Breville/Sage Bambino - Sour coffee no matter what I try and do (newbie)

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

#1: Post by Jonas27de »

Hey guys, I am pretty much completely new to the whole coffee and barista game.
I just got myself:
- Breville/Sage Bambino
- Breville/Sage Dose control pro
- Normcore bottomless portafilter
- Spring loaded tamper
- WDT tool
- Distributer
- Normcore Puck screen

I have watched a lot of youtube about espresso puck prep etc. and was pretty sure I could make myself a tasty espresso, but I was wrong.
I used 19grams Espresso beans (Wild at heart, Endless summer). I made many shots, which all tasted incredibly sour and were completely undrinkable. Definetly sour, no bitterness or sweetness at all.

I did pretty much everything the internet and youtube told me to:
Different grind size
Different dose (17-19.5 grams)
Different Beans (mostly medium rosted beans, idk how the 19grams are roasted, from the looks about medium)
Exprerimented with the yield from 1:1,5 up to 1:3
With or without puck screen
keep portafilter hot until use
experiment with the extraction time (20-35 sec)

I seriously dont know what to do, I used 4 different beans, they all tasted extremely sour. I am pretty sure I make a crucial mistake here, no matter what adjustment I make, the taste doesnt really change, ist just stays overwhelmingly sour.

Please help, I want to drink my coffee and not just put it down the drain. The coffee looks really good, nice and even extractions, rarely any channeling...

Thanks in advance

Supporter ♡

#2: Post by greenbeans »

You didn't mention the water. A critical part of the process.

Jonas27de (original poster)

#3: Post by Jonas27de (original poster) »

I use just tap water. i am pretty sure there is no temperature contol on the bambino, it runs at 93C.

Supporter ❤

#4: Post by Milligan »

Can you provide a link to your beans? I get a lot of different results for "Wild at Heart" and "Endless Summer." If they are modern espresso blends then they could be medium-light or even light roast blends. Those types of coffees need special treatment. I'd recommend starting on a very easy to extract roast when you are first starting in the medium to medium dark range. When starting off it can be hard to tell sour from overextracted. Both blow your mouth up with straight shots. A good way to be able to tell better is to dilute the espresso with 150ml or so.

User avatar
BaristaBoy E61

#5: Post by BaristaBoy E61 »

Milk drinks or straight espresso?
"You didn't buy an Espresso Machine - You bought a Chemistry Set!"

Jonas27de (original poster)

#6: Post by Jonas27de (original poster) »

Hey, here you go. I am pretty sure these werent underextracted, i played a lot with the grind setting and extraction time. I am pretty sure I could also be wrong here and my coffee is underextracted :lol: ... 7218775206 ... 7356957862

So I should just go to my local coffee roaster and ask for a dark roast espresso blend and hope for the best?
It is sour and undrinkable straight as espresso, a flat white or latte is drinkable but still sour

User avatar
Team HB

#7: Post by Jeff »

My guess is that they are ... 7356957862, described as "Kakao, Melone, Zuckerrohr" [sugar cane]. These are hints that it probably is a medium-dark or dark roast, depending on how optimistic they are about their descriptors. Wild at Heart is similar, "Karamell, Erdbeere, Schokolade" [strawberry], with the strawberry note taking third position in the text.

I agree that diluting a shot to taste it, as well as letting it cool (or using cool water to dilute) would be a good check on the flavors you're getting.

My guess is that you don't like the coffee, that you are extracting too much of the roast bitterness from the beans for your preferences, or both. Have you tried Wild at Heart in their shop, without milk or sugar?

Do you have access to another grinder? If so, I would try that as well.

Edit: There are many top-quality roasters in Europe. I would go with quality over "local" as medium-dark beans usually are good to open the bag and start pulling maybe a week or two from roast. Medium-roast beans may be even longer. I would just ask for "beans for espresso" and leave off "dark". A good roaster will choose a roast level that is appropriate for the green coffee and its intended preparation. You might want to avoid "omniroast" (one roast level for filter and espresso) for now, as that tends to be harder to extract well than roasts that are intended for espresso and generally not for filter.

Jonas27de (original poster)

#8: Post by Jonas27de (original poster) »

No, I cant try another grinder. I havent tried the beans before, I will try to dilute the espresso to taste it. It is not that I dont like the beans, the shot is absolutely undrinkable. We are not talking a lot of acidity, it is just like a lemon exploded in my espresso machine. Still: NO bitterness inside of my cup, just a nightmare amount of sourness. I will try a test packet from my local roaster, it consists of 3 different dark, medium or light roasts. Pretty sure I should first get the dark roast (3 different 250g packs of beans)?
Do you have any help on what I could change to make these shots drinkable. I dont want waste all of it in shots I can barely drink with lots of syrup and milk...

Jonas27de (original poster)

#9: Post by Jonas27de (original poster) »

So anyone have any tips on how to make my coffee drinkable? I will try different beans, but for now I only have the "19grams Wild at heart". How do I get the abnormal amount of sourness out of my cup?

User avatar
BaristaBoy E61

#10: Post by BaristaBoy E61 »

Can you raise the brew boiler temperature?
"You didn't buy an Espresso Machine - You bought a Chemistry Set!"