Our Valued Sponsor
OpinionsConsumer ReviewsGuides and How TosCoffeeGeek ReviewsResourcesForums
Espresso: Questions and Answers
What does REAL espresso taste like?
Commercial Equipment
Nuova Simonelli, La Marzocco, Rancilio. Nationwide installation. Instant financing options.
www.seattlecoffeegear.com
 
Not Logged in: Log In to Postlog in
New Topics updated topics   New Posts new posts   Unanswered Posts new unanswered  
Search Discussion Board search   Discussion Board FAQ faq   Signup sign up  
Discussions > Espresso > Q and A > What does REAL...  
view previous topic | view next topic | view all topics
showing page 1 of 3 last page next page
Author Messages
shadowsnuzzy
Senior Member


Joined: 8 Jan 2011
Posts: 70
Location: Pleasanton
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Sun Feb 27, 2011, 3:50pm
Subject: What does REAL espresso taste like?
 

Hi, My current set up is Silvia and Rocky.

I bought it 4 months ago and Have been getting sour/bitter shots.

I used peets coffee from safeway then people told me to switch to better coffee, so I got one that has high ratings and was roasted only 3 days ago. Still bitter/sour.

Look: some crema on top, looks pretty good, dark color on bottom part.

Smell: Smells like burnt coffee... kinda... is that how it is suppose to smell.

Taste: sour/bitter and not appealing to me.


I went to Tully's and bought a shot to taste, it was also bitter and a lil sour but the smell was not as pungent. I think they use worse coffee since mine was fairly expensive at $13 for 12 ounces.

What should I do to taste REAL espresso... I live in Pleasanton, east bay. (CA)

Is this how espresso should be?

Also, My tamping technique is not very good as I have no way to measure 30lbs of pressure. I don't have a scale.
back to top
 View Profile Link to this post
ljguitar
Senior Member
ljguitar
Joined: 28 Jan 2003
Posts: 2,805
Location: Cheyenne
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Expobar Pulsar
Grinder: Mazzer SuperJolly • Baratza
Drip: Bunn • AeroPress
Roaster: Behmor•Variacs
Posted Sun Feb 27, 2011, 6:59pm
Subject: Re: What does REAL espresso taste like?
 

shadowsnuzzy Said:

Hi, My current set up is Silvia and Rocky.

I bought it 4 months ago and Have been getting sour/bitter shots.

I used peets coffee from safeway then people told me to switch to better coffee, so I got one that has high ratings and was roasted only 3 days ago. Still bitter/sour.

Look: some crema on top, looks pretty good, dark color on bottom part.

Smell: Smells like burnt coffee... kinda... is that how it is suppose to smell.

Taste: sour/bitter and not appealing to me.


I went to Tully's and bought a shot to taste, it was also bitter and a lil sour but the smell was not as pungent. I think they use worse coffee since mine was fairly expensive at $13 for 12 ounces.

What should I do to taste REAL espresso... I live in Pleasanton, east bay. (CA)

Is this how espresso should be?

Also, My tamping technique is not very good as I have no way to measure 30lbs of pressure. I don't have a scale.

Posted February 27, 2011 link

Hey ssnuzzy…
Not sure where you should go to get the real-deal.

Real espresso is an experience hard to describe, but it's neither bitter or sour, wonderfully full, deep, slightly sweet, and depending on the blend it leaves and after taste either on the edge or back of the tongue.

Hope you hit your stride and find it out.

A scale will help you hone your skills, and begin to pull better espresso. Developing a good and repeatable ritual is essential and I couldn't do it as well without my scale.


.

 
L  a  r  r  Y          J

<°)))><
back to top
 View Profile Link to this post
JasonBrandtLewis
Senior Member
JasonBrandtLewis
Joined: 9 Dec 2005
Posts: 6,391
Location: Berkeley, CA
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Elektra T1 - La Valentina -...
Grinder: Mahlkönig K30 Vario -...
Vac Pot: Yama 5-cup
Drip: CCD, Chemex
Roaster: No, no, not another...
Posted Sun Feb 27, 2011, 8:48pm
Subject: Re: What does REAL espresso taste like?
 

When you say, "Still bitter/sour," it's confusing.  Bitter and sour are not the same.  Generally, a shot will be bitter is the temperature is too high, and sour if too low.  

How often do you get to Oakland?  Check out Remedy Coffee on Telegraph, or Blue Bottle on Webster St.  Walnut Creek?  Check out Pacific Bay Coffee Co. on Newell & Main St.  (Just a thought.)

Cheers,
Jason

 
A morning without coffee is sleep . . .
back to top
 View Profile Link to this post
frcn
Senior Member
frcn
Joined: 23 Dec 2001
Posts: 3,404
Location: Northern California
Expertise: Professional

Espresso: Vibiemme Domobar Double
Grinder: Mazzer Kony, Baratza...
Vac Pot: Hario, 2 Cory pots, 1 Cory...
Drip: Behmor Brazen, Bunn A10 mod...
Roaster: computer controlled Hottop,...
Posted Sun Feb 27, 2011, 11:10pm
Subject: Re: What does REAL espresso taste like?
 

