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How to measure shot yield - then work on taste
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Discussions > Espresso > Machines > How to measure...  
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Coffeenoobie
Senior Member
Coffeenoobie
Joined: 11 Dec 2011
Posts: 3,052
Location: PNW
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: N S Oscar
Grinder: K30 & Vario W
Posted Mon Jan 14, 2013, 8:53am
Subject: Re: How to measure shot yield - then work on taste
 

Good Machine you just need to learn it.

Think of when you first learned to play darts.  First shots are all over and a lot were not even on the board.  As you get better your grouping gets tighter and you don't have any that are off the board but it still takes you a while to start hitting the center every time.  I would say you are just now beginning to get your darts on the board every time. From this point forward you will begin to see real progress as you get closer to the bulls eye with every shot. And the grouping of shots is tighter.  That is what you are going for a tight group of shots as close to the bulls eye as possible with no strays. (sink shots)

To take it a bit farther:
A perfect bulls eye would be a right in middle the red and is a god shot in my analogy. I have not gotten a god shot yet, but I am in the ring around the bulls eye with very few exceptions and unlike darts you can't expect the god shot every game. (many more variables to control)  But like darts you can't expect to win till you nail your game down to the point you can group the shots right where you are aiming.  While you are still hitting the wall around the dart board you can't expect to win.

Also, I would taste every shot before milk but I would not adjust for taste till you can hit your target every time.  Once you can do that then you can tweak for taste because you will be able to repeat it later.  If you do that now before you understand your variable control you will not be able to know what you did to make it taste better and will not be able to repeat what you did.

 
Coffeenoobie

Buying advice: GRINDER GRINDER GRINDER. Don't cheap out on the grinder.

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diggi
Senior Member
diggi
Joined: 28 Nov 2011
Posts: 383
Location: Halifax, NS
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Spaz vivaldi S1 V2
Grinder: B Vario, OE LIDO
Drip: Chemex, Espro Press,...
Roaster: Poppery I
Posted Mon Jan 14, 2013, 4:12pm
Subject: Re: How to measure shot yield - then work on taste
 

DeanOK Said:

I know you guys/gals are trying to help me, but I am not sure how much you can help when I can't diagnose what the issue is. I will say I am much better off than I was a few weeks ago, but I can't tell sour  from bitter. I can't really describe what I think is a perfect taste, but I know it when I taste it and out of the hundreds of shots i have done the last few months, I have had two that I thought were great.  Some were terribly bitter (or maybe it was sour) and most were just ok.

Posted January 13, 2013 link

You are actually doing ok; Everything from your previous posts indicates that your problem is from overextraction, so you need to trust your instincts and fix that. If things are better by coarsening the grind, then you are heading in the right direction. Sour and bitter are quite different. I'm sure you really are tasting bitter. Think lemon vs beer.

DeanOK Said:

I coarsened the grind and got 32 grams in 26 seconds. It was different, not as much bitter (as I would describe it), but also not the after taste I like.... maybe even a little bland. The shots I really like have what I call a "nutty" after taste that lasts a while. I don't know if my description matches with convention or not, but that is what I call it.

Posted January 13, 2013 link

You need to make this a positive, not a negative. You diagnosed a problem, made an adjustment and fixed it. Don't expect it to be perfect. You just made one change and fixed that problem. It still isn't perfect....fine; just keep making more adjustments toward what you are looking for. Maybe you don't like this particular bean/roast. Maybe the dose isn't right. Maybe you prefer a different strength. Lots of work to do yet. Just appreciate when you've made a positive step, and when you've made an adjustment in the wrong direction.....and that could take time; If it didn't, there'd be no need for coffeegeek and superauto's would make perfect coffee.

DeanOK Said:

I have been running my boiler temp a little hotter the last week or so after I made some temperature tests. It is my feeling that the water cools off a bit before it actually hits the puck, so I turned the temperature up from 200 to 203. Not sure I can tell the difference and not sure what hotter temperature would actually do to the taste.

Posted January 13, 2013 link

That would actually make the shots more bitter. Too hot=bitter, too cold=sour.

DeanOK Said:

To add even more confusion, I went to the coffee shop that is considered the best in my area and ordered my favorite latte a few weeks ago. This was an attempt to test my pallet and see if I still knew what good coffee tasted like. I poured it in my flower bed when I got home... so maybe I don't have the same pallet as everyone else. The professionally prepared latte tasted like flavored steamed milk to me.

Posted January 13, 2013 link

That's not unusual. Even if you did get a good coffee, a latte tastes like flavored steamed milk to me too!(and many here)..I drink a capp every morning, and even that is beginning to seem a bit watered down as I am moving toward straight shots. So don't be so down on yourself. This is all a natural progression. I hope this becomes more enjoyable for you soon.
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Coffeenoobie
Senior Member
Coffeenoobie
Joined: 11 Dec 2011
Posts: 3,052
Location: PNW
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: N S Oscar
Grinder: K30 & Vario W
Posted Tue Jan 15, 2013, 9:52am
Subject: Re: How to measure shot yield - then work on taste
 

I started out needing 12 oz of milk, now anything over 4 tastes watery to me.  I will probably soon just be on an oz or 2 of milk with my shots.  You tastes change fast once you start getting good shots.

 
Coffeenoobie

Buying advice: GRINDER GRINDER GRINDER. Don't cheap out on the grinder.

My coffee treasure map...
Click Here (maps.google.com)

Oscar trick out: http://s156.photobucket.com/user/GandBteam/story/14231
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DeanOK
Senior Member
DeanOK
Joined: 24 Sep 2012
Posts: 720
Location: OK
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: QM Vetrano 2B
Grinder: Vario W
Posted Tue Jan 15, 2013, 11:27am
Subject: Re: How to measure shot yield - then work on taste
 

Coffeenoobie Said:

I started out needing 12 oz of milk, now anything over 4 tastes watery to me.  I will probably soon just be on an oz or 2 of milk with my shots.  You tastes change fast once you start getting good shots.

Posted January 15, 2013 link

I have always used 3 parts milk to 1 part espresso. That is a cary over from the old days when I used what is considered to be a less sophisticated machine. Maybe I need to cut the milk back a bit.


diggi Said:

You are actually doing ok.

Posted January 14, 2013 link

Thank you for your well thought out responses... I appreciate that you took the time to go through each comment.
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