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Thread: Flavour is over the top

  1. #1
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    Unhappy Flavour is over the top

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Just wondering if anyone has any idea about why my coffe is so strong in taste, to the point itís not a nice experience.

    Iíve been buying pre roasted beans for years, usually from a wholesaler and recently from Jacques of Cairns. About 4 years ago I bought some pre roasted from bean bay and the flavour was overwhelmingly strong. Now I bought a Behmor and the coffee is again, over the top, strong taste. Iíve let it degas for a couple of days before grinding, could it be I need to give it a lot more time or what?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gretsch View Post
    Now I bought a Behmor and the coffee is again, over the top, strong taste.
    which beans and how long is your roasting?

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    Senior Member Barry O'Speedwagon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gretsch View Post
    Just wondering if anyone has any idea about why my coffe is so strong in taste, to the point itís not a nice experience.

    Iíve been buying pre roasted beans for years, usually from a wholesaler and recently from Jacques of Cairns. About 4 years ago I bought some pre roasted from bean bay and the flavour was overwhelmingly strong. Now I bought a Behmor and the coffee is again, over the top, strong taste. Iíve let it degas for a couple of days before grinding, could it be I need to give it a lot more time or what?
    First of all, let the beans rest for at least 4-5 days post roasting (more for some beans). Nobody would advise waiting just a couple of days (other than for curiosity's sake).

    Aren't you the bloke who was keen on roasting real dark? If so, that's possibly another contributing factor. Ease off on the gas and try to roast to 'just on second crack' at the darkest. When did you cut the roast? How dark are the beans? Do they have oil on them?

    How fresh are the pre-roasted beans that you are accustomed to buying?

    Need the full story from the identity of the beans, the depth of roasting, you equipment and method.

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    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    Also, what do you mean by 'strong'?
    Means different things to different people...

    Mal.
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    Senior Member LeroyC's Avatar
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    Iím guessing you mean when youíre using your Silvia? Do you drink milk drinks or black coffee? And when you say strong I get the feeling itís a little bitter as you say itís slightly unpleasant. Is that right?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gretsch View Post
    Just wondering if anyone has any idea about why my coffe is so strong in taste, to the point it’s not a nice experience.

    I’ve been buying pre roasted beans for years, usually from a wholesaler and recently from Jacques of Cairns. About 4 years ago I bought some pre roasted from bean bay and the flavour was overwhelmingly strong.
    I haven't had Jacques for a few years (my in-laws used to use them), but from what I remember your comment about good beans (Bean Bay) having much more flavour rings a bell.

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    Senior Member Stan's Avatar
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    As stated it could be many things. You may be roasting to dark for your taste - the beans are fresher - you could be overdosing. I used Jacques for several years prior to roasting myself. When you are roasting your own you can vary the depth of the roast to your own taste.

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    Ok thanks everyone for the replies, I’ll try and give as much detail as I can.

    So, I don’t do milk coffee. Strictly ristretto and my wife has short black. My ristrettos are 30ml, short blacks are 60ml. I use approx 13g of ground coffee per shot. 30ml cup @ 15 to 20 seconds, 60ml double that time.

    I bought the Jacques around 3 months ago, I keep it stored in the fridges right now is tasting as I expect. I can probably describe it as slightly earthy with no fruity, sweet or sour taste I don’t know how to best describe it.

    The bens I bought back in 2014 were elephant hills pea berry, espresso wow and peru-ceja-de-selva-estate.
    My roasts have not been overly dark, the elephant hills AA were roasted using P2 and B, then on first crack P3 and + 30 seconds.

    I roasted some El Salvador finca miravalle which I bought elsewhere using the same profile went to C with 1 minute to go cool at second crack. I would describe the CS 8 or 9, elephant hills on the left, El Salvador on the right.

    Roasted beans pictured were roasted on the 14th and 17th Dec. (L and R)
    CF1884A0-7D5F-4E77-8EE2-13D2B1AAF493.jpg
    Last edited by Gretsch; 22nd December 2018 at 01:43 PM. Reason: Trying to add photo

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    Also,

    the beanbay beans have a lot more cream than Jacques and I have to take the grind down 2 or 3 notches to slow down the extraction time.

    I haven’t tried the beans lately, rather have let them sit and degas for some days. Going to try the elephant hills tomorrow morning.

