What to expect when comparing pour over and espresso

Coffee preparation techniques besides espresso like pourover.

#1: Post by rameshj »

Hi all --

Over in the Coffee forum I posted about my experience with the Verve Amado Fernandez SO espresso:

Verve Amado Fernandez Espresso

Short summary is that as espresso, it was far too fruit forward for me, and I've had a very hard time finding a nice balanced taste in the cup -- I'm assuming largely due to my own inexperience with brewing SO espresso.

This morning, I decided to try the same coffee as a pourover, just to see what flavor I can get out of the beans. I figured if it tastes overly fruity even when brewed as a pourover, then probably the espresso is tasting the way it should, and it's just not meant to be for me. Well, the pourover was really incredible -- very well balanced and complex; sure it was fruity, but also had caramel and chocolatey flavors that balanced it out. Verve describes it as "Toffee-Honey Crisp-Balanced" -- and I have to say as a pourover, this is fairly apt description. (In particular, the fruit flavor in the pourover was not particularly acidic.)

So my question for you all: what should I expect when comparing flavor profiles from a pourover to espresso with the same beans? Is it reasonable to think of the pourover flavor profile as a "guide" for flavors that should emerge from the espresso?

Thanks for any words of wisdom!



#2: Post by Jeff »

In my experience, cupping, infusion, or pour-over can be helpful in knowing what the potential is for espresso. If you find those unrewarding, it is unlikely you'll enjoy straight espresso shots. Espresso for milk drinks sometimes "needs" a flavor profile that isn't very appealing straight (at least to my tastes).

Overly acidic or fruity espresso can, to some extent, be balanced in espresso with grind, temperature, and extraction profile (PI, as an example).

Some people detest light roasts as espresso as much as others detest dark ones. There is no right or wrong.