[Homeroast] Sour Espresso

Brian Kamnetz bkamnetz at gmail.com
Wed Jun 20 17:04:57 CDT 2012


Tom,

I like your mention of "palatal pursuit". I think that is the common
factor, and for many, that is what drives experimentation with
gadgets. I use a moka pot; I fiddle constantly with grind, water
sources, heat level,dosing ratios, etc., trying to get the fullest,
richest flavor while avoiding extracting nasty elements of the woody
matrix.

I have two espresso machines but haven't had a chance to even plug in
either on. Soon, though; in a couple months I will into a permanent
residence, my stuff will all be unpacked, and I will employ new
gadgets in the same "palatal pursuit",

Brian



On Wed, Jun 20, 2012 at 4:24 PM, Tom Ulmer <tom at transtate.us> wrote:
> I believe most extractions are gadget based with espresso merely a different
> venue of palatal pursuit. The parceling of budget is altogether a different
> reasoning.
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: homeroast-bounces at lists.sweetmariascoffee.com
> [mailto:homeroast-bounces at lists.sweetmariascoffee.com] On Behalf Of John M.
> Howison
> Sent: Wednesday, June 20, 2012 3:29 PM
> To: homeroast at lists.sweetmariascoffee.com
> Subject: [Homeroast] Sour Espresso
>
> I have enjoyed an occasional espresso for more than fifty years,
> whenever a decent espresso bar is near, BUT  . . . the volume and
> character of comment on this subject has intensified my view that many
> (not all, perhaps, but many) of the espresso-at-home buffs populating
> this list are gadget-buffs first and coffee lovers second.  Coffee
> brewed at home by any of the preferred methods approaches
> coffee-nirvana so regularly that spending big dollars and hours to
> produce a tolerable example of the espresso alternative just
> occasionally seems more toy-oriented than palate oriented.
> (One coffee-lover's thought.  Looking forward to reading alternative views.)
>
>
> On 6/20/12, homeroast-request at lists.sweetmariascoffee.com
> <homeroast-request at lists.sweetmariascoffee.com> wrote:
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>> Sweet Maria's Home Coffee Roasting "HomeRoast List" Digest
>>
>> Today's Topics:
>>
>>    1. Re: Re?:  Sour espresso taste (Bryan, Compass Coffee)
>>    2. Re: Re?:  Sour espresso taste (Jim Gundlach)
>>    3. Re: Re?: Sour espresso taste (Martin Maney)
>>    4. Re: Re?:  Sour espresso taste (Bryan, Compass Coffee)
>>
>>
>> ----------------------------------------------------------------------
>>
>> Message: 1
>> Date: Mon, 18 Jun 2012 14:11:01 -0700 (PDT)
>> From: "Bryan, Compass Coffee" <bryan at compasscoffeeroasting.com>
>> To: "A list to discuss home coffee roasting. There are rules for this
>>       list,   available at http://www.sweetmarias.com/maillistinfo.html"
>>       <homeroast at lists.sweetmariascoffee.com>
>> Subject: Re: [Homeroast] Re?:  Sour espresso taste
>> Message-ID:
>>       <1340053861.74528.YahooMailNeo at web111310.mail.gq1.yahoo.com>
>> Content-Type: text/plain; charset=iso-8859-1
>>
>> Your equipment is clean right? ?If you have spouts on your portafilter
> make
>> sure that you are cleaning them after each session. ?Scrub the screen with
> a
>> Purocaff soaked towel after each session as well. ?Contrary to a lot of
> talk
>> out there, pulling just one shot and the letting a hot machine cool off is
>> more than enough coffee oil to turn a machine's screen rancid.
>>
>> Clean up your portafilter really well if you haven't and then give it
>> another go. ?Also, what grinder did you say you were using? ?If you did
> tell
>> us, it was long ago enough that I've forgotten.
>>
>> I'd stop basing your shot's success on the crema. ?Crema doesn't mean a
> damn
>> thing. ?Close your eyes from the time you turn on your pump until you
> drink
>> your shot. ?What does 50% crema taste like? ?75%? ?100%? ?If anything,
> crema
>> is the most unappealing flavor component of the shot.
