Red Bird Espresso Recipe for Olympia Cremina

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Wichita

#1: Post by Wichita »

As a beginner, I recently got a used Olympia Cremina and bought some Red Bird Espresso beans to learn with. I would like to stick with a single lever pull rather than multiple pulls to minimize variables as I work on my technique and consistency. What dosage, extraction time, and yield do you recommend and why?

mgwolf

#2: Post by mgwolf »

I haven't tried Red Bird for many years, but the easiest way to use the Cremina is to loosen the PF slightly, raise the handle 1/2-to 2/3 (if water starts coming out, you've gone too far up), tighten the PF and slowly raise the handle the rest of the way up. Count 10 seconds and pull your shot. If coffee starts coming out before 10 seconds, you may not have ground fine enough. Pull effort should be modest but not horrendous.

The reason I loosen the PF before I raise the lever part way up is to avoid disturbing the puck with excessive vacuum caused by raising the lever. My shots are about 50 cc or so if I pull all the way down.

You also need to flush a couple of ounces (at most) before your very first shot to heat up the grouphead.

jwCrema
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#3: Post by jwCrema »

Your tastes may like something different, but here is what I do on Redbird

Using RPavlis water - 1 gal of Crystal Geyser with .37g KHCO3 added. Better taste, eliminate scale issues.
Extraction time: 35 to 40 secs. Not shorter or longer, just somewhere in this range.
Pre-infuse: 5 seconds for early out of the bag beans to 10 seconds for fully ripened/end of the bag.
Dose: 17.5g is max, 15g is minimum. Try a shot at min and max to decide which you prefer.

Don't worry about crema, that isn't where the taste is. I.e., more crema does not equate to "more better" taste.

As Michael said, your prep/warm up routine is key to a firm lever first shot. There are plenty of posts about that.

Redbird is an awesome roast, when you nail it the chocolate tones are fabulous.

Wichita

#4: Post by Wichita »

Jwcrema...What yield do you aim for in your recipe? Are you aiming for around 30 grams in the cup?

jwCrema
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#5: Post by jwCrema »

Yes, 30g in the cup, and let us know how it goes for you.

Wichita

#6: Post by Wichita »

I seem to be hitting the numbers and getting good crema in the cup, but not really enjoying the taste. Seems very harsh to me. I don't have much experience with Espresso so hard to really understand if I am tasting too acidic or too bitter. But it is definitely too something! :) Does not just taste like intense coffee like I was hoping. There are other strange flavors I there I am not used to. Looking forward to further suggestions.

Wichita

#7: Post by Wichita »

I tried letting the first few seconds dump into the drip tray before catching the rest of the pull in the cup. Seems a bit more suitable for my tastes. Must be the acidic flavors I am not used to. I don't think I am there yet but seems to be heading in the right direction. Will continue doing more experimenting but would welcome your comments or suggestions.

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lancealot

#8: Post by lancealot »

I meant to post the other day. Redbird is basically our house roast. I do play the field of coffees but the wife loves it for her drip so we always have it on hand. I like it plenty for americanos and lattes, not my favorite as a straight shot.

I find that redbird always has a sharpness that I cannot get rid of and I cannot characterize as bitter or acidic. So I call it sharp.

I have a BDB that is modded so I can produce a declining pressure profile mimicking a spring lever.

I usually pull it at 197 or 198. 18 in and 30 out in 26-30 seconds.

If I am going to drink it as a straight shot, I can lessen the sharpness with the declining pressure profile. I can also lessen the sharpness by reducing the dose. 16 in 25 out.

Good luck.

drH

#9: Post by drH »

Wichita wrote:I seem to be hitting the numbers and getting good crema in the cup, but not really enjoying the taste. Seems very harsh to me. I don't have much experience with Espresso so hard to really understand if I am tasting too acidic or too bitter. But it is definitely too something! :) Does not just taste like intense coffee like I was hoping. There are other strange flavors I there I am not used to. Looking forward to further suggestions.

If you are hitting the numbers then keep those variables constant for now and vary preinfusion. Try very little (1-2 seconds) then pull and see if you get the sour and acidic flavors. If you do then extend preinfusion. After 10-15 seconds of preinfusion you may need to grind a bit finer. See if slightly finer + 15-18s of preinfusion helps to tame the flavor. With some blends I've gone as high as 25s.

jwCrema
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#10: Post by jwCrema »

lancealot wrote: I find that redbird always has a sharpness that I cannot get rid of and I cannot characterize as bitter or acidic. So I call it sharp.

I completely agree! I found this quite annoying. So I advised my wife I was going off the rails for a while. I reduced the dose by 3g, without changing grind settings. Things suddenly got smooth - no more sharpness and the chocolate bomb was thermonuclear. We came to a reduction in the dose of 2.7g

Upon reflection, I realized I had been chasing an idea that bigger dose = better flavor. Now I get the grind timing in the ball park and the adjust dose to taste.