I used to pull decent shots on my Gaggia Classic using a local roaster's beans. Then I moved across the country, sold my Gaggia, and lost my roaster. On arriving at the new place, I was quick to splurge on a nice, gently used Pasquini Livia G4 (same as Bezzera BZ13) and a Niche grinder to recreate some of the comforts of home.
That was two months ago now, and (pretty much) ever since then, I've been drinking sour, tastes like lemon, burns your tongue espresso. Okay, they're not all that bad but even my best pulls were on the brighter side, and with some beans I can't extract them nearly enough no matter what I do.
Now I'm relatively new to the espresso game, new to this machine, and new to the roasters in the area. What I want to do is reduce the number of variables I'm working with and figured I should start with a trusted/well-known bean that has brew instructions and reliable tasting notes so I can start to diagnose what's going on here.
So, all that said, I'm hoping ya'll can recommend a bean for me to try so I'm at least not questioning that. I'm in the Bay area but don't mind ordering online. I clearly am not a fan of the brighter espressos so I'm looking for something more in the sweet, chocolatey, nutty realm and ideally something that the espresso folks here are familiar with because I'm sure I'll be back for help dialing it in.
Beans I've tried (All were at most 1 week after roast when I bought them):
- Verve Streetlevel - Tastes like lemon
- Peet's (don't remember the name of the roast) - Really enjoyed the americano they served me, but could not get good espresso
- Dana Street Roasting Espresso Blend - The first few days I got some decent pulls out of this but it was a lighter roast than I like and after the first few days
- Changed water between tap, distilled, and distilled w/ potassium bicarbonate
- Backflushed the machine and cleaned the shower head with Cafiza - This seemed to make my symptoms worse
- Adjusting indicated temp between 200-212
- Played with grind setting until I was getting 45 + second pulls that were super bitter but still had the tell tale sourness