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Good flavor, but bad aftertaste using French Press
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Discussions > Coffee > Q and A > Good flavor, but...  
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JD123
Senior Member


Joined: 20 Mar 2014
Posts: 13
Location: MS
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Thu Mar 20, 2014, 6:07am
Subject: Good flavor, but bad aftertaste using French Press
 

Hello all, new to this forum. I've been taking a ride down this slippery slope for about a year now, and it seems the more I learn, the less I know. The amount of contrasting information is overwhelming, but unsurprising. I'm hoping someone can shed a little light on some small issues I've been having:

Regardless of the temp I use, I seem to get a undesirable aftertaste (although generally pleasant overall taste). I can't tell if it's bitter or acidic... just not good. It's strange to me that the coffee tastes great but is quickly followed with a bad finish.

My process:
Boil ~8-10oz. water, add to FP and stir with a probe thermometer until temp lowers to ~190*
Dump 16g of recently ground home roasted coffee
Mix immediately & bloom (approx temp at this point is 188*)
Wait 30 seconds and mix again
Brew 3.5 minutes (I've done longer/hotter, and coffee is significantly worse)
Plunge & pour

My setup:
Cheap-o french press, the type with a glass beaker that slides into a stainless sleeve. I don't use the stainless sleeve though as it acts as a heat sink.
Baratza Encore grinder - Grind around #35
Home-roaster using heat gun/dog bowl method - Typically to beginning of 2nd crack


I feel like I'm so close to excellence, yet still so far away. Any help much appreciated!
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CMIN
Senior Member


Joined: 14 Jun 2012
Posts: 1,362
Location: South FL
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Crossland CC1
Grinder: Baratza Preciso
Posted Thu Mar 20, 2014, 8:10am
Subject: Re: Good flavor, but bad aftertaste using French Press
 

Encore is a good coarse grinder, but not as good for French Press as say the Virtuoso (Preciso burr set is better for fines control). Some people are quite happy with their Encore for press, and other not so much, and some that upgraded to the Virtuoso were much happier after. Could be b/c the Encore doesn't have as good fines control (although way better then others in it's class like the Capresso's and Bodums etc) and your getting that over extracted bitterness someway through drinking. What French Press are you using? Some of the low end one are sorta mehhhh for press.

However another thing is what beans are you using? Don't take this the wrong way but I had a friend that would home roast with a heat gun too and never liked it, was better than store bought but not near as good as when he got a Behmor. Order some fresh roasted from a company and see if you notice any difference, if you do then it could be the beans/roasting technique. But at least order some fresh and that can help rule that out... or help. Otherwise your process looks pretty good for brewing.
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JD123
Senior Member


Joined: 20 Mar 2014
Posts: 13
Location: MS
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Thu Mar 20, 2014, 8:38am
Subject: Re: Good flavor, but bad aftertaste using French Press
 

Thank you for the quick response CMIN.

This is the press I'm using: Click Here (www.amazon.com)

I do not use the stainless holder or the groundskeeper, just the glass sitting inside a beer koozie. Even though it's cheap, I do not get too many fines at the bottom of the cup.

I use Sweet Maria's as my green bean supplier, and it's been a little while since I've purchased coffee from coffeeam.com. It wasn't economical for me so I stopped. I do understand what you're suggesting though and my local coffee shop sells intelligentsia coffee, so I can give that a shot for experimentation purposes.
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CMIN
Senior Member


Joined: 14 Jun 2012
Posts: 1,362
Location: South FL
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Crossland CC1
Grinder: Baratza Preciso
Posted Thu Mar 20, 2014, 8:49am
Subject: Re: Good flavor, but bad aftertaste using French Press
 

JD123 Said:

Thank you for the quick response CMIN.

This is the press I'm using: Click Here (www.amazon.com)

I do not use the stainless holder or the groundskeeper, just the glass sitting inside a beer koozie. Even though it's cheap, I do not get too many fines at the bottom of the cup.

I use Sweet Maria's as my green bean supplier, and it's been a little while since I've purchased coffee from coffeeam.com. It wasn't economical for me so I stopped. I do understand what you're suggesting though and my local coffee shop sells intelligentsia coffee, so I can give that a shot for experimentation purposes.

Posted March 20, 2014 link

I don't know about OXO Press, I do have lots of OXO kitchen stuff that rocks lol. If your not getting many fines and your process looks good, I'd say that points to beans/roasting technique but only way to rule that out is to try some fresh roasted. But if your still getting some fines you can easily get some of that "over-extracted" taste in your cup which it seems you are, maybe try a click coarser or finer and see what happens? Personally I don't like Intelly coffee at all lol, even at their HQ in Chicago I thought the espresso sucked. But up to you to try if you want.

