Good taste, good crema, AND volume? - Page 2

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

#11: Post by Thatchmo »

Psyd wrote:If you're just in it for the caffeine, the pills are much easier and cheaper.
Man, that made me laugh, I suppose because it's so true!!! Once you get into this "hobby", "distraction", "obsession", "addiction"...just like the other two you mentioned, wine and cigars; you are trapped! You can't go back to being happy with the cheap or easy stuff, but you are always chasing the ephemerally "better", shot, smoke or bottle...You have to love the process, or at least tolerate it enough to keep trying...particularly with Home Barista-ing...where you and your skill set are a major part of the problem/solution!

Now off for bananas and beer!!


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#12: Post by cannonfodder »

Tell me about it. I started with a 150 stick humi, that will do me forever. Then I had two of them, now I have a 400 count chest and a cooler full of overflow. I have had some bad expensive cigars and some exceptional cheap sticks. Just like coffee, you have to go through a lot of garbage to find the handful of gems.
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Randy G.

#13: Post by Randy G. »

I don't use tobacco, but I did come into possession of an exceptional cigar back in college. In an upstairs apartment lived a couple from the Netherlands- Gerard and Claurie (lovely folks, BTW). He said he was having a problem getting his 50 cycle record player working. He had broken the setscrew off on the motor pulley when trying to change it for the 60 cycle replacement. I went up there with the Dremel, cut a new slot in the screw, and changed it out for him. He offered me a cigar as a thank you, and at first I graciously refused it, but he insisted that I would like it, so I took it.

Later in the day, on the way to pick the wife up at work I fired it up. It was like candy- sweet, smooth and delicious. Mind you, these comments from a guy who had never smoked a tobacco product in his life!

Yes, I remember what it was- it was a Tueros Gold, in a glass tube. All the way from Cuba! He dad was a Dutch businessman, and he smuggled in a full box of these when he came to visit his son.

Ever since that day back in the early 70's I have been hoping that we would normalize our relationship with Cuba so I could enjoy another one of those. I did get a Tueros Silver in Canada in the 80's but it wasn't the same.

Now, if I only could find a sweet, smooth, affordable, single malt....
* 22nd Anniversary 2000-2022 *

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#14: Post by Psyd »

Easy, just get yourself... oh, you did include 'affordable'...
<Emily Litella>
</Emily Litella>
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espressonewb (original poster)

#15: Post by espressonewb (original poster) »

Hey Psyd,

I never, and I mean never look my nose down upon anything I like...period. I've found joy in many a 'daily smokable' cigars over the years, and they are my go to, and those in which I hand to folks who won't appreciate my more sacred sticks. Same thing goes with my wine cellar too...

Never thought of the decaf route, have always likened decaf to a fat free cheesecake, why bother? However, it would help curb the shakes at 10 p.m.


I do like the process, and that's why I decided to get as hands on as I could with my first machine in the Silvia and Rocky. Plus, now that I've put some time in, i'm starting to reap some of the benefits. I made the single best double today, and the single best capp today, that I've ever made. I consider it hitting the barista lottery! Something bad is bound to happen to me now...:)

In any event, I think I like the coffee game better than Wine and Cigars, or for the time being anyway. With the home barista-ing, it's far more hands on, and I have a say in the outcome, and that's just plain fun!

Happy or otherwise...


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#16: Post by Psyd »

espressonewb wrote: Never thought of the decaf route, have always likened decaf to a fat free cheesecake, why bother?
Same reason. My doc has suggested that I cut down on a lot of things, keeping an eye on my cholesterol. That does NOT mean that I've given up a good cheesy spinach quiche. The GF put together a fat free, egg product, fat-free cream (?!?) pie that knocked me out, and kept my doc happy.
Giving up the by-products doesn't necessarily mean that you'd have to give up the product.
Are any of the substitutes as good as the originals? Probably not, but the tend to beat the pants off of doing without!
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#17: Post by cannonfodder »

Remember that flavour. You wont find another like it for a long time. After Castro, all the good blenders left the country. The current farmers have run the soil into the ground (no pun intended). I was talking to Carlos Torano (cigar manufacturer for those that don't know) and he told me that if they went back to Cuba today, it would be 10 years before the soil was ready to produce one of those vintage Cuban puro's. I am actually at the cigar bar having a Kristoff Criollo right now. Darn nice smoke, creamy, a little nutty, a little leathery. Reminds me of a Brazil, Yemen coffee.

But we are getting way off topic.
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#18: Post by another_jim »

espressonewb wrote: but it fell short on volume, as I stopped the machine when I saw it begin to blonde.
There are ristretto honey blonds and normale platinum blonds. You first need to pick which suits the coffee you're pulling, then you need to stick with that color. In general, you'll pull less and less as the coffee stales. But normales are always platinum blonds, no matter how fresh or stale the coffee.
Jim Schulman

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#19: Post by C-spot »

If I am allowed to walk a little side way here? This is what one bumps into now and again, the perception of blonding! I strongly get the impression that the perception of blonding varies from person to person. Which can work out very confusing because where one person calls its pour blond the other calls it lighter.

So where am i going to here? Is there a rule of thumb one can use in judging shades (from a lighter becoming pour to the mentioned platinum blond) of blonding ? Or should everyone make up there own judgment according to taste and coffee type?

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#20: Post by JmanEspresso »



There is a general color where the shot is considered Blonde. But personal taste will ultimately tell you when to stop the shot. You will just have to experiment every time you get a new bag. I usually pull a ristretto then a normale, and stop them both just as they blond. Then I pull two more, the same way, and let it blond for a second, then stop it. Then I find the right temp. Then the dose.

This is why 12oz bags are not conducive to my sanity.. If I dont pay attention, I can go through a whole bag trying to find the best spot, and then Im out.. This is why I dont switch coffees as often anymore.

As I said.. There is always going to be guidelines, parameters, opinions. But its your tastebuds for which you are making the espresso. Make it so it tastes the best to you.

FWIW, I dont think I have EVER pulled a full 2oz, even with the double basket packed to the limit.