Taste at the end of the extraction

Beginner and pro baristas share tips and tricks.
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AndyS

#1: Post by AndyS »

The conventional nonsense -- er, wisdom -- is that the blondish extract at the end of an espresso extraction ruins a shot by making it bitter. Therefore, it is considered a bitter mistake to let the shot run too long.

Do you taste it that way? I don't....

Sometimes I run a shot of typical length, and then slip a second cup underneath the spout to capture an extra five seconds of extract. What I taste in that final portion is a dilute caramel sweetness, along with an underlying note of something akin to creosote. The coffee flavor wheel lists creosol as a "bitter/pungent" flavor. But to my taste buds, if this creosol is a bitter flavor, it is a very mild bitterness.

Again, speaking for my taste buds, running the shot too long dilutes the flavors, reducing body and intensity. Sometimes I find the dilution and added caramel opens up the flavors and makes them more accessible, other times it just dulls them. But making the shot bitter? Not for me.

Comments?

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-AndyS
VST refractometer/filter basket beta tester, no financial interest in the company

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Randy G.

#2: Post by Randy G. »

I too have tasted the extreme end of an overly-long pull and concur that there is no extreme bitterness... or any other poor taste in that portion of the extraction. My observations are that what you do get is a VERY thin body. This is accentuated if you had first tasted a sip from the earlier part of the pull, then sampled the thin stream after the end of what would have been the "normal" stopping point. The heavy, rich body of the "real" espresso makes the second sip like coffee-flavored water. I think that this may have brought about that incorrect description of the "bitterness" at the end of the pull... just guessing.

I often pull long when making cappas to add a bit more coffee taste into the cup and to lessen the amount of milk for a full cup. I haven't gotten the "it's too coffee-ish" comment since the VBM arrived! :wink:
Espresso! My Espresso! - http://www.EspressoMyEspresso.com
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another_jim
Team HB

#3: Post by another_jim »

Last time I tried, the taste was thin and unconcentrated, but distinctly bitter.

But I think there must be differences between machines and coffees, in some cases, they can finish a lot better. For instance, Heather Perry, who knows a thing or three about espresso, runs her shots a lot further than just about anyone else. I remember a tech judge in a competition saying he was cringing about how white the flow was at the end of her shots. Fortunately, this isn't a scoring item, since the taste scores for her shots were very high indeed.
Jim Schulman

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hbuchtel

#4: Post by hbuchtel »

AndyS wrote:The conventional nonsense -- er, wisdom -- is that the blondish extract at the end of an espresso extraction ruins a shot by making it bitter.
If you let it run for long enough it sure gets bitter...
AndyS wrote:... an extra five seconds of extract.
What do the next five seconds taste like? I'll try it on my lever machine this afternoon.
LMWDP #53

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Chert
Supporter

#5: Post by Chert »

I call the tail end of the extraction the 'dregs shot' and throw a little foam in it. My partner drinks the dregs shot before she indulges in the ristretto-cappuccino. I would be pleased to improve my technique to get great flavor from the entire pull, but that white late tail is generally a sign that bitterness awaits.
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CoffeeOwl

#6: Post by CoffeeOwl »

It depends on the coffee.
With one blend I had similar experience when pulling ristrettos, but it strongly depended on the dose (I'll check my log when I get back home... sunday duty today :roll: ). Otherwise it just gets bitter.
'a a ha sha sa ma!


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Psyd

#7: Post by Psyd »

AndyS wrote:The conventional nonsense -- er, wisdom -- is that the blondish extract at the end of an espresso extraction ruins a shot by making it bitter.

Sometimes I run a shot of typical length, and then slip a second cup underneath the spout to capture an extra five seconds of extract. What I taste in that final portion is a dilute caramel sweetness, along with an underlying note of something akin to creosote.
Dan touched on this a bit with his "Where did this shot go blonde?" thread. Just because the produce from the basket isn't dark or tiger striped, I don't consider it technically blonde. For me, at least, it's when the stream loses any body, and start to look less like an extract and more like that first squirt out of an old faucet that hasn't been used for a decade or so. More like brackish water.
This may lead to you liking what you're describing as blonde, and the earlier poster asking what the next five seconds tastes like. Is what you're drinking actually 'blonde'?
Depends on what your definition of 'is' is... ; >
Espresso Sniper
One Shot, One Kill

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babola

#8: Post by babola »

AndyS wrote: Again, speaking for my taste buds, running the shot too long dilutes the flavors, reducing body and intensity. Sometimes I find the dilution and added caramel opens up the flavors and makes them more accessible, other times it just dulls them. But making the shot bitter? Not for me.
Exactly the same experience in my case, Andy. This is true when I pull a 25-30ml normale or traditional Italian-style ristretto. When pulling the non-Italian ristretto (overdosed basket, hard tamp, tighter grind, 25sec extraction) the extra 5 seconds adds a decidedly bitter taste to the extract when tasted alone.

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AndyS

#9: Post by AndyS »

another_jim wrote: I think there must be differences between machines and coffees, in some cases, they can finish a lot better.
Reading the responses, it is interesting that most people find the extract usually gets distinctly bitter late in the extraction, while I don't (along with a few other folks under certain conditions).

Undoubtedly you're correct Jim, this effect must be dependent on certain other variables. I can't wait to figure out how to tweak my shots so they turn really bitter at the end. :-)
-AndyS
VST refractometer/filter basket beta tester, no financial interest in the company

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cafeIKE

#10: Post by cafeIKE »

Disconnect the PID?