Please check out my website, Espresso! My Espresso! there are some resources that may help. And nothing for sale.

To get the most from your machine and diagnose problems try my "How-To" lesson:
12 - EASY GUIDE TO BETTER ESPRESSO AT HOME
Pay particular attention to the grind, dose, and distribution sections. If you do not have one, a bottomless portafilter may be a good thing to get. If you have a second portafilter they are relatively easy to drill out if you have access to a drill press and bi-metal hole saw. This will be a great aid in diagnosing problems as well as being a great show to watch.

And in the "Coffee College" section A Beginners' Guide to tasting Espresso may help.

But bitter and sour are two different things and usually do not show up together in espresso. In good espresso sour comes from high acidity usually. It is sort of like unsweetened oranges with the coffee and can be quite delicious. If it is unpleasant it is usually from low brew temperature. Bitter can be from over-extraction, fines in the coffee, too high brew temp., etc. TO sample sour, a little citric acid in water should do it. I believe that parsley is bitter (someone chime in on this one, please).

Sufficient warm up time for Silvia is important.  I recommend at least 30 minutes before first use in the morning.

Roasted three days ago tells us nothing about the coffee. If it was poor quality beans, a blend not intended for espresso, over roasted, or any of a number of other problems it may not work for you.

Don't worry too much about tamping force. Try this- tamp very slowly, gently and slowly increasing the force. You will feel a point where the coffee stops compressing. That is probably about 30-40 pounds or so. If you have good strength in your hands and arms, you can probably tamp at 50 pounds easily using two fingers on the tamper base. Tamping force is one of the most over-rated and least important factors.

 
Visit My Website
www.EspressoMyEspresso.com
back to top
 View Profile Visit website Link to this post
yakster
Senior Member
yakster
Joined: 25 Feb 2009
Posts: 1,042
Location: San Jose, CA
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Gaggia Factory / La Peppina...
Grinder: Vario / Kyocera
Vac Pot: Yama 8 + Pyrex Lox-in Rod
Drip: Brazen / Kalita / Chemex /...
Roaster: Behmor
Posted Sun Feb 27, 2011, 11:50pm
Subject: Re: What does REAL espresso taste like?
 

If you come down to San Jose, you could try Red Berry Coffee Bar across from city hall or Barefoot Coffee Roasters in Santa Clara or Red Rock in Mountain View.

Verve in Santa Cruz is also nice, but there's plenty of good places to get espresso in San Francisco and the East Bay.  Check the West Coast forum.

 
-Chris

LMWDP # 272
back to top
 View Profile Visit website Link to this post
TheMadTamper
Senior Member


Joined: 2 Nov 2010
Posts: 1,246
Location: US
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Salvatore SES; Izzo Duetto...
Grinder: Compak K10 WBC, K8 Fresh,...
Drip: /Pod: Bunn MCP
Roaster: /Other: Blender - BlendTec...
Posted Mon Feb 28, 2011, 10:45am
Subject: Re: What does REAL espresso taste like?
 

I'll also point out, since no one else has (though frcn's link likely does), that sour/bitterness, ESPECIALLY on a Silvia is usually temperature related.  Sour = too cold, bitter = too hot.  Adjusting your temperature "surfing" may help there.  Rocky could also produce some bitterness, but in smaller doses, Rocky can be pretty decent.  

Also, you're on the right track getting freshly roasted beans, though 3 days may actually be a little too SOON to use them.  Days 5-8 tend to be the best in my experience, and it may still be slightly acrid within 3 days.
back to top
 View Profile Link to this post
JasonBrandtLewis
Senior Member
JasonBrandtLewis
Joined: 9 Dec 2005
Posts: 6,391
Location: Berkeley, CA
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Elektra T1 - La Valentina -...
Grinder: Mahlkönig K30 Vario -...
Vac Pot: Yama 5-cup
Drip: CCD, Chemex
Roaster: No, no, not another...
Posted Mon Feb 28, 2011, 11:03am
Subject: Re: What does REAL espresso taste like?
 

TheMadTamper Said:

I'll also point out, since no one else has (though frcn's link likely does), that sour/bitterness, ESPECIALLY on a Silvia is usually temperature related.  Sour = too cold, bitter = too hot.

Posted February 28, 2011 link

What am I, chopped liver?

JasonBrandtLewis Said:

When you say, "Still bitter/sour," it's confusing.  Bitter and sour are not the same.  Generally, a shot will be bitter is the temperature is too high, and sour if too low.