Fair Mountain Coffee does free shipping with 2lbs ordered and their coffee is awesome. Hard to beat that deal, only way to get better is to order from some that offer discounts for 5lb purchases but then you'd have to fig how to store all that correctly in batches.
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Frost
Senior Member
Frost
Joined: 26 Jul 2007
Posts: 2,092
Location: Sierra
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Isomac Venus
Grinder: Lelit PL53
Roaster: Poppery I w/variac, MET, BT
Posted Thu Mar 20, 2014, 9:53am
Subject: Re: Good flavor, but bad aftertaste using French Press
 

You are making coffee; what beans and how they are roasted mostly determines what you get in your cup.
The 'bad aftertaste', is it like the white part of grapefruit peel? Taste and compare/contrast.
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JD123
Senior Member


Joined: 20 Mar 2014
Posts: 13
Location: MS
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Thu Mar 20, 2014, 11:19am
Subject: Re: Good flavor, but bad aftertaste using French Press
 

CMIN Said:

I'd say that points to beans/roasting technique but only way to rule that out is to try some fresh roasted. But if your still getting some fines you can easily get some of that "over-extracted" taste in your cup which it seems you are, maybe try a click coarser or finer and see what happens?

Posted March 20, 2014 link

Thanks for the additional information. I've gone between grind size 25-35 for french press, and I think my best attempts are at the higher range, lower water temp so your comment makes sense. Tomorrow morning I'll follow my usual process, but sift the ground beans in a fine mesh strainer before adding to the water to see if it loses any dust.


Frost Said:

You are making coffee; what beans and how they are roasted mostly determines what you get in your cup.
The 'bad aftertaste', is it like the white part of grapefruit peel? Taste and compare/contrast.

Posted March 20, 2014 link

I've tried a few different origin green beans from Sweet Maria's and they all have this aftertaste.... I think it's becoming obvious it's either my roast process or excess fines.

Grapefruit peel? Hmm... maybe. I'll have to pay specific attention tomorrow morning. Thanks for the response.
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CMIN
Senior Member


Joined: 14 Jun 2012
Posts: 1,362
Location: South FL
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Crossland CC1
Grinder: Baratza Preciso
Posted Thu Mar 20, 2014, 1:18pm
Subject: Re: Good flavor, but bad aftertaste using French Press
 

Def get some fresh roasted, that can pry rule out your troubles and point to the roasting technique and then you can go from there and see what recommendations you can get for technique (even on the SM forum). Heat gun can roast, but like I said a friend did that before and we never thought it was good lol, some seem to like it so maybe there is some special trick? When he got the Behemor was a huge difference.

If you google/yelp your area for coffee roasters I'd be surprised if you can't find any besides the shop that carries Intelly.
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Frost
Senior Member
Frost
Joined: 26 Jul 2007
Posts: 2,092
Location: Sierra
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Isomac Venus
Grinder: Lelit PL53
Roaster: Poppery I w/variac, MET, BT
Posted Thu Mar 20, 2014, 2:08pm
Subject: Re: Good flavor, but bad aftertaste using French Press
 

Maybe not so much the heat gun part of your roaster, but the dog bowl that is a likely problem. Trying to maintain the beans at over 400F consistent in an open uninsulated bowl, (and with lower ambient temperatures in winter) is mostly impossible. You need to push so much harder with higher heat from the gun to make up for all the heat loss. Get your dog bowl to act more like a coffee roaster; insulate it, cover it, and pre-heat.
(....more like those who have replaced the dog bowl with a bread machine.)

Do you have some grapefruit to compare the taste?
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JD123
Senior Member


Joined: 20 Mar 2014
Posts: 13
Location: MS
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Thu Mar 20, 2014, 2:47pm
Subject: Re: Good flavor, but bad aftertaste using French Press
 

Frost Said:

Maybe not so much the heat gun part of your roaster, but the dog bowl that is a likely problem. Trying to maintain the beans at over 400F consistent in an open uninsulated bowl, (and with lower ambient temperatures in winter) is mostly impossible. You need to push so much harder with higher heat from the gun to make up for all the heat loss. Get your dog bowl to act more like a coffee roaster; insulate it, cover it, and pre-heat.
(....more like those who have replaced the dog bowl with a bread machine.)

Do you have some grapefruit to compare the taste?

Posted March 20, 2014 link

I actually do things a little different than most... I use a double boiler setup, so a pot is boiling water under the dog bowl which then requires less heat from the gun. I usually hit first crack around 6-7 minutes, but I don't start the gun until 3 minutes in. I could try slowing that process down a bit too now that I think about it?

I'll pick up a grapefruit this weekend. I don't care for it much but my wife will eat it. I'm guessing its a good indicator of over-extraction?


CMIN: I like the intelly coffee :)  I'm also in an area that doesn't have much in the way of quality markets, Kroger is the best for miles and it's surprising we have a good coffee shop here. Whole foods? Trader Joes? Not for hundreds of miles at best.
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Frost
Senior Member
Frost
Joined: 26 Jul 2007
Posts: 2,092
Location: Sierra
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Isomac Venus
Grinder: Lelit PL53
Roaster: Poppery I w/variac, MET, BT
Posted Thu Mar 20, 2014, 8:05pm
Subject: Re: Good flavor, but bad aftertaste using French Press
 

A double boiler only gets to 212F; great for hollandaise sauce, but barely warm for coffee roasting. Maybe try leaving the water out of the bottom pan.
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