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Can sugar make espresso sour? Or, perhaps, bring out existing sourness?
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Discussions > Espresso > Q and A > Can sugar make...  
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phunni
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Joined: 21 Sep 2010
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Location: Bristol, UK
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Posted Mon Jul 30, 2012, 7:43am
Subject: Can sugar make espresso sour? Or, perhaps, bring out existing sourness?
 

I've been making espresso at home now for about a week, using an ascaso arc and a mahklonig (baratza) vario and have, generally, been pleased with the results although, of course, there's still plenty of room for improvement.

Today my wife, who usually hates coffee, asked for an espresso - mainly because she wanted to try out some new espresso cups she had bought for me.  The initial shot tasted fine to me, but she wanted sugar so I added some for her.  The shot then tasted sour.  Given that, initially, the shot tasted OK, is it possible for the sugar to have made it taste sour? Could it perhaps have enhanced a sourness that was already there, but which I did not detect with the tiny sip I took?
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Alfonso
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Posted Mon Jul 30, 2012, 8:23am
Subject: Re: Can sugar make espresso sour? Or, perhaps, bring out existing sourness?
 

perhaps, adding sugar neutralized the bitters in an otherwise balanced espresso, allowing the sourness to come through.

The bitters and the sourness tend to counter each other.

Alfonso
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Coffeenoobie
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Posted Mon Jul 30, 2012, 9:04am
Subject: Re: Can sugar make espresso sour? Or, perhaps, bring out existing sourness?
 

Could you have just tasted the crema and not the whole shot?

 
Coffeenoobie

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CMIN
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Posted Mon Jul 30, 2012, 10:23am
Subject: Re: Can sugar make espresso sour? Or, perhaps, bring out existing sourness?
 

Try a sweetener like Splenda. I nor anyone I know can taste sugar in a coffee as it generally just clumps to the bottom and doesn't dissolve quickly and thoroughly like Splenda (only exception is a real Cuban coffee where you mix the initial start from the Moka into the sugar to make a paste for the coffee). Don't think it would affect the taste like you saw happen though, odd.
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phunni
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Joined: 21 Sep 2010
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Location: Bristol, UK
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Mon Jul 30, 2012, 11:34am
Subject: Re: Can sugar make espresso sour? Or, perhaps, bring out existing sourness?
 

Coffeenoobie Said:

Could you have just tasted the crema and not the whole shot?

Posted July 30, 2012 link

Quite possibly
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Coffeenoobie
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Coffeenoobie
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Posted Mon Jul 30, 2012, 11:50am
Subject: Re: Can sugar make espresso sour? Or, perhaps, bring out existing sourness?
 

I suggest you stir and taste then add sugar and stir again and see for yourself.  Let us know what you think happened.

 
Coffeenoobie

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

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Oscar trick out: http://s156.photobucket.com/user/GandBteam/story/14231
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rabbit
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Expertise: I live coffee

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Posted Tue Jul 31, 2012, 4:25pm
Subject: Re: Can sugar make espresso sour? Or, perhaps, bring out existing sourness?
 

i will try this in the future       pour a small amount sugar in cup then a little bit of water stir the solution   then pull the shot   then report
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