Is aftertaste normal with espresso? - Page 2

Beginner and pro baristas share tips and tricks for making espresso.
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Jeff
Team HB

#11: Post by Jeff »

Or the coffee and its roast. Sometimes it's the raw materials. Great technique can only hide the defects so much while striving to bring out the best.

It took me a decade to realize and then admit that!

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Randy G.

#12: Post by Randy G. »

Espresso is a great tool to assist in learning how to taste. Start by paying attention to the start, the middle, and the finish. Dividing it mentally that way will get you started. I remember a really great shot that had an amazing finish that lasted many minutes. In 2006 (15 years ago!) I wrote this article: "A Beginners' Guide to Tasting Espresso." I had forgotten all about it until I read your post.
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Ken5 (original poster)
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#13: Post by Ken5 (original poster) »

Just noticed your post Randy. Will keep your article in mind next shot!

Thanks

Ken

Jimjam168
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#14: Post by Jimjam168 »

The first time I had a lingering (excellent) aftertaste changed how I perceive what espresso can be. Once you start pulling very good shots and can understand the various notes that come with the flavor clarity I hope your mind will be blown just as mine was.

In case you're wondering, mine was a distinct finish of caramel- It was incredibly vivid and lasted 5 minutes. I was sad when it was done!
James

vze26m98
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#15: Post by vze26m98 »

The Dinicaffé "Elle" blend I'm currently pulling is described on the bag as "Delicate Note Agrumate, spiccati Arome Floreali e Dolce Retrogusto".

dparrish
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#16: Post by dparrish »

Ken5 wrote:Okay... had a few shots after my last post and I am appreciating the finish a bit more than before, though I am still on the fence as the aftertaste always seems to take on the lesser qualities of the shot. The really nice flavors of the shot never linger on.

Time will tell me if this is a normal finish, or a quality of a less than perfect shot. :(

Ken
Can you describe the aftertaste/finish you're experiencing? That could help determine whether your extraction is best for the coffee you're using. Assuming the coffee is fresh and to your liking (some may not be, especially as espresso, which concentrates both desirable and undesirable flavors), a sour finish could mean underextraction (grind coarser and/or pull shot for a longer time); a bitter or paper taste could mean overextraction (grind finer and/or pull shot for a shorter time).If the finish is sweet, chocolate, or caramel/pleasing, you've probably already hit the mark:).

Ken5 (original poster)
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#17: Post by Ken5 (original poster) »

Thanks David,

I think I am getting closer to a better aftertaste/finish. Grinding a little bit coarser. Can't really explain the flavors too well. :(.

Only 3 shots into the new grind. Will report back when I get more time with it.

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exidrion

#18: Post by exidrion »

dparrish wrote:Can you describe the aftertaste/finish you're experiencing? That could help determine whether your extraction is best for the coffee you're using. Assuming the coffee is fresh and to your liking (some may not be, especially as espresso, which concentrates both desirable and undesirable flavors), a sour finish could mean underextraction (grind coarser and/or pull shot for a longer time); a bitter or paper taste could mean overextraction (grind finer and/or pull shot for a shorter time).If the finish is sweet, chocolate, or caramel/pleasing, you've probably already hit the mark:).
Isn't this incorrect and you want to grind finer to fix underextraction and coarser to fix overextraction?

dparrish
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#19: Post by dparrish » replying to exidrion »

Extraction is a function of the amount of coffee extracted over a set time period. It's best to change one variable at a time. If you keep the amount of coffee going "in" (amount in the portafilter) the same, as well as the time "out" (generally 25-35 seconds for a traditional espresso machine), grinding finer will cause the coffee puck to "choke up", resulting in less coffee extracted. If you grinder coarser, flow is increased, resulting in more coffee extracted. But you can also play with other factors, such as increasing the time for more extraction, as well as dosage (lower dosage "in" takes less time to extract, but you'll get a little different flavor profile). And of course, you can raise the temperature a bit to extract faster. But it's generally best to start with a given ratio of coffee in to coffee out (1:2 is fairly common for traditional roasts, 1:2.5+ for lighter roasts) and first play with grinding finer/coarser to the best taste.

DamianWarS
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#20: Post by DamianWarS »

Ken5 wrote:I understand that aftertaste could be due to an astringent shot, but do you get a slightly lingering aftertaste with your good espresso shots?

I am fairly new to making espresso, got my Robot very end of September. I have been enjoying most of my shots, nice flavors and nice texture, though usually there is a slight aftertaste that lingers on a bit. Not the same kind of aftertaste as when I make an astringent shot, more like a normal coffee taste. The other day I went to a restaurant where I was getting my favorite shots prior to getting the robot to compare to what I have been getting at home. I have to say I was really disappointed in their shot! I guess I should be happy as that probably means I might be doing something right. :) It seemed bland and very thin, actually wondered if I got coffee instead, which I didn't. I noticed there was no aftertaste and sort of really appreciated that though!

So, I am wondering if there is something that I could do to improve my shots, or if it is normal to have a slight lingering aftertaste.

Ken
it's the finish. and if it's pleasant then it's desirable. a finish that goes on for hours is highly coveted. a thin hollow finish can be a low extraction. when you experience an excellent finish it changes everything and it's all you seek.