Can chocolate notes indicate under extraction?

Coffee preparation techniques besides espresso like pourover.
dsc106

#1: Post by dsc106 »

I've usually associated dark chocolate taste notes with over extraction, but I'm wondering if they can indicate under extraction instead? At least once I've gone finer in grind and it's reduced chocolate, not increased it. Maybe this was just a better brew and it was happenstance?

Either way, I'd been working under the theory that sour-sweet-bitter is the general order of extraction and so thinking that grinding finer would push me further to the right towards more sweet/bitter has been the assumption; thus was confused when grinding finer seemed to produce more brightness clarity and less chocolate.

Either it's coincidence in the brew, or I have a misunderstanding?

jpender

#2: Post by jpender »

A finer grind doesn't necessarily mean you'll get higher extraction.

dsc106 (original poster)

#3: Post by dsc106 (original poster) »

Right. But is the understanding otherwise correct or incorrect?

Does this hold true even in filtered immersion brew?

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Peppersass
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#4: Post by Peppersass »

In my experience, the sour-sweet-bitter progression is generally true, but it depends a lot on the bean and the roast level.

For example, a light roast might have some chocolate notes when less extracted, but when the extraction is increased bright acidic (not sour) notes might pop out that cover up the chocolate notes. Similarly, with a dark roast, bitter and/or roasty flavors might emerge with more extraction and cover up chocolate notes that were present at a lower extraction level.

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slybarman

#5: Post by slybarman »

Peppersass wrote: Similarly, with a dark roast, bitter and/or roasty flavors might emerge with more extraction and cover up chocolate notes that were present at a lower extraction level.
Definitely aligns with my experience.

PIXIllate
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#6: Post by PIXIllate »

What Dick said.

dsc106 (original poster)

#7: Post by dsc106 (original poster) »

Ahh thank you. Yes I'm working on lighter roasts so when I was hitting chocolate, I'd aim for lower extraction instead of higher and I think this has been throwing me off. Thank you!

DamianWarS
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#8: Post by DamianWarS »

dsc106 wrote:I've usually associated dark chocolate taste notes with over extraction, but I'm wondering if they can indicate under extraction instead? At least once I've gone finer in grind and it's reduced chocolate, not increased it. Maybe this was just a better brew and it was happenstance?

Either way, I'd been working under the theory that sour-sweet-bitter is the general order of extraction and so thinking that grinding finer would push me further to the right towards more sweet/bitter has been the assumption; thus was confused when grinding finer seemed to produce more brightness clarity and less chocolate.

Either it's coincidence in the brew, or I have a misunderstanding?
going finer can increase channeling which would mean there will be both over-extraction and under-extraction at the same time and the under-extraction may be overpowering. if you can knock out a clean spent puck knock it out on a plate or even the table and let it dry. if there are dark areas at the bottom of the spent puck these are areas that are under-extracted (still have coffee stuff that hasn't been dissolved) and if you look at the side or cut the spent puck in half these dark areas should only go up a few mm deep showing you how the flow starts to favor paths the deeper it goes.

if channeling is the issue but you still want to go finer better puck prep may help. WDT probably is the single best solution out there but going beyond WDT would be using a paper filter at the bottom of the basket and using a puck screen at the top. The paper stops fines from clogging up the basket holes which may be a direct cause of increased channeling because if the holes are clogged at a certain area the flow will go around it, not through it creating these dark spots where the flow is going around. the puck screen also will help preserve the integrity of the puck for longer so it doesn't fall apart (which increases channeling) but if you don't have a puck screen you can still use a piece of paper. Generally, the impact is faster shots which of course allows you to go finer.

with the paper filter the puck knocks out cleanly and you can continue to check the spent pucks for dark spots to know how consistent the shots you pulled are. in the end, the taste is the final determiner, and either you like or don't like a shot regardless of what steps you took. the dark spots help you troubleshoot as a type of feedback loop but they don't indicate what is a good or bad shot.