Sweet espresso? - Page 2

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

#11: Post by Thatchmo (original poster) »

Peter!
Yes, I have two large, long necked, very wide bottomed decanters for my luscious red wines!!!
I discovered these in Italy and bought two when I was there in Tuscany....One for very heavy, full reds like Chiantis and Barolos and one for a bit less robust reds, like Zins and Cabs...So when wine is concerned, I have learned to love oxidation!

Jim...I am getting nothing out of the PF for about 7 to 8 seconds....but I do get two small indents in the top of the puck on the Ascaso....I will try down dosing a bit...and grinding earlier than just before....thanks for the tips and the pleasant chat about Wine, Espresso and Chocolate!!! Three of my favorite things!!! Cue song!

Thanks all,

Kirk

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edwa

#12: Post by edwa »

A word from the pajamaed (spelling?) cheap seats to encourage you to visit Klatch roasting. I'm in Mar Vista and one Saturday the missus and I hopped on the I-10 out to San Dimas. When we got there Heather Perry was holding a coffee tasting class it was almost like seeing a rock star in a guitar store. ;-) I'm a big fan of their Belle espresso but I don't think it will get you that full chocolate hit you desire. However, I encourage you to visit Intelligentsia in Hollywood for some Black Cat but first call to see if they are serving it that day. They weren't on my visit and didn't even have any to sell.

Not being familiar with the Ascaso, I'll probably stick my foot in my mouth, I wonder what control over temp you have. Have you ever measured? Just asking as a reference because if its anything like my Silvia was you could easily brew too hot to get any of the sweet chocolate potential of a bean. Is there a surfing procedure to the Ascaso?

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cannonfodder
Team HB

#13: Post by cannonfodder »

For what it is worth, most of my chocolate experiences come from milk and sweet espresso is usually in the ristretto range with light roasts. A dollop of milk really brings out the chocolate notes for me. Without it I rarely get it in the cup. As other say, it is not a sin to add a little sugar to your espresso. If that is what you like then do it. I rarely, if ever add sugar but when I use to, I used liquid sugar. No mixing was needed. I would put a drop or two in the demi and then pull the shot into it.
Dave Stephens

Thatchmo (original poster)

#14: Post by Thatchmo (original poster) »

Wow Ed, you must be psychic!

Drove out to the Coffee Klatch in San Dimas with my girlfriend today, discussing whether driving an hour to try a cup of espresso made me an addict or a fanatic! I defend fanatic....She believes I am an addict....

Regardless, I got there, went in and found some nice kids working the place who had little to no knowledge of the various coffee blends they sold...Couldn't describe the differences between the various blends they sell or describe the flavors in general. They made me a double shot of their WRBC blend...which was bitter sweet and very tasty, but didn't have any in the shop to sell...They also didn't or wouldn't brew up other beans for tasting....Which was fine....I know it's just a retail shop, I just expected it to be a bit more suited to the afficionado....I guess I'll just save the gas and buy the beans from them online and look out on their website for other "tasting" sessions in the future...That sounds like a lot of fun!

As for temp testing my Ascaso...It seems like it was not getting hot enough! I was getting readings of 178 to 184 from the cup and thermometer method....So I've been turning on the steam boiler for about 10 secs to bring the temp up....What temperature is recommended for getting a more "chocolatey" flavor?

Kirk

zin1953

#15: Post by zin1953 »

CafSuperCharged wrote: . . . in the context of great wines - do you ever decant a wine?
Thatchmo wrote:. . . I have two large, long necked, very wide bottomed decanters for my luscious red wines!!! I discovered these in Italy and bought two when I was there in Tuscany....One for very heavy, full reds like Chiantis and Barolos and one for a bit less robust reds, like Zins and Cabs...So when wine is concerned, I have learned to love oxidation!
Peter (and Kirk),

After 35 years in the wine trade -- yes, I've been known to decant a wine in my time. Indeed, I own several decanters, as well as various corkscrews, probably six dozen wine glasses in various sizes, etc., etc., etc. -- and who know how many bottles of wine, some of which will need decanting. But keep in mind there are also several types of wines I would never think of decanting, that would not benefit from aeration (keep in mind that there is a role for aeration/oxidation, but a wine which is oxidized is another matter entirely) . . .

Prior to Jim's post/explanation, I never would have thought to intentionally oxidize ground coffee. Nearly everything I've ever heard/read has spoken of the need to use the freshest beans, to grind right before you pull your shot(s), and so on . . .

