CarloM Senior Member Joined: 1 Apr 2013 Posts: 332 Location: Los Angeles Expertise: I live coffee
Espresso: Vetrano V2B Grinder: Mazzer Mini-E Type A, SJ... Drip: Toddy
Posted Sat Jan 4, 2014, 10:01am Subject: Re: Yep... I'm there! A coffee geek success story!
Hey Dean - congrats! The one thing I've learned is that the journey never truly ends, there are just too many variables which can keep a barista on his/her toes. For example, I'd historically been trying to get a nice 2oz, 25 second shot from my Black Cat Espresso beans, and the drinks always ended up being a bit more bitter than they are at Intelligentsia. The other day, just as a trial, I decided to stop the shot at 22 seconds, coming in just a bit under 2oz. Suddenly my latte tasted nearly identical to what I order from them when I'm in Venice Beach!
Honestly, that's one of the reasons I bought a double boiler versus an HX. My style of drinking coffee is very stable - I buy one type of bean (though before I settled on Intelly I experimented with over a dozen different types). I want to dial it in, make minor changes as the bean ages (and as I get new beans), but largely have it be stable. With the V2B/Mini-E combo I feel I have a stable, repeatable, dependable set of machine variables, with Black Cat espresso I have a stable quality of bean, and so any errors are likely from me and not the machine or bean.
I know there are a lot here who have HX machines and who love to experiment with so many different beans, and that's great, but the way I'm so OCD about trying to obtain the kind of taste I want, it would drive me insane trying to pursue my personal god shot (which I know will differ from everyone else's god shot) with a constantly changing bean variable.
DeanOK Senior Member Joined: 24 Sep 2012 Posts: 761 Location: OK Expertise: I like coffee
Espresso: QM Vetrano 2B Grinder: Fort'e GP
Posted Sat Jan 4, 2014, 10:11am Subject: Re: Yep... I'm there! A coffee geek success story!
....The other day, just as a trial, I decided to stop the shot at 22 seconds, coming in just a bit under 2oz. Suddenly my latte tasted nearly identical to what I order from them when I'm in Venice Beach!
Funny you mention that. I keep reading about everyone that pulls 2 oz shots. I usually pull closer to 1.5 ounces and over time decided the taste was better there for me. Well, I recently spent two weeks making 2 ounce shots and trying to see if I could get a decent tasting shot. Then... on a whim, I went back to my 1.5 ounce shots and wham... tasted a lot better to me. I generally find my best taste between 28 and 34 grams net from 14 oz of coffee in about 24 to 27 seconds with the coffee I am using now (redline). I guess everyone's taste buds are different. One thing to remember is that I always add milk... so maybe that is the difference between me and some of the others.
Coffeenoobie Senior Member Joined: 11 Dec 2011 Posts: 3,075 Location: PNW Expertise: I like coffee
Espresso: N S Oscar Grinder: K30 & Vario W
Posted Sat Jan 4, 2014, 10:23am Subject: Re: Yep... I'm there! A coffee geek success story!
In fairness to the people that suggested that your tastes might be off, you had a new machine that we assumed worked correctly. So, what you were saying did not add up. Please, don't take it personally, on the web we can't taste your coffee and just have to make best guesses to try to help people. I have never noticed people decrying others for milk and sugar. But the flavorings go by the wayside pretty fast as your espresso gets better.
And do what you like, as I just said in another thread let your taste buds be in the driver's seat.
Buying advice: GRINDER GRINDER GRINDER. Don't cheap out on the grinder.
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