Help with Caffè Lusso GMC

Discuss flavors, brew temperatures, blending, and cupping notes.
HRC-E.B.

Postby HRC-E.B. » Jan 09, 2019, 11:13 am

I'm having trouble pulling good shots of this blend. This batch was roasted on Jan 2, so 7 days ago.

I'm puzzled since this is known as a very forgiving blend. Based on the 2016 favorite espresso thread, it seems that a coarser grind, around 200-202 temp, and somewhat fast extraction are preferabke to get more caramels and chocolates in the cup and avoid astringency or bitterness.

Unfortunately, this doesn't seem to work out for me. I get very little chocolate, certainly no caramels (I'm not getting any of the sweetness this blend seems to be known for :cry: ) and seem to straddle a fine line between astringent and bitter without hitting any sweetspot.

The pouts are also not as thick, viscous and provide no deep cone on the bottomless filter, and seem pale and watery. I've tried grinding slightly finer and it merely lengthened the extraction past 30 seconds and increased bitterness/ashiness in the finish.

I've tried both my 21g generic basket and 18g VST with similar results for the same dose of 18g.

What gives and, most importantly, where do I go from here? This is an expensive coffee that I've previously enjoyed, so I want to get back on track! Please help!

User avatar
spressomon

Postby spressomon » Jan 09, 2019, 11:19 am

The first bag of GMC, which was included by Denis with my Monolith grinder delivery, was wonderful: All the described taste profiles they advertise. OTOH, subsequent orders, didn't pull as tastily (same rest period, machine settings, etc.). But they're not the only roaster I have had similar experiences with FWIW.

I found, with the first bag, 18g in and 40g out resulted in the best overall flavor (18g VST).
No Espresso = Depresso

User avatar
CaffeLusso
Sponsor

Postby CaffeLusso » Jan 09, 2019, 11:52 am

Hey HRC-E.B.

You can give me a call and we can chat over the phone if you would like to. Just a couple of quick questions, how long has the bag been opened? What machines are you using? I have a sealed bag of Gran Miscela Carmo Espresso Blend from the 2nd and in a little bit I will pop that open and do some testing on several machines we have here and would like to try to mimic your set up.

Cheers,
Sean
425-284-2327
We roast and ship 5 days a week!
www.caffelusso.com

User avatar
TomC
Team HB

Postby TomC » Jan 09, 2019, 12:31 pm

I'd be curious to know how it all shakes out, because it's such a forgiving blend, it's hard to get bad results from. When we reviewed it, we seemed to love it coarse and fast.

I bounce around with all sorts of levels of roasts from commercial offerings, on top of my own roasting. But I've always kept a reserve of Caffe Lusso in rotation from my chest freezer because it's quality and ease of dialing in. Price or "expensiveness" is subjective, but IMO, it's hard to beat price/quality wise. I usually buy 5 pounds at a time and seal portions up.

HRC-E.B.

Postby HRC-E.B. » Jan 09, 2019, 3:28 pm

Big shout out to Sean at Caffè Lusso for the kind and patient assistance provided on the phone. Stellar service.

Keen on trying a few more things tomorrow morning!

Will keep updating this!

JayBeck

Postby JayBeck » Jan 09, 2019, 4:30 pm

TomC wrote:I'd be curious to know how it all shakes out, because it's such a forgiving blend, it's hard to get bad results from. When we reviewed it, we seemed to love it coarse and fast.

I bounce around with all sorts of levels of roasts from commercial offerings, on top of my own roasting. But I've always kept a reserve of Caffe Lusso in rotation from my chest freezer because it's quality and ease of dialing in. Price or "expensiveness" is subjective, but IMO, it's hard to beat price/quality wise. I usually buy 5 pounds at a time and seal portions up.


Tom -- This could be a result of my espresso machine and grinder (DE1PRO and SSP Monolith Flat), but I just completed a 1KG blitz with this blend over the holidays. I tried various shot profiles: coarse and fast at a flat 9 bar; 6 bar shots in 30 and 45 second variants, the 4ml/2mls 'Flow Profile for Milky Drinks, and a DE1 custom profile I made that was a variation of the Default pressure profile: 4.5ml/s Preinfusion to 3 bar (around 11 seconds), Flat 9 Bar for 20 seconds, 15 second decline to 5 bar.

