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Found 6 results

  1. Oliver

    Acidity problems

    I have found a preground supermarket coffee I really like; it's rich, smooth and fragrant - but in the interests of expanding my pallette, from time to time I experiment with other coffees. I cannot however seem to find a coffee that isn't an acidic mess with very little aroma. i have historically used a pour over method with 90'c water, but recently inherited a fairly low-end espresso machine (Gaggia Cubika). I had hoped I'd find myself suddenly able to choose all manner of great coffees and drink them with gusto - far from it. All but my trusty supermarket blend (M&S espresso) hits first with massive acidity and has so far not followed up with much I like by way of flavour. ive tried a variety of beans from my local roasters, as well as some pricier ground coffees from small producers - few have been drinkable. I rarely get an espresso from the high street that tastes so acidic, so what am I doing wrong? Am I just destined to only enjoy this M&S blend and little else? I do like Nero espresso, and will happily drink americanos from Costa. I drink my coffee black and with no sweetener. I will also add that I am quite discerning in my taste for other consumables too! thanks in advance.
  2. Where to start... Like everyone, I'm trying to improve my coffee. I've chosen my equipment, which is a Cremina and HG One, and I want to stick with this equipment because I love using it, amongst other reasons. My results have been a bit variable. It's probably taken me a year to work out how to consistently get good-looking pours. I'm there. If the visual indicators are right, I am getting my distribution right now, and the coffee should taste good. So the most important variable should be the bean... well I'm sure that's true anyway. I started with Hasbean. I've always loved their way of doing things. They obviously know what they're doing, obviously care about both customers and suppliers, and they're doing a superb job. As I got deeper into my hobby, I realised that the coffees I've enjoyed the most are generally low acidity, and in some ways I don't want ultra complex layers of fruit. I like chocolate flavours, and not so much boozy or fruity. I started to experiment with other roasters, and found various forms of great coffee, generally darker roasts, and generally less complex. I also found that generally the darker coffees seem to be easier to get a good pour.. perhaps the bean splinters more easily or something. When they've been lighter, it's usually been the El Salvador or Brazilian beans that have floated my boat. In the meantime, I kept up the SSSSS subscription with Hasbean, which keeps reminding me of what a wonderful job they do, and probably 2/3 of the coffee I've had on SSSSS goes straight into the yummy category. This gets me thinking that I've given up too easily, and maybe need help and advice. So... for the first time, I started to look at which beans have been washed, natural, or pulped natural. I discovered that I've never had a pulped natural I didn't like. As far as I can see, none of the SSSSS was a pulped natural, which surprised me... they're mostly washed. I was thinking perhaps a good approach would be to order some pulped natural beans from Hasbean, or am I barking up the wrong tree here? Do people choose their beans based on the processing? I notice that Hasbean have a 5-pack of Santa Petrona which is different processing for different packs. Quite tempted to give that a go and see whether my pulped natural theory stands up. I welcome any and all advice, but especially any help from @garydyke1 who must surely be the expert on the Hasbean range If I had to summarise what I'm looking for, it's low acidity, but perhaps a little more complex (but not too much) than what I might get from a darker roasted bean. I do recognise that this post is probably all over the place and doesn't make much sense!
  3. YerbaMate170


    Lately I've been craving acidity in coffee; had a few filter coffees which were really good but lacked the acidity that for my tastes would have made them even better. who can recommend me something with loads of acidity? Or is this more to do with brewing technique and method?
  4. Kamakazie!

    Sour espresso

    I've had my Gaggia classic since just before Christmas, but am having issues with getting the espresso not to be dominated by the sourness of the early extract. I've been grinding 15-16g or 18-19g of HasBean / Union beans in a porlex (into a 14g & 17g LM strada basket respectively), getting the grind setting / tamping consistent has been a bit of a challenge, but even when i get the 1.6ish ratio in 25 seconds sorted, I am finding that the espresso is dominated by the taste of the early extracted espresso. Any tips as to how I can bring out the sweetness more? Is dosing less & increasing the ratio my only option? It doesn't seem to be running sweeter until close to the 20 second mark. Thanks in advance.
  5. I'm just getting started with my Gaggia Classic. I'm looking for recommendations or pointers for beans. I know it's very hard as it's a matter of taste. I can offer the following information, some or all of which may be totally useless: Beans or espresso that I like: Generally, Italian style espresso. I got hooked on espresso in Rome, and have liked all the espresso I've had there very much (though there was some variation). It seems in the UK and US, Italian espresso had a rep for being mediocre. I don't share this view so I may not share the taste for typical roasts available from UK roasters? Espresso at "Best Italian" on Borough Market (currently closed over the summer). Judging from the packages on their shelves they seem to use "Miscela d'Oro" (again, if they do and it comes from Italy in big packs those who think that freshness is imperative may frown). Unfortunately, online I can only find that in sets of 6x1kg packs. I've got some "Classic Italian Coffee" from Happy Donkey. It's not bad, but has a bit of a "burnt" flavour which I think I actually like in principle, but it is too strong. From my cursory reading around online, it seems I'm looking for something with at least some Robusta. Correct, or wrong? Beans/ coffee that I DON'T like: I've got the 2010 espresso blend from HasBean (not the premium). It is very fresh, maybe too fresh (roasted two days ago!). I hate it. Sorry, I'm sure it's good coffee and a matter of taste. It has a very pronounced taste component that I find hard to describe, maybe acidic or sour or bitter. It is so pronounced that I think it is probably intentional. I don't like this taste component at all, and I think it is the same taste component in the following two: Monmouth Coffee's espresso. Had it twice and didn't like it -- although if I recall correctly both times it also had very little crema if any, so I may have been unlucky. But again, I think it has the same taste component. Illy coffee: it's consistently turned out that I don't like espresso where there's an Illy sign out front. I guess this is not very meaningful, since Illy is so widespread among shops that you sometimes drop in while eg shopping and in need for an espresso, so the finding is bound to be confounded with lots of bad barista skills. But I never like it, even if the espresso seems decently made, and again, I think it has the similar taste component. Maybe it is "fruity"? Can anyone give me pointers what to look for, in terms of blends to seek out/ avoid (Arabica/ Robusta) flavour descriptions to seek out/ avoid (I have a hard time interpreting what they mean) specific recommendations or recommendations to stay away from specific blends as they are too similar to my second set above? Possibly a tip to get my hands on smaller quantities of original Italian blends, even if that means they are not super fresh? Even individual 1-kg bags would be fine. It goes without saying that all of the above is a highly personal matter of taste and I'm not trying to criticize and blend or coffee shop. I'm just hoping to get some pointers so that I won't have to waste a fortune going through lots of blends that are way off. I was especially thrown by the experience with the HasBean blend -- I dislike it very strongly and that seems to indicate my taste may differ greatly to what is generally appreciated among UK specialty roasters, so I'd have only a small chance finding something that I like there. Thanks!
  6. "A liquid Jaffa Cake" With a rich chocolatey body and a hint of orange acidity/sweetness this coffee is like drinking a coffee-infused Jaffa Cake CoffeeBeanShop's description can be found here It took me 2 attempts to dial in the beans and set my grinder up - they are larger than average beans which caused an interesting effect to the grind time, lengthening it from the usual weight to time ratios I am used to. I'm not normally fond of El Salvadorian coffee's but found this quite pleasant and look forward to the next shot. I hadn't expected such a strong orange taste and didn't read the description on the site before tasting but having done so now I do agree with their review.
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