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    Sounds to me like:
    1. Your 'Jacques' coffee is a mild blend, and also way old. No way I keep roasted coffee for 3 months, unless I freeze it. If you really want coffee that mild (read tasteless) buy supermarket roasted beans.
    2. Your Beanbay beans are good strong coffee recently roasted.
    3. 13g into 30g ristretto should taste strong. If you want 13g to taste milder, either add water or add milk. I do an 18.5g ristretto giving up to 30g pour but I make it with lots of milk and sugar and it tastes strong. A 13g/30g pour neat would be stronger than mine.

    You just need to adjust your technique for 'full strength' beans.

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    Yes, old. Hence why I want to roast
    When I say strong flavor (I think) I am referring to that tangy taste. (Yeah?)
    And no, supermarket beans are just crud!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gretsch View Post
    Yes, old. Hence why I want to roast
    When I say strong flavor (I think) I am referring to that tangy taste. (Yeah?)
    And no, supermarket beans are just crud!
    Well I think you will need to change one or two things to adjust to these beans:
    1. Don't try to decrease below 13g. It just gets harder to get a good pour.
    2. Blend 50-50 or 30-30-30 with 'milder' beans. Tangy, bright beans (Ethiopians et al) I find fine on their own in milk but it's easy to make them taste milder by adding say Sumatra Blue or Wahgi AA.
    3. Add a little hot water
    4. Add a little milk
    5. Add a little sugar
    Of these last three, it's entirely possible that all three will not suit you. In which case, blending for mildness is the go. Try this thread:
    https://coffeesnobs.com.au/blending-...tml#post641480

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gretsch View Post
    . My ristrettos are 30ml, short blacks are 60ml. I use approx 13g of ground coffee per shot. 30ml cup @ 15 to 20 seconds, 60ml double that time.
    I wonder if the taste relates to your brew ratios. Your 'ristretto' has a ratio if 3, which is getting high even for an espresso. I would think a ristretto would be 1 - 1.5. But whatever you call it, it should be OK. However the long black shot has a ratio of 6+, and therefore likely over extracted. Much better to extract perfectly then dilute than run the shot longer.

    You may have seen this, but if not, I think its helpful

    https://baristahustle.com/blog/diy-extraction-tasting/

    Also this one, explaining 'strong'
    https://www.perfectdailygrind.com/20...g-coffee-myth/

    So many variables here. Good luck!
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    Quote Originally Posted by coolie21 View Post
    I wonder if the taste relates to your brew ratios. Your 'ristretto' has a ratio if 3, which is getting high even for an espresso. I would think a ristretto would be 1 - 1.5. But whatever you call it, it should be OK. However the long black shot has a ratio of 6+, and therefore likely over extracted. Much better to extract perfectly then dilute than run the shot longer.

    You may have seen this, but if not, I think its helpful

    https://baristahustle.com/blog/diy-extraction-tasting/

    Also this one, explaining 'strong'
    https://www.perfectdailygrind.com/20...g-coffee-myth/

    So many variables here. Good luck!
    I’m not sure what you mean by ‘ratio’ but probably irrelevant as I’ve used these ‘ratios’ for years and work for us. The ristretto is my cup, the short black is for the wife because she doesn’t like strong flavours like I do, like chilli for instance. I can take all the heat anyone can dish up. Comes from my mum. She was a maniac for heat!

    And I don’t know if my taste buds are trying to compensate for my lost sense of smell, so go figure.

    So your second link is probably describing the taste that’s eluding me, being that ‘dark’ taste. That smoky, bitter flavour as opposed to the fruity or (I guess) acidy taste. Ah well, more experiments I guess...it IS fun thou

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    The taste I’m trying for is that typical Italian shot which when I went to Europe some years ago I could get a shot from a petrol station or restaurant and it was sensational! Even in Paris it was good.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gretsch View Post
    I’m not sure what you mean by ‘ratio’ but probably irrelevant as I’ve used these ‘ratios’ for years and work for us. e
    I give up.
    https://www.fivesenses.com.au/blog/b...s-in-espresso/
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    Quote Originally Posted by coolie21 View Post
    Well yeah, ok, obviously.

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    Senior Member CafeLotta's Avatar
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    May or may not be useful but a basic simple overview of what affects coffee flavor when brewing.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cQaT1gWjhIk

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    Senior Member Yelta's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by coolie21 View Post
    Good information here, my only comment is, you don't need to buy a $200-$300 scale to do the job, plenty of much cheaper scales available on fleabay or similar, that will do exactly the same.
    Last edited by Yelta; 23rd December 2018 at 12:39 PM.
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    Senior Member woodhouse's Avatar
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    one other thing to consider - you measure your coffee volumetrically. if you use very fresh beans, you'll have loads more crema. and in actuality, you'll be getting far less liquid than if you used your other older beans. this may be contributing to the 'over the top' flavour, as lower ratios tend to be richer and stronger than higher ratios which are more balanced and sweet (think dark chocolate instead of milk chocolate).

