I guess I'm the only one here that found the beans to be undrinkable. The beans looked okay, smelled okay, and even pulled perfectly, but all had an overwhelming burnt flavor and lacked any acidity or bitterness or coffee flavor. Nothing what espresso should taste like. Anyway I hope I'm not being too harsh.. Just honest.
To ensure my parameters were consistent, I pulled shots before and after pulling the David's blend, using two different roasts (my own and Heart Coffee's Stereo blend), and they both produced outstanding shots.
I asked my SO to record my process to share with you guys..
bodkacoffee Senior Member Joined: 6 Apr 2013 Posts: 31 Location: Alabama Expertise: Pro Roaster
Espresso: Cuadra II Grinder: Vario W Drip: Behmor Brazen Roaster: US Roaster 5k
Posted Sat Nov 16, 2013, 9:00pm Subject: Re: Try my blend?
I did get some good reviews on this roast. I wonder why your beans taste so bad? I mean, is there something, anything, that could happen to them in shipping? I doubt it as the coffee bag itself should have kept bad stuff out. I sent you a lighter roast. See if that's an improvement.
weebit_nutty Senior Member Joined: 26 Sep 2013 Posts: 212 Location: Los Angeles Expertise: I love coffee
Posted Sun Nov 17, 2013, 11:19am Subject: Re: Try my blend?
Good news, guys.. I figured out what was wrong.
Last night, I pulled a couple of shots last night and to my surprise it actually tasted alright, a huge difference from the last few days. I still couldn't figure out what the difference might be. It was getting late so I decided to sleep on it.
Thinking about it more this morning, an interesting thought came to me. The only difference was that last night I had filled the boiler up to the very top because the water level was getting low. I thought..hmmm could that have something to do with it?
So with the boiler close to full, I pulled out my pressure gauge and hooked it up to the steam wand. I measured the boiler pressure at 1.2 bar. I measured the water temperature at the group and it was exactly 200°F. Then I proceeded to flushed the boiler down to 1/3 full and waited for the light to go out on my Cremina. The pressure was again at 1.2bar but this time the water temperature at the group had risen to 207! I continue doing short flushes and the temperature kept rising.. 209.. 210.. Holy crap. By the time the boiler was almost empty the thermometer was reading 214. BINGO!!
It turns out the for quite some time I had been pulling shots with the boiler half full. Each day I was only filling up the boiler as much as I used the previous day, rather than to full. My revelation--with subsequent shots, as the water decreases so does temperature stability, despite normal boiler pressure.
Until now, I hadn't run into this problem because day to day while the water level was only half full, the water temperature were okay because I would only pull one shot each time I used the machine. But in my tests, I was doing many shots in succession without filling the boiler up, so naturally the water temps were rising as the water decreased, which was the reason why the shots with the David's blend tasted totally burnt.
Now you might be curious about another point-- I did previously state that I pulled before and after shots with my own roasts when I initially tested David's for comparison purpose. So why didn't those taste burnt? Because coincidentally those were the first shots, and as for the after shot, I must have added cold water to the boiler (because it was low after 6 shots) and so the water temp for that final test shot was back at proper temperature.
Despite the confusion, I'm pretty glad I ran into this problem. I learned something new about lever machines. The manual does say to fill up the water to full but I thought it was only saying that because a new machine is always empty! <facepalm>
I might not be so critical next time I see a someone mod their Cremina with a PID! LOL.. These machines can be tricky!
gophishin Senior Member Joined: 1 Mar 2013 Posts: 40 Location: Phoenix, AZ Expertise: I love coffee
Espresso: Gaggia Classic Grinder: Baratza Vario
Posted Mon Nov 18, 2013, 12:44pm Subject: Re: Try my blend?
For the "vario shooting all over", it's actually pretty minimal, but the beans I was using a few days prior, ground directly into the PF, all made it there. This roast, for whatever reason, seems to be a little more erratic, not a big deal really, just an observation. This was with different doses as well.
As for the beans themselves, I'm really pleased with how well they hold up in a latte. They were good in an americano and straight, but so far with milk, the blend powers through (in a good way) to make a well rounded latte. I'm still playing around with them, but so far finding slightly lower doses (17.3 in) than previous are working really well.
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