How to make a tasty espresso from a single origin that tastes wonderful brewed. - Page 2

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

#11: Post by CarefreeBuzzBuzz »

Rice Bowl wrote:Sounds like a great way to mask all the potentially interesting origin tastes and characteristics just to get chocolate and nut tastes in the cup
My wife the pastry chef, as she has explained it to me, would beg to differ with the word "mask" and certainly with the word "all". Taste is personal and some may enjoy a little less fruit and more "balance". You may not like this, but others do. To each, his or her, own.
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hifier

#12: Post by hifier replying to CarefreeBuzzBuzz »

I agree with what you wrote, however my issue would be with the title of the post and the bait and switch therein. This suggestion, however valid as a stand alone suggestion, is not "How to make a tasty espresso from a single origin that tastes wonderful brewed." It is "How to make a SO taste less like a SO".

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CarefreeBuzzBuzz

#13: Post by CarefreeBuzzBuzz replying to hifier »

Fair enough.
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lancealot

#14: Post by lancealot »

hifier wrote:"How to make a SO taste less like a SO".
Isn't the evolution of large, flat, hyper-aligned grinders and pressure profiling in espresso machines in pursuit of this same goal? It seems like the goal has always been to make drinkable espresso out of SO's that taste great brewed but do not taste good (or force you to ignore bad flavors) when subjected to the espresso method. I see this suggestion is just another tool in the tool box.

hifier

#15: Post by hifier replying to lancealot »

I certainly would not phrase it that way. The joy of a perfectly extracted SO that lingers on your tongue for hours is the holy grail. Why assume that an SO must have "bad flavors". This is just a not true.

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another_jim (original poster)
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#16: Post by another_jim (original poster) »

To clarify: Some light roasted SOs taste wonderful as shots, but most taste a lot better brewed, regardless of equipment. So putting all connoisseur posturing aside, simply brew that tough SO and make a shot of it at the same time. Which one are you enjoying more? Which one is telling you more about the coffee? Now repeat the test using a neutral Brazil as a blender in your shots.
Jim Schulman

hifier

#17: Post by hifier »

another_jim wrote:Some light roasted SOs taste wonderful as shots, but most taste a lot better brewed, regardless of equipment.
I think this premise is where we disagree. As the previous post mentioned, to each their own.

In my experience, if the roast is properly developed and the coffee is high quality, it should be possible, if sometimes difficult, to pull a great espresso. The preference for a pour over or whatever is just that, a preference. I don't see how adding different coffee is going to help bring out more characteristics of the SO in question. It defies logic. You are adding entirely different flavor compounds. Compliment? Maybe. I like a nice piccolo latte in the morning, but you can't convince me that it is somehow a more true representation of the coffee. Yikes. Before I'm accused of being dogmatic about this or something I'd just like to say that I appreciate the back and forth. Debate is where I usually learn something. Cheers!

espressivo

#18: Post by espressivo »

Amen. It's nice to see an uber-expert here confirm what I found independently and almost by accident. I tried the "regular" espresso blend of a local roaster mainly because my wife was working across the street from them and that was what I had her buy. It was exactly the part-Brazilian blend you describe, and lo and behold, supremely easy to extract, very low acidity but excellent fruity flavor, like a dark chocolate-coated cranberry, if you will. It allows me to use a relatively coarse grind, resulting in a fast yet fully extracted shot.

I've tried some lighter, locally roasted SO that supposedly is meant for espresso, but that requires a much finer grind and fiddling with the dose to avoid choking the shot. And even then a shot that looks good coming out can taste to me like car battery acid. Of course, different people have different sensitivity to acidity. To me, the lighter, "fruity" roasts are great for pour over or French press, where the acid isn't as concentrated. (I also like to cut orange juice with seltzer.) So, 37 years after trying my first shot in Italy, I may just remain an espresso "beginner" for life.