JDHarding Senior Member Joined: 31 Aug 2007 Posts: 1,099 Location: WA, USA Expertise: I love coffee
Espresso: Ascaso Steel Pro PID Grinder: Nuova Simonelli MDX,... Vac Pot: None Drip: Hario v60 Roaster: Behmor, Fresh Roast
Posted Sun Sep 18, 2011, 1:24pm Subject: Bitterness
So I've got my tamp down, my shots are pulling well, but I'm getting a bad, bitter taste with every shot. The shot looks great, but the taste is fowl.
Here's some info of how I do my shots:
- I'm using 17 grams of coffee in a double shot basket. - I took the pour spout off because it wasn't serving a purpose. - My machine has a PID, and it's set at 200F. - My tamp and distribution is simply overfilling the basket and tamping. No tap, no level, no polish, no fancy stuff. - My shots pull at around 25 seconds for 1 to 1.5 ounces. - My coffee is Red Bird Espresso, Guatemala Antigua, Sumatra Mandheling, and Tanzania Peaberry. All fresh roasted, a week old. - Cups are heated with water from the machine.
Did I miss anything?
Anyway, I get bitter shots even though I shouldn't be. Maybe my tastebuds can't handle drinking straight espresso?
Posted Sun Sep 18, 2011, 2:25pm Subject: Re: Bitterness
Try setting the PID a few degrees lower. Your offset could be programmed incorrectly, or the coffees you're using could be super sensitive, for whatever reason, so a lower temperature should help balance the results. The other thing to check is your water hardness. Are you using a filter at all?
Posted Sun Sep 18, 2011, 5:26pm Subject: Re: Bitterness
Keeping in mind that you should only test one variable at a time, you can also try using bottled water (like filtered spring water), and see if that impacts taste. I'd say wait until after you've tried a lower temp to start with new water - I'm guessing hardness is the less likely cause in this case.
I tried adding more coffee, 18 grams, and it seemed to pull a better shot. I don't know how much more I can fit inside the basket, but it deffinately pulled a better tasting shot. Not so bitter. I could probably fit 19 grams in there without the puck touching the screen.
I wonder if the bitterness is being caused by some sort of overextraction.
Temp at 200F seems to be okay. My machine tends to be funny about jumping up to 207 degrees, then back down to 200-201 degrees. Maybe I should wait an hour after startup for the temp to fully stable.
Try getting VST basket. I actually just got one yesterday and maaaan the shots are a lot smoother in a sweet sense. Also I gave up on my red bird as I couldn't get the variables dial;ed right. Ended up sticking to my local roaster which is social coffee and tea.
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