[Homeroast] Sour espresso taste

Mike Wilkens mike.wilkens at gmail.com
Sat Jun 2 01:36:55 CDT 2012

Does anyone have hints on temperature surfing the Gaggia Classic?  I saw the earlier posts from 2006 on this subject, tried what was detailed there, didn't work for me.

My shots are very consistent in taste, problem is they're all extremely sour tasting.  I've used four different beans, two different grinders, two different espresso machines (New Baby and Classic).  To raise the brew temp, I draw water (PF off) until the heating element goes on, install PF, wait until heating element goes on, wait 6 s, and pull.

Unless I'm preparing it with coffee, the PF is installed at all times.  30 minutes warm up.

Also tried turning on steam switch for 10 seconds just before pulling the shot, all other parts of surfing ritual the same.  No difference.  Coffee temp in the cup was 168*F +- 2*F.

Of course I've also tried just walking up to the machine and pulling.  No difference.

I've ground fine enough that 2 drops of coffee come through, but if I get coffee it's extremely sour tasting.

To my untrained eye, the crema usually appears tan and not chocolatey brown, which I'm told signifies underextraction.  Also to my untrained eye, the flow of the shot appears to go from dark dark brown straight to blond, without going through that reddish brown phase.  Suspecting channelling, I added another ritual sometimes called the Weiss Distribution Technique but could also be called Stirring with a Paperclip.  No difference.

Next step is to find a 6 year old child...


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