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Thread: Secret in the sweetness?

  1. #1
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    Secret in the sweetness?

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Once in a blue moon, I end up getting a really sweet tasting cup of coffee (which I really like), with all other variables the same (milk, grind, tamp, pour, beans, equipment [thermometer, grinder, machine] etc); well "the same" as can be ;-)

    I normally froth till 70 degrees on the thermometer (which I suspect is reading 5-10 degrees high).

    The procedure I follow is basically frothing with the "ch-ch" sound till about 40 degrees then just swirling the milk after that by burying the wand slightly.

    Can anyone offer me any pearls of wisdom as to why this may be, and how I can consistently reproduce this? I am convinced that it is the frothing, and not the grind, tamp, beans...etc but happy to be told otherwise.

    I have Giotto Premium and Macap M4 if that makes any difference, and use fresh beans (max 2 weeks old) and Canberra Milk.

  2. #2
    Senior Member flynnaus's Avatar
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    Re: Secret in the sweetness?

    You should be able to calibrate the thermometer. Stick it in boiling water for about 20 secs (ie water that is still boiling, not just brought to the boil). If it doesnt show 100 then you will be able to get an idea of how far out your gauge is.

    You can adjust many thermometers using a nut directly behind the gauge but when I tried this with my first thermo I couldnt tighten it back tight enough and it tends to move. I also crushed the stem a bit trying to grip it.

    Freshness of the bean is another factor that you should consider.

  3. #3
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    Re: Secret in the sweetness?

    Hi flynnaus, and thanks, will try doing that. I have stuck it in boiled water (not still boiling) to test my theory in the past.

    By the way do you think the temp may have something to do with the sweetness (I have suspected that myself)?

    As for beans, they are less than 2 weeks old always. I get it straight from the roaster and may even be a day or two old sometimes.

    Thanks in advance.

  4. #4
    Senior Member flynnaus's Avatar
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    Re: Secret in the sweetness?

    For me Ive only noticed a problem if Ive oversteamed the milk (>70 degrees). . You sound more experienced than I and you have a better espresso machine so I am hesitant to preach to the converted but Id be looking at other factors

    What about the shot itself - is it correct (30mls in 25 - 30 secs)? At what stage does blonding occur. The latter is my current problem and adjusting the grind is showing an improvement with a sweeter brew. Ive taken advice elsewhere and tried a finer grind + lighter tamp and it definitely made a difference.

    Do you use the same source of coffee all the time? Others here have suggested you need to adjust your grind for different beans.

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    Re: Secret in the sweetness?

    Dont let the expensive equipment fool you... I am very much a noob. :-)

    Hmmm... maybe it is a problem with the shot... but I seem to be getting good pours, if anything I stop the shot early (around 40mls) as thats the strength I like with the the size of mugs (around 350ml) I use. Could that be it? Any more and it is too strong for me / my wife.

    Coffee source/blend is same for this exact same reason - trying to keep the variables down.

  6. #6
    Senior Member flynnaus's Avatar
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    Re: Secret in the sweetness?

    Quote Originally Posted by javaboy link=1217972468/0#4 date=1217990450
    Dont let the expensive equipment fool you... I am very much a noob. *:-)

    Hmmm... maybe it is a problem with the shot... but I seem to be getting good pours, if anything I stop the shot early (around 40mls) as thats the strength I like with the the size of mugs (around 350ml) I use. Could that be it? Any more and it is too strong for me / my wife.

    Coffee source/blend is same for this exact same reason - trying to keep the variables down.
    40 mls might be a decent proportion for your cup-size but I think you may also be over-extracting. Once blonding occurs the pour turns relatively bitter. BTW are you using the single or double basket.

    One thing I will be doing (hopefully in the next couple of weeks) is do a course on coffee making. Some of the sponsors here offer courses - some will even do home-visits I think

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    Re: Secret in the sweetness?

    Sorry, I should have said, I use double baskets.

  8. #8
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    Re: Secret in the sweetness?

    Gday javaboy,

    Have you tried tasting the espresso pours you create to see that you are able to consistently produce sweet pours? Rather than stopping the shot early, try grinding a little finer such that you produce a 40-45ml pour in 25-30 seconds. This is a Ristretto pour and when done properly, should produce a lovely sweet, chocolaty brew. Use one of these in your milk based coffees and Im sure you wont go back to pulling "short shots".

    With milk texturing.... Basically, the quicker you can texture your milk to the ideal combo of micro-foam, volume and temperature; the sweeter the resulting milk will be. Takes some practice to do on a consistent basis but you will definitely notice the difference.

    So, with perfectly textured milk combined with a beautifully sweet Ristretto, you and your lovely lady should be well and truly residing in coffee nirvana 8-). All the best, :)

    Mal.

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    Re: Secret in the sweetness?

    Cheers Mal.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mal link=1217972468/0#7 date=1218006711
    Have you tried tasting the espresso pours you create to see that you are able to consistently produce sweet pours?
    Yes have thought of doing that, but I am predominantly a milk-based coffee drinker , so dont really know whats good/bad, sweet/sour unfortunately. I wish I did... :-)

    Quote Originally Posted by Mal link=1217972468/0#7 date=1218006711
    Rather than stopping the shot early, try grinding a little finer such that you produce a 40-45ml pour in 25-30 seconds. This is a Ristretto pour and when done properly, should produce a lovely sweet, chocolaty brew.
    Have tried that also, and usually end up getting this mollasses-ey tasting goo. Am obviously doing something really wrong!

    Thanks, I will work on these, I guess if other people have had success doing this, then at least I am going down the right paths, and that there is some hope.



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