>>
>> Push for a 16g dose, 28 seconds to a 28g yield (around 1.5 ounces). ?Stir
> in
>> the crema, let the shot sit for 3 minutes and then tip it back and
> evaluate
>> the flavor. ?Try this with that Brazil once it has hit day 7 and I bet you
>> will have a much different opinion of your espresso shots.
>>
>> Regarding the comment about 30g being a spot on shot for a 14g dose... it
>> would help to look at Counter Culture's suggested parameters before
>> correcting me. ?They recommend an 18.5g dose yielding 1.5-1.75 ounces (or
>> about 27-28g yield). ?Considering he's dosing 14-15g he should be aiming
> for
>> about 1-1.25 ounces per Counter Culture's recommended parameters.
> ?Ristretto
>> is not at all an "advanced" method of producing espresso. ?Quite the
>> contrary. ?Ristretto is much easier to coax sweet, predictable flavors
> from
>> than a normale. ?The longer you let a shot run out the more variables your
>> are letting enter the equation. ?This is why pretty much all ristretto
> shots
>> taste the same: sweet chocolate leading to a slightly salty caramel flavor
>> with a tart cherry finish, wrapped up in a syrupy mouthfeel. ?Sound
>> familiar? ?It's because this is how nearly every ristretto-uber ristretto
>> shot on the planet is going to taste. ?It has more to do with the % of
>>  solubles in the finished cup than a simple Yield/Dose=Brew ratio
> equation.
>> ?You can't evaluate based on these parameters because as your dose
> increases
>> your coffee bed depth increases as well, changing the ratio of surface
> area
>> to bed depth. ?This is why a shot on a 53mm machine will taste different
>> than a shot with the exact same parameters on a 58mm machine.
>>
>> -bry
>>
>> ________________________________
>>  From: denis bordeleau <bomerlo at yahoo.ca>
>> To: "A list to discuss home coffee roasting. There are rules for this
> list,
>> available at http://www.sweetmarias.com/maillistinfo.html"
>> <homeroast at lists.sweetmariascoffee.com>
>> Sent: Monday, June 18, 2012 12:11 PM
>> Subject: [Homeroast] Re?:  Sour espresso taste
>>
>> Hello Mike.???? You are still looking for a good espresso shot but without
>> success.? This is normal.???? You enjoy the taste of two days since
> roasted
>> single origin Brazil beans made from an Aeropress. ? What is the
>> torrefaction degree???I told you about the fact that a paper filter can
> keep
>> the oil from the cup and some coffee drinkers like it that way.?? I made a
>> research on Google by typing:? -aeropress paper filters- and got on the
>> Aerobie Aeropress (tm) FAQ site and the metallic taste was the first
>> subject. You should try a french press or any non espresso non paper
> filter
>> method to be sure that you can enjoy a coffee with the oily elements still
>> in.??? About the crema, since we are most of us homeroasters, we are also
>> home blenders and I found it difficult myself to get nice crema with a
>> single origin materia.? Most of the time we have to roast the beans we put
>> in our espresso blends one by one to be sure that each of it will get
>> the best of itself and we may add some robusta, plus other secret
>> tricks...??????? It is very hard to resolve the equation of a good coffee
>> without? unvoluntarily adding another variable.??? At least, you should
> have
>> another taster to be sure you are not the only one to have this metallic
>> taste like we see in some common ?curable medical conditions?.? ??? So,
> find
>> another guinea pig besides your own gustatory receptors.? Check a brew
>> without paper filter.??? Keep it simple and you'll have good stew without
>> the PID.???????? Denis
>>
>>
>>
>> ________________________________
>> De?: Mike Wilkens <mike.wilkens at gmail.com>
>> ??: homeroast at lists.sweetmariascoffee.com
>> Envoy? le : vendredi 15 juin 2012 14h47
>> Objet?: Re: [Homeroast] Sour espresso taste
>> ?
>> Thanks again to all who have made suggestions.? I can banish the sour
> taste
>> (sour as in sour cream) by raising temperature.? I get almost no crema
> with
>> my shots, and I'm told I should see 50% or more crema by volume once the
>> pull is finished.? I tried fresh Brazil beans today, 2 days since roasted,
>> and got almost zero crema.
