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Thread: Espresso both sour and bitter?

  1. #1
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    Espresso both sour and bitter?

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Hi all,

    My first post so hope it's in the right section and abiding by all the rules.

    My question relates to a new batch of Tanzanian coffe I got from my local specialty roaster.
    The colour was city/dark city roast but only by eye and coffee is 10 days old, so should be in the sweet spot.

    My problem is when trying to dial in the shot I could only get a sour start, mild/medium body but a lingering bitterness. Changing grind or brew ratio doesn't help either way results in under extracted sourness or bitter astringency.


    Commercial Astoria lever machine
    Ceado E37S grinder
    91 degrees temp
    19 gram vst basket
    20gram dose
    1:2.5 Brew ratio
    30-35sec time
    5 sec pre infusion

    Any thoughts on the both sour and bitter at the same time?

    Stliimbe

  2. #2
    Life-long Learner DesigningByCoffee's Avatar
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    Welcome Stliimbe
    Certainly more than possible

    Could be:
    a) beans roasted too fast (sour) and then too dark (bitter)
    b) Pour too fast (sour) then over extracted (bitter)
    c) Light roasted beans (sour) and machine needs a backflush (bitter)!

    With your gear list and apparent understanding of all the brew variables, I'd be guessing roasting fault. But, always worth trying some options. I'd try slowing the pour down to cope with the lighter roast development giving the sourness (even if you extend past 35sec - shock horror!) and maybe drop earlier for a ristretto. You might be surprised?

    Cheers Matt
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  3. #3
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    Thanks Matt for the reply,

    I'll go finer and give the ristretto a shot! ��
    I also thought about going coarser, 1:3 ratio and playing with time.

    Cheers

    Stliimbe

  4. #4
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    Oh and there is no 3 way valve on a lever machine so they can't be back flushed.
    Thats why I didn't address that as an option☺

  5. #5
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    Try cupping it as well for better insight to what you are dealing with.

  6. #6
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    I did a cupping this morning with this roast as well as the other roast profile I was given (5 days difference in roast date).
    I found this one the better of the two roasts but havent tried the other as espresso yet. I'll give it a few days then pull some shots.
    My roaster gave me 2 different profiles of the same green bean and same degree of roast, but I don't know which is which.
    A bit of a test or experiment if you will.

    I'm trying to work around roast/equipment limitations by changing variables.

    Cupping notes were.
    Taste:
    Medium body
    Tangy acid with a slight sweetness
    Finished salty/rough but enjoyable
    Aroma:
    Black current and pepper

    It cupped well so thought I could get better espresso out it.

    I'll try Matt's ristretto and my longer shot and compare result and keep you posted.

    Stliimbe
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  7. #7
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    Matt I'm surprised, thanks for the suggestion.

    I went finer on the grind, slowed down the shot & cut it shorter. They were pretty good shots & vastly improved over my earlier attempts. (10 sec pre-infusion, 1:2 ratio 20 in & 35-40 out over 40sec pour)
    I guess I'm always skeptical about ristretto shots. They always taste sour & under extracted when Ive bought them before, so tend not to go that way when dialing in.
    But these were apple like acidity, salted caramel, malty & at worst a bitter chocolate after taste not sure I can ask for much more then that!

    Cheers

    Stliimbe
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  8. #8
    Life-long Learner DesigningByCoffee's Avatar
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    Behmor Brazen - $249 - Free Freight
    Glad to hear - let taste be your guide!



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