Tactile consistency of espresso

Want to talk espresso but not sure which forum? If so, this is the right one.
atrueblood

#1: Post by atrueblood »

Hey guys, I've been watching a lot of videos and looking at photos of some extractions and I'm wondering, what kind of consistency should a good espresso have? Since becoming interested in making espresso, I have tried to taste as much as I can. NONE of the local coffee shops create anything close to looking like what I've seen on this site. So what should I be looking for? What's something comparable in consistency? I'm very curious! Thanks.

*Edit*
What I mean by consistency is the physical feel to the espresso. What I've seen extracted in the videos seems almost like syrup. But as I've set out to try as much espresso as I can, none of the cafés in my neighborhood have produced anything like what I'm imagining. All I ever get is thin, watery, and bitter coffee with little crema that usually dissipates to the sides of the cup in a minute or so. I'm just trying to get a feel for what I'm looking for. I've seen some people describe it as syrup, is it really that thick? Sorry for the dumb question.

Alek

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cannonfodder
Team HB

#2: Post by cannonfodder »

It is not as thick as honey, a little less viscous than hot pancake syrup, depending on the shot and blend. A ristretto will be a little thicker than a normal double, you are getting the same (or close to it) amount of dissolved solids in the cup but with less water for it to suspend in.
Dave Stephens

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roastaroma

#3: Post by roastaroma »

Something not quite syrupy, but comparable in thickness, would be hot chocolate, I think. But it sounds like your local shops aren't serving very good espresso. Alas, that is not ususual.
"Non è la macchina, è la mano."
LMWDP #223

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HB
Admin

#4: Post by HB »

This is a good question! The consistency of a high-body espresso reminds me half-n-half or maybe even heavy cream, but with a slightly fluffier, airier texture.
Dan Kehn

IMAWriter
Supporter

#5: Post by IMAWriter »

atrueblood wrote:Hey guys, I've been watching a lot of videos and looking at photos of some extractions and I'm wondering, what kind of consistency should a good espresso have? Since becoming interested in making espresso, I have tried to taste as much as I can. NONE of the local coffee shops create anything close to looking like what I've seen on this site. So what should I be looking for? What's something comparable in consistency? I'm very curious! Thanks.

*Edit*
What I mean by consistency is the physical feel to the espresso. What I've seen extracted in the videos seems almost like syrup. But as I've set out to try as much espresso as I can, none of the cafés in my neighborhood have produced anything like what I'm imagining. All I ever get is thin, watery, and bitter coffee with little crema that usually dissipates to the sides of the cup in a minute or so. I'm just trying to get a feel for what I'm looking for. I've seen some people describe it as syrup, is it really that thick? Sorry for the dumb question.

Alek
Alek...not a dumb question. Until I had my 1st "Gosh shot" at Murky Coffee in DC, I thought as you did that it was black, thin, bitter....my only other example was Cuban coffee in my home town, Miami...Rubusta blended with about a tablespoon of sugar per 1oz demitasse! :lol:
The descriptions here are pretty accurate. Dan's describes my HX shots right on. Not syrup, per se, but a similar to a cafe made hot chocolate, where the milk is steamed to a near cream consistency to add body. But yes, occasionally, a short double (1-1.25oz) will have amazing body, as my Murky shot had...with an almost "chewy" consistency, as if minute particles of coffee were infused in the cup, but not sludge ala a French press.
This also depends on the beans used. Yemen and certain Brazilian combos can do this, as they produce a lot of crema. On the other hand, pulling a shot with a less crema producing, higher acidity bean such as a Kenya may not accomplish the same thing.
It may be worth taking a PAID vacation to a city close to you that has a well recognized shop that pulls great shots.
I believe there is a fairly new thread here that lists recommended cafe's geographically.
Of course, for your home set-up folks here and on CG recommend getting a dedicated espresso grinder.
Nothing else will approach the grind you need for a proper espresso.
Fortunately, there are now choices in the $200-$250 area that can get you there
Rob
LMWDP #187
www.robertjason.com

atrueblood

#6: Post by atrueblood »

thanks for responding guys. What your describing sounds closer to what I see on this site than what I'm tasting from these local cafés. My problem here (besides not having good equipment) is I'm here in southern Utah. Hardly anyone drinks coffee, so we get these little "cafés" that try to cater to people that do. some of their drinks are good, but I've been trying straight espresso and it is not good.

Alek

IMAWriter
Supporter

#7: Post by IMAWriter »

There's a place I guess not too far from Troy, Idaho (location of Orphan Espresso...lever machine goodies, restorations, etc) called "Domo", I believe. They roast there own. Go there if it's within 100 miles?
Don't purchase whole bean unless you want to be disappointed, due to your lack of a good grinder. Purchase a used Mazzer SJ, etc, and you'll be rockin'...even on your machine, if you remove the "crema enhancer" thing...if it has one.



EDIT,,,whoops.,..I missed Utah, thinking Idaho....WAY my bad :oops:
Rob
LMWDP #187
www.robertjason.com

User avatar
Compass Coffee
Sponsor

#8: Post by Compass Coffee »

Might try caffe d'bolla in Salt Lake City. (found them via espressomap.com). Also give a shout out on BGA forum and barista exchange to find who's pulling where in Utah.
Mike McGinness, Head Bean (Owner/Roast Master)
http://www.CompassCoffeeRoasting.com