Espresso too sweet

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

#1: Post by youngiijc »

Hey all! I have been making espresso that tastes very sweet. I can't find much literature on sweetness - what I read here says that it's a good thing. However, Im finding it too sweet for my palate.

Generally, it's more sweet with lighter roasts and more pressure. I'm using a Flair lever machine so can't speak to the exact pressure, as it's felt as I apply it.

When I apply less pressure the texture is lost.

1. Why is the espresso so sweet?

2. Any tips on how to lower the sweetness and keep the texture?


#2: Post by Pressino »

A bit more information would be useful to answer the question. What coffee are you using and how soon after the roast date? How are you grinding it and how fine? How hot is the water? How firmly do you tamp it in the PF?

The above variables will affect the taste of the espresso, especially the perception of bitterness and sourness.

"Sweetness" is quite subjective, and it can be difficult to know exactly what someone else means by the term without standards for comparison.

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#3: Post by guijan12 »

Well, that's a seldom heard complaint! :P
Welcome btw.

What about your grinder (in addition to the above post....)?



#4: Post by bonjing »

Already asked. :lol:


#5: Post by GorchT »

Is it naturally processed beans? Then maybe try washed ones, they are normally less sweet or look for the ones grown in lower altitudes, in my opinion they normally also have less sweetness.


#6: Post by Smo »

Install a video camera and you will find an intruder who puts sugar in coffee.


#7: Post by Scott-ishBrewer »

Did your roaster put an "extra surprise" of eugenioides and/or sugar on your coffee?

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#8: Post by PIXIllate »

Sweetness is pretty much universally a good thing in espresso. I've experienced a few, very rare, shots on my SSW burrs that were cloying-adjacent but never so much as to be a negative.

Maybe you've confusing sweet with another flavor characteristic?

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Team HB

#9: Post by Jeff »

Moderator note: A few posts here departed from being helpful and headed off into the weeds. They were removed.

Please consider if your responses add to the conversation.

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Kaffee Bitte

#10: Post by Kaffee Bitte »

Does mineral water taste sweet to you? I ask because a friend has that gene and is always talking about how sweet coffee is. Then she tried my espresso, which the water for is standard tap. She had a grand time telling me I made bitter shots for a bit. Turns out the shop she frequents most uses some third wave water mix and this is what she was tasting. I brewed her a french press with San Pellegrino to test it. She was definitely tasting sweet from the mineral water.
Lynn G.
LMWDP # 110