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Thread: How to make a "great" long black?

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    How to make a "great" long black?

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Hi all. Im having a great time with my new Lelit from Jetblack. Every coffee style I like is coming out better than most cafes I have access to and Im still on the bottom end of the learning curve. But ....

    The other half wants to start the morning with a long black in one of those transport mugs people use in cars.

    My attempts at making a long black have been ordinary. Started with a good shot and added kettle water just off the boil - the Lelit only has a 300ml boiler. Then tried kettle water first then added the shot and still not great.

    Is there are foolproof method of making a long black (my least preferred way of drinking coffee)? I need to know things like ideal water temps, coffee shot to added water ratios, anything to improve please!

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    Senior Member Yelta's Avatar
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    Re: How to make a "great" long black?

    About 12 years ago when home espresso and my Silvia were new to me my method of making a long black was to grind the beans so I would extract about 150ml in approx 25 seconds with no water added before or after.
    Decided to revisit the method a while back and must admit I was quite surprised, opened the burrs on the Mazzer a couple of notches, ground 18 grams of Yirg, dosed and pulled the shot 150ml in 30 seconds, different drink all together than the water added method, much more body, sweeter, great chocolaty taste and mobs of crema.
    I continue to use this method and much prefer it to adding hot water to a shot.
    Give it a go, you have nothing to lose. ;)

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    Re: How to make a "great" long black?

    usually in a 100-120mL cup I will 2/3 fill it with hot water and then pour the 30mL espresso shot on top, but I suspect the car mug is a lot larger than a normal cup so you may have to use a double. About 1:2 espresso to water (note thats not half, thats 1/3 espresso, to taste).

    Water first or last probably doesnt matter as you wont really see it (adding the espresso on top will preserve the nice crema look in a cup) so long as its not boiling. Really, just make it as hot as the drinker likes, and make sure the cup is clean.

    And you have to make sure your espresso flavour is good enough. Black coffee is less forgiving than a milky coffee. How does the espresso taste by itself?

    Finally, what is your wife comparing it to? Instant / Maccas?

    My machine at work isnt up to making long blacks no matter what I do - I can smell the sourness before I get close, but your Lelit should be, providing your grinding fresh beans just before using them.

    HTH :)

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    Senior Member flynnaus's Avatar
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    Re: How to make a "great" long black?

    Quote Originally Posted by 704F4E53424A4649270 link=1331682045/0#0 date=1331682045
    Is there are foolproof method of making a long black
    The best long blacks Ive made for myself have been with an Aeropress. Id suggest giving one of these a try and get the Coava disk rather than use the filter paper as they allow more flavours through.

    But dont let the water from the kettle reach boiling point. I find water that is too hot kills off some of the flavour.


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    Re: How to make a "great" long black?

    Hmmmm .... food for thought there. I will persist with the Lelit rather than an Aeropress as that is the point of buying an espresso machine. And take the point that a long black is unforgiving. The short black shots are full of flavour with no bitterness so the starting point is good - fresh grind each time. Maybe it will be easier to change partners drinking habits!

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    Senior Member Yelta's Avatar
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    Re: How to make a "great" long black?

    Quote Originally Posted by 7D42435E4F474B442A0 link=1331682045/4#4 date=1331685414
    Hmmmm .... food for thought there. I will persist with the Lelit rather than an Aeropress as that is the point of buying an espresso machine. And take the point that a long black is unforgiving. The short black shots are full of flavour with no bitterness so the starting point is good - fresh grind each time. Maybe it will be easier to change partners drinking habits!
    I tend to agree re the Aeropress Whiteman, I enjoy espresso in my opinion the AP simply doesnt cut it.
    Give my method a try, I think your wife will be pleasantly surprised. ;)

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    Senior Member Barry O'Speedwagon's Avatar
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    Re: How to make a "great" long black?

    Quote Originally Posted by 47787964757D717E100 link=1331682045/0#0 date=1331682045
    The other half wants to start the morning with a long black in one of those transport mugs people use in cars.