>>
>> John, I think you're right to bring up pressure.? I'm told low pressure
> can
>> cause less crema, and I understand that lever machines, which use less
>> pressure are known for giving smoother shots with less crema.? I spent a
> few
>> hours experimenting with the OPV on the Gaggia, but no difference in taste
>> or crema.? Yes, I've done many experiments with the styrofoam cup!? That's
>> how I found out that pulling water was lowering the temperature
>> significantly.? That said: for all I know it could be low pressure and not
>> low temperature that was "causing" the sour taste.? There's more than one
>> way to fix an issue, and espresso is sensitive to the combination of
>> temperature and pressure.
>>
>> Yesterday I decided to give up on espresso for now.? Even when I can
> salvage
>> a shot as a cappuccino, it has an unpleasant metallic-chemical taste that
>> actually makes me feel a little sick, and sticks around as an aftertaste.?
>> The espresso, which is probably comparable to what you can get in most
>> cafes, is really not enjoyable.? I'm sure something is still wrong, but at
>> this point it looks like a PID is necessary for brew temperature, and a
>> pressure gauge is next.? It seems like there's always another problem,
>> another variable, another piece of equipment to buy with espresso.
>>
>> I brewed the Brazil in the Aeropress, and it has a surprisingly good
> taste,
>> delightful and different.? I can get good coffee out of the espresso
>> machine, but at its best it is a murky, muddy simulacrum of what I get in
>> the Aeropress.
>>
>> -Mike
>>
>>
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>>
>> ------------------------------
>>
>> Message: 2
>> Date: Tue, 19 Jun 2012 16:05:49 -0500
>> From: Jim Gundlach <pecanjim at bellsouth.net>
>> To: "A list to discuss home coffee roasting. There are rules for this
>>       list,   available at http://www.sweetmarias.com/maillistinfo.html"
>>       <homeroast at lists.sweetmariascoffee.com>
>> Subject: Re: [Homeroast] Re?:  Sour espresso taste
>> Message-ID: <916D744F-76EC-402D-B35E-F02DDE947277 at bellsouth.net>
>> Content-Type: text/plain; charset=US-ASCII; format=flowed; delsp=yes
>>
>>
>> On Jun 18, 2012, at 4:11 PM, Bryan, Compass Coffee wrote:
>>
>>> I'd stop basing your shot's success on the crema.  Crema doesn't
>>> mean a damn thing.
>>
>> When I pulled my shot this morning it was topped with a good half inch
>> of crema.  But while I was grinding the coffee for that shot the knob
>> fell off my forty-three pound grinder and in the time it took me to
>> get the knob back on and turn it off it ground enough for a second
>> shot.  Well I am getting low on greens, I will order tomorrow, so I
>> decided to go ahead and use the extra ground coffee for my afternoon
>> shot.  Low and behold:  No crema.  Doesn't taste as good either.
>> Anyway a imputed  correlation based on an N of two, which should not
>> be calculated because N is less than three, a loss of crema predicts a
>> loss of flavor.
>>
>> pecan jim
>>
>> A retired professor who taught statistics to math hating students for
>> over thirty years.
>>
>>
>>
>>
>> ------------------------------
>>
>> Message: 3
>> Date: Tue, 19 Jun 2012 20:39:25 -0500
>> From: Martin Maney <maney at two14.net>
>> To: "A list to discuss home coffee roasting. There are rules for this
>>       list,   available at http://www.sweetmarias.com/maillistinfo.html"
>>       <homeroast at lists.sweetmariascoffee.com>
>> Subject: Re: [Homeroast] Re?: Sour espresso taste
>> Message-ID: <20120620013925.GB8850 at furrr.two14.net>
>> Content-Type: text/plain; charset=us-ascii
>>
>> On Tue, Jun 19, 2012 at 04:05:49PM -0500, Jim Gundlach wrote:
>>> When I pulled my shot this morning it was topped with a good half
>>> inch of crema.  But while I was grinding the coffee ...
>>> ... so I decided to go ahead and use the extra ground coffee
>>> for my afternoon shot.  Low and behold:  No crema.  Doesn't taste as
>>> good either.  Anyway a imputed  correlation based on an N of two,
>>> which should not be calculated because N is less than three, a loss
>>> of crema predicts a loss of flavor.
>>
>> Of course, grounds that have sat for how many hours are far more likely
>> the cause of both of the changes you observed, eh?
>>
>> --
>> I must say I find television very educational.
