5 bar espresso --- WHAT THE H.... - Page 3

Beginner and pro baristas share tips and tricks for making espresso.

#21: Post by Eiern »

chockfullofbutts wrote: Next question, in light of this information, is it worth upgrading my machine to a flow control lever?
I have a Lelit Bianca, I haven't used the lever much lately but what I like about the machine is that I can easily adjust max pressure of the pump and calibrate my flowrate of the open paddle, in addition to temperature control and programmed on/off. So I could recommend a flexible machine at least, where you can control it without even having to open up a cover. A lever like the Flair 58 can do most profiles too. What Bianca, Flair, Breville/Sage Dual Boiler lack is the smarter control of Decent that make more repeatable shots: I only have time in seconds to control my short bloom, Decent can stop once reached a pressure, start again once reached another pressure, pressure and flow limiters, programmable temps etc.

I have mostly been pulling 1:3 shots of Wendelboe filter roast at 20-30 seconds for the last year, at 86 degrees C and pump pressure capped at 6,5 bars. This is with Ultra Low Fines burrs in a P100. When I have given this type of drink to friends not into espresso at all (Norway is huge filter drinkers and most drink milk drinks) they have usually enjoyed it a lot. It doesn't taste like traditional espresso. It's more like a concentrated filter where you have the beans characteristics with a nuce mouthfeel.

Lately I have been using my HU burr again (havent enjoyed it as much earlier) but have gotten some very good shots at 18:36g Wendelboe filter roast in like 14 seconds with a 1 sec bloom/pause, emulating the Extractamundo! Profile of the Decent. This does taste more traditional as it's higher TDS/more concentrated and is also have more bass notes like there's more chocolate.

I would not have thought I could get tasty shots this way years ago, and I get comments on my YouTube channel that these shots look horrible as they don't flow slow like honey, don't have much crema, if I don't use bottom filter I can get spritzing that they mistake for channeling. It's more that grinds partially block basket holes and form a thin jet spray. With coarser grinds actual channeling is less likely as water has an easy time flowing through the puck. Also with unimodal burrs like HU pressure peaks and then rapidly fall and it looks like the shot is blonding already 5 seconds into the shot. It still is probably 22% and upwards so it's well extracted and packed full of good flavors.

Here's a recent video example where you can se HU with bottom paper filter and how it seem to blond quicly:
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#22: Post by Jake_G »

Eiern wrote:Here's a recent video example where you can se HU with bottom paper filter and how it seem to blond quicly:
You should grind finer. Or maybe try a dark roasted bean with some robusta in it so you can get a nice thick shot where it drips into your cup without all that nasty channeling and early blonding.


Jeff wrote:Light-roast espresso is a different drink.
Then there is me...

So I would argue that light-roasted espresso can be enjoyed many different ways. One such way is the way that Eirik and Jeff do it. It makes a great shot. And it is very different than traditional espresso. It suits their preferences, and the preferences of many others quite well. I know how to use these techniques and I enjoy the coffee beverage that results.

But it is not my preference.

This afternoon I pulled a shot of a light-roasted washed Ethiopia. Here's a shot of the beans:

I can guarantee you that these beans were no more than 10-15s into first crack when they were dropped, but the development is spot on. These are ~3 weeks post roast, and will get better over the next 3 weeks while I continue to enjoy them.

My approach uses a flat 6 bar profile and a slow flowing basket (EPNW HQ14 Ridged). This shot was 19g in, 21g out in something like 62s from the time the pump came on at 202°F. This was ground with well-aligned 98HU burrs at just shy of 100 micron burr spacing at 250 rpm. I expected to taste it and expect something better at around 110 microns and maybe 45s total shot time, but it was absolutely decadent, sweet, fragrant and loaded with blueberries and lime zest. It needed nothing other than to be enjoyed by me.

