Recommendations for a "traditional" espresso - Page 5

Discuss flavors, brew temperatures, blending, and cupping notes.
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Spitz.me

#41: Post by Spitz.me »

Nearly all of these traditional espresso blends will taste really bad if you don't pull them to what makes sense for that blend, no differently to any other blend really. I would never do relatively high temps and long shots for these blends. Relatively low temps and ristretto range is the only style that makes these blends sing.

This is no different for me regardless of freshness for these blends. I've had "fresh" Saka, Malabar Gold, Vivace, Illy and even the Roma one off blend from Cafe Lusso. Fresh isn't better IMHO. Fresh has its own issues and rest or more stealing seems to make for a tastier cup. Saka Gran Crema wasn't better than Lavazza Gold Selection. Malabar Gold wasn't great either, even though it's consistently recommended as a go-to. Lionshare takes forever to be even drinkable IMHO and was the worst of the above listed blends. 100% Arabica is even worse for these blends.

Clearly, YMMV. Taste is purely subjective and no, fresh or boutique isn't objectively better. Lavazza and Kimbo blends can be very tasty if this is the style you want.
Keep looking until you're happy, but definitely make sure you got the process down for these blends. They need care to be good. They can quickly become ash water and putrid.
LMWDP #670

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slybarman

#42: Post by slybarman »

Spitz.me wrote: Relatively low temps and ristretto range is the only style that makes these blends sing.

.Malabar Gold wasn't great either, even though it's consistently recommended as a go-to.
if you pulled Malabar at low temp, that would explain why you didn't have a good experience. Malabar, like GMC, requires higher temps despite being darker roasts.

PIXIllate
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#43: Post by PIXIllate »

slybarman wrote:Sette 270wi with conical burrs, which if anything, should be better than flats for dark roasts (or so i think I've read) - more body etc. unlikely it's a grinder issue given it works great for all the other dark roasts i normally drink.

i still appreciate the recommendation, this one just didn't land for me.

The thing about higher end grinders is they are going to be more uniform with far fewer fines which are the parts of the grind that are the smallest and therefore will over extract the fastest.

I can highly recommend the Hatch blends if you want to try something in the same vein but from the specialty coffee world.

nameisjoey

#44: Post by nameisjoey »

I'm currently working through a 6oz bag of Hayes Valley from Blue Bottle. It's 14 days off roast and very impressively good. Like, I'm pretty blown away. I expected to like 17ft Ceiling better but I didn't. I actually didn't like it all that much, even as a die hard italian roast fan. But this Hayes Valley slaps. Tons of body and rich chocolate notes with this tiny subtle very far away and almost missable orange note that flitters in and out and leaves you wanting more.

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Spitz.me

#45: Post by Spitz.me »

slybarman wrote:if you pulled Malabar at low temp, that would explain why you didn't have a good experience. Malabar, like GMC, requires higher temps despite being darker roasts.
Thanks for the feedback. I did try everything and still never liked it - I did have 5 pounds.... GMC and Lionshare are very different. I liked GMC. I also had 5 pounds of lionshare and suffice it to say I didn't just pull it one way for 5 pounds. I didn't like it.
LMWDP #670

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slybarman

#46: Post by slybarman »

makes me sad because i know how good Malabar can be.

there are times when i wished we all lived in the same city and i could make you a latte from Malabar and i could give my bag of Lavazza Gold to Piixlllate to compare against what he had. that sure would make things a whole lot easier. trying to explain and compare tastes over the interweb is frustrating.

PIXIllate
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#47: Post by PIXIllate »

In the end everyone has to do their own experiments and come to their own first hand conclusions. It's amazing how difficult it is to make this tiny drink to high standards, but it's rewarding when you finally get it right.

The other variable that crossed my mind is water. That can have a large effect on the experience of two people in different places.