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This is how I like my espresso... Am I crazy? ;-)
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jsantaniello
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Joined: 7 Jan 2012
Posts: 14
Location: Norway
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Tue Jun 12, 2012, 5:37am
Subject: This is how I like my espresso... Am I crazy? ;-)
 

After finally getting a decent setup (Rocky and Silvia), and being able to experiment with consistency, I have determined that I like:

2 oz including foam
17g grind
10kg tamp
19 second brew
Beans with high percentage robusta (60%+) like Lavazza Gran Crema and Miscela d'Oro.

I like pretty much whatever I get when on vacation in Italy, but everything I get here in Norway has a "fruity" taste (at best) that is unpleasantly tart or sour.

I prefer the woody taste I get when I do it.

If I ever go to a good cafe, what would be a way to identify or describe the sort of thing I like?
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frcn
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frcn
Joined: 23 Dec 2001
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Location: Northern California
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Espresso: Vibiemme Domobar Double
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Posted Tue Jun 12, 2012, 9:39am
Subject: Re: This is how I like my espresso... Am I crazy? ;-)
 

According to what I have heard, the Robusta was originally added to Italian coffee during bad economic times because it increased crema when added to cheaper coffee, and it was cheap itself. It also enhances the crema when added to stale coffee. In as high of a percentage as in the blends you quoted, many do not prefer the taste, and less the aftertaste. The aroma of smouldering inner tubes comes to mind.

If my memory serves, 17 grams is a lot of coffee for a Silvia stock basket. The rest of your figures reflect that- a relatively light tamp and fast flow. Of course, it all depends on how those are being measured. What scale to measure the tamp (which is not at all important), and if the gram scale has the capability of reading to tenths of a gram.

If that is the taste you prefer, then enjoy.

 
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jsantaniello
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Joined: 7 Jan 2012
Posts: 14
Location: Norway
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Tue Jun 12, 2012, 10:31am
Subject: Re: This is how I like my espresso... Am I crazy? ;-)
 

The tamp is "eyeballed" after a few calibration attempts using a digital bath-scale.

The 17g is based on volume (and after a while counting while grinding), after a few tests with a borrowed scale that did show tenths.

No inner-tube smell here! Maybe for laughs I'll try a cheaper coffee with high robusta content to see what that is like.

I got my Silvia used, so I don't know if it's a stock basket. But it does say RANCILIO and some numbers on the underside. I'm grinding 4 stops up from my zero-point, so perhaps the volume of the 17g is smaller and thus fits.

When I try other beans, I never like the taste, so I can't really tell if I'm doing it "right" so when I serve friends, I just do it my way. But I'd like to be able to offer a more conventional brew for visitors as well.

When I do a 15g, 3 oz, 25 second brew it ends up tasting watery and frequently sour to me, almost like from a Moka made with filter coffee.
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StereoHeathen
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Posted Tue Jun 12, 2012, 2:18pm
Subject: Re: This is how I like my espresso... Am I crazy? ;-)
 

jsantaniello Said:

When I do a 15g, 3 oz, 25 second brew it ends up tasting watery and frequently sour to me, almost like from a Moka made with filter coffee.

Posted June 12, 2012 link

Well there's your problem, 3oz from 15g is crazy high volume.

Modern American standards would tend to pull no more than 1.5oz from 15g of coffee, if that.
The cafe at which I work pulls about 1oz from about 20g of coffee, though this is crazy low volume.

I tend to think of 1.5-1.75oz from 18-20g coffee as fairly "normal" for a modern double shot.
And anyone correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe .75-1oz from 7g of coffee is fairly normal for an Italian single shot.
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heatgunroast
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Posted Tue Jun 12, 2012, 3:37pm
Subject: Re: This is how I like my espresso... Am I crazy? ;-)
 

Your question is a little like asking if it's OK to like heavily-cooked, deeply-fried oysters:  Yah, but that's not what oysters are all about, and if you hate oysters, try McNuggets.  It's fine to like what you like, but consider that palates can change and should change.  Consider that if great numbers of coffee aficionados disdain heavy robusta and seek out the vast and subtle variety of acidy fruits, essences of flowers, and even an occasional sweet-tart citrus, you might be missing something.   Many newbies ask for recommendations for "chocolaty" sweet or caramel roasts---the comfort flavors of espresso.  After awhile they are able to achieve that goal, but also seem to get a little bored with it.  So they move on (without quitting their appreciation of their early inclinations.)  What you describe:
2 oz including foam
17g grind
10kg tamp
19 second brew
Beans with high percentage robusta (60%+) like Lavazza Gran Crema and Miscela d'Oro.

and woody
----isn't much like coffee I'm familiar with in Italy.
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jsantaniello
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Joined: 7 Jan 2012
Posts: 14
Location: Norway
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Wed Jun 13, 2012, 12:03am
Subject: Re: This is how I like my espresso... Am I crazy? ;-)
 

Thanks for the observations and comments everyone.

