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Have you spotted a trend toward overly "bright" (acidic) espresso?
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Discussions > Espresso > General > Have you spotted...  
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torrefaction
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Posted Sat Sep 22, 2012, 11:13am
Subject: Have you spotted a trend toward overly "bright" (acidic) espresso?
 

A quick question to espresso geeks out there: I live in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, where it's always been relatively easy to find a decent espresso, or even a great one with a bit of effort. A couple of newer cafés in town serve shots so fruity and bright that to me they taste insanely unbalanced. The last drop can be so acidic that it is literally painful to swallow. These places have their roasting philosophies and equipment spec sheets posted on their websites and get pretty good reviews. Is this the new standard? I always like exploring, but I feel like the "new good" is just not for me. I like fruit and brightness, but also sweet, smokey, chocolatey, and full-bodied shots. Just curious to see if anyone else has noticed a trend towards really acidic espressos being served up by trend-setting coffee geek cafes.
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Coffeenoobie
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Posted Sat Sep 22, 2012, 2:03pm
Subject: Re: Have you spotted a trend toward overly "bright" (acidic) espresso?
 

I have not tasted what you have, but it seems to me that the 3rd wave trend is more bright.  But I am not an expert.

 
Coffeenoobie

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Odin
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Posted Sat Sep 22, 2012, 3:42pm
Subject: Re: Have you spotted a trend toward overly "bright" (acidic) espresso?
 

Basically you have a large number of "roasters" who can't roast. It's the lack of roasting skill to produce a complex, snappy, and sweet espresso that's evident. Sweet fruit or floral notes or bright, sweet, and complex layers of citrus is ok, but lemony or too much acidity is a roasting fault. Light roasted coffee is not the same as a shot of lemon rind and alfalfa in your cup.

The biggest problem with a poorly executed idea is that if it actually became a trend, we'd all be worse off for it.

Learn how to roast, then experiment with various roasting styles.
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coffeeshone
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Posted Sun Sep 23, 2012, 6:20pm
Subject: Re: Have you spotted a trend toward overly "bright" (acidic) espresso?
 

I have and i also noticed this and don't like it. In NYC there are a few places that seem to be creating a buzz who serve espresso that to me is way to acidic and bright. It really is only palatable for me if its with a lot of milk. Otherwise its like sucking on a lemon.
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torrefaction
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Posted Wed Sep 26, 2012, 9:51am
Subject: Re: Have you spotted a trend toward overly "bright" (acidic) espresso?
 

That's the kind of experience I'm talking about. There's a buzz around these places in Montreal, too. It's not like they don't have the equipment, beans and know-how to make a what I consider a well-balanced shot: quite the opposite; these are self-proclaimed uber-passionate espresso alchemists who have been on caffeine-fueled pilgrimages to Italy as well as to coffee-growing countries around the world. They use varying pressure during extraction on machines that cost more than a first home and roast in-house to exacting standards. Oddly enough, though, I was recently tossing back shots in Italy and before that had the chance to taste coffees all through Central and South America, and most of the time my reaction was "yum," not "ouch." I wish I could get on board with people who are so obviously enthusiastic about coffee, but I just don't understand the vision or the final product.
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Coffeenoobie
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Posted Wed Sep 26, 2012, 10:09am
Subject: Re: Have you spotted a trend toward overly "bright" (acidic) espresso?
 

The "old good" becomes boring and you up the bar... soon the end product is unrecognizable and nothing like what it used to be....  This is happening in a lot of things.

 
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dyqik
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Posted Wed Sep 26, 2012, 12:40pm
Subject: Re: Have you spotted a trend toward overly "bright" (acidic) espresso?
 

Coffeenoobie Said:

The "old good" becomes boring and you up the bar... soon the end product is unrecognizable and nothing like what it used to be....  This is happening in a lot of things.

Posted September 26, 2012 link

You should see what US craft brewers have to done to good old English IPA... (from my English POV)  ;)
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Stuart
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Posted Thu Sep 27, 2012, 11:18am
Subject: Re: Have you spotted a trend toward overly "bright" (acidic) espresso?
 

dyqik Said:

You should see what US craft brewers have to done to good old English IPA... (from my English POV)  ;)

Posted September 26, 2012 link



This is a good example of the "new normal." I've gotten so accustomed to the 80-IBU American IPAs that a "proper" English IPA tastes bland.

I think there are several slippery slopes in espresso. I read in a blog by a prominent West Coast roaster/cafe owner (named Jim) that the standard beverage in his cafes is about 30 mL of liquid pulled from nearly 20g of ground coffee, and I wondered what that tastes like. I'll wager that it's far from what many (most?) people make in their homes.

(I flirt with extreme ristrettos sometimes. But I'm inconsistent enough that the result is as likely to be a salty faceburner as an exotic excursion into the farther reaches of brew ratio.)

I think there's a connection between roasting lighter to emphasize the nature of the bean, updosing for the same reason, and the trend toward bright espresso.
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Nickfrogger
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Nickfrogger
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Posted Thu Sep 27, 2012, 11:44am
Subject: Re: Have you spotted a trend toward overly "bright" (acidic) espresso?
 

+1 to the above. Culture kind of swings, and right now we're on the upswing away from burnt coffees, perhaps beginning to overcorrect... On the other hand, I like the occasional "salty face-burner" or "insanely unbalanced" coffees. They are fun :) I hope balanced doesn't get thrown out the window though, I remember a Handsome I cupped oh, 6 months or so ago that tasted like tea (in a rather unsatisfactory manner) and all the baristas were raving over it... To me it tasted like the first time I tried to roast in a popper and cooled way to early. Espresso isn't wheatgrass.

Just to throw it out there, perhaps coffee, espresso in particular, is a lot more of an experience for people who don't have a home setup and the usual customer wants something crazy? Just a theory...

 
There's a big difference between drinking coffee to wake up and waking up to drink coffee.
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lost
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Posted Sat Oct 6, 2012, 5:56pm
Subject: Re: Have you spotted a trend toward overly "bright" (acidic) espresso?
 

I have noticed the same.

Is it a coincidence that it happened when starbucks started pushing medium roasted coffee ???
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