    My attempts at making a long black have been ordinary. Started with a good shot and added kettle water just off the boil - the Lelit only has a 300ml boiler. Then tried kettle water first then added the shot and still not great.

    Is there are foolproof method of making a long black (my least preferred way of drinking coffee)? I need to know things like ideal water temps, coffee shot to added water ratios, anything to improve please!
    Pretty hard to diagnose if you dont identify what is wrong with the coffee you are making. Too strong/weak/bitter/sour/acidic/tastes like fried chicken? What volume are you trying to make (Id get my technique right on a standard cup first). Does your local water have a strong taste? What grinder do you have?
    Cheers
    BOSW

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    Senior Member flynnaus's Avatar
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    Re: How to make a "great" long black?

    Quote Originally Posted by 645B5A47565E525D330 link=1331682045/4#4 date=1331685414
    I will persist with the Lelit rather than an Aeropress as that is the point of buying an espresso machine
    I have many different equipment for preparing non-milk coffee. The Aeropress has the advantage of portability: it goes on holidays with me. But, a long black prepared with a Ap is much smoother and flavoursome than one from my Giotto.

    Quote Originally Posted by 6A565F4752330 link=1331682045/5#5 date=1331685821
    if you enjoy espresso the AP simply doesnt cut it.
    Depends on how well you prepare either. I like espressos and espresso-based long blacks but I find my Aeropress technique consistently provides a superior cup to either.

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    Senior Member Yelta's Avatar
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    Re: How to make a "great" long black?

    Quote Originally Posted by 474D584F4F405452210 link=1331682045/7#7 date=1331688779
    Depends on how well you prepare either.
    Are you suggesting my coffee preparation skills are lacking? to imply I dont enjoy AP coffee because I dont take the appropriate care or dont know what Im doing is drawing a pretty long bow, why is it that if if we express a dislike for a particular type of coffee we always get a percentage of snide remarks telling us our technique must be flawed.
    While Im not a self professed expert I do have a pretty fair handle on our dark art.
    Quote Originally Posted by 474D584F4F405452210 link=1331682045/7#7 date=1331688779
    I have many different equipment
    I too have "many different equipment" ;) over the years they have all had their moment in the sun, however my preference is for espresso, thats just the way it is. :)

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    Senior Member flynnaus's Avatar
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    Re: How to make a "great" long black?

    Quote Originally Posted by 68545D4550310 link=1331682045/8#8 date=1331690696
    Are you suggesting my coffee preparation skills are lacking?
    No, I was merely disputing your claim that the Aeropress doesnt cut it. You are trying to read too much into it. There was nothing "snide" in what I said.

    Up until sometime last year when i changed to a Coava disk and used an inverted Ap method, I would have agreed with you. Now, i dont. So yes, technique is important. My best espresso shots are not as good as my usual Ap brews.

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    Senior Member Yelta's Avatar
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    Re: How to make a "great" long black?

    [QUOTE=040E1B0C0C031711620 I was merely disputing your claim that the Aeropress doesnt cut it.[/QUOTE]
    Fair enough, have modified my post to read "for me the AP simply doesnt cut it."[QUOTE=040E1B0C0C031711620 I was merely disputing your claim that the Aeropress doesnt cut it.[/QUOTE]
    Fair enough, have modified my post to read "for me the AP simply doesnt cut it."
    Quote Originally Posted by 040E1B0C0C031711620 link=1331682045/9#9 date=1331692567
    My best espresso shots are not as good as my usual Ap brews.
    For me the reverse is the case, my worst espresso brews are better than my best Aeropress efforts, once again personal preference. :)

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    Senior Member Yelta's Avatar
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    Re: How to make a "great" long black?

    Quote Originally Posted by 444E5B4C4C435751220 link=1331682045/9#9 date=1331692567
    I was merely disputing your claim that the Aeropress doesnt cut it.
    Fair enough, have modified my post to read "in my opinion the AP simply doesnt cut it." :)

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    Re: How to make a "great" long black?

