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letting espresso brew until coffee cup is full. Is this OK for americano style?
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Discussions > Espresso > Q and A > letting espresso...  
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Aristoc
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Joined: 12 Dec 2013
Posts: 12
Location: Canada
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Thu Dec 12, 2013, 9:10am
Subject: letting espresso brew until coffee cup is full. Is this OK for americano style?
 

I like a full 8oz, 1 cup of coffee by making espresso and letting it brew until my coffee cup is full. So this is OK right? I know some people like to pour hot water in a cup first, then pull a shot of espresso and add it to the water.

I like to just let my coffee cup fill up instead of doing two steps.

I start the brew after priming the machine and the immediately after the green brew ready light turns on. Coffee seems hot enough so far.....

Is this OK

Thanks

Saeco Poemia
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dana_leighton
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dana_leighton
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Posted Thu Dec 12, 2013, 9:18am
Subject: Re: letting espresso brew until coffee cup is full. Is this OK for americano
 

This is not an Americano as defined by most baristas. The problem with this method is that you're very likely severely over extracting the coffee, resulting in more bitter flavors being extracted. Another problem is that on this machine, the brew water will be cooling more the further into the shot you go, resulting in water too cool for proper extraction.

There are some very good reasons to do two steps.

I would try it both ways and see which you prefer - let your taste be the guide.

(1) fill a cup with 6 oz of hot water
(2) extract 2 oz of espresso into the hot water.
(3) stir.
(4) enjoy.

 
Dana Leighton - Espresso hack and CoffeeGeek moderator
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Aristoc
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Joined: 12 Dec 2013
Posts: 12
Location: Canada
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Fri Dec 13, 2013, 5:45am
Subject: Re: letting espresso brew until coffee cup is full. Is this OK for americano
 

te tell you the truth we really haven't noticed a problem with the taste doing this method. We are using dark roast coffee beans, not espresso beans. Maybe this is the reason why?

We just got the Saeco Poemia a few days ago, but prior to this we have been using a steam machine which stopped working. Also, we didnt have problems with this way of brewing a coffee on the steam machine.

Normally when not using this machine, we get our coffee at local espresso bars, and we know what the proper taste should be.
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MWJB
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Posted Fri Dec 13, 2013, 6:36am
Subject: Re: letting espresso brew until coffee cup is full. Is this OK for americano
 

Aristoc Said:

te tell you the truth we really haven't noticed a problem with the taste doing this method. We are using dark roast coffee beans, not espresso beans. Maybe this is the reason why?

We just got the Saeco Poemia a few days ago, but prior to this we have been using a steam machine which stopped working. Also, we didnt have problems with this way of brewing a coffee on the steam machine.

Normally when not using this machine, we get our coffee at local espresso bars, and we know what the proper taste should be.

Posted December 13, 2013 link

Are you grinding the coffee yourself, or using pre-ground? It is conceivable that if the coffee is coarser than typical espresso grind, that overextraction may be somewhat limited? It would be very surprising indeed if an espresso grind was not overextracted at those beverage quantities.

Is the drink naturally sweet? Do you add sugar to that, or your bought espressos?

Usually, an espresso grind, in a full double basket will only yield 1-2fl oz of beverage before being overextracted. By "overextracted" we mean more than a fifth of the coffee grounds have been dissolved into the cup, which results in a bitter tasting drink. Most folk on this forum would be aiming to pull the shot at the output that tasted the sweetest & most balanced, rather than aiming for a drink of a specific size, hence Dana's suggestion to add a short shot to hot water.
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calblacksmith
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calblacksmith
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Roaster: gave it a try, decided no
Posted Fri Dec 13, 2013, 8:21am
Subject: Re: letting espresso brew until coffee cup is full. Is this OK for americano
 

Any coffee can be used in an espresso machine, in fact if you use an "espresso roast" coffee (only the process of making espresso is espresso, there is no such thing as an espresso roast) it is hopelessly over roasted and burnt. Some SO coffee pulls better than others this is why there are blends made specifically for espresso, to balance the shot.

All you are getting by running until the cup is full is WAY over extracted brew, something most here would not count as coffee.

