks, and will miss extracting all the goodness, esp if the grind is too fine. That could also give that sour, under extracted flavour?

    In terms of bean variety - once you get this technique right to suit the new machine - it should all taste pretty reasonable! Try get the pour right, look at crema balance, correct volume etc etc - then you can make a accurate assessment on different tastes. But IMHO, for a really good general test batch - try some Brazils!

    This pic is kind of the norm for what most the pours for most beans give me for a doppio - this is an old pic - so I pull them a bit shorter/slower now now - put will give a ballpark. These cups are little 90ml units.

    Matt




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    Re: What am I tasting in my espresso?

    Quote Originally Posted by 24051309070E090E072219230F06060505600 link=1321847865/17#17 date=1322706811
    Could this be part of the problem? If the PF is being overfilled (is it hard to get on?)
    I know what you mean - I have overfilled it a couple of times but its very obvious when I do. I grind a pre-measured amount of beans, and I got that measure by overfilling it and then backing off until it didnt touch the screen anymore. Could it still be too much?

    Im not ruling out chanelling from my dose / tamp though. Short of a bottomless p/f Im not sure how to tell that. The puck comes out in one nice piece with no obvious cracks or holes.

    Quote Originally Posted by 24051309070E090E072219230F06060505600 link=1321847865/17#17 date=1322706811
    This pic is kind of the norm for what most the pours for most beans give me for a doppio
    hm, looks thicker than mine...

    Now, the K3T grinds look a bit "clumpy", but Ive tried WDT, the finger & thumb twist thingy, and nothing, and they dont seem to alter the results. I guess the clumps are just held by static and once you tamp it flattens them all out...

    thanks :)

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    Re: What am I tasting in my espresso?

    Quote Originally Posted by 7971797E7472100 link=1321847865/18#18 date=1322711129
    Short of a bottomless p/f Im not sure how to tell that.* The puck comes out in one nice piece with no obvious cracks or holes.
    Bad channeling youll sometimes see in the puck surface. A naked PF will show you a bit more - but youd really be splitting hairs at that point (ie hole 1056 is losing flow!")
    I havent got one yet, but would like to. Not so much for DDT info, but just to watch :)

    Quote Originally Posted by 7971797E7472100 link=1321847865/18#18 date=1322711129
    Now, the K3T grinds look a bit "clumpy", but Ive tried WDT, the finger & thumb twist thingy, and nothing, and they dont seem to alter the results.* I guess the clumps are just held by static and once you tamp it flattens them all out...
    I wouldnt worry too much about clumping etc - IMHO if the dose is about right (which you obviously recognise from experience), then the tamp generally levels things out pretty well. I personally use an ice cream lid wedge (which I also use to clear the grinder shute) just to sweep across the top in a few different directions to level, then tamp. Seems to work pretty well if the dose is right.

    Going to go out on a limb here - from my personal experiences with a similar setup to yours, Ive found that in my history thin/sour brews have often been fixed by a finer grind BUT Ive also had a to greatly reduce tamp pressure to suit. Even with a coarse grind you can choke a machine with a hard tamp - but will never get the best espresso out of it as the water cant get to the centre of each grain in that short extraction period.

    I remember various threads about 15kg of pressure for tamping - test on a bathroom scale type thing, which I tried initially. But these type of pressures can be really hard to control, esp in trying to get the tamp level - and with a sloping puck you are more likely to get channeling.

    But I have now adjusted my technique to cup the tamp handle in the palm, with all 5 fingers located around the circumference of the tamp base (skimming the PF basket during the tamping) to help me get everything level. Then I tamp quite lightly. Out of interest I checked this morning on some kitchen scales - and I only put about 3kg pressure on during the tamp (which is like the same pressure youd use with a couple of fingers to open a microwave door.)

    This really light tamp has allowed me to get a much finer grind, while maintaining a good flow rate - but as the grind has decreased in size, Ive found the flavour improving steadily until I go too far and it turns bitter.