    Agreed,

    Different methods produce different long blacks. Both can be great! Its all about personal preference...

    I cant stand Aeropress with paper filters. It has to be the Coava for me.

    Chris

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    Re: How to make a "great" long black?

    I do it a bit differently from everyone I know - till I saw jons post... maybe Im not totally alone in the world.

    I like a strong sweet long black in the morning - also like latte, espresso, etc, but I want at least 250mls of strong black coffee first thing.

    I have a Lelit PLl53 grinder set fairly fine (not super fine I guess).

    I have a LaScala Butterfly. I grind into the dual portafilter until its heaped over the top by 1cm. I tamp lightly and if its judged right its still easy to twist on (too much coffee = hard to twist on) but right on the borderline.

    Then I fill the mug. (cue gasps from the snobs?) ;D

    Dont know numbers but Id guess around 300-500ml in ... 40 seconds to a minute maybe?

    Dump in a tablespoon of sugar and thats me happy. Complete philistine? Maybe. But thats how I like it! :)

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    Senior Member Yelta's Avatar
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    Re: How to make a "great" long black?

    Quote Originally Posted by 42607D6C5A7D70656C3A090 link=1331682045/13#13 date=1331694126
    I do it a bit differently from everyone I know - till I saw jons post... maybe Im not totally alone in the world.

    I like a strong sweet long black in the morning - also like latte, espresso, etc, but I want at least 250mls of strong black coffee first thing.

    I have a Lelit PLl53 grinder set fairly fine (not super fine I guess).

    I have a LaScala Butterfly. I grind into the dual portafilter until its heaped over the top by 1cm. I tamp lightly and if its judged right its still easy to twist on (too much coffee = hard to twist on) but right on the borderline.

    Then I fill the mug. (cue gasps from the snobs?)* ;D

    Dont know numbers but Id guess around 300-500ml in ... 40 seconds to a minute maybe?

    Dump in a tablespoon of sugar and thats me happy. Complete philistine? Maybe. But thats how I like it!* :)
    GDay KS, was going pretty well reading through your post until we got to the tablespoon of sugar ;D bit much for me, I add a level coffee spoon of sugar, approx 3 grams, and have been roundly chastised for even this miniscule amount.
    I have friend who drinks white instant with 6 heaped teaspoons ::)
    It really is all about personal preference isnt it. :)

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    Senior Member artman's Avatar
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    Re: How to make a "great" long black?

    Quote Originally Posted by 3E34213636392D2B580 link=1331682045/7#7 date=1331688779
    Depends on how well you prepare either. I like espressos and espresso-based long blacks but I find my Aeropress technique consistently provides a superior cup to either.
    Would you be able to describe your AP technique? I have been using the AP for a while now with decent results, but curious as to what others do.

    Cheers

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    Senior Member flynnaus's Avatar
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    Re: How to make a "great" long black?

    Quote Originally Posted by 6D7E78616D620C0 link=1331682045/15#15 date=1331695422
    Would you be able to describe your AP technique?
    Try this post

    That was my first attempt. These days I follow the same technique but adding the grounds before the water.* I will add that I use an espresso grind and insert the plunger to between the 2 and 3 cup position for 1 cup and 4 cup position for 2 cups.
    The important factors are
    (a) buy a Coava disk - they make the biggest difference.
    (b) let the water soak into the grounds for at leasdt 30* seconds before stirring, a bit longer for 2 cup brews.
    There are other variations but this works for me.

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    Re: How to make a "great" long black?

    Love the Aeropress....no bitterness, delightful single origin flavours really come through in a long black

    Im a convert from 30 years of espresso.

    For those interested, try goggle aeropress world championships for different recipes....especially the year before most recent.....the current winner is combining two methods, too much mucking around, for me at least.

    Cheers
    JL

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    Re: How to make a "great" long black?