Cheers,
Jason
A morning without coffee is sleep. -- Anon.

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edwa

#16: Post by edwa »

Thatchmo wrote:...What temperature is recommended for getting a more "chocolatey" flavor?
Sorry, if I misled you to think that. I was trying to find out if your machine ran too hot. Another blend came to mind for you to try, a semi-sweet chocolate blend that goes great with milk and that is Espresso Parts very own "Big Truck blend". We went thru quite a few pounds of it before I ended my Goldilocks search at Klatch. Another great local roaster is Nate White at www.westcoastroasting.com

toma

#17: Post by toma »

Another_Jim,

I'm glad you linked in your article. It answers a lot of things that I kept thinking about. I suspected that downdosing was a solution to sourness but would never have found out that the decisive factor is the depth of the puck and the taste profile has not much to do with the grinding or the brew time. I'll start to experiment with differently shaped filter baskets.

I've got a question. It seems to me that it would be much easier to have a lot of different sized filter baskets and dose to the brim the one that suits the coffee than learning to use special leveling tools. What do you think?

Thanks, Tamas

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another_jim
Team HB

#18: Post by another_jim »

toma wrote: I've got a question. It seems to me that it would be much easier to have a lot of different sized filter baskets and dose to the brim the one that suits the coffee than learning to use special leveling tools.
It would be; but most machines use the space over the top of the puck, inside a large basket, to let the puck expand and to hold brewing water. This is why LM, Faema, and Cimbali double baskets hold around 20 grams while being designed for 14 grams. NS and Rancilio double baskets are shallow, and only hold around 14 grams. The baskets for some of the CMA groups are intermediate, holding around 17 grams.

I haven't distinguished, in my tests, between the effect of dose and the effect of this "headspace." But I do know that if the puck hits the shower screen on the Elektra or Cimbali group, quality takes a nosedive. It's either less obvious or not a problem on an E61 or LM groups.
Jim Schulman

toma

#19: Post by toma »

Thanks, I understand now. I thought that I could change the "headspace" by changing the width of the grouphead gasket. And I found that a portafilter that was tight at the 7 o' clock position gave more space than my original portafilter that I had turn to the the 4 o' clock position to sit safely (using the same O ring). But changing the gasket or the portafilter every time one wants to dial in a coffee would be very troublesome.

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RapidCoffee
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#20: Post by RapidCoffee »

Thatchmo wrote:So according to everything I've read....they look right and feel right according to the numbers, but I have yet to taste anything I would describe as "sweet"...or even chocolatey...Now I know I have a very sensitive nose for smell, and a fairly educated palate when it comes to tasting red wines...and I am very well versed in various chocolates from all around the world....So I know what many of the flavors ascribed to espresso are referring to...but as yet, haven't tasted anything "sweet"!
...
I love full, big flavored Zinfandels, very dark chocolate and hope to find Espresso brews that are in the same vein!
Like you, I prefer dark chocolates and red wines, but have a hard time describing coffee (or chocolate) as sweet. There are too many bitter (and sour) flavor components in the mix. Have you ever tasted unsweetened baker's chocolate (or cocoa)? It's intensely bitter. Added sugar makes chocolate taste sweet; ditto for coffee, at least as far as my taste buds are concerned. However, I often taste chocolate, fruit, and other flavors in espresso.
toma wrote:Thanks, I understand now. I thought that I could change the "headspace" by changing the width of the grouphead gasket. And I found that a portafilter that was tight at the 7 o' clock position gave more space than my original portafilter that I had turn to the the 4 o' clock position to sit safely (using the same O ring). But changing the gasket or the portafilter every time one wants to dial in a coffee would be very troublesome.
We've wandered far afield here, into very interesting territory: manipulating dose and extraction levels to obtain a different balance of flavors in the cup. Adjusting the dose for a given basket is reasonable and effective. But changing the gasket or PF to dial in a coffee doesn't make much sense. The PF supports the basket and locks it into the grouphead. The basket (not the PF) forms a seal with the gasket. There isn't much play in the system; most PF/grouphead combos accept only a very narrow range of gasket widths. I've never tried changing gaskets to dial in a coffee (I may be obsessed, but not that obsessed :roll:), nor have I ever observed a difference in extractions between my Rancilio and Quickmill portafilters (even though they lock in at different positions). Differences in baskets and dosing, however, are dramatic.
John