How to make a Starbucks like black coffee?

Coffee preparation techniques besides espresso like pourover.
yalag

#1: Post by yalag »

I'm a bit of a coffee newbie. I just recently gotten into the espresso game with a BDB. I'm happy with the espresso shots I pull. They taste like what a regular espresso you would get in a cafe. But how do you make the regular black coffee like a starbucks blonde roast black for example?

Because when I try to make it using my espresso shots and water (kinda like an americano), it doesn't taste like that at all. It's still so bitter and so strong. More dilution doesn't help I find.

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Jeff
Team HB

#2: Post by Jeff »

If you're trying to replicate the taste of Starbucks' (or Peets', or Dunkin Donuts', or Tim Horton's) batch-brew coffee, I wouldn't use an espresso machine at all. I'd purchase their beans and use a "drip" or immersion (French press) method and tune from there.

yalag (original poster)

#3: Post by yalag (original poster) »

Ok I didn't know that "kind" of coffee, is actually not an espresso....I got confused because I thought they sell that as beans for espresso

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Jeff
Team HB

#4: Post by Jeff »

There is a lot of confusion around "espresso beans" and the number of "experts" on the Internet isn't helping.

Espresso is the end result of a way of preparing coffee.

There is no such thing as "espresso beans" or "espresso roast" except in marketing (where it suggests that the product may be suitable for use in preparing espresso).

Traditionally, espresso was often made with a blend of beans, often both arabica and robusta species, that was roasted medium dark or dark. Over the past 30-40 years, espresso has moved from "only" that style of blend and roast into single-origin coffees and lighter roasts. (Starbuck's "Blonde", despite the name and marketing, is still a medium-dark or dark-roast coffee). For some people, single-origin coffees with roasts that are truly considered light are their preference, with the flavor profile of the espresso being very different from the classic Italian or "comfort" styles.
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yalag (original poster)

#5: Post by yalag (original poster) »

Thanks. Instead of getting into yet another hobby, what would you say would be the closest way to get to that same taste using an espresso machine?

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Jeff
Team HB

#6: Post by Jeff »

It's something of a lost cause to force yourself to use the espresso machine. The espresso machine tends to extract as much as possible from the coffee as quickly as possible. In the case of a coffee that tends to bitter roast flavors, that can be the opposite of what you are looking for.

A plastic Hario V60 is under $10 and $5 for a box of filters. There are other inexpensive, "pour-over" options available as well.

A functional French press can be under $20, with better-quality ones not much more.

macal425

#7: Post by macal425 »

yalag wrote:Thanks. Instead of getting into yet another hobby, what would you say would be the closest way to get to that same taste using an espresso machine?
If you're hellbent on using a BDB to get a typical Starbucks coffee, then the best thing to do is get some Starbucks VIA instant packets of your choice of roast. Pour one into a cup, put the cup under the portafilter holder and turn the water on. You can do the same thing with a $20 kettle though. I'm not making fun of you as I drank Starbucks coffee for 30 years before starting my own journey. Once you really start finding out what good coffee tastes like through your BDB, you will have a hard time drinking Starbucks coffee again. Americanos would be the closest thing you can get to a typical Starbucks coffee via your BDB. If you wanted to take the espresso to Americano route, then I'd recommend asking someone in Starbucks what beans they use for an Americano. Their own Americanos aren't far from their regular drip coffee as far as flavor/body goes.

drH

#8: Post by drH »

I'm also someone who drank Starbucks for 20 years before experiencing home-brewed specialty coffee.

There is something about the way they prepare it in the store that is hard to produce at home. If you buy the beans you often find that the store brews are slightly less bitter, sweeter, lighter. The best I've achieved is with a French Press. A pour-over with a V60 or Kalita also does a decent job. My suspicion is that the real magic is in the big shop grinders they have at the store (either Bunns or Dittings).

pizzaman383
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#9: Post by pizzaman383 »

yalag wrote:I'm a bit of a coffee newbie. I just recently gotten into the espresso game with a BDB. I'm happy with the espresso shots I pull. They taste like what a regular espresso you would get in a cafe.
What coffee are you using and how do you grind it to make these espresso shots?
Curtis
LMWDP #551
“Taste every shot before adding milk!”

Milligan

#10: Post by Milligan »

My wife worked as a Starbucks barista for several years when she was in college. She worked there when they still used mostly manual machines. Now I believe it is mostly automated. She said the major difference is that the beans come fresher to use in the cafes than what you may find at retail and the bags were actually dated. I don't think the bags have a roast date on them at retail. Their grinder is also much nicer than what the breville comes with. This was about a decade ago so I'm not sure if this holds true anymore.

I agree that you need to buy either an aeropress or v60 to get the same-ish non-espresso coffee taste. You may also need to dial in your espresso a bit better for the taste you are after.