    Quote Originally Posted by 5E626B7366070 link=1331682045/14#14 date=1331694850
    GDay KS, was going pretty well reading through your post until we got to the tablespoon of sugar ;D bit much for me, I add a level coffee spoon of sugar, approx 3 grams, and have been roundly chastised for even this miniscule amount.
    I have friend who drinks white instant with 6 heaped teaspoons ::)
    It really is all about personal preference isnt it. :)
    Yep. Well my typical sugar is 2-3 decent heaped teaspoons I reckon - so not quite 6!.

    I measured this morning and its 280-300ml that I pull.

    If anyone knows a better technique for making a good strong long black with a machine, let me know.

    Im considering a larger portafilter so I can get like this :D



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    Re: How to make a "great" long black?

    I know I am pretty strange with my current preference. I have a Silvia but get very tired of espresso and milk based coffee using steamed milk. I* usually am the only coffee drinker and use my gusto electric 6 cup moka pot. half fill the basket with freshly ground coffee, fill the water up to full. This gives me one full mug (mug tch tch) of coffee. top it off with one heaped teaspoon of sugar and I have a very nice (for me) coffee. Can you get excommunicated from coffeesnobs for doing weird stuff?

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    Re: How to make a "great" long black?

    Quote Originally Posted by 6F4D504177505D484117240 link=1331682045/18#18 date=1331761652
    Im considering a larger portafilter so I can get like this*
    A larger PF would certainly help. ;)

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    Re: How to make a "great" long black?

    Quote Originally Posted by 3223242B306463510 link=1331682045/19#19 date=1331764195
    Can you get excommunicated from coffeesnobs for doing weird stuff?
    Nope, however you can get a slap on the wrist for saying weird stuff. ;D

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    Re: How to make a "great" long black?

    Quote Originally Posted by 4D5C5B544F1B1C2E0 link=1331682045/19#19 date=1331764195
    Can you get excommunicated from coffeesnobs for doing weird stuff?
    Nar...

    What you do in the confines of your home is your own business. ;D

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    !

    Crikey! I didnt mean to start arguements.

    More great advice to try thanks (may buy an aeropress for the office for my team as I refuse to buy them one of those Harvey Norman all singing and dancing bits of hardware).

    This morning the wife took a really hard-tamped double shot which was pulled with close to 250ml. Have yet to get her feedback but it looked good to me. My short black was fantastic so the grind/beans is set where Im happy.

    The long blacks of earlier in the week with added jug water were insipid and lacked the sweetness of an espresso shot. "Disappointing" was the main word on my tasting notes. This makes sense as a watered down glass of wine would have the same comment. If anyone wants a long black from me theyll have to put up with a lower standard - most of these people also ask for milk and sugur so no great loss!

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    Senior Member artman's Avatar
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    Re: How to make a "great" long black?

    Thanks for the tips on the AP guys.

    Cheers

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    Re: How to make a "great" long black?

    My personal preference for a long black is about 60ml of boiling water - which I then leave to sit for a minute so it drops down in temperature so as not to scold the coffee - then to add an approx 45ml extraction from my triple basket on top - ground finer than I would for milk based coffees and updosed and tamped with firmer pressure than i would for a usual extraction


    If I was making it in a mug, however, I would two thirds fill with hot water, then wait for the water to cool down a bit a la the above, then run two x double espresso shots, on top, updosed and firmly tamped for a long, slow, and continuous extraction

    Thats how we do it at my work, anyway - and i havent had any complaints ! ;D

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    Re: How to make a "great" long black?

    So a mug of black coffee has 4x shots? How do you sleep?

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    Re: How to make a "great" long black?


    Quote Originally Posted by 4C73726F7E767A751B0 link=1331682045/26#26 date=1332386494
    So a mug of black coffee has 4x shots? How do you sleep?
    I usually sleep lying on my left side ;D ;D ;D ;D

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    Re: How to make a "great" long black?

    Behmor Brazen - $249 - Free Freight
    actually I had three double espressos and a cold filter containing the equivalent caffeine of three espresso not sure whY I;m awake now but - think its coz Im hungry!



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