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Satisfaction, or, You Can't Always Get What You Want...
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Discussions > Espresso > General > Satisfaction,...  
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JerDGold
Senior Member


Joined: 11 Dec 2013
Posts: 82
Location: Chicago, IL
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Rancilio Silvia
Grinder: Breville...
Drip: Chemex
Posted Wed Jan 22, 2014, 2:30pm
Subject: Satisfaction, or, You Can't Always Get What You Want...
 

But just sometimes, you get what you need.

I've been pulling espresso shots and participating on this forum for about 3 months now.  I'm brewing on an as yet unmodified Rancilio and grinding with a Baratza Vario.  I was disappointed with my coffee, which I was buying from a local roaster outside of CHicago called Newport coffee.  

I tried a new bean, Black Cat Classic from Intelly, spent the last day or two dialing it in and I'm finally happy with my not meager investment.  Not to say that I'm 100% there, but for the first time I just pulled two almost identical shots and very satisfactory shots in a row.  Same grind, same dose and near identical yield and time.  Sours and bitters were in balance, flavor was smooth and delicious with almost no harsh or unpleasant elements.  I am slightly uneven extraction as noted by brief, small bald spots on my naked PF, but all in all I'm very happy.  

Like all things which require patience and technique, improvement is not measured in small increments but in large and infrequent plateaus.  I feel like I've reached one today.  Hopefully I will be able to reproduce this success tomorrow.  Thanks to everyone who participates here, because you have probably helped me.
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emradguy
Senior Member
emradguy
Joined: 31 Mar 2011
Posts: 3,157
Location: Houston
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Duetto II; Twist v2
Grinder: M Major, Macap M4, Pharos,...
Drip: Espro presses; Aeropress
Roaster: H-B "List of Favorites"
Posted Wed Jan 22, 2014, 2:45pm
Subject: Re: Satisfaction, or, You Can't Always Get What You Want...
 

Awesome! Thanks for updating the board on your progress. As much as I like to see people get where you are from where you started, I think it's especially helpful to others just starting out, where you were 3 months ago, to see what you've accomplished. For them to know that, no, we're not just giving them unmanageable useless tasks, but really, truly trying to help them improve their technique and overall experience. I hope you'll stick around a long time to help those with less experience than you...and if I helped you in any way, you are truly welcome!

 
.
Always remember the most important thing is what ends up in your cup!
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CMIN
Senior Member


Joined: 14 Jun 2012
Posts: 1,388
Location: South FL
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Crossland CC1
Grinder: Baratza Preciso
Posted Wed Jan 22, 2014, 3:19pm
Subject: Re: Satisfaction, or, You Can't Always Get What You Want...
 

Are you temp surfing your Silva?
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JerDGold
Senior Member


Joined: 11 Dec 2013
Posts: 82
Location: Chicago, IL
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Rancilio Silvia
Grinder: Breville...
Drip: Chemex
Posted Wed Jan 22, 2014, 10:37pm
Subject: Re: Satisfaction, or, You Can't Always Get What You Want...
 

I am, reverse surfing.  As soon as the light goes off, I'm relieving the boiler pressure with about a 2 sec. flush, then tamp and brew.  Some of my shots come out a little too heavy on the acid/sour notes, which is strange because I don't really feel comfortable brewing at any "higher" (I know, hard too say when I don't even know the temp) of a temperature.
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emradguy
Senior Member
emradguy
Joined: 31 Mar 2011
Posts: 3,157
Location: Houston
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Duetto II; Twist v2
Grinder: M Major, Macap M4, Pharos,...
Drip: Espro presses; Aeropress
Roaster: H-B "List of Favorites"
Posted Thu Jan 23, 2014, 11:52pm
Subject: Re: Satisfaction, or, You Can't Always Get What You Want...
 

There other causes of "too sour" besides low extraction temp. Perhaps you're dose is too high or you're just under extracting by stopping it too soon? Maybe you just need to grind slightly coarser?

 
.
Always remember the most important thing is what ends up in your cup!
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brianl
Senior Member


Joined: 1 Dec 2012
Posts: 488
Location: Chicago IL
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Quick Mill Vetrano DB
Grinder: HG One, OE Lido 2, Baratza...
Drip: Chemex/V60
Roaster: Behmor 1600
Posted Fri Jan 24, 2014, 7:37am
Subject: Re: Satisfaction, or, You Can't Always Get What You Want...
 

