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 Sat Apr 7, 2012, 3:39pm Subject: Who can drink it straight?
Just curious how many of us can drink espresso straight, no water, no milk, no sugar, no lungos. Straight up ristretto or normale. I've gotten so used to drinking it with milk that I recently tried drinking it straight and couldn't stand even a sip of it. So strong, so heavily roast flavored. It made my stomach turn. This was from a 20 gram double shot. I'm thinking it may be too high of a dose, but I've always heard overdosing is the best way to make espresso, especially if you plan to drink it straight.
I get my beans straight from Dillanos. Meaning I actually go into their roastery and buy a nice big 5lb bag of "Dillon's Blend" the day it's roasted. I take it home, I divide it into small freezer bags, freeze most of it, and typically tinker with a bag of it for 7 days till it's good. By then my bag is usually gone, so I pull another bag out of the freezer. The stuff I have now has been in the freezer for a month now. It doesn't taste bad, it's just so horribly strong and tasting of the roast. I used to like sipping straight espresso, but my taste buds have somehow changed I guess.
I pulled some fresh beans out of the freezer, and pulled what I think is a ristretto, or a 1.5oz shot in 30 seconds. I sipped it and could taste chocolate, the roast, and really strong coffee. Perhaps it's this particular roast/blend that doesn't taste good to me? I should go get a bunch of Redbird since I used to like that straight.
With some blends or single origins, and when the parameters are working right, espresso can taste like sweet caramel or chocolate. The sweetness is not an exaggeration. I had a former roommate who worked at Starbucks, and I pulled him a shot of Blue Bottle's Roman Espresso on a day I could do no wrong with it. He had a huge smile, his eyes got big and he asked me, "why's it so sweeeet?" Hehehe. I was proud of that.
How dark is Dillon's Blend? Maybe shop around and see if you can find a different blend you like more. For me, I don't like blends that are roasted too dark so that even when my brew temperature seems right, the sweetness gets overwhelmed by the roasty toasty flavor. I also am not a huge fan of super light, bright, citrusy blends (though I have lots of friends who are). These can be sweet, but I usually get a lot of tartness in them too that I don't prefer. For my taste buds, I try to find the sweet caramels and chocolates mixed with other interesting things.
And it's a tricky little game, because if my brew temps are too high, I taste salt instead of sweet....or if the temps are too low, I taste that other icky thing, sour instead of sweet. But I love this game.
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