Some advice for beginners using comfort espresso blends and medium to dark roasts

Beginner and pro baristas share tips and tricks for making espresso.
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#1: Post by exidrion »

These past couple of days I've been too lazy to break out the scale and measure my output, and I decided to judge my shots by the blonding point. Wonderful shots and flavour! Perhaps whilst I was learning my approach was too rigid and by the numbers/ratio. I encourage those new to the hobby to try this out and keep it simple. Judge by eye and see what happens :mrgreen:

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#2: Post by erik82 »

Been there, done that and came to the conclusion it just didn't work. It'll work if you want ok coffee but not for great coffee

Espresso is known to require great consistency and that's in the numbers. It can work if you buy a superb and consistent grinder but most beginners just don't have that. My Eureka Olympus could grind within 0.3gr every dose and then it's doable with darker roasts as you eliminate the main variable of dose. With doses being off by 1-2gr your coffee will never be great consistently.

And with great dose consistency pulling darker roasts to the blonding point will give consistent output results if your machine is also consistent. So yes it can sometimes work if you have great gear as a beginner.

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#3: Post by iyayy »

i've been doing this to get close to proper ratio, but following weight dose, time, yield, grind settings and grouphead pressure is still a good method for repetition and consistency. i use this as base and tune further from there instead of following a 1:2 25-30s rule.
havnt had a bad shot for a long time already, with any grinder, any basket (singles or vst15/vst18/decent/ims) except if im too far from grind. even then i'll still get a good lungos / thick americano, nothing that isnt enjoyable.

sometimes its just inconsistent puck prep throwing of the time and yield, and this can be seen at group pressure. can be regrounded/retention/stale coffee too.
bdb taught me a lot to puck prep and dial the grounds to desired flavor.
unfortunately most machine gauge only shows pump pressure, which only tells u that the pump and opv works correctly, but not ur puck prep quality.

also some beans can extract more and turns pale slower, allowing longer ratios. others can be very fast and turns astringent quickly and need shorter ratio.
personally i cant fathom how a lot of socmed videos i've seen runs shot very long even after it turns pale/transparent.. its likely watering down flavorless beans with high risk of overextraction of poor/burnt/astringent flavor.. maybe long shot and full glass looks cool?

this is also something that spring lever user avoids, dont wait until shots ends and take the cup away even though its still flowing, probably one additional reason why its claimed to always produce better shots than pump.