Yet another sweet problem

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

#1: Post by atao »

I had some really great espresso at Intelligentsia Venice over the holidays. I thought it was both punchy and very sweet.

I bought a bag of Black Cat and took it home and pulled lots of shots, varying my usual shot parameters.
I just could not achieve the level of sweetness that Venice had, I was pretty far away.
I tried to call them but their phone # leads to a fax machine.
I tried to email them about their shot protocol, but they responded with the generic recipe (18g in, 45 out), which they've had for years.

I tried:
(a) 20g -> 32g 27s 199, 203 (tight)
(b) 20g -> 40g 27s 199, 203 (normal)
(c) 20g -> 45g 20s 199, 203 (turbo)

Probably the best was (a) @ 203, but it was still lacking that real sweet punch.

There's really something i'm missing here. I don't think it's my equipement (Niche + LMLM).

I wish there was some way that we could croudsource a great recipe here from the HB community, like we all try the same coffee and report recipes. I realize that this already happens in the La Marzocco Espresso Subscription thread, but just not for this particular coffee.
Would any folks that are adept at pulling sweet shots be willing to explore this espresso with me?
Or I'm happy to try any more suggestions.



#2: Post by erik82 »

What grinder do they use? If it's a big flat burr grinder then that can make a big difference. And those big superb commercial machines (KvdW, LM, Slayer, Synesso etc.) do deliver much better results then an LMLM. So in large part it'll be your equipment.

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#3: Post by LBIespresso »

Could be your water.
LMWDP #580

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#4: Post by PIXIllate »

Could be you.

atao (original poster)

#5: Post by atao (original poster) replying to PIXIllate »

Almost certainly :)

I use RO + remineralized water and i usually can't tell too much difference between it and 70/30 water, but i can try the 70/30 water again.

atao (original poster)

#6: Post by atao (original poster) »

> what grinder do they use ...

Good question, i didn't look. Maybe someone here knows the Intelligentsia Venice setup.

atao (original poster)

#7: Post by atao (original poster) »

Anyways, i'll grab a few more pounds and try new water and i could try my flat burr grinder too.

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#8: Post by cafeIKE »

atao wrote: I tried:
(a) 20g -> 32g 27s 199, 203 (tight)
(b) 20g -> 40g 27s 199, 203 (normal)
(c) 20g -> 45g 20s 199, 203 (turbo)
What's magic about 20g?
How about 20.5 for 30g in 40s. Niche @ 13, but that number is only valid here.
Or 19.5 for 30g in 35s?

atao (original poster)

#9: Post by atao (original poster) »

> What's magic about 20g?

18 seemed to get lost a little bit in milk drinks so i upped the dose.
I can try a bit tighter once i get some new coffee.

atao (original poster)

#10: Post by atao (original poster) »

I've had a bit of an epiphany ...

Although this is a different coffee, I have figured out that they missing key for sweet shots with Klatch-Belle for me was: Temperature. Specifically, i had been pulling almost all of my shots at about 199-201 or so, but bumping temp to 204 was really critical to get into the sweet zone. For this coffee in particular, i am getting great results with a recipe of: 18 in, 30 out, in ~30 seconds at 204, with an epny precision basket. This is both shorter and hotter than i would normally pull shots.