Will a flat burr grinder help me like light roasts? - Page 2

Grinders are one of the keys to exceptional espresso. Discuss them here.
zefkir
Posts: 271
Joined: 4 years ago

#11: Post by zefkir »

Lighter roasts are a way to explore the full range of flavours coffee can offer. You get a lot of distinctiveness between different beans that reflect how and where they are grown, the specific cultivar grown... And with time you can even learn to distinguish how different roasters approach their roasts even at the same level of "lightness", what each chooses to emphasize in terms of flavour.

To me, it's very similar to wine tasting in terms of approach, where there's a lot compare and contrast between different beans. You don't stay with a single "best" bean, it's an exploration takes you from farm to farm.

To a relatively large extent, I think the appreciation for lighter roasts comes back to that, if you're into exploring continuously.

Or maybe not, I don't know, drinking stellar washed ethiopians every day doesn't seem like the worst fate to me. :lol:
Though I would miss the other origins and processes.

Anyway, as far as advice goes, I'd see if I enjoy the flavour palate that lighter roasts brings first. Espresso might not be best start since it requires a decent amount of knowing where you want to take your extraction towards. Turbo ristretto, regular Turboshot, paper filtered shots, Allongés, long bloom shots are multiple ways people enjoy light roast espresso, and you might like only a limited number of them, figuring how to dial them all while trying to figure out what you want of lighter roasts might be a tall order.

So, I would simply suggest a Clever dripper first. Cheap and easy. Medium coarse grinds. 300g of off-boil water first, followed by 20g of coffee, a littler stir to combine. Wait 2 minutes. Drain, it should be finished in 30-60s.

The biggest possible first "upgrade" you can to is to get a low hardness water for this from your grocery store (not distilled or reverse osmosis, just low hardness). Anything with a total ppm under 100 should be in the right ballpark.

Then you can see if you want these flavours in espresso and can delve into that rabbit hole with more assurance that you can enjoy the final product.
★ Helpful

User avatar
ei8htohms
Posts: 142
Joined: 5 months ago

#12: Post by ei8htohms »

Lighter roasts may help you like a flat burr grinder.
LMWDP #751

bialettibarista
Posts: 117
Joined: 4 years ago

#13: Post by bialettibarista »

As someone who has struggled to appreciate the fine Art of Light roast coffee I would say the grinder isn't going to make the difference. But maybe you should try this instead of a grinder. Visit as many third Wave cafes as you can and try their coffee they make. They have the best equipment and they should be the most knowledgeable about how to brew the particular coffee they serve. If you don't like the coffee in their cafe then chances are pretty good that you wouldn't like it at home .

bznelson91
Supporter ♡
Posts: 265
Joined: 5 months ago

#14: Post by bznelson91 »

I agree somewhat with the cafe advice; however, be choosy with your cafe. I tried in vein to find cafes here in my area that could do light roast espresso. The one cafe that offered to do it said that they have some light roast coffees (and they're known to me as roasters, and do have some good light roasts), and they "should be able to make a light roast espresso from that". Well, many readers here knows what that means - they have no experience with it, they're probably just going to grind it the same way, do the same steps as their normal medium to medium dark espresso blend, and the result will likely be terrible.

I think I'd ask a different question: Do you make filter coffee at all, and if so, have you compared some darker filter coffee (i.e. more familiar to your tastes) with light roast filter? Also, when you consume espresso, is it just straight? The lighter roasts, when done right, will have more acidity on average than the darker, which could make them taste "bad" if you're not expecting that, or just don't like it. I mostly make milk drinks, and that acidity is mostly negated by the milk.

Brad

Milligan
Supporter ❤
Posts: 1523
Joined: 2 years ago

#15: Post by Milligan »

Lots of great advice here. As you noted, it is an espresso journey so enjoy the sights and aromas along the way. Sometimes it is less about finding your perfect bean and rather experiencing a lot of different coffees while trying to appreciate what makes them unique. I feel like light roast is a bit of an acquired taste for most people. My experience was kind of like whiskey. It took several years for me to truly appreciate whiskey. I had to start on-the-rocks because it exploded my palate. Then over time I become more accustomed to the drink and am now able to pick out the nuances and enjoy those flavors straight. This paralleled my experience with light roast. Light roast espresso was too much at first so I started with pour over and quickly became a fan. This allowed me to taste the unique flavors only found in light roast without my mouth exploding. Then I made the slow transition to light roast espresso and enjoy it as well.

I do not think the key to your light roast enjoyment is a grinder. I think it is time and exposure if that is something you want to pursue.

User avatar
another_jim
Team HB
Posts: 13947
Joined: 19 years ago

#16: Post by another_jim »

My experience with 3rd wave cafes is that their light roast straight espresso is OK but mediocre, not nearly as good as hobbyists make at home. The reason is simple -- they sell 95% fo their shots in milk, and the coffee and prep are optimized for that.

A simple example: I do my morning cappa dosed at 18 grams with the grinder set at 15. I do my straight double shots in the same basket dosed at 15 grams with the grinder set at 12. The 15 gram shot tastes a whole lot better sipped straight than the 18 gram one, while the 18 gram one tastes a good deal better in milk. This taste difference gets more extreme with lighter roasts.

Thinking all this through, I would not take a cafe's straight shots as exemplary unless they have a separate grinder (and perhaps baskets) for straight espresso.
Jim Schulman

Maineiac64
Posts: 24
Joined: 9 years ago

#17: Post by Maineiac64 »

It seems to take a lot to get a light roast correct, grinder, dose, water temp, pressure profile, ratio. I do like light roasts a lot but prefer the other side of medium much more. It's like having different types of beers, they are all good but just different.

ajb1 (original poster)
Posts: 27
Joined: 8 months ago

#18: Post by ajb1 (original poster) »

That's a very well thought out response. Appreciate it. I'm going to try this. My water is the exact brand (and origin) suggested by LM.

ajb1 (original poster)
Posts: 27
Joined: 8 months ago

#19: Post by ajb1 (original poster) »

I'm going to do this again. I tried once from a well reviewed shop nearby and the light roast was not enjoyable. I'll keep trying others. If I don't like any of the light roasts from any well reviewed shop, that's a good sign it's just not for me. No equipment needed to buy. Thank you for the suggestion b

ajb1 (original poster)
Posts: 27
Joined: 8 months ago

#20: Post by ajb1 (original poster) »

bznelson91 wrote:I agree somewhat with the cafe advice; however, be choosy with your cafe. I tried in vein to find cafes here in my area that could do light roast espresso. The one cafe that offered to do it said that they have some light roast coffees (and they're known to me as roasters, and do have some good light roasts), and they "should be able to make a light roast espresso from that". Well, many readers here knows what that means - they have no experience with it, they're probably just going to grind it the same way, do the same steps as their normal medium to medium dark espresso blend, and the result will likely be terrible.

I think I'd ask a different question: Do you make filter coffee at all, and if so, have you compared some darker filter coffee (i.e. more familiar to your tastes) with light roast filter? Also, when you consume espresso, is it just straight? The lighter roasts, when done right, will have more acidity on average than the darker, which could make them taste "bad" if you're not expecting that, or just don't like it. I mostly make milk drinks, and that acidity is mostly negated by the milk.

Brad
Thank you. The one time I tried light roast I went to a roaster that defaults to light when people say they don't want milk added. Thought that might be a good sign but I still didn't like it. Will try more roasters. I do think you are correct in that it's the acidity that I just am not enjoying.