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Thread: Mall coffee for cup diagnosing?

  1. #1
    Junior Member Salgar's Avatar
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    Mall coffee for cup diagnosing?

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Hi all, still a newbie, just got back from equipment buying at the <shudder> mall ($25 bread machine and $12 heat gun at a pawn among other things, going to try Corretta) and decided to have an espresso to see what someone else's was like - I usually get flat whites since until I got my Venezia I didn't have a milk steamer plus I didn't think cafes did black coffee as well. Anyway I picked the place that had Jamaican Blue Mountain for $2 more thinking at least the beans would be good and it ended up tasting almost identical to the one I made this morning, sour, thin crema, strong at first sip but just sour after that. No bad aftertaste but none of the "good" coffee taste I don't know enough about to describe. From what I've read I associate the taste with underextraction and I've made aeropresses that have the same taste.

    Am I right in assuming that this similarity suggests the problem is in my brewing technique and not likely under roasted or under aged beans? Would mall coffee likely be super automatic? Do Jamaican Blue Mountain beans normally taste sour? Am I allowed to ask more than one question per post?

    Thanks for any advice,

    Tony

  2. #2
    Senior Member Dragunov21's Avatar
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    Possibly (try buying a preroasted blend from beanbay if you want known-good beans so you can get your technique down).
    Possibly (only way to tell is to watch them make it, though a crappy user on a good machine will make crappy coffee too)
    No idea, but I'd doubt it.
    Sure

  3. #3
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    flaw is probably more in your grind than anything else. have you timed your shots? you don't say what you are doing but its much easier to make a double.

  4. #4
    Junior Member Salgar's Avatar
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    I'm making doubles, grind is set for mid espresso range on a Sunbeam 0480. My shots take around the 15 to 20 second range usually but I thought that was normal on a pressurised portafilter?

    Have been thinking of the roasted bean route as I think I'm trying to tweak too many things.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Dragunov21's Avatar
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    Lose the pressurised portafilter to start with...

  6. #6
    Junior Member Salgar's Avatar
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    Got one on the way, I needed to keep the original because the wife and daughter want to be able to use it and a) don't want to spend three years learning to tamp, grind etc... and b) want to use "real" beans from the shop. Once I start making decent coffee I hope to turn them. Is it worth me even practicing dialing in my grinder and the like or will the depressurized be too different?

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Salgar View Post
    Got one on the way, I needed to keep the original because the wife and daughter want to be able to use it and a) don't want to spend three years learning to tamp, grind etc... and b) want to use "real" beans from the shop. Once I start making decent coffee I hope to turn them. Is it worth me even practicing dialing in my grinder and the like or will the depressurized be too different?
    There is little to no point in playing around with grind settings with the pressurised basket; it doesn't really change anything. The pressure is regulated by the size of the the single hole at the bottom of the basket, not by the grind size (unless you completely choke the machine).

    Get the single-wall basket and a decent tamp (that plastic one that came with your machine won't cut it), do a bit of basic online reading on grinding/dosing/tamping (here is a good guide to start with) and practise, practise, practise. You should be getting a decent cup within the first few days, certainly much better than what you would get out of a pressurised basket, and certainly not taking three years.

  8. #8
    Junior Member Salgar's Avatar
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    Behmor Brazen - $249 - Free Freight
    Thanks Gnat, I ordered a stainless tamp to go with it. I've read most of your link over the past few weeks as well as the Blue Bottle book and everything else I could find, hopefully it will prove to be overkill and hopefully I'll be able to get back to reading non coffee literature. I did mod my portafilter after a few days and had a play but had to put it back when my wife wanted to use it as I couldn't teach her until I learn. I figure it's not good to keep unscrewing the bottom to change it back and forth so I'm just tasting and then making a milk drink out of it (always a bit sour as espresso but wife and daughter like the cappuccinos it makes) until my unpressurized comes.



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