    Thats my idea for the day - maybe measure your tamp pressure - I used to use a tamp that needed a full bicep curl ;D
    Try a super light tamp & finer grind - see what happens. I think it is a settings/technique thing. Now that Im into home roasting, Ive put all sorts of well & badly roasted beans through my setup. And flow rate & crema dont change a huge amount between batch/bean - but flavour does! So when you can get a consistent ball park pour - you can then assess flavours.

    But thin crema and sourness still sounds like too coarse a grind… so go finer - but adjust your tamp to suit…

    Good luck :)

    PS a pick of your actual pour/finished result could help?

    Matt

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    Re: What am I tasting in my espresso?

    Heres a comparison photo of my usual espresso shot. The photo was taken 2 minutes after the pour to allow for the crema to settle. Also beans are 3.5 weeks old, so not the freshest. The taste was slightly under extracted but definitely drinkable. Colour is typical out of the Giotto.






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    Re: What am I tasting in my espresso?

    OK, tonights todo list: play with kids, feed kids, clean kids, tuckin kids, make espresso vid...

    Quote Originally Posted by 4F6E78626C6562656C497248646D6D6E6E0B0 link=1321847865/19#19 date=1322776657
    A naked PF will show you a bit more - but youd really be splitting hairs at that point (ie hole 1056 is losing flow!")
    I would hope to see uneven sided flow or multiple streams (or lack thereof...) with a naked pf, but that will have to wait until next year!

    :)

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    Re: What am I tasting in my espresso?

    Quote Originally Posted by 3A323A3D3731530 link=1321847865/21#21 date=1322799573
    OK, tonights todo list: play with kids, feed kids, clean kids, tuckin kids, make espresso vid..
    Ahhhh youre in that stage! My kids are almost up to making me a brew - they certainly all help with the roasting already! ;D

    Enjoy it while it lasts - its a really special time.

    But they do require some work!!

    Matt

    Quote Originally Posted by 20323C2A36530 link=1321847865/20#20 date=1322792039
    Heres a comparison photo of my usual espresso shot.
    Hi Sayoe
    Was that shot from a single basket? Or one of two from a double?

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    Senior Member saoye's Avatar
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    Re: What am I tasting in my espresso?

    Quote Originally Posted by 1F3E28323C3532353C192218343D3D3E3E5B0 link=1321847865/22#22 date=1322801428
    Hi Sayoe
    Was that shot from a single basket? Or one of two from a double?

    Single basket.

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    Re: What am I tasting in my espresso?

    Nice one!
    Never had much luck with singles - and the fun was over so quickly anyway!
    Doppio it is then in the DBC breakfast routine ;D

    Matt

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    Re: What am I tasting in my espresso?

    Im going for: too much coffee in the basket--causing either channelling or allowing a too coarse grind that is mashed against the screen to get the right timing.

    The coffee, when tamped should be at least a mm or so below the screen. Try dropping a gram or so off your grind and see if that affects the timing. That much less coffee wont affect the timing by more than a couple of seconds unless the grinds are being heavily compressed against the screen.

    Do a search here for the 5 cent test to get you in the right ballpark.

    Greg

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    Re: What am I tasting in my espresso?

    Try cutting your pours shorter and aiming for a maximum of 40mls (and preferably 30mls) in total in 30 secs from the double basket - which may require fining your grind and increasing your tamp pressure - as this can potentially produce a much sweeter coffee without the harsh notes that youre describing

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    Re: What am I tasting in my espresso?

    Hee he he hee! ;D

    Theres a wide range of conflicting advice - should keep you you experimenting for at least a fortnight! I suppose thats the reason technique is such an individual thing - listen to everyone, try everything, find out what works for you and ignore the rest!

    Happy hunting!

    Matt

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    Re: What am I tasting in my espresso?

    Iain,
    Im no expert, but am a fellow reader of the finest newspaper known to man. I of course speak of the NT News.
    Im about to order in some greens, and start learning how to roast again, but if you need a second opinion / different machine to try on, Id happily bring my machine / grinder along.

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    Re: What am I tasting in my espresso?

    Quote Originally Posted by 262324242B2F244A0 link=1321847865/28#28 date=1322992948
    finest newspaper known to man
    ;D say no more!

