What does "sweet" mean for espresso? - Page 3

Beginner and pro baristas share tips and tricks.
gimpy

#21: Post by gimpy » Jan 19, 2019, 9:19 pm

Turbo290, I've had "Cuban Coffee" in South Florida (Key West). They add sugar to their espresso shots.

walt_in_hawaii

#22: Post by walt_in_hawaii » Jan 20, 2019, 3:23 pm

Peppersass wrote:I cannot drink the vast majority of cafe/restaurant/shop espresso without sugar, and even with sugar its a disappointment just about everywhere except some of the better places in Italy.

I never use sugar in my home-brewed shots. It ruins them.

That's why many of us are here on H-B.
+1
I have never used sugar in my espressos, ever. Part of it was a reluctance to purjure something coming from a pure source (bean, water) in favor of an alignment in my head toward an agreeable goal which in reality is completely arbitrary. All things are contextural, even if you try your damndest not to be biased, you still will be. That's the human condition, you aren't a refractometer with skin. Coffee has no sugars and precious little oil and has effectively zero calories. It will never taste 'sweet' as you seem to be defining it by your juxtapositions with candy. But within the context of the flavors we look for and the badly pulled bitter brews, the relative sweetness is there, wrapped in a complexity of other flavors. It keeps us coming back to find it.

mokava

#23: Post by mokava » Jan 28, 2019, 4:14 pm

Sweetness scale and expectations are individual indeed, just as any feeling intensity. Free pursuit of happiness is very much applicable to coffee drinking as anything else :)

If anything to add to the excellent points already expressed here, in my experience espresso shot triggers somewhat differing taste if consummed at once as a shot (like vodka) as opposed to savoring, sipping way like a latte.

Something to do with the sequence of receptors engaged.

My personal peference is savoring it while alternating with cool water. This somewhat refreshes my taste buds and hydrates me too.

Happy tasting!

nuketopia

#24: Post by nuketopia » Jan 28, 2019, 5:36 pm

Let the espresso cool slightly and more of the flavors will be apparent. Slurping it a little helps too.

io

#25: Post by io » Feb 18, 2019, 12:30 am

The best espresso I've had so far,started off with a strong but pleasant coffee flavor. Not at all bitter, just really pleasant coffee. Each sip after the first tasted less like coffee, and more like cherries. I wouldn't call it sweet, but unmistakably like cherries.

happycat

#26: Post by happycat » Feb 18, 2019, 12:53 am

My coffee is sweet most of the time

My americanos today tasted like creamy honey... a rich, flavourful honey with a tang to it (Guatemala Antigua home roasted)

Ever since I switched to a Rao profile (high charge, declining ROR, go for 25% post 1c but drop if a dip and flick is happening) my coffee is sweet pretty much regardless of light or medium roast.

The empty and dried espresso cup typically smells sweet

Coffee left to cool overnight and drunk the next day is sweet

I once roasted Sweet Santa from greenbeanery... it was like sugar, crazy sweet

I go for balance and that includes sweetness
LMWDP #603

mathof

#27: Post by mathof » Feb 18, 2019, 5:26 am

I don't recall ever tasting an espresso that was sweet in the sense that honey or maple syrup, for example, is sweet. And I've drunk espresso not only at home but in the highest rated third-wave shops in London, New York and Paris (not to mention all over Italy). The most I can say is that most of the espressos I drink are pulled from light-roasted arabica and, therefore, are absent roasty, bitter notes. But to my mind, the absence of bitterness is not the same as sweetness.

happycat

#28: Post by happycat » Feb 18, 2019, 7:34 am

mathof wrote:I don't recall ever tasting an espresso that was sweet in the sense that honey or maple syrup, for example, is sweet. And I've drunk espresso not only at home but in the highest rated third-wave shops in London, New York and Paris (not to mention all over Italy). The most I can say is that most of the espressos I drink are pulled from light-roasted arabica and, therefore, are absent roasty, bitter notes. But to my mind, the absence of bitterness is not the same as sweetness.
Third Wave is known for acidity not sweetness. Sounds like there are many experiences still waiting for you.
LMWDP #603

Samcanadian

#29: Post by Samcanadian » Feb 22, 2019, 9:56 am

Closest thing that came to "sweet" for me was the first time I had a real jammy shot of De Mello Palheta. It was so different than the medium-dark roasts I had been drinking, that it actually seemed sweet to me. Now, beyond that I've never had a shot that I would call "Sweet" but I suppose in comparison to the expected coffee flavour most are waiting for, there are a lot of light roast coffees with intense fruity notes for which "sweet" is perhaps as good of a descriptor as any.

mgrayson

#30: Post by mgrayson » Feb 22, 2019, 10:41 am

It's truly weird when you pull a sweet shot for the first time. You sip it and think "what the hell am I drinking? This isn't espresso!" But it is, and it's glorious. I'm too lazy to chase them, and almost all my shots end up with some steamed milk, but it's still a literally miraculous experience. (And I mean "literally" literally.)

My next machine will be either a lever, or something that can mimic a lever (wife objects to tall equipment in kitchen), so I may have a better shot at it. (pun intended).

Matt