New set up and sour espresso

Beginner and pro baristas share tips and tricks.

#1: Post by ping279 »

I recently upgraded to a Breville Dual Boiler and Sette 270wi. I have been having some issues with brightness/sourness. Currently what I am pulling is :

18.5g in
Around 37g out
33 sec.

From what I could tell, this should be a decent set of parameters to eliminate the sourness. I started at 201 degrees and am now up to 205 with only marginal improvement. I am worried about grinding any finer and pushing it up towards 40 seconds. My other thought is that it may just be the beans even though the roaster classifies them as dark roast. To my eyes, they are more in the medium roast realm however.

For a little background, I had the Breville 870xl for about 4 years and just in the past month upgraded so you could say that I am still a novice to espresso. Any thoughts on what I could do differently?

Here is a photo of the beans for reference :



#2: Post by greenbeans »

i'm guessing its the beans. Any other beans to try?

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#3: Post by HotLava »

A few things can lead to sourness. Low temp, too coarse a grind or just bad beans.

Assuming youre using the factory pre set of 200 degrees it's likely not a temp issue. If the shot is taking 33 seconds to get a 1:2 ratio, it's not flowing too fast. If it were too slow and you were stopping the extraction too soon, you would have a problem with more bitter flavors. I agree likely the beans. How old are they?


#4: Post by ping279 »

The beans aren't old, possibly even too fresh still. They are from a local roaster, roasted on March 11th so today they are 11 days old. I'm thinking maybe that is just the flavor profile of the beans and I just can't get much of a roasted flavor from them.


#5: Post by etout00 »

+1 on the beans.....origin and roast of beans 'could' push you toward a brighter taste (perceived as 'sour'). Try a blend/roast of beans that are 'supposed' to be the profile you're going for.

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#6: Post by HotLava »

I would try grinding a little finer or tamping a little tighter. Take your extraction out to 35-38 seconds. Another option try a 1:1.5 ratio. 18/27. Experiment a bit more before giving up.

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#7: Post by HB »

ping279 wrote:My other thought is that it may just be the beans even though the roaster classifies them as dark roast.
If you're not sure about the taste profile, brew it as pourover or French press. If it's bright prepared that way, it will only be more so as espresso.
Dan Kehn


#8: Post by ping279 »

I think the beans are to blame. They are Colombian which I normally don't use and I don't think I was used to their brightness. I tried some Brazil beans with much better success. Looks like I'll keep the Colombian for lattes.

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#9: Post by HotLava »

I had a flight sent to me. Tried the Colombian today as espresso. I didn't care for it. More bitter than sour. Reminded me more of some old Maxwell house than fresh roast coffee.


#10: Post by Montrealer »

You can also try grinding significantly finer and manually preinfusing at 55% pressure and holding the manual button until you see coffee sweating out of the basket (assuming you have a nakid portafilter).

This will increase total brew time but might reveal a different flavor profile that could make the beans more enjoyable.