As said above, are you grinding your own beans or are you having it done in the store? Do you have a grinder that is able to give a consistency for espresso or are you using a general use burr grinder or worse a whirly blade bean pulverizer? Are you using fresh coffee, less than 15 days FROM THE DAY IT WAS ROASTED or are you using something from the supermarket in bags that are months if not a year old?

The darker the roast of the beans the more you taste the roast and the less you taste the coffee. Dark roasted beans taste like charcoal, you might as well buy those bricks you use in the grill and chop them up as that is what you are drinking with "dark roast" coffee.

Most "espresso bars" make horrid espresso so do not base your taste on that, a good shot should be ballanced, sweet, with many layers of flavor and leaving a wonderful, long lasting after taste. DARN FEW non third wave "espresso bars" make anything like that and if you bring in Charbucks to the mix, there really is NOTHING there that resembles good coffee, let alone espresso.

 
In real life, my name is
Wayne P.
Anything I post is personal opinion and is only worth as much as anyone else's personal opinion. YMMV!

Feed the newbs, starve the trolls and above all enjoy what you drink!
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acasabia
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acasabia
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Posted Fri Dec 13, 2013, 8:30am
Subject: Re:lettingespresso bew until coffee cup is full. Is this OK for americano style?
 

I guess you can do it if you like the way it tastes, but if anyone ever ordered one I'd make it the old fashioned way...
Pulling that long you will be over-extracting and flattening the coffee, pulling out some of the more undesirable factors and muddling the good ones which are pulled in the first <30 seconds or so. The beauty of a proper americano stems from the fact that it contains all of the good of espresso, and non of the flavor shock associated with concentration.

 
Anthony C

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Dallis Bro's (NYC): New York Espresso

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calblacksmith
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calblacksmith
Joined: 25 Nov 2007
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Roaster: gave it a try, decided no
Posted Fri Dec 13, 2013, 8:37am
Subject: Re: letting espresso brew until coffee cup is full. Is this OK for americano
 

A PS to the above, I just did a search on your machine and it really, how do you say this, it is not in the higher reaches of espressodom. It likely will be over pressure and over temp. You have a pressurized Pf so your grind is not important as you have no control of the pressure anyway,

These machines are made, well, honestly, to look good on the gift table at a wedding. You can get espresso out of them but it takes a LOT of extra work on your part, then you need to mod the PF to be non pressurized and you need a good grinder. For a grinder with a motor, that is able to grind for espresso, they START in the $300 range and go WAAAAAAAAAAAAY up from there.

I really hate to be the one to rain on the parade but honesty is best. You do not need to spend a fortune on espresso but you do need to spend something. A REALLY BASIC, LOW BUCK SETUP, can be done in the $500 range but it is hard to do.

For those who are interested, a link to this machine follows, it isn't even in the same class as the Saeco Aroma.
Click Here (www.amazon.com)

 
In real life, my name is
Wayne P.
Anything I post is personal opinion and is only worth as much as anyone else's personal opinion. YMMV!

Feed the newbs, starve the trolls and above all enjoy what you drink!
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dana_leighton
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dana_leighton
Joined: 11 Jan 2002
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Posted Fri Dec 13, 2013, 8:46am
Subject: Re: letting espresso brew until coffee cup is full. Is this OK for americano
 

Aristoc Said:

Normally when not using this machine, we get our coffee at local espresso bars, and we know what the proper taste should be.

Posted December 13, 2013 link

Sadly, it is a false assumption that your local coffee shop makes good espresso. Most coffee shops do not focus on quality, culinary espresso but rather pull something that is for the most part going to be diluted with lots of milk and sugar, and so they are fine with espresso that is sub-par.

Wayne is right about the equipment, but my advice was assuming you aren't going to invest in the proper equipment. Focus on what tastes good to you, and leave it at that. If, on the other hand you're interested in chasing a better shot of espresso (and all of the time and money that might be involved with that), we can help you upgrade.