    Nice to meet a local snobber! Is that a manual lever and smart grinder you have there? Do you taste your shots "black"? How would you describe it? Id like to take you up on that - lets meet sometime. I may have some free time next weekend - 17th or so. Would this be the first ever NT meet n greet?!

    Quote Originally Posted by 0E2F39232D2423242D083309252C2C2F2F4A0 link=1321847865/27#27 date=1322973021
    should keep you you experimenting for at least a fortnight
    yep, trying a few different things.

    I took the suggestions of dosing - tried the 5c test. Possibly a touch too much grinds, so I used the larger VST basket and the same amount of beans to lower the top a bit. I ground a bit finer still and now the burrs are whispering when theres no beans so I dont want to go any finer. The puck is also a bit wet. Taste - a bit worse :( Still fine with milk though.

    There may indeed be some channelling around the edges, but Im not sure why. I tried the 5c again on a wet puck to see how much it expanded, and theres no visible dent. There appears to be a smooth faint ring around the edge - a few mm in, and a few tiny holes on the top around the edge, so something weird is going on I think. The flow from the screen seems even.

    Here is a shot of the shot after the adjustments. The condensation is probably because of the aircon, I dont think the temp is too hot - I do a cooling flush until it sounds non-bubbly. Ive made slightly better ones that this, but this is about average. The glass is 60mL to the rim.



  31. #31
    Senior Member bennett's Avatar
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    Re: What am I tasting in my espresso?

    Quote Originally Posted by 7E767E797375170 link=1321847865/0#0 date=1321847865
    Last week was the first time I properly combined my new K3T, Giotto, and fresh beans (Tanzania Kyaurinde roasted by Andy on 16/11).
    Are u still using the same beans. I bought some recently 500g Tanz K and 500g Espresso WOW (roasted on 13/11). I couldnt get a decent shot out of either of them. They were very lightly roasted and I couldnt adjust the grind/dose etc no matter what I did. I honestly think they were just too lightly roasted for espresso. I am not having a go at Andy - I have bought beans from coffeesnobs many times before and Espresso WOW has been AMAZING for me in the past. EIther Andy has recently started roasting a touch lighter or they may have been a bad batch. Have you tried different beans yet?

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    Re: What am I tasting in my espresso?

    Yep, still the same beans.* Mine were roasted on 13/11 as well. [edit: no they werent - you just quoted me as saying 16/11, DOH]* They actually looked dark to me - Im guessing about CS9? Ill probably order some more in a week.* I know theyre getting on the old side now, but Ill use them up and then start experimenting again, so that will provide some comparison.

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    Senior Member bennett's Avatar
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    Re: What am I tasting in my espresso?

    MIne looked more like CS7 to CS8. :-?

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    Re: What am I tasting in my espresso?

    Quote Originally Posted by 404840474D4B290 link=1321847865/29#29 date=1323049008
    The puck is also a bit wet.* Taste - a bit worse* * Still fine with milk though.
    Mmmm - sounds like youve pushed the grind as far as you can go (or beyond), and the shot and crema looks pretty good - so …

    Quote Originally Posted by 4B4C47474C5D5D290 link=1321847865/30#30 date=1323049611
    They were very lightly roasted and I couldnt adjust the grind/dose etc no matter what I did.
    This could well be the issue? Watch out though - home roasting to suit your tastes is addictive ;D

    Having recently started roasting myself, there were some light roasts that I did early on that I just couldnt kick that hint of sourness/thin body, no matter how fine I ground or slow I poured. Fine in plunger - not so much in a doppio. Or slightly darker roasts where I couldnt get rid of the bitterness, no matter how coarse/fast I went.
    But when I got the drop temperature in the sweet zone, and it all started to come together! But this is only a range of only a few degrees or so…

    So, where to from here? Try some different beans or blends, and fine the ones you like - or start looking for an old breadmaker!


    Matt

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    Re: What am I tasting in my espresso?

    Quote Originally Posted by 5B7A6C7678717671785D665C7079797A7A1F0 link=1321847865/33#33 date=1323058980
    and the shot and crema looks pretty good - so …
    you dont think its a bit thin? I think if I have that chanelling issue sorted I will see more crema, as I can see it fluctuate as it pours.

    re: temp - if I use a digital thermometer in a cup, what water temp should I see? I hear you loose a few degrees on the fall.

