Coffee Recommendations for Espresso Newbie?

Discuss flavors, brew temperatures, blending, and cupping notes.
Stephen_PH
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Joined: 4 months ago

#1: Post by Stephen_PH »

I am in the early stages of my espresso journey and am looking for recommendations for consistent, high quality beans that are available through online ordering. Following is some context that may help:
  • I started with a Barista Touch using the built in grinder and primarily produced milk based drinks. Over the past few months I have upgraded my equipment to an ECM Synchronika and a DF83V2 grinder.
  • I'm seeking a nutty, chocolately, low acidity, heavy mouthfeel shot, with some strength to primarily be used in Americanos, with the occasional milk based drink. I envision loving a straight shot at some point in my future, and haven't produced one yet that I have really enjoyed.
  • I would like to know I'm using high quality beans with consistent quality and somewhat forgiving so I can (to the greatest extent possible) rule out roasting quality as a variable. I'm fully committed to investing in high quality beans and recognize beans are small expense in comparison to money invested in equipment.
  • I live in 'timbuktu' there are no reputable roasters within driving distance, so bean selection needs to be available via online ordering.
  • Another challenge with living in 'timbuktu' is I don't have an espresso cafe locally where I can go to experience an amazing cup of espresso. Unfortunately, what I'm producing at home is better than any local cafe, and I believe there is significant opportunity for improvement in my espresso game.
  • I have already tried many of the 'comfort' espresso blends referenced on HB. I won't list them all here as I don't want to imply any of them are not high quality, and looking for fresh/current insight.
  • I understand there are no silver bullets in espresso. I have spent hours reading on HB and other forums and am fully invested in owning my espresso journey and education.
Thank you for reading and considering my ask. I sincerely appreciate and am grateful for any recommendations you are willing to share and taking the time to respond.

nsgymd
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#2: Post by nsgymd »

• Temple Dharma
• Onyx Monarch
• Torque Dark Drop

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BaristaBoy E61
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#3: Post by BaristaBoy E61 »

Stephen_PH wrote:Another challenge with living in 'timbuktu' is I don't have an espresso cafe locally where I can go to experience an amazing cup of espresso. Unfortunately, what I'm producing at home is better than any local cafe, and I believe there is significant opportunity for improvement in my espresso game.
Welcome to HB Stephen

Many on HB are living in 'timbuktu'. I can't get a shot that's anywhere close to what we pull at home - and that's been for many years.

You already have very good espresso equipment. I would encourage you to develop your own blends from the coffees you now enjoy and have on hand.

You might surprise yourself!
"You didn't buy an Espresso Machine - You bought a Chemistry Set!"

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Jeff
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#4: Post by Jeff »

For something that is easy to extract, gains a lot of its "chocolate and nuts" flavors from the bean rather than the roast, and seems to be reliably upper-tier for greens and roast, I'd suggest George Howell's Alchemy blend.

P.S. Don't worry about distance. You're closer to Boston than I am to the roasters I order from by a long shot.

I've heard good things about Hatch's espresso blends. I have tried some of their filter roasts and enjoyed them, but never tried their espresso blends.

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HilarityDuff
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#5: Post by HilarityDuff »

Have you read this thread? I enjoyed the discussion and lots of good recommendations.

RedBarchetta
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Joined: 2 years ago

#6: Post by RedBarchetta »

nsgymd wrote:• Temple Dharma
• Onyx Monarch
• Torque Dark Drop
Hi there - What are your parameters on the Dark Drop? I've got some of that on order.
Thx!

Brewbom
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#7: Post by Brewbom »

recent parameters that seem to produce a lot of sweetness with Dark Drop:
Espresso:
17-18g coffee in
35-38g liquid out
200-201F
28-30 seconds ( we tend to like it slightly slower and longer pull)

but that's just a starting point. as always experiment!

Edited to be more precise. Nanelle (roast master and super star, just finished a week long training using Dark Drop and these are her updated parameters.)

JordanK
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#8: Post by JordanK »

I've been really enjoying Hatch's Gamma and I think it matches nicely with your parameters.

And when that runs low I'll be trying Alchemy per Jeff's recommendation!

RedBarchetta
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Joined: 2 years ago

#9: Post by RedBarchetta »

Brewbom wrote:recent parameters that seem to produce a lot of sweetness with Dark Drop:
17-18g in
1.4 to 1.9 out (we tend to like higher ratio)
bit finer grind
201-203F temps
25-32 seconds ( we tend to like it slightly slower and longer pull)

but that's just a starting point. as always experiment!
Thx!!

nsgymd
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#10: Post by nsgymd »

RedBarchetta wrote:Hi there - What are your parameters on the Dark Drop? I've got some of that on order.
Thx!
• KafaTek MC4 with Shurikones
• Linea Micra (not plumbed in)
• 198 degrees
• Pre-brewing 8 sec (2 sec on, 6 sec off)
• 18 g in, 36 g out, 30-34 sec from first drop
• Served as a cortado (3 oz Oatly)