>> The minute somebody turns it on,
>> I go to the library and read a good book. -- Groucho Marx
>>
>>
>>
>>
>> ------------------------------
>>
>> Message: 4
>> Date: Tue, 19 Jun 2012 15:22:32 -0700 (PDT)
>> From: "Bryan, Compass Coffee" <bryan at compasscoffeeroasting.com>
>> To: "A list to discuss home coffee roasting. There are rules for this
>>       list,   available at http://www.sweetmarias.com/maillistinfo.html"
>>       <homeroast at lists.sweetmariascoffee.com>
>> Subject: Re: [Homeroast] Re?:  Sour espresso taste
>> Message-ID:
>>       <1340144552.20152.YahooMailNeo at web111311.mail.gq1.yahoo.com>
>> Content-Type: text/plain; charset=iso-8859-1
>>
>> So you're telling me that a shot that you ground hours before you brewed
> it
>> tasted flat and lifeless?! ?Miraculous!
>>
>> What I was getting at with that comment (as was rather obvious) was that
>> basing a shot on whether it has 10% crema or 25% crema or 100% crema, dark
>> yellow or light brown, dark flecking or tiger striping, is completely
>> useless because there aren't any absolutes. ?If I have a shot with dark
>> crema, reddish hue and great flecking and then I pour it from one vessel
> to
>> another it's going to become much lighter, with no flecking at all. ?Does
> it
>> taste worse? ?Nope, just looks different.
>>
>> Relatively fresh dry processed coffee will always give you more crema than
>> relatively fresh wet processed coffee. ?Does that mean that dry process
> will
>> always taste better than wet processed? ?Obviously not.
>>
>> The point of the email was to not focus on what the crema is doing, but
>> instead to focus on things that are ACTUALLY absolutes: weights and time.
>>
>> Can crema be a visual aid to whether your parameters were in check? ?Sure.
>> ?Should you judge a shot based on how much crema it has or what color the
>> crema is without tasting it? ?Nope.
>>
>> -bry
>>
>>
>> ________________________________
>>  From: Jim Gundlach <pecanjim at bellsouth.net>
>> To: "A list to discuss home coffee roasting. There are rules for this
> list,
>> available at http://www.sweetmarias.com/maillistinfo.html"
>> <homeroast at lists.sweetmariascoffee.com>
>> Sent: Tuesday, June 19, 2012 2:05 PM
>> Subject: Re: [Homeroast] Re?:  Sour espresso taste
>>
>>
>> On Jun 18, 2012, at 4:11 PM, Bryan, Compass Coffee wrote:
>>
>>> I'd stop basing your shot's success on the crema.? Crema doesn't mean a
>>> damn thing.
>>
>> When I pulled my shot this morning it was topped with a good half inch of
>> crema.? But while I was grinding the coffee for that shot the knob fell
> off
>> my forty-three pound grinder and in the time it took me to get the knob
> back
>> on and turn it off it ground enough for a second shot.? Well I am getting
>> low on greens, I will order tomorrow, so I decided to go ahead and use the
>> extra ground coffee for my afternoon shot.? Low and behold:? No crema.?
>> Doesn't taste as good either.? Anyway a imputed? correlation based on an N
>> of two, which should not be calculated because N is less than three, a
> loss
>> of crema predicts a loss of flavor.
>>
>> pecan jim
>>
>> A retired professor who taught statistics to math hating students for over
>> thirty years.
>>
>> _______________________________________________
>> Homeroast mailing list
>> Homeroast at lists.sweetmariascoffee.com
>>
> http://lists.sweetmariascoffee.com/mailman/listinfo/homeroast_lists.sweetmar
> iascoffee.com
>> <a href="http://www.sweetmariascoffee.com/forum/">Sweet Maria's Forum</a>
>> <a href="http://www.sweetmarias.com/library">Our new Coffee Library</a>
>>
>> ------------------------------
>>
>> _______________________________________________
>> Homeroast mailing list
>> Homeroast at lists.sweetmariascoffee.com
>>
> http://lists.sweetmariascoffee.com/mailman/listinfo/homeroast_lists.sweetmar
> iascoffee.com
>>
>>
>> End of Homeroast Digest, Vol 53, Issue 10
>> *****************************************
>>
>
>
> --
> Contra muros, mater rubicolla
>
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