Best technique for finding best flavor - Page 3

Beginner and pro baristas share tips and tricks for making espresso.
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another_jim
Team HB

#21: Post by another_jim »

The first noble truth of hobby boards is YMMV :?
Jim Schulman

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cafeIKE
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#22: Post by cafeIKE »

As espresso is at least as much art as science, follow Rule 1.
Rule 1 :
Make a change. 
Better? Yes, continue. 
No, proceed in the opposite direction.

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malachi

#23: Post by malachi »

portamento wrote:This is fascinating and confusing. I look to people like Jim, Chris, and Andy for reference-quality espresso science, and I would love to see some debate on these points.

And if machine & grinder differences can inverse certain "laws" of extraction, then I'm going to have to parse advice more carefully.
This is the problem with assuming something that is at least 50% art is 100% scientific.
Taste and preference make objectivity unrealistic.

As noted above... I suspect that the differences have far less to do with equipment than they do with preference and subjective valuation.
"Taste is the only morality." -- John Ruskin

portamento

#24: Post by portamento »

Agreed about varying preferences. But aren't certain metrics somewhat objective, i.e. The effect of flow rate on acidity?
Ryan

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another_jim
Team HB

#25: Post by another_jim »

You'd think so. I, for one, am astonished by these different opinions. I always thought we were all agreed on the basic metrics, i.e. the effect of flow, dose, and temperature on the acid/bitter/sweet balance.
Jim Schulman

zin1953

#26: Post by zin1953 »

Jim, I know far less about all this that you do . . . or Chris Tacy, or Ian, or Dan, or . . . .

But what I do know is wine. And Chris' comment ("This is the problem with assuming something that is at least 50% art is 100% scientific. Taste and preference make objectivity unrealistic.") is the truest statement I've read in this thread.

Making wine is part science and part art -- just as is making espresso -- and the same wine will taste differently if opened before or after lunch . . . and will vary with one has for lunch. The variables in making espresso are more immediate, and you don't have to choose which type of oak you age the espresso in (or for how long), but the variables are almost as infinite.
portamento wrote:But aren't certain metrics somewhat objective?
I don't like being definitive, so I'll say "probably not."

Look at it this way: it it were 100% scientific and objective, we'd all LOVE *$ . . . .

Cheers,
Jason
A morning without coffee is sleep. -- Anon.

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another_jim
Team HB

#27: Post by another_jim »

I didn't mean to disparage disagreement on the fancy stuff, but I thought we had the basics down. In wine, that is true. Table plonk used to be thin and sour back in the 60s and 70s; now, courtesy of the nice people at UC Davis, it's much more lush. Still table plonk, still generic, but a lot more pleasant and drinkable for the buck.
Jim Schulman

jbeecham

#28: Post by jbeecham »

another_jim wrote:I can take a fresh roasted batch of Esmeralda, use a simple home grinder (e.g a Solis Maestro or Capresso Infinity) and a French press, and make a cup of coffee better than 95% of the shots I will pull this year.
I guess it depends on your definition of 'better'.

I think comparing brewed coffee with espresso is comparing apples to oranges.

jerry

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another_jim
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#29: Post by another_jim »

So what? A Granny Smith picked off the tree is still better than frozen reconstituted orange juice.
Jim Schulman

jbeecham

#30: Post by jbeecham »

I think espresso is a completely different drink than brewed coffee. Espresso has the complexity of crema which brewed coffee does not. The bubbles in crema are constantly releasing flavors and aromas long after you drink it.

I guess a more accurate comparison is wine to champagne. They are both made from grapes, but taste nothing alike. As to which one is better, well, I guess it depends on what you expect.