And here's a shot of the resulting beverage:

I prefer a thick syrupy sweet approach to light-roasted espresso, because that's what I like. Not because it's "better". I enjoy turbos and lunges and sprovers as much as anyone else, but to me, something that coats my tongue and leaves me with a finish that lingers for an hour or more is what I'm after. I'm not a traditionalist, I just know what I like.
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#23: Post by NelisB »

Great post Jake! That shot looks absolutely stunning!

So you had your Ultra set on 2.0? Are hu98 your favorite burrs for these shots?

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#24: Post by Jake_G »

Beyween 1.9 and 2.0, yeah. The blind 98HU are probably my favorites.

I also really like the SSP cast EK clones, but I guess those are unobtainable any more?

These extract so much, so quickly (in terms of flow rate) that I'm able to get really thick and flavorful ristretto shots that have everything I'm after from a nice light roasted bean.

The only coffee I seem to consistently prefer turbo shots or longer ratios with are Kenyans. And even then, I find I just really don't prefer them over most other coffees. But I'll admit that they taste better to me at a higher ratio than they do tight like this.
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#25: Post by shotwell »

Last I heard the ssp cast stuff had come back around, but who knows if it is gone again. Worth an inquiry for anyone interested, they're great burrs.

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#26: Post by PIXIllate »

Jeff wrote:
First, pressure, which is something to think about for any roast level, with any grinder.

So, step one, drop your brew pressure, whether you're pulling medium-dark, medium, medium-light, light, or beans barely waved over a candle flame.

Working with Lighter Roasts

You can also increase the flow rate (more energy), increase the amount of water, or both. These ideas seem to scare or even threaten traditionalists. Cries of "that shot looks terrible, you're channeling", "it's not espresso at high ratios" or "there's no crema" abound. Fine, it's not your preference in espresso. Pull 1:2.5, 1:3, or even higher with minimal soak, all in the same time or even less than a classic shot. 15 seconds or less from pump on for some burr sets is not unusual. The soak is more of a pause as there really isn't a "first drops" point, the flow just starts. This is something people are doing on manual levers and spring levers, and conventional pump machines, not just flow-managed units. Tuning to taste is primarily by ratio on this kind of shot. I may come back and see if a tighter grind improves things further, before getting into unpleasant astringency.

One reason a tiny number of burrs are interesting to light-roast enthusiasts is that they seem to extract more from the beans and more quickly. The SSP 98 HUs and 64 MPs are two of the most notable of these. With these burrs and high-quality coffee, the ratio can be tightened up and a roughly 1:2 shot pulled in around 15 seconds, from pump on.
Thanks for the reply Jeff. I'm not here to rake anyone over the coals about shooting espresso all over their machine in a 15 second shot ;)

The idea about lowering the pressure is an interesting one and I've had my machine set to about 8 bar for a long time now. Tonight I decided to turn it down and try what you suggested only to find that I had basically run out of travel on the OPV screw on my machine. I can't really get it much lower than 8 bar into a blind basket. I wasn't aware that these kind of OPV valves had a minimum pressure adjustment. There's a lot more leeway to go beyond 9 bars. So, in the end I was only able to turn mine down to just short of 8 bar unless someone knows what I'm doing wrong.

As far as the longer ratios and faster shots I think I'm firmly with Jake here. I simply don't enjoy the loss of intensity, mouthfeel and duration of finish once a shot get too close to a 2:1, let alone anything longer. Yes, I can taste some of the things that take on a different balance in the cup by running more solvent through the puck but what is lost is more important to me. I do order the espresso roast from Tim Wendelboe but I think as you and I have determined it's not that much past the filter roast. I order a mix of espresso and filter roasts from Hatch. Some of them are quite light (Roast Vision 27-30).

This (to me anyway) is one of the main reasons to buy a very high extraction large, flat burr grinder. So you can (with the help of flow profiling) extract higher without having to increase the yield. It should be said I have close to zero interest in filter coffee for many of the same reasons so obviously this is a personal preference thing.


#27: Post by JamesB517 »

I believe with lighter roasts that is increasingly common. I should get the place out next time I am in NY.
Life is like a shot of espresso. You never know what you're gonna get.