    Quote Originally Posted by Yelta View Post
    Good information here, my only comment is, you don't need to buy a $200-$300 scale to do the job, plenty of much cheaper scales available on fleabay or similar, that will do exactly the same job.
    absolutely. it annoys me when people have the mindset of 'oh i'm not going to weigh my coffee because that's dumb and over the top and i have to get scales and that's more than i want to do' because that's the single best and low-cost thing you can do to improve the quality and consistency of your brews. and it eliminates the issue with crema and measuring by volume. legit, there are small 0.1g 3000g scales online for like $15.
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    Quote Originally Posted by woodhouse View Post
    that's the single best and low-cost thing you can do to improve the quality and consistency of your brews. and it eliminates the issue with crema and measuring by volume. legit, there are small 0.1g 3000g scales online for like $15.
    This is the best advice ever for home coffee. Use a scale, use brew ratio and see the difference.

    I have a $100 Brewista at home and a $15 eBay scale at the beach. The only real difference is extra programs (which you don't need) and the brewista is waterproof so you can put it on the drip tray while you pour. But you don't really need that.

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    Well today I have success!

    Woodhouse, you're right. There is loads of cream in fresh coffee compared to stale coffee. But that's not where the 'Over the top' flavour is, I think I found the issue. Everything up until today has been (well, in our opinion) too light a roast. Hence that 'Tangy' taste which is probably a better description than 'Over the top'.

    Last week I roasted a 350g batch of El Salvador with P2 and B (20 min roast). At the -3 minute mark it was starting into the first crack. At -1 min it was rolling a bit more. I then pressed C to reset the timer then at -1.30 min it was into second crack and rolling at 1.15 min. At -1 min I started the cooling cycle. It kept on crackling during the cooling cycle for a while, but no excessive smoke and the colour looked nice and dark. Leave it degas for 5 days and tasted.

    I'm not into measuring by weight that's just too technical as far as I'm concerned, instead I fill the grinds to the point that when I extract I get 15 secs for 30ml (or thereabouts...again, not a rocket scientist). I note there is a load of cream and is coming out a bit faster than usual but if I go down another grind setting it starts to get too restricted and stalls, but this is open to some more experimenting. So I'm extracting more than 30ml but the coffee is nice and strong (however you interpret that) with the cream reaching the top of the cup but it settles down so probably extracting ~40ml and I'm very happy with the brew!

    So if you're reading this Andy, the Behmor WILL do dark roast

  23. #23
    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gretsch View Post
    So if you're reading this Andy, the Behmor WILL do dark roast
    Pretty sure Andy knows the operating limits of the Behmor to a tee...

    Mal.
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    Senior Member Yelta's Avatar
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    Morning Gretsch, FWIW the word used to describe the foam on top of espresso is crema.

    Scales! nothing technical or geeky about em, what they do is empower you with consistency, repeatability and excellent coffee, with very little effort.

    Even if you don't weigh the extraction, just weighing the beans for each shot will see a vast improvement in your results.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dimal View Post
    Pretty sure Andy knows the operating limits of the Behmor to a tee...
    Just having a friendly dig. I have no doubt about Andy at all. Obviously a very clever operator.

    So I've got some Brazil pulp naturals that I roasted yesterday using P3, will let them rest for some days before I try, just wondering if I should use the same profile as for the El Salvador lot.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Yelta View Post
    Morning Gretsch, FWIW the word used to describe the foam on top of espresso is crema.
    yeah...#@*! auto-correct at work there
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yelta View Post
    Scales! nothing technical or geeky about em, what they do is empower you with consistency, repeatability and excellent coffee, with very little effort.

    Even if you don't weigh the extraction, just weighing the beans for each shot will see a vast improvement in your results.
    You're quite right, no question there but still, for me that really is pushing the envelope too far. I like to try and gauge it myself, so not every shot is consistent but I can live with that.

