Suggested type of coffee for first espresso (Flair 58)

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

#1: Post by Elemsee »

Newbie question! My Flair 58 will arrive in a week. I'm using a C40 w Red Clix until my Niche arrives in Feb.

I have never brewed espresso before, and haven't had much experience being a "mindful espresso taster" - I've been really focused on pour overs for the past year and a half, and I'm excited to begin the espresso journey.

Will I have extra beginner challengers if I begin brewing with light roasted coffee (ie Passenger, JBC, etc) vs. coffee that is roasted with a more dedicated espresso use (ie George howell med-dark roasts)?

I know I'll have a learning curve either way, but would love to set myself up for a beginner path with the least resistance to good espresso



#2: Post by tennisman03110 »

I don't have experience with a manual machine.

What I would recommend is get 2 pounds of a medium blend, something more forgiving. I.e. Passenger Stowaway (As you note them as a favorite roaster).

You'll learn lots going through a bag, no matter what it is, and buying in bulk ends up cheaper per shot. Change one variable at a time, in an effort to improve the final taste. Don't worry too excessively about the numbers, but use them as a baseline.

That said -- are there coffees you enjoy more as pour over? I myself like lighter roasts, both V60 and espresso, even with milk drinks. But they can be more temperamental than so called comfort blends.

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#3: Post by JB90068 »

First and foremost, if I were you, I would go with whatever style roast tastes best to you. If you like lighter roasts, then go for it. Is it harder to dial in light vs medium dark? I'm not sure I would say "harder", but if you go the lighter route, be prepared to burn through more beans at first. A bottomless portafilter will help you dial your beans in faster because it will allow you to see any grind and puck preparation mistakes you may be making. Also get a scale that starts at first drip if you don't already have one. You may also want a simple WDT tool now that you will be grinding for espresso since your grinder may create clumps. The list goes further from here, but those are the basics. Welcome to the rabbit hole and having fun with this new journey.

When I say "harder", I taught myself using medium roasts. I recently got a lighter roast to try out and pulled a beautiful shot on the second try.
Old baristas never die. They just become over extracted.

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#4: Post by Jeff »

Quality beans, reasonably fresh, are key. Sounds like you've already got good suppliers line up.

If you don't have a lot of experience pulling shots, you may find an espresso-intended blend gets you to enjoyable shots sooner. SOs and light roasts both can be "tweaky" compared to a quality espresso blend. For that first bag, maybe something like George Howell's Alchemy. (I haven't tried that offering, but have pulled Daterra, which I think is a main component, in a light roast.) I agree that a 2# or so bag and a willingness to just taste shots that aren't yet "on" are a good plan. With the basics down, I think dialing in some juicy light roasts will be a good, next step.