The 3 oz, 25 sec thing was something I tried when searching the Internet for what I should be doing. Left to my own devices, before I started trying to be systematic, I just filled the basket, scraped it off, tamped, and brewed until my cup was comfortably filled and/or it started to blond. After a while I got it to taste passable, but didn't really like it, so tried to find out how to really do it, and thus this 3 oz discovery. So my earlier experiments and what I''ve settled on aren't completely out of the ordinary at least in terms of coffee and liquid volume, at least.

I like the oyster analogy! I always get a kick out of a spot-on analogy. And that is a very nice thought; that my tastes may evolve, and I may LIKE things I don't have an appreciation for now. Hadn't thought of that!

But I suppose I should clarify: I like both the way I do it, AND what I get by default in Italy. They are certainly not the same. Everything else seems overbearingly fruity. So how can I achieve what even at Autogrill is the norm?
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lifeandpeace
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lifeandpeace
Joined: 9 Nov 2007
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Location: PBI

Espresso: Arrarex Caravel
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Posted Wed Jun 13, 2012, 5:30am
Subject: Re: This is how I like my espresso... Am I crazy? ;-)
 

StereoHeathen Said:

Well there's your problem, 3oz from 15g is crazy high volume.

Posted June 12, 2012 link

right . . . though he may like his oysters fried--or char-broiled(!)

StereoHeathen Said:

Modern American standards would tend to pull no more than 1.5oz from 15g of coffee, if that.

Posted June 12, 2012 link

right . . .

StereoHeathen Said:

The cafe at which I work pulls about 1oz from about 20g of coffee, though this is crazy low volume.

Posted June 12, 2012 link

right! we typically did 1.75 - 2 from a LM triple (21g)

StereoHeathen Said:

I tend to think of 1.5-1.75oz from 18-20g coffee as fairly "normal" for a modern double shot.

Posted June 12, 2012 link

sure . . .

StereoHeathen Said:

And anyone correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe .75-1oz from 7g of coffee is fairly normal for an Italian single shot.

Posted June 12, 2012 link

sure, logically, based on the 7, 14, 21g basket progression, but they're not all on that continuum: my Italian-designed, Italian-made home machine (a lever) has as its smallest basket roughly 12g (depending on how you pack it) and I typically pull .75, depending on crema. It's designed for a ristretto-type shot. After having .75 to maximally 1 oz shots (based on its chamber size) from 12g, anything less feels watery to me.

 
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BeanLink
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BeanLink
Joined: 28 Jun 2012
Posts: 7
Location: Toronto, Ontario
Expertise: Professional

Posted Thu Jun 28, 2012, 1:32pm
Subject: Re: This is how I like my espresso... Am I crazy? ;-)
 

I'd say you're crazy, but if it's what you prefer, then go for it.

Maybe the sour you taste from those places is actually the acidity showing through in coffee, either that or it is largely underextracted.

Why is there always such an emphasis on tamp pressure. Focus on an even and level distribution over anything. As long as you are tamping each time in a consistent manner and have adjusted your grind accordingly, it doesn't matter.

I used a VST 18g basket at work and the volume of coffee varies depending on how it is dialed in.

Aim for taste over quantity.

 
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Ccup
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Ccup
Joined: 13 Feb 2009
Posts: 166
Location: australia
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: rancilio silvia
Grinder: rancilio rocky
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Roaster: Behmor 1600
Posted Sun Jul 8, 2012, 5:49pm
Subject: Re: This is how I like my espresso... Am I crazy? ;-)
 

To my experience asking people to make coffee the way you like, is a waste of time. I just go to a shop order the coffee they make, Double. If I like it I am lucky but if it is gross then that is unfortunate for me!

I have found the best thing to do is just do not pay and have coffee made for me haha

I love a tripple ristretto, no milk and no sugar!
Just bliss. If I asked anybody in my town for this they would look at me like I was alien haha

I have the same rig as you, I need upgrade

 
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