Recommend a coffee subscription (or a bunch of roasters to try one off) - Page 2

Discuss flavors, brew temperatures, blending, and cupping notes.
dsc106 (original poster)

#11: Post by dsc106 (original poster) »

Fantastic information, thank you. I didn't know the roast vision exists but I love that tool. By any chance, have you measured coava drip and coava espresso roast beans? If not, would you ever be up to order a couple bags from them (I think they are wonderful, top roaster in Portland) to get a reading? I'd be very curious to know as a reference point.

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#12: Post by Jeff »

If you have extraction profiling, then I'd follow the suggestions of others pulling similar beans on E61-style machines. There is no magic timing. Concept-wise, a fill/soak helps usually helps the puck integrity. Many who work with light roast as espresso find that pressures in the 4-6 bar range taste better than those near 8 bar or above.

dsc106 (original poster)

#13: Post by dsc106 (original poster) »

I see TW strongly recommends VST baskets.

I am considering picking up VST 18g and 20g baskets, as well as the Pullman 17-19g basket, to play around with some other non-Decent baskets. For my ECM, is there any reason NOT to go "ridgeless"? I presume for these larger double basket sizes I will have zero problems with a ridgeless basket, even when knocking pucks out?

As far as dose size, I had been using a 20g basket but I am wondering if my results would be better making slightly smaller doses at 18g? I dont care about a preferred dose size for caffeine strength, only about any reason why it would be easier/harder to pull shots with the smaller or larger dose sizes?

Finally, for the VST baskets, I had read they have a very high flow rate which may be less advantageous as I am using flow control?

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#14: Post by baldheadracing »

VST basket flow rate varies by nominal capacity. The higher the nominal capacity; the higher the flow. For example, in a Micra, 15g of a central Italian medium-roast arabica/robusta blend in a VST-15 ground to pull as a 1:0.67 ristretto pulled as a 1:2 normale in a VST-20. (I just did this yesterday for something else.)

At some point, the trendy thing to do was to pull a little lower dose than 20g in a VST-20 for a little higher flow rate. My gut feeling is this doesn't have anything to do with that basket in and of itself, and perhaps more to do with the VST-20 ridgeless being the basket mandated for use in the World Barista Championships for many years (at least up to 2022 Melbourne).
-"Good quality brings happiness as you use it" - Nobuho Miya, Kamasada

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#15: Post by Jeff »

Yep, the dreaded "high-flow" baskets I regularly advise against for beginners and against for no-fuss classic-style espresso from generic blends. You're asking to get a lot out of beans that aren't as willing to give it up and to do it quickly. The higher flow rates are believed by many to help in this process. Amusingly, even the VST or Pullman baskets are "slow" compared to many of the third-generation baskets being developed and explored.

I like ridgeless baskets as I can easily prep the basket outside of the PF head. A spring helps keep the basket from getting flung across the room when using a knockbox. Unless there's a shape difference (EPNW HQ 14, as one example, neither do I rank highly for light roasts), I buy ridgeless.

I prefer smaller doses for light-roast espresso. I'm usually around 17 g, depending on basket, puck screen, and group headroom.

Unless it comes down to differences in shipping (and you can get one), I'd try the Pullman 17-19 over the VST 18. Dark coffees tend to be less dense than lighter ones, so you might never use the VST 20. The Micra, with a protruding screen screw and using a puck screen, was one of the few times I've used a VST 20.

My belief is that third-generation baskets will settle down over the next year and become more of a general recommendation for light-roast espresso. Right now, there isn't one that I can comfortably recommend.
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#16: Post by PIXIllate »

dsc106 wrote:Fantastic information, thank you. I didn't know the roast vision exists but I love that tool. By any chance, have you measured coava drip and coava espresso roast beans? If not, would you ever be up to order a couple bags from them (I think they are wonderful, top roaster in Portland) to get a reading? I'd be very curious to know as a reference point.
They don't ship to Canada and I rarely find US roasters make sense to bring in. Unlike most European roasters which are generally quite affordable. If you just want some baseline Roast Vision measurements PM me and send me some small samples and I'll be happy to do it for you.

dsc106 (original poster)

#17: Post by dsc106 (original poster) »

Time goes so fast, I can't believe it's been several weeks since these last posts. I recently got my first shipment of TW beans, a couple bags for filter and one bag for espresso.

I got a Karege espresso roast (Kenyan). The niche struggles to pull the most out of it I suspect.

At setting 13 on my niche zero, 201F PID on my ECM Synch with flow control, and a decent espresso 20g basket with 19g in the basket, I pull a slow flow preinfusion with first drip around 12-14 seconds ballpark, then ramp up to 7 bars and pull a 1:3 shot for a total time around 45 seconds or so. I've only tried a few things so maybe I can do better here. This recipe produces a nice shot - not bitter or sour, seems balanced, very drinkable. But no nuance with any flavor notes. No way I could tell you bag notes. But it's a nice enough shot.

However when I add steamed milk to make a cortado, the flavor is clear and great. Tastes like blackberry jam, similar to bag notes, very pleasing.

I am wondering if this is just par for the course for my straight shots without a flat burr espresso grinder? I still need to look into ordering a high flow rate basket...


#18: Post by FineGrinder »

Light roast espresso with the Niche Zero

It's interesting you are having a similar experience to me. I posted about my struggles with lighter roasts using the Niche and there were some helpful responses in my thread that might be worth looking at.

I have managed to get somewhere with all the tips at minimising sourness and astringency (at the same time) but it hasn't been easy. What it has essentially come down to for me is continuing to use a paper filter at the bottom of my Pullman 17-19 basket along with a 17g dose. That allows you grind pretty fine while maintaining a fast and even flow through the puck.

Additionally, I have been using a profile with some pre-infusion that then ramps up to a peak pressure at about 6-7 bars. Higher did not taste good as some in the thread also said and also slowed the flow rate. I still need to experiment more with temperature decline and playing around more with pre-infusion but the lower pressure has been a big help. Alternatively, you could go with turbo style shots to increase your extraction while getting better clarity but I haven't yet come around to experimenting more with them using the Niche.

Regardless of how enjoyable the flavour balance you can end up achieving, I, like you, feel the flavour clarity is still lacking for what I'm really seeking from a light roast espresso. Ultimately, I've concluded that I will need to change to a grinder better suited for the flavour profile/extraction I'm looking for that plays better with lighter roasts.