 
Dana Leighton - Espresso hack and CoffeeGeek moderator
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emradguy
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emradguy
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Posted Fri Dec 13, 2013, 10:24am
Subject: Re: letting espresso brew until coffee cup is full. Is this OK for americano
 

Aristoc Said:

te tell you the truth we really haven't noticed a problem with the taste doing this method. We are using dark roast coffee beans, not espresso beans. Maybe this is the reason why?

Posted December 13, 2013 link

Not to be critical of you...but...how do your "dark roast" beans smell while still in the bag? Do they have chocolatey or carmely or fruity notes in the nose, or do they smell a bit more charcoal or ash like? I mean, when you stick your nose in the bag, do you think oh boy these beans smell good or do they merely just smell like coffee? When guests smell the beans I buy, they're usually so surprised at how yummy they smell, they can't get over it...and I buy beans for a bunch of different roasters, and I don't always get the same thing from any of them! As Wayne said, there's no such thing as "espresso" roast, only a blend designed to bring a balanced flavor profile to the cup when making espresso.  Espresso is a method for preparing coffee from roasted beans...that's all. You can read the definition/requirements of the process on the INEI (Instituto Nazionale Espresso Italiano)website, if you want to know what those requirements are. Now, most of the top cafes in the states and some other parts of the world are considered "3rd wave", and though they don't precisely follow the INEI guideline/requirements, they still produce drinks that just about everyone, including the most stringent espresso purists, would still label as espresso. Most of what people label as "espresso roast" are over-roasted and smell like ashes. Dark roasts can be good, but the roasting needs to stop before the charcoal flavor starts to take over. A visual cue of over-roasting is oils coming to the surface of the beans. If the beans look oily, then they're probably over-roasted and will smell like ashes/charcoal. You might want to compare to something roasted medium or to "Full City". I think you might be amazed at the difference.  In the top cafes around the world, they use these less dark roasted levels, going up to something called Full City + as the darkest they'd use (still not smelling or tasting like ashes), and when they make coffee from them (including espresso) the drink actually tastes like the beans smell when you stick your nose in the bag.

As for completely over-extracting the shot until you get an 8oz cup, I can't imagine one person who frequents this board being able to swallow the first sip...sorry, but I'd be shocked if anyone here would find it drinkable, let alone a pleasant flavor. If you can't tell the difference between a proper americano and this over-extracted "drink", then you definitely need to change something. I'd start with the beans.

 
.
Always remember the most important thing is what ends up in your cup!
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Aristoc
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Joined: 12 Dec 2013
Posts: 12
Location: Canada
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Fri Dec 13, 2013, 11:25am
Subject: Re: letting espresso brew until coffee cup is full.   americano style?
 

I am grinding my own dark roasted coffee beans bought from a local roaster which is about 1-2 weeks old. Maybe 3 weeks old by the time I am at the end of the bag. They are dark and glossy. Other roasts are not as dark and glossy. I change around. I grind the night before with a conical burr grinder Baratza Preciso. When I open the bag the beans smell great. Yummy. I can't wait to drink.

By the way I come from 3 years of using a steam espresso machine (Mr.Coffee). And I have been drinking cappucinos / americanos / lattes for more than 6 years from 'good' local espresso shops.

One roastery does sell the full city blends. I am definitely going to pick one of those up this weekend to try at work. Thank you.

I bought the Saeco Poemia for $59. Its the same guts as the Saeco Aroma ($300)  and Venezia ($300). . That's because my espresso machine is at work.So if someon steals it, its not a big loss. But this is much , much better than the Tim Hortons they sell here. If I were buying for home, i would be in a much higher budget range.

I started with a fine grind but because the Poemia has a pressure portafilter I had switched to a coarser grind and got a good crema. Im thinking about ditching the pressure portafilter. I want to try this first however.

Im using the full basket (double) per cup.

I add my own sugar/cream after but my wife drinks it black and she does not find the coffee bitter. I do find it a bit bitter.

By the way I know what the sweet taste of espresso should be, we were in venice in September. Never needed sugar and I always added sugar. Haven't really found the same thing at home. Maybe close.

Thanks for the comments. It's really helping me put things into a bit more perpective. It sounds like after brewing relatively nice espresso, I am adding cra p on top of it.
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