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    Re: What am I tasting in my espresso?

    Quote Originally Posted by 5C545C5B5157350 link=1321847865/34#34 date=1323060199
    you dont think its a bit thin? I think if I have that chanelling issue sorted I will see more crema, as I can see it fluctuate as it pours.
    I dont know if its the glass but it looks a little light for me. your roast is only 2.5 to 3 weeks old so it should still give fairly decent crema. How does the top of the crema look? It could just be the light and the glass. Did you end up fixing your boiler pressure valve? Is it at 1.2 bar? Did you end up doing the video?

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    Re: What am I tasting in my espresso?

    Quote Originally Posted by 33212F3925400 link=1321847865/35#35 date=1323061950
    I dont know if its the glass but it looks a little light for me.
    yeah it does look lighter in the photo - its actually a nice dark/golden brown.
    Did you end up fixing your boiler pressure valve? Is it at 1.2 bar?
    no, and dont know. I go by time (30+ minutes) and steam from the group (some) to tell when its "ready".
    Did you end up doing the video?
    Yes but my wife walked in in her pyjamas wondering what I was doing with the camera... and you know how reflective that case is :-[ Ill try again soon.


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    Re: What am I tasting in my espresso?

    Quote Originally Posted by 2C242C2B2127450 link=1321847865/34#34 date=1323060199
    you dont think its a bit thin? I think if I have that chanelling issue sorted I will see more crema, as I can see it fluctuate as it pours.
    Its always a bit hard to tell. Currently, during my pours, it looks like there is about 100% crema - but give it then time to knock the puck and backflush the machine and it settles to about 30-40% - similar to yours.
    And the colour of the crema can be a bit hard to judge - in 3 years Ive never had the mythical settled hazelnut coloured crema on top! - it always looks that colour out the spout for the first few seconds - but never looks that way in the settled cup.
    Is that just me? :-?

    Matt

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    Re: What am I tasting in my espresso?

    Quote Originally Posted by 3A2826302C490 link=1321847865/35#35 date=1323061950
    Did you end up doing the video?
    [media]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-FWZVJ_lYW4[/media]

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    Re: What am I tasting in my espresso?

    Quote Originally Posted by 2F272F282224460 link=1321847865/38#38 date=1323090936
    I dont know if the video turned out properly... well see in the morning!
    Videos looking good - and nice setup - well done!
    I reckon the pour looks pretty good - and technique seems well polished. Maybe slightly faster than Im used too - but as Ive mentioned, Ive sped up to about that flow now due to a darker roasted batch - but when Ive had lighter beans Ive ended up with 7-8 secs till flow starts, and even then dripping for the first 1/2 of the pour - and it still tastes great! Anything less was sour.
    So - keep experimenting ;) Try a different bacth/type of bean and let us know how it cups with that technique. Ill be interested to hear!

    Matt

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    Re: What am I tasting in my espresso?

    thanks :) although its squished in sideways for some reason - even though I told it to fill out, I think my camera uses widescreen pixels and youtube likes 1:1 pixels... I thought Vegas would fix that, but maybe I forgot to check the option.

    You cant see the grind into the pf, nor the dose / sweep - Ill move the camera next time.

    This was my first go after backing off the grinder a bit (you can see that at the very start) so I was guessing with the tamp, but it seemed to work ok. It is usually a tad slower. It tasted maybe a touch sour, or acidic, not sure which.

  42. #42
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    Re: What am I tasting in my espresso?

    Glad to have a new member to coffee vids annonymous :)

    nice vid. I noted it started slow and then the streams thickened with a few glubs if thats the word...could be channeling. did the puck show any holes? again how did it taste?

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    Re: What am I tasting in my espresso?

    Quote Originally Posted by 7870787F7573110 link=1321847865/29#29 date=1323049008

    Nice to meet a local snobber! Is that a manual lever and smart grinder you have there?* Do you taste your shots "black"? How would you describe it?* Id like to take you up on that - lets meet sometime.* I may have some free time next weekend - 17th or so.* Would this be the first ever NT meet n greet?!
    Correct on both the grinder and lever (although it is a spring lever).
    I should be free around then, although it is the works Christmas party the night before so maybe not very early.
    Just about to start roasting again, but not got my corretto set up properly yet. What beans have you got? I will try to order something different to taste (and not from anyone local).