  28. #28
    Senior Member level3ninja's Avatar
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    Another classic "Why isn't it working? No I won't try your suggestions!" thread

  29. #29
    Senior Member level3ninja's Avatar
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    FWIW if you're dosing the ground coffee by sight then you're going to get different levels of extraction for different beans. Darker roast beans tend to naturally fit into a smaller space when ground than a lighter bean would (so a 20g pile of ground darker roast will look like a smaller pile than a 20g pile of ground lighter roast). If you're dosing by sight then you were probably underdosing and thereby underextracting the lighter roast leading to the very strong sour taste that is underextraction. Now that you're back to a darker roast the dose has increased and you're back closer to a balanced extraction.

    If you ever do decide to buy a pair of scales you might find you don't mind lighter roasts as much as you think.

  30. #30
    Senior Member Barry O'Speedwagon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gretsch View Post

    So if you're reading this Andy, the Behmor WILL do dark roast
    Yes, exactly as I told you in your original thread. And......when did Andy say that the Behmor wouldn't do dark roast? I suggest that you re-visit that thread....here is what Andy actually said to you (which also includes some advice that might have helped the 'flavour over the top' problem if heeded).

    Quote Originally Posted by Andy View Post
    My quote was from the company that builds them and is early in their manual.

    http://www.behmor.com/docs/english_manual.pdf

    As mentioned above, the difference between very dark and beans on fire is small which I assume is the main reason that the manufacturer doesn't recommend going that dark.

    I would recommend that you try roasting a little lighter, the coffee will be better too and far less bitter.
    People will only persist in trying to help for a certain period of time......
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    [QUOTE=Andy;636078
    [B]
    The Behmor 1600 is not intended nor meant to roast coffee to levels known as Vienna, French, and Italian or darker [/B][QUOTE/]

    Let’s not get into nasties here, this is the quote from Andy I was referring to. Sure enough there’s always misunderstanding along the line. I do appreciate everyone’s support and I’m sorry if I came across as an idiot but in the end it got sorted.

    Merry Christmas everyone. Peace and good will to all.



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    I reckon I found my nirvana in Brazil Pulped Naturals.
    I roasted a 200g batch P3, C. I added 1 minute towards the end and a few seconds later pressed P3 for a lower power and added 30 secs.
    Several days degassing and the coffee is exactly what we're after. Beans have oil spots visible and shiny, probably CS10. Beautiful full body, strong, chocolate-y and no bitter after taste.

    I've roasted another batch today with the same profile, beans don't look as dark but I'm going to wait a few days and see if they develop the same look as the first batch.

    Next time I'm going to try the example method at the end of the Behmor Profile Adjustments V1 pdf doc on their site. P3, A and add time as needed. It shortens the powered segments 1 and 2 while adding time to the highest power segment.

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    Quote Originally Posted by level3ninja View Post
    FWIW if you're dosing the ground coffee by sight then you're going to get different levels of extraction for different beans. Darker roast beans tend to naturally fit into a smaller space when ground than a lighter bean would (so a 20g pile of ground darker roast will look like a smaller pile than a 20g pile of ground lighter roast). If you're dosing by sight then you were probably underdosing and thereby underextracting the lighter roast leading to the very strong sour taste that is underextraction. Now that you're back to a darker roast the dose has increased and you're back closer to a balanced extraction.

    If you ever do decide to buy a pair of scales you might find you don't mind lighter roasts as much as you think.
    I think I've proven to myself I don't like lighter roasts.

    When I get a new batch of beans I have to find the right grind profile first. Then the dose. It's a juggle between these two parameters. Once I find them I count in seconds the grind which derives my dose and my double check is my tamp height. Too low, not enough (you get the picture) This method has consistently given me good results for years (FYI, I'm over 65) and over time, you get a 'feel' for it.

  34. #34
    Senior Member Yelta's Avatar
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    I suspect as we age Gretsch we develop a taste for more intense flavours, probably the taste buds reaching their use by date.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yelta View Post
    I suspect as we age Gretsch we develop a taste for more intense flavours, probably the taste buds reaching their use by date.
    Amen to that!
    My nose has stopped working already so have to ask the wife to sniff.
    And that means I can’t rely on smell during roasts.

  36. #36
    Senior Member Yelta's Avatar
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    Behmor Brazen - $249 - Free Freight
    Quote Originally Posted by Gretsch View Post
    Amen to that!
    My nose has stopped working already so have to ask the wife to sniff.
    And that means I canít rely on smell during roasts.
    That's pretty normal for people who roast regularly, I perceive very little odour when roasting, others comment on the beautiful smell.

    We discussed this in another thread recently, its seems to be experience of most coffee roasters.



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