Brew your espresso as coffee first?

Beginner and pro baristas share tips and tricks.
Gus

#1: Post by Gus »

At the risk of sounding like an idiot I must admit that I never (almost never) drink brewed coffee. The more I read the more I see that seasoned members brew their espresso as coffee first to see how it tastes before making it as espresso. Sort of a cupping but for the espresso roast? So now it's Sunday evening and too late to be drinking coffee and I think I have somehow been missing a major step of the understanding of getting the most out of my espresso.

Should the first step really be brew the coffee to understand how it should taste before trying to make espresso?
Gus

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Alan Frew

#2: Post by Alan Frew »

My progression for a "new" coffee is first cup, then vacpot, then espresso. I'm not so much looking to get the best out of the espresso as identifying what's possible. If a particular aroma/flavour/mouthfeel isn't present when cupping or from the vacpot it's not going to suddenly appear in an espresso. A super acidic or super fruity brewed coffee may be over the top as an espresso.

After a few years you can predict the end espresso result fairly well.

Alan

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another_jim
Team HB

#3: Post by another_jim »

I'm a big fan. First off; nothings going to show up in an shot that isn't in the brew; so you'll know if you are wasting your time. Second, it's much easier to screw up a shot than screw up a brew; which means you may miss out on flavors that are potentially there.

Finally, I agree with what Alan says; you'll be warned if the shot is going to be over the top acidic; and can either skip on the shot or finer, dose lower, and pull hotter as a precaution.
Jim Schulman

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Boldjava

#4: Post by Boldjava »

I always first drink it as a pourover or a vacpot. I then prepare it as a shot, sip it a bit, and then touch it with a skosh of tight milk.

I am trying to learn the "cross-over" flavors/nuances. It assists me in identifying what it is in the brewed cup that carries over into the espresso. It helps me identify more clearly what I might both anticipate and then experience in the espresso prep.
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OldmatefromOZ

#5: Post by OldmatefromOZ »

I started brewing / evaluating all my roasts over the last 6 months after reading it here a few times. Most of which are aimed at going through an espresso machine of some sort.

Slightly coarser grind than for espresso, 10g into the Aeropress non inverted with able fine disk.
Water @ 94 Celsius 130ml
Quick 5 second stir then slowly press.

This has helped me to identify what / where / how certain flavours come about in my home roasting. I do 3 or 4 roasts back to back with a new bean, keep the roast data and brew them all up.

I agree that it is much easier to identify faults or aspects inherent in the bean that I have accentuated that i do not like. When I get a bean really right, its very enjoyable from hot - warm - cool.

This is a good platform for getting more enjoyment from my espresso.

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aecletec

#6: Post by aecletec »

Locally, even visually light "espresso" roasts are generally too dark for me to note much in brewed coffee. I wonder what I'm doing wrong - do you modify your brewing techniques at all?
Thanks.

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drgary
Team HB

#7: Post by drgary »

I use a Bona kettle that has a PID for fine temperature control. I dial it down for darker roasts. So, I may brew as cool as 179F. The simpler answer is use a fast-responding, digital food thermometer and let your brew water cool off the boil sufficiently that you're using an appropriate temperature for your coffee.
Gary
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What I WOULD do for a good cup of coffee!

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yakster
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#8: Post by yakster »

For home-roaster's it may also be a practical matter of brewing the coffee in the first few days as it rests and then pulling it as espresso later. I drink primarily brewed coffee and will often regret not saving more coffee for espresso once I pull a shot and find out how nice it is as espresso. I also think the learning goes both ways, I can sometimes pull flavors out of an espresso shot, like toffee, that I didn't notice at first in brewed coffee, but when going back to pour-over I can then pick it out.
-Chris

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aecletec

#9: Post by aecletec »

drgary wrote:I use a Bona kettle that has a PID for fine temperature control. I dial it down for darker roasts. So, I may brew as cool as 179F. The simpler answer is use a fast-responding, digital food thermometer and let your brew water cool off the boil sufficiently that you're using an appropriate temperature for your coffee.
Wow- that low huh? Useful info, thanks!

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cannonfodder
Team HB

#10: Post by cannonfodder »

A boring brew coffee can make a very good espresso. An interesting very flavorful and lively brew coffee can be over the top for espresso. In espresso, you are amplifying the flavors, but yes, I brew everything so I have an idea of how to best use the coffee. I usually do 3 roasts of every new coffee. A light city, full city and full city+ on the very first pop of second crack. That gives me a good working range for a new coffee.
Dave Stephens