Problem to extract espresso with Ethiopian Harrar

Beginner and pro baristas share tips and tricks for making espresso.
kast0r

#1: Post by kast0r »

Hello,

I purchased a Harrar coffee from Ethiopia which is brown roasted. The coffee beans have an excellent scent. I perceive blueberries as well as cedar.

The problem I have been having since opening the bag is that I am not able to taste great when making espresso with this coffee. It is always too sour or too acidic. I have changed several settings so far to see if I was able to have a good extraction, but I still have this problem.

Thing I did:

- Grind finer
- Grind coarser
- Grind finer with longer extraction time
- Grind coarser with less extraction time
- Lower water temp
- Higher water temp
- Less coffee
- More coffee

The results are always the same. To my taste, the coffee is not good on the palate.

The last setting I made is to have finer grind giving it a pre-infusion time of 15-20 seconds for a total of 36g in 45 seconds. The result is less worse. I am able to taste blueberries now, but the taste can definitely be improved as I still taste sour in the cup.

Reading a bit on forums, I realized that this type of coffee may not be ideal for espresso. (I am using a Yirgacheffe at the moment and the taste is excellent)

Do you have any ideas to help me or this type of coffee may not be ideal for espresso?

Thank you!

User avatar
TomC
Team HB

#2: Post by TomC »

Welcome to HB Alexandre!

Maybe not a most ideal coffee to be extracted as espresso without having a lot of control at your fingertips.

If grinding much finer, dosing less, longer pre-infusion and a long slow extraction isn't banishing the sourness (bump the temp too?) then it's time to move on to a different coffee. Maybe save that for filter/drip brew.
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User avatar
cafeIKE
Supporter ★

#3: Post by cafeIKE »

How about numbers for dose, basket, pressure, temperature, brew ratio [g espresso / g coffee], etc.

FWIW, I like a large basket filled to 'spec'* and brewed hotter [203-205°F] for lighter roasts.

* eg Triple basket ≈ 21g.
Note that baskets are not created equal and it helps to have a selection of doubles and triples

mbbrew

#4: Post by mbbrew »

Have you tried longer ratios? A lungo can push the extraction up and tame the sourness, in addition to making the acidity more dilute.