Oh nice, I'm from Chicago too. Plenty of quality roasters in the area and i'm not even sure Intelly makes the top 5 for me. Feel free to send me a message or something if you ever want to discuss.
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JerDGold
Senior Member


Joined: 11 Dec 2013
Posts: 82
Location: Chicago, IL
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Rancilio Silvia
Grinder: Breville...
Drip: Chemex
Posted Fri Jan 24, 2014, 10:59pm
Subject: Re: Satisfaction, or, You Can't Always Get What You Want...
 

Yes, you are correct.  I went down to 14g and got my chocolate nutty layers back.  I doubt I'm under-extracting, if anything I'm over extracting.  I'm at a weird grind because if I go much coarser I pull faster than I'd like, but if at my current grind dwell time is about 8 seconds, which feels sorta long, but taste in the cup is at least acceptable.  I'm still pretty new and going through a ton of coffee trying different factors out.  Takes a lot of coffee to practice without changing too many (more than one) factors at once.  But like I said once before, taste in the cup while changing things varies from pretty good to undrinkable, but I'm having a great time!
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CMIN
Senior Member


Joined: 14 Jun 2012
Posts: 1,388
Location: South FL
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Crossland CC1
Grinder: Baratza Preciso
Posted Sat Jan 25, 2014, 9:09am
Subject: Re: Satisfaction, or, You Can't Always Get What You Want...
 

Hmm that's weird, 8 seconds is a long time when your Silvia isn't doing pre-infusion or anything, just turn the pump on that's it. I'm usually around 8 seconds before drips start on average but that's on my machine with preinfusion set to 2 seconds and dwell to another 2 before pump kicks in for extraction. Personally I could never pull good shots with Black Cat no matter what I tried, even at a shop here that used to carry them, and even at Intelly themselves lol, others on here have said the same thing. Just always tasted like weird and tangy not in a good way. Silvia doesn't like to be dosed high stock, the screen screw can hit the puck and fracture it before extraction. How much are you extracting from the 14g and what's your time of extraction before stopping the shot? The beans are a blend that's hard to dial correctly so that could be your issue too.

Since your in Chicago and like chocolate taste, you have to try Metropolis Redline, awesome coffee bomb. I just went through a bag and my wife kept asking if I was adding chocolate syrup or anything in our milk drinks as the chocolate notes were so strong, and straight it was delicious. You have a lot of good roasters in that area, Bow Truss, Gaslight, downtown Chicago has a ton. And then others spread out from there.
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boar_d_laze
Senior Member


Joined: 21 Nov 2006
Posts: 1,314
Location: Monrovia, CA
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: La Cimbali M21 DT/1 Junior...
Grinder: Ceado E92; "Bunnzilla"
Vac Pot: Royal Coffee Maker
Drip: Chemex + Kone; Espro Press
Roaster: USRC Sample Roaster
Posted Sat Jan 25, 2014, 10:57am
Subject: Re: Satisfaction, or, You Can't Always Get What You Want...
 

Until you install and master some method of reliable temp control on your Silvia, trying to solve bitter/sour balance problems is wheel spinning.

Yes.  Intelligentsia brews the new (last couple of years) Black Cat extra sour (too cool); but take it home and no matter how hot you brew it, it's going to be face puckeringly Nordic in its sourness.  It's hard to believe anyone likes it.  We quit going to Intelly because Black Cat is so obviously lousy, their taste -- at least to our tastes -- is not trustworthy.

BDL
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CMIN
Senior Member


Joined: 14 Jun 2012
Posts: 1,388
Location: South FL
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Crossland CC1
Grinder: Baratza Preciso
Posted Sat Jan 25, 2014, 11:36am
Subject: Re: Satisfaction, or, You Can't Always Get What You Want...
 

boar_d_laze Said:

Until you install and master some method of reliable temp control on your Silvia, trying to solve bitter/sour balance problems is wheel spinning.

Yes.  Intelligentsia brews the new (last couple of years) Black Cat extra sour (too cool); but take it home and no matter how hot you brew it, it's going to be face puckeringly Nordic in its sourness.  It's hard to believe anyone likes it.  We quit going to Intelly because Black Cat is so obviously lousy, their taste -- at least to our tastes -- is not trustworthy.

BDL

Posted January 25, 2014 link

Shop by me that carried it stopped, Baristas and customers didn't like it, no matter what dialing or temp, just had such an odd taste. Back in the day that blend was a chocolate nuclear bomb, now it's like stale oranges and lemons blended together lol. I even had it at their shop in Chicago and neither wife nor I liked it. Only coffee I never was able to pull a good shot with it. Yet this is the coffee that was the go to in espresso world for years and years and talked about like crazy, which is what made me try it so many times wondering what I or shops are doing wrong as it wasn't good lol, but when it wasn't good at their own shop figured it's the beans themselves.
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