I used an 18g VST and dosed 19g due to the high DE1 headspace. Target shot was generally always a 1:2 but I tried all major ratios which had expected changes in flavor and mouthfeel (sticky, sweet, intense ristretto, well balance normale, tasty but almost brew like lungo). Temperature was 200F (which on a DE1 is different than a dual boiler with its temperature profiling).

I found by FAR the best tasting shot was the 42-45 second pressure profile shot. It had the intense chocolates of a ristretto, the well balanced nature of a normale, a smooth caramel finish, and only a very slight hint of the Brazil nut (I don't like lots of nuts in espresso). I tried going faster but compared to this shot everything was just more bland.

Again -- i may be the beneficiary of an epic setup. Since you have similar, would love to hear your thoughts. Here is the graph of my 'God Shot.'

Image

daveR1

Postby daveR1 » Jan 09, 2019, 8:54 pm

HRC-E.B. wrote:Big shout out to Sean at Caffè Lusso for the kind and patient assistance provided on the phone. Stellar service.

Keen on trying a few more things tomorrow morning!

Will keep updating this!


Ditto!
I've found Sean & Phillip @ Lusso eager to assist me in getting the most out of their coffees.

User avatar
TomC
Team HB

Postby TomC » Jan 10, 2019, 2:27 am

JayBeck wrote:Tom -- This could be a result of my espresso machine and grinder (DE1PRO and SSP Monolith Flat),.....

I found by FAR the best tasting shot was the 42-45 second pressure profile shot. It had the intense chocolates of a ristretto, the well balanced nature of a normale, a smooth caramel finish, and only a very slight hint of the Brazil nut (I don't like lots of nuts in espresso). I tried going faster but compared to this shot everything was just more bland.

Again -- i may be the beneficiary of an epic setup. Since you have similar, would love to hear your thoughts. Here is the graph of my 'God Shot.'


I'll definitely give it a try. I mainly used the Speedster, Linea and Leva back then.

sluflyer06

Postby sluflyer06 » Jan 10, 2019, 10:24 am

Temperature.

I've pulled many pounds of GMC and found temperature was counter-intuitive. Too low a temp was actually bitter and getting it high enough removed this. I pull GMC at 204-204.5F. 1:2 ratio, 17g in a 18g VST, any more than that and there wasn't enough headspace on my LMLM.

JayBeck

Postby JayBeck » replying to sluflyer06 » Jan 10, 2019, 2:10 pm

I recall the 202ish recomendation from the 2016 article. My 200F on the DE1 is probably the equivilent of the 202-204 temp on an LMLM. Just to clarify what I mean:

Sidebar on what I mean so that we can speak similar temp language with our different machines: The DE1 temperature profiles its shots in order to achieve the target infusion temperature in about half the time other machines do.

Here's how it plays out:

DE1: I set temperature to 200F. The machin will use ~205F water for the first 5 or so seconds of the shot. This helps compensate for the heat loss of the room temperature coffee puck. As the slurry approaches 200F (around 5 seconds) the machine lowers down to the target and will adjust itself 1-2F hotter/cooler as needed to maintain the target infusion of 200F.

LMLM: You set temperature of 204F. Your machine hits the coffee puck with 204F water and maintains that within its well calibrated tolerance (+/-1). Coffee slurry will take around 10 seconds to get up to the target temperature and then maintain the 204 infusion through the remainder of the shot.

According to Jim Schulman, coffee taste is most important in those crucial first few seconds of the shot. In both of these examples, even though my machine was set to a lower temperature, our coffee got hit with the same water for the first 5 seconds. It's not until around 10 seconds that your infusion is higher than mine. There may be some slight taste differences from the end but the acidity balance should be close between the two. This temp profiling is why most DE1 users you'll see are brewing cooler than traditional boiler machines.

End of my sidebar is, I think our shots likely have similar acidity even though our machines are showing different numbers.