Getting close, seeking advice to maximize flavor

Discuss flavors, brew temperatures, blending, and cupping notes.
jeffg

#1: Post by jeffg »

My technique is now spot on and consistent. I am finding my last few coffees had close to maximum flavour and very nice taste. I think I can get far more out of it though. So I think my weak link may now be grind/tamp. I am homeroasting Colombian coffee. I have a domobar super, grind with a mazzer mini, i dose to the grinds are just above the basket, level with a straight edge, tap about 5 times on the counter to settle the grinds, then tamp. I tamp basically as hard as I can which may be a problem. My shot takes 35secs for almost 2oz it seems to peter out about 1/8th inch under the 2oz line. I know I should experiment but hate to waste coffee (it's not cheap here). Would a good starting point to maximize flavor on the Colombians be a different grind/dose/tamp? The reason i tamp my hardest is because i am consistent this way but I suppose with practice I can learn to tamp lighter. Thanks!

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another_jim
Team HB

#2: Post by another_jim »

The two biggest taste changers in espresso are dose and grind/volume/time. Get yourself a 1/10th gram scale, and experiment with different doses (i.e. going from 13 to 19 grams). Also try a 35 second, 1 ounce ristretto and compare it to a 20 second, 2.5 ounce lungo. My experience is that a particluar blend, machine, and grinder combo tends to "like" one area in this space of possibilities, where the taste tends to be a lot better than any other.

In general, when somebody happily announces that they've just found the greatest blend ever; it's almost certain that they follow a very strict, but largely meaningless, routine in dosing and grinding, and they've finally stumbled on a coffee and roast level for which it works. My guess is that you're close to the Colombian's extraction sweet spot.
Jim Schulman

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malachi

#3: Post by malachi »

Jim...

You rule.
Thank you.
"Taste is the only morality." -- John Ruskin

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cafeIKE

#4: Post by cafeIKE »

malachi wrote:In Doser Accuracy :
Don't generalize to assume it's universal.
In general, "In general", isn't.

Jim...
not your usual helpful self :(

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malachi

#5: Post by malachi »

Hunh?
"Taste is the only morality." -- John Ruskin

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another_jim
Team HB

#6: Post by another_jim »

cafeIKE wrote: Jim...
not your usual helpful self :(
I wasn't trying to show up the OP; although I admit I may be getting too hooked on seeing my quotes in the announcement section. I gave my opinion that varying dose and extraction times usually create a more dramatic change in taste than varying temperature or pressure.

But I stand by my remarks on "finding" the perfect blend. Everyone has a routine for the four "main" variables: temperature, pressure, shot time/volume and dose. If you look at the espresso information available until very recently, say a few years ago, the statement was to find a strict routine in all these and stick to it. That basically meant the only search was finding a coffee and roast that "fits" the routine. I think there are still a lot of people who, while very experienced and good shot makers, still follow this old style. The big news in the last few years is that there are a lot more blends and coffees that make good espresso if one is willing to adapt ones dose, time, temperature and pressure to them, rather than vice versa.

If I was wrong about the OP being old school in this, I apologize.
Jim Schulman

scalla

#7: Post by scalla »

another_jim wrote: In general, when somebody happily announces that they've just found the greatest blend ever; it's almost certain that they follow a very strict, but largely meaningless, routine in dosing and grinding, and they've finally stumbled on a coffee and roast level for which it works. My guess is that you're close to the Colombian's extraction sweet spot.
I think this is exactly what happened to me with PR Espresso Nuevo. Now I have to go back to the roasts I have dismissed and give them another try.

When you updose >15g do you use a triple basket? The stock Silvia double basket doesn't seem to do too well for me with anything greater than 15g.