Posted February 27, 2011 link

;^)

Cheers,
Jason

 
A morning without coffee is sleep . . .
back to top
 View Profile Link to this post
fwtechwiz
Senior Member


Joined: 19 Feb 2010
Posts: 530
Location: Fort Wayne, IN
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Gaggia Evolution
Grinder: Hario Skerton
Posted Mon Feb 28, 2011, 3:45pm
Subject: Re: What does REAL espresso taste like?
 

frcn Said:

But bitter and sour are two different things and usually do not show up together in espresso. In good espresso sour comes from high acidity usually. It is sort of like unsweetened oranges with the coffee and can be quite delicious. If it is unpleasant it is usually from low brew temperature. Bitter can be from over-extraction, fines in the coffee, too high brew temp., etc. TO sample sour, a little citric acid in water should do it. I believe that parsley is bitter (someone chime in on this one, please).

Posted February 27, 2011 link

To taste bitter:  take a bite of raw asparagus, or unsweetend Baker's chocolate.  Any of the bitter herbs, too.  +1 on parsley, cilantro.  If you can find them, Horehound or Anise drops
two bitter hard candies.
back to top
 View Profile Link to this post
frcn
Senior Member
frcn
Joined: 23 Dec 2001
Posts: 3,404
Location: Northern California
Expertise: Professional

Espresso: Vibiemme Domobar Double
Grinder: Mazzer Kony, Baratza...
Vac Pot: Hario, 2 Cory pots, 1 Cory...
Drip: Behmor Brazen, Bunn A10 mod...
Roaster: computer controlled Hottop,...
Posted Mon Feb 28, 2011, 5:01pm
Subject: Re: What does REAL espresso taste like?
 

TheMadTamper Said:

I'll also point out, since no one else has (though frcn's link likely does)......

Posted February 28, 2011 link

As does "his" reply above yours:
 

frcn Said:

(in regards to sour taste) If it is unpleasant it is usually from low brew temperature. Bitter can be from ... too high brew temp.

Posted February 27, 2011 link

 ;-)

 
Visit My Website
www.EspressoMyEspresso.com
back to top
 View Profile Visit website Link to this post
shadowsnuzzy
Senior Member


Joined: 8 Jan 2011
Posts: 70
Location: Pleasanton
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Mon Feb 28, 2011, 8:43pm
Subject: Re: What does REAL espresso taste like?
 

I notice that sometimes it is bitter, others it is sour. I will try making it today again to double check.


I see what you guys are saying, can't be bitter AND sour lol.

Generally, I turn machine on for 45 mins, then I run water until light turns back on. Then when it shuts off, I wait 30 seconds THEN i start brewing. The temp I THINK is around 201 degrees. Isn't that perfect?

Also, Should I freeze my beans in weekly portions of zip-lock bags?
back to top
 View Profile Link to this post
showing page 1 of 3 last page next page
view previous topic | view next topic | view all topics
Discussions > Espresso > Q and A > What does REAL...  
New Topics updated topics   New Posts new posts   Unanswered Posts new unanswered     Search Discussion Board search   Discussion Board FAQ faq   Signup sign up  
Not Logged in: Log In to Postlog in
Discussions Quick Jump:
Symbols: New Posts= New Posts since your last visit      No New Posts= No New Posts since last visit     Go to most recent post= Newest post
Forum Rules:
No profanity, illegal acts or personal attacks will be tolerated in these discussion boards.
No commercial posting of any nature will be tolerated; only private sales by private individuals, in the "Buy and Sell" forum.
No SEO style postings will be tolerated. SEO related posts will result in immediate ban from CoffeeGeek.
No cross posting allowed - do not post your topic to more than one forum, nor repost a topic to the same forum.
Who Can Read The Forum? Anyone can read posts in these discussion boards.
Who Can Post New Topics? Any registered CoffeeGeek member can post new topics.
Who Can Post Replies? Any registered CoffeeGeek member can post replies.
Can Photos be posted? Anyone can post photos in their new topics or replies.
Who can change or delete posts? Any CoffeeGeek member can edit their own posts. Only moderators can delete posts.
Probationary Period: If you are a new signup for CoffeeGeek, you cannot promote, endorse, criticise or otherwise post an unsolicited endorsement for any company, product or service in your first five postings.
Find the Right Machine...
Package deals on the best machines from Izzo, Quick Mill, Rocket, La Marzocco & more.
www.clivecoffee.com
Home | Opinions | Consumer Reviews | Guides & How Tos | CoffeeGeek Reviews | Resources | Forums | Contact Us
CoffeeGeek.com, CoffeeGeek, and Coffee Geek, along with all associated content & images are copyright ©2000-2014 by Mark Prince, all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated. Content, code, and images may not be reused without permission. Usage of this website signifies agreement with our Terms and Conditions. (0.355216026306)
Privacy Policy | Copyright Info | Terms and Conditions | CoffeeGeek Advertisers | RSS | Find us on Google+