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    Re: What am I tasting in my espresso?

    Quote Originally Posted by 5E4C4254482D0 link=1321847865/41#41 date=1323161584
    did the puck show any holes? again how did it taste?
    Ive attached a picture I took just after that shot, and circled some suspicious areas - not sure why they look like that.

    It was a bit sour, but not disgusting.


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    Re: What am I tasting in my espresso?

    Hmm, doesnt look bad at all. the large circle I suspect was the top of the grind stayed behind stuck onto the shower screen as you removed the portafilter, I dont think thats channeling.

    So maybe its just a matter of a slightly finer grind adjustment since you say it was on the sour side?

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    Re: What am I tasting in my espresso?

    Quote Originally Posted by 12000E1804610 link=1321847865/44#44 date=1323223494
    Hmm, doesnt look bad at all.
    I agree. Looks like a nice puck ;) Anything seriously wrong itd look like a train smash…
    But even from that pic (and the pour in the vid) the grind still looks a bit coarse… Id fine up a fraction too and hit it again.

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    Re: What am I tasting in my espresso?

    but any finer and its sloppy. Even on this one it was "wet" on top which drained before I took the photo... It doesnt look coarse when I grind - could the grinder be a bit inconsistent?

    I notice with the K3T the top burr seems to be able to move if I touch the hopper - could this be causing the blades to not meet parallel and make some inconsistent grinds? Just a guess...

  48. #48
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    Re: What am I tasting in my espresso?

    Quote Originally Posted by 4941494E4442200 link=1321847865/46#46 date=1323228057
    but any finer and its sloppy.* Even on this one it was "wet" on top which drained before I took the photo... It doesnt look coarse when I grind - could the grinder be a bit inconsistent?
    Hmmmmm
    I noticed that you measured straight into the hopper (which I did for a long time too).
    I have heard it said that this can cause some grind inconsistency, as the first half of the grind has the bottom beans weighted down evenly by the top ones, but as the number of beans decreases the later grind gets coarser, even pop-corning at the end (bouncing off the burrs into the air etc as there is nothing pushing on them).
    I personally never noticed a huge difference - but having a doser might have helped to mix it all up a bit - but straight out of the shoot in the K3 this might make the top layer in the PF coarser than the bottom - creating your pooling when you go finer? The bottom is too fine while the top is too coarse?
    Have a try at keeping the hopper 1/4 - 1/2 full to keep an even bean pressure throughout the grind and see if this gives you a more even result. That way youll know that the grind is consistent throughout the puck.
    I keep the hopper 1/3 full always now - esp with home roasted beans. Even after 10 days the beans seem to improve with some resting time out of the bag - and the added advantage with this system is that our whole house now smells amazing :D

    Matt

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    Re: What am I tasting in my espresso?

    Hm, Will have to try that out later this week. Thanks

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    Re: What am I tasting in my espresso?

    Behmor Brazen - $249 - Free Freight
    I have to say, compared to the Giotto, my Lelit combi is so much more forgiving. I just pulled a shot with a double basket on the Lelit which I would probably call a gusher (about 70ml in 25 seconds) and being used to the Giotto was expecting a sour coffee but not at all. It was a very pleasant espresso. I know the Lelit is no where as hot as the Giottos E61 grouphead, but then again that to me would mean a greater possibility of under-extraction and therefore sourness. Its really strange to me why the Lelit is so much easier to pull an all round good espresso compared to the more fussy Giotto. But then again I find the shots out of the Giotto much prettier. I definitely enjoy making a coffee more using the Giotto, but find I have to have much more skills to get it tasting as good as it looks. I just hate a sour coffee! >:(

    So at work I drink a double espresso from the Lelit and at home lattes from the Giotto...unless I know I got an almost perfect shot. I am using a single basket on the Giotto though, so maybe I am a sucker for punishement.



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