More Flavour Less Gear #crisis - Page 2

Want to talk espresso but not sure which forum? If so, this is the right one.
BodieZoffa
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#11: Post by BodieZoffa »

baldheadracing wrote:It does the best with mediocre (green) coffee and mediocre roasts, which is what most aficionados drink most of the time.

Note that I am not making a judgement; I am not saying mediocre coffee is bad, or tastes bad. However, there are relatively few people that will only drink '90+' coffee all the time, every day.
Personally not one to get caught up in the coffee score game, which seems rather exaggerated more for profit than actual in-the-cup quality. The delicate notes in coffees ranked higher might be more suitable in weaker brew methods as espresso simply amplifies more than most people can tolerate straight.

Jonk
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#12: Post by Jonk »

Many pricey beans are heavily processed. For example a 'natural koji process' I tried recently. It was quite dodgy brewed at lower concentration, with flavor ranging from blue cheese to sake. It was absolutely stunning as espresso though, too complex to describe in words (with a spicy heat almost like mustard).

Another memorable coffee this year was a Kenyan AA with strong notes of strawberry and black currant, that got absolutely destroyed when I tried to use it for espresso.

Sometimes beans work equally well across the range, but often not IME.

Also, as a home roaster I get more than the occasional bag of greens that I don't care for. I prefer light roasts but drink dark roasts as well. The solution for those subpar greens is usually to roast dark and use them for espresso..

Updating this post with an exception: I have yet to encounter a coffee that I didn't like for "cezve/ibrik". It's like a little bit of everything, in a good way. I use the method described here https://www.specialtyturkishcoffee.com/ ... eparation/ but with a regular milk pitcher, a thermometer and ceramic stovetop. Because I haven't invested in the proper tools I prefer to start with warmer water (70C / 158F) and the brew time will usually be around 3½min.
I'm not exactly sure why I have no issues spending a lot of effort (and money) on espresso and pour over but a bit reluctant for ibrik. Perhaps owning an STC Pro would change that :lol:
It seems the grinder is much less important for this method of preparation, as long as it can grind at least espresso fine.

Gm7dha (original poster)
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#13: Post by Gm7dha (original poster) »

Thank you for all of your input, experiences and thoughts on this. Really is food for thought.

I only make coffee for myself and I have a few expensive espresso machines that I'm beginning to believe are a bit overkill for my use. I feel like I have luxuries I don't quite need (the actual definition of a luxury I suppose), and I'm not entirely comfortable with it. Hence my post.

I've been using my Flair 58x with a stove top Fellow Stagg kettle for a few days now and it feels much more honest, less wasteful, and just easier on my mind that I'm actually enjoying the process more rather feeling the need to use it because I've invested so much in it. I use it when I want to and it requires very little maintenance as well which I love. It provides enough scope to pull out different flavours from my home roasted beans and just enjoy the coffee without giving up much of the hobby aspect.

(I must mention that I tried a flat white and an espresso after not making either for over a week or so. The flat white I'll reserve for out and about as a safe option or a treat as I didn't miss making them. However the espresso was an explosion of flavours I haven't been getting from filter and I really enjoyed it)

In summary I don't think coffee should be a complicated and gear driven hobby. It should be accessible and enjoyable without burden. It has to make you happy without interference. If only we can learn this before chasing the extremes only to arrive at our preferred compromise- but I do believe we have to go there to experience what we really want and need before finding the sweet spot. (As I've done with many hobbies).

mgrayson
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#14: Post by mgrayson »

baldheadracing wrote: It does the best with mediocre (green) coffee and mediocre roasts, which is what most aficionados drink most of the time.

Note that I am not making a judgement; I am not saying mediocre coffee is bad, or tastes bad. However, there are relatively few people that will only drink '90+' coffee all the time, every day.
I start with very good beans. I roast them, probably badly - how can I tell? I prepare them for espresso, probably badly - ¯\_(ツ)_/¯. I drink them and think they're ok, but compared to what? I've had God shots in cafes and God shots at home. And undistinguished shots in both. And this is with equipment chosen for its stability and repeatability. Seems random.

(And "mediocre" is at best a cat's whisker above "bad", so I don't know why the disclaimer. Unless you mean "not superb" or "ordinary", in which case I agree.)

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baldheadracing
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#15: Post by baldheadracing »

mgrayson wrote:I start with very good beans. I roast them, probably badly - how can I tell? I prepare them for espresso, probably badly - ¯\_(ツ)_/¯. I drink them and think they're ok, but compared to what? I've had God shots in cafes and God shots at home. And undistinguished shots in both. And this is with equipment chosen for its stability and repeatability. Seems random.
You can buy a bag of roasted coffee from a roaster that will also sell you greens of the same coffee, and then try to duplicate their roast. I used to do that a few times a year. For example, Klatch for medium roasts, Sweet Maria's for medium+ espresso blends, Prodigal for, well, I haven't tried to match Prodigal yet, but I have tried to match the predecessor company's cupping roasts.

(As an aside, I'm not a very good roaster. I stick to mostly one 'kind' of green - well-prepped washed SL28/SL34's or similar - buy 25lbs at a time, roast a pound at a time, and it takes me 10-15 roasts/pounds to get comfortable with a roast profile that I'll use for the remaining roasts.)
mgrayson wrote:(And "mediocre" is at best a cat's whisker above "bad", so I don't know why the disclaimer. Unless you mean "not superb" or "ordinary", in which case I agree.)
I mean more than a whisker above "bad;" perhaps close to "ordinary:"
mediocre - of moderate or low quality ... https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/mediocre

Many like traditional "Italian-style" espresso blends and roasts; I like them on occasion as well. The majority of greens in many of those blends are "of moderate or low quality."
-"Good quality brings happiness as you use it" - Nobuho Miya, Kamasada

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mkane
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#16: Post by mkane »

Pourover. And it's never the same and thats why we like it.

jpender
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#17: Post by jpender »

Everybody's different. I like strong coffee but I only occasionally drink espresso straight. I make 99% of my coffee with an espresso machine but almost always water it down to about 2% TDS. Comparing that to a 2% Aeropress or pourover or presspot or Turkish or moka I find that I like the espresso version the best. Something about the balance and the mouthfeel just seems to work better, for me.

rjvelasquezm
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#18: Post by rjvelasquezm »

Personally, if I was looking to minimize my gear as much as possible I'd just keep my aeropress.

Is it the BEST brewer, maybe, maybe not.

But it's DEFINITELY the most versatile brewer that will let you explore the widest variety of brewing styles.

From the OG regular Aeropress recipes, to competition style 30g of coffee high bypass versions, to using it as a gravity no bypass dripper (ie plungerless), to making inverted faux-espresso highly concentrated coffees, to Kasuya switch style half perc half immersion, it can give you any variation you need