I can't do it :-( Every shot of espresso tastes bitter - Page 4

Beginner and pro baristas share tips and tricks.
daggerNC (original poster)
Supporter ♡

#31: Post by daggerNC (original poster) »

Good to know @dbdnt - I'll try the "Forty-Two" roast when I get the chance. I know I had some Counter Culture beans in the past, and since it didn't stick with me I guess I felt it was just "OK". Who knows, maybe I'll go down the home-roasting rabbit hole someday...

Jeff
Team HB

#32: Post by Jeff »

One thing to remember on coffee is tastes are different. Coffees that many rave about I find unpleasant. No doubt many find my choices equally distasteful. I think it's worthwhile to try different things. In the end, go with what you enjoy.

Urnex: 100% dedicated focus on coffee and tea cleaning
Sponsored by Urnex
BodieZoffa

#33: Post by BodieZoffa »

daggerNC wrote:Good to know @dbdnt - I'll try the "Forty-Two" roast when I get the chance. I know I had some Counter Culture beans in the past, and since it didn't stick with me I guess I felt it was just "OK". Who knows, maybe I'll go down the home-roasting rabbit hole someday...
Home roasting is quite awesome no doubt. Surely to some it's a matter of getting the greens to a decent level of brown and it's all good as they know it's fresh, cheap(er), that sort of thing. To really dial coffees in the way you want them and do so consistently is a bit involved, but well worth the time/effort. It's quite neat finding quality greens that have a really good shelf life (with decent storage applied) and roast what you want as you need it, not having to deal with waiting for roasted coffee to arrive or having to deal with commercial roaster inconsistencies, etc. Sure some might look it as being a neverending 'rabbit hole', but it doesn't have to be a do all/end all approach to get great results.

daggerNC (original poster)
Supporter ♡

#34: Post by daggerNC (original poster) »

@Jeff - you got that right - my sister gifted me a bag of Honduran coffee for Coava a little over a year ago, and it was excellent to both me AND my wife. So about 6 months ago I placed an order with them for the same bean, and the wife and I eagerly prepared a pot, and, what the?? Not even close! Even kept the original bag and double checked (must have been a new crop/source or something). So, told my wife to give this 2lb bag to one of her office coworkers who then went on to rave about this coffee and she is now ordering directly from Coava!

@Bodie - I have thought about jumping into home roasting for a few years now. This "rabbit hole" may be approaching must faster than anticipated. My wife just asked me about what would be my choices for home roasting machines! I said you and the kids just indulged me with a new ECM, and she then confessed my siblings are looking for some gift ideas for my (unplanned) retirement. I gave her first choice is Behmor 2000AB Plus , and second is Fresh Roast SR800 with extension tube. Don't know if it will happen, but I could be harassing the resident experts over in that forum sooner than later..

Cheers!

User avatar
cafeIKE
Supporter ★

#35: Post by cafeIKE »

daggerNC wrote:I gave her first choice is Behmor 2000AB Plus , and second is Fresh Roast SR800 with extension tube. Don't know if it will happen, but I could be harassing the resident experts over in that forum sooner than later.
Don't do it.

It stinks.
It takes a lot of time and equipment to learn to do it properly.
Unless you keep copious notes, you will always be roasting blind.
You will be drinking bad coffee for quite a while.
It's horribly cost ineffective if you purchase the tools necessary to do it properly.
This image is an example of the required controls. Not shown is the variac to control element power and the meters to monitor temperature, DC power supply, etc.
Without them you are forever roasting samples.


I did it for almost 10 years, but that was over 20 years ago. Over the past 15 years, I've cultivated a handful of superb roasters that can always be relied upon to provide superior java.

Spend the time volunteering. It's much more rewarding.

daggerNC (original poster)
Supporter ♡

#36: Post by daggerNC (original poster) »

"Don't do it." OK Ian, tell me how you really feel about it.. :lol:
"It stinks." Figuratively and literally, right?

But seriously, I appreciate your inputs, insights and feedback. My sibs will probably wind up giving me a Starbucks gift card...the horror! See - now I have you as one of the experts to goto if I do get into roasting! (and to be honest, it seems all the recent commercial roasters I've bought from have been more like "samples" as I haven't found one that has knocked it out of the park for me yet..)

ViM

#37: Post by ViM »

daggerNC wrote:Oh, good point @Jeff, I forgot to mention my water: I am on a community well and I have a whole-house water softener and I use a counter-top water filter pitcher (NSF filter) for any H2O that goes into my Lelit.
I really think water is the reason of all your problems

I bought a Rocket Appartamento and 1zpresso Jx-Pro in april 2021
for a long time i strugled with really bitter shots, with a good one once in a while, but never knowing why (next one, same settings was often terrible)
but even the fast sour ones had this unpleasant sharp bitter thing on top of it
i worked on my technique, then started to think it was more about the grinder.
So I tried a Baratza sette this summer, a bit better, but this sharp bitterness kept haunting me
Tried different coffees, from local roasters and online.
Tried experiences with brew pressure
Spend a lot on gear (baskets, tamper...)
... Same sharp bitterness
got a Niche Zero two weks ago, still the same thing ... :evil:

And I remembered talking with a barista ans the owner of my favorite coffee shop, while i was choosing a new coffee
"Water is very important" she said

I thought I was doing the right using only filtered water since the beginning (Brita).
I never had to descale my

But last sunday, this thought about water came back in my head. And since i tried everything else, maybe i should tried something other than the Brita
So i bought some mineral bottled water (Volvic) and purged my machine, tried the same coffee
IT CHANGED EVERYTHING! :mrgreen:

The sharp bitterness has completely disappeared, even on very long badly dialed shots
Same settings on the grinder: shots are faster, have more body, smell better/stronger, and i get flavors i never had on my setup before

I feel so stupid wasting so much good beans because of this
All i had to do is use good mineral water

So water softener + filter pitcher = your main issue (I guess )

PS: sorry for my broken English, still learning :oops:
★ Helpful

Cerini Coffee & Gifts: official US importer for Olympia Express
Sponsored by Cerini Coffee & Gifts
daggerNC (original poster)
Supporter ♡

#38: Post by daggerNC (original poster) »

@ViM - no apologies please! Sounds very similar to what I've been going thru... Man, I hope it is, and it isn't my water, but I'll give a different water source a try. Thanks for the inputs!!

Jesse.F

#39: Post by Jesse.F »

I've been using the deionized water from Whole Foods with third wave espresso blend added to it with great results. At 1.39 cents a gallon (one you add the 3rd wave) it hardly breaks the bank, and it ensures your machine stays clean.