Recommended Espresso Roasts for Neophytes - Page 2

Discuss flavors, brew temperatures, blending, and cupping notes.
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#11: Post by mdmvrockford » ... esso-12oz/
The current Symbol formulation has a great balance of acid (from the Ethiopia), fruit (my taste vocabulary sucks) and dark chocolate (I'd say 60% cacao). I never drink milk based espresso drinks but the Boss does. She had no objections to this Symbol blend used for her daily cappuccino in the past month. Though when I asked her to choose between this and Paradise Roasters Nuevo for her caps, she says she prefer the latter.

In case wondering:
Boss's preferred espresso brew parameters when served as a cappuccino)
* 60% brew ratio (using 68mm conical burr grinder but just as easy with 64mm flat burr grinder; I just prefer taste from the former grinder for beans with lighter roasts)
* 1.5 fl oz espresso
* grouphead temperature 170F (manual lever)
* steamed whole organic milk with novice rosetta :oops: remaining 4-5 fluid ounces of the drink

I talked to Benjamin (owner/roaster) at Rockford Roasting Company (RRC) and he says then blend components will change (so I guess like Intelligentsia's Black Cat).
For picture of RRC's roaster see the uri

Chicago/Milwaukee get-together #13 (attendee list)

FYI: RRC espresso machine is still two group Bosco. Since the picture taken, drip grinder is EK43 and espresso grinder is K30 twin hopper.
LMWDP #568


#12: Post by fdoenz »

Very interesting thread for a newbie like me, and to build a good relationship with a local roaster is most likely the most useful!
But is it possible to generalize for a newcomer which KIND OF COFFEE, and not brand or speciality is optimal? I want to say that if you are somewhere in the world you do not have the possibility to get a precise brand (I am in Switzerland for instance) , it would be interesting to know the country of origin or the kind of coffee, arabica or robusta, and the kind of roasting which are the easiest to appreciate for a newbie!? Hope you get the idea inspite of my english?

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#13: Post by fdoenz »

I would add that bitterness is a problem for a newbie, it's hard to know how much bitterness is normal and how to learn to appreciate it!


#14: Post by elsol » replying to fdoenz »

This describes me. I'm used to drinking americanos (just posted about this on another thread). I can take a shot that tastes terrible to me as straight espresso, and love it as an americano. I simply don't have the experience or acquired taste to tell if the straight espresso is good, or how good it can be.


#15: Post by wachuko »

fdoenz wrote:I would add that bitterness is a problem for a newbie, it's hard to know how much bitterness is normal and how to learn to appreciate it!
Count me in. I am there as well...
Searching for that perfect espresso!

Wachuko - LMWDP #654


#16: Post by RyanJE » replying to wachuko »

That's a tough one. Really good coffee IMHO shouldn't be "bitter", or sour for that matter. It may of course have a certain level of acidity though. To me, bitterness represents something undesired. When coffee is extracted preoperly it should be pleasing and not bitter or sour.

BUT, coffee in general (straight coffee especially) could also be considered somewhat of an acquired taste. Much like Scotch and IPA beers, etc.

After you start to understand what your tasting (and doing) bitterness happens when something went wrong (over extraction).

Sorry, drifting off topic.
I drink two shots before I drink two shots, then I drink two more....


#17: Post by wachuko » replying to RyanJE »

Do not get me wrong. The coffee I am making is 10 times better than what I was drinking before. I think it has to do with expectation and ignorance. As well as adapting my taste buds to identify the flavors. I am also used to adding some white sugar to my espresso... with the latest beans I am down to two grams of sugar for 24 grams of espresso.

I find that some of these coffees, their acidity level, varies with the temperature. Some I can drink directly from being pulled. Some I need to let them sit for a few seconds before drinking. It all works in accentuating their aroma and taste. Some, no matter what I do, the acidity levels are not to my like. For example, Counter Culture La Golondrina - this was a group testing and I ordered it to see how my pulls compared to the comments others were making (Counter Culture La Golondrina (group tasting)). I have not been able to make a decent espresso shot with it and whatever I get, I do not like the level of acidity and the flavor. Gave it to my wife to test, she picked up quickly on the cherry flavors... but to me it just does not have the body/thickness that I like in an espresso...

So back to topic :) Thank you TomC for that list!

I would add, as I am still a newbie... that the OP tries:

Red Bird Brazil Sweet Blue

Lavazza Super Crema Espresso

These two, for me, have been very easy to pull espressos like those in the videos that I have seen. I recommend just grinding the dose you are doing rather that dropping the bag in the hopper... learning to dial in the grind size for the flow required... writing everything down... because you will soon get all confused as to what dose, grind, grams out, was the right combination for each bean. Yeah, ask me how I know, lol.

Now to order some of those recommendations from TomC... I wonder which one I should start with?

Edit - I asked and ordered the following: Nossa Familia and Caffe Lusso Gran Miscela Carmo . These should be here before the end of the week.
Searching for that perfect espresso!

Wachuko - LMWDP #654

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#18: Post by escape »

TomC wrote:- Counter Culture Hologram or Apollo

- Linea Caffe Espresso Blend

- If someone didn't mention Black Cat from Intelligentsia it would be a sin.

-Pretty much anything from Kuma Coffee to experience a lighter roast done amazingly well.

- Probably the easiest coffee to get amazing results out of, Nossa Familia Full Cycle

- The massively popular Caffe Lusso Gran Miscela Carmo Espresso Blend is also very easy to pull and fills the niche between fully developed, yet sweet, classic Italian espresso.

- Deep, brooding traditional Italian espresso, give Kimbo Superior Blend a try. Kimbo has many choices in their line, I think half of them have very well curated robustas and Brazilian coffees.
Which ones of these are fresh roasted before being shipped to you?


#19: Post by new2espresso » replying to escape »

Almost all of them. The best thing to do is look at the roasters website and see what days they roast before you order
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#20: Post by RioCruz »

RyanJE wrote:Really good coffee IMHO shouldn't be "bitter", or sour for that matter.
Well...I suspect any time we use "should" or "shouldn't" when it comes to taste, we're prolly on infirm ground. If you look at the taste profiles for the coffees offered by Sweet Maria's, for example, you frequently find "bittersweet" as a descriptor...and that's a taste that accompanies many coffees. And if you don't like sour, stay away from many 3rd wave coffees. I recently had an espresso at Cat and Cloud here in Santa Cruz (as well as Verve a few years ago) and I would describe their offering as "pure lemon juice" in a demitasse. Not to my liking, but many others swear by their coffees.
"Nobody loves your coffee more than you do."
~James Freeman, Blue Bottle