When did this espresso extraction go blond? [video quiz] - Page 4

Beginner or pro barista, all are invited to share.

When did this espresso extraction go blond?

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Postby AndyS » Jan 14, 2008, 7:22 am

micki wrote:LOL ... but the question in the headline and start of the video was "When did this espresso extraction go blond", so technically you're wrong (yeah, I know the question above the video was phrased differently)

I hate multiple choice tests. :)
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Postby cdrikari » Apr 04, 2008, 12:57 am

Thanks so much for putting this up. This video answered about half a dozen questions in the first thirty seconds!

It also created a bunch more, but those are for me and my machine to figure out. :wink:
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Postby CafSuperCharged » Apr 04, 2008, 4:50 am

The extraction looked wonderful/perfect at first.
I started to worry from C, however.
Problem in the judgment is, there is no reference as to white balance and contrast.

Can I suggest the introduction in the picture of either a neutral density (18%) gray card, or better a stepped gray card, stepping from white to gray. The machine's chrome, and environmental reflections in it, might fool the eye.
Depending on the reflective properties of the differently colored substances in the pour, even changes in the light-subject-camera angles may make a difference to our perception of both color and contrast.
My proposed reference would subconsciously inform the viewer about their own computer/monitor/environment setup as well.


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Postby genecounts » Dec 28, 2011, 1:19 pm


I can understand why you didn't have any follow-up answers to this one, after all it was just everyone's opinion. But this video is by far the best thing out there on determining blonding. I'm trying to justify paying $75.00+ for a bottomless. Is one that much better than a spouted for seeing the blonding?

But every time I watch your video I vacillate on my answer. Could be the lighting.
Could be shades of blond are too subtle for amateurs like me.

The question begs for follow-up. I ask again, could you, Sherman, Jim, someone expound on this or post your choices?
Thanks, gene

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Postby HB » Dec 28, 2011, 1:30 pm

genecounts wrote:I can understand why you didn't have any follow-up answers to this one, after all it was just everyone's opinion.

I assume many answers took the form of voting in the poll rather than replies. If you really want a clear indicator of when the extraction has completed, look at the shape of the cone, not the color. I expand on this point here.
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Postby boar_d_laze » Dec 28, 2011, 1:44 pm

Blonding is a process, not a point. It indicates the degree of extraction -- under, full or over.

The user should not look for the "blond" point, as much as for the point at which the extraction becomes too blond (extracted) for his tastes and should be stopped. The color of the stream should look different for ristretto, normale and lungo extractions. Knowing what you want goes a long way towards getting it.

Depending on light and angles I usually find it easier to read the top of the pour than the stream.

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Postby mig » Jul 09, 2012, 3:05 pm

Is this video still available? Clicking play does nothing for me and I tried three different browsers. I am struggling with this question right now so would love to see what the pro's consider the blonding point.


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Postby jzuzphreek » Jul 09, 2012, 4:31 pm

+1 It would be nice to try this quiz.

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Postby HB » Jul 09, 2012, 4:37 pm

Thanks, it's fixed.
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Postby MikeMooney » Jul 10, 2012, 10:38 am

Thanks, Dan--it's nice to have this quiz up and running again, it's a great learning tool and touchstone for discussion.

FWIW, I really didn't see a dramatic color change as much as a thinning of the stream and collapse of the cone somewhere around D to E. So, my conservative inclination would be to cut the shot at D. But, I think the shot could run as far as E or even F and still be a pretty decent tasting shot!