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Really struggling to get good espresso

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Hi, I’m fairly new to making espresso at home so I’m hoping to get some advice.

 

I have a sage oracle machine and I’m really struggling to get drinkable espresso out of it using the double basket. It’s hard for me to describe the taste but the coffee seems to be over extracted and bitter and possibly sour at the same time - if that’s even possibl?! It’s like it’s picking up all of the sour / bitter and none of the sweetness and nice flavours. I’m using a variety of different beans from Hasbean so don’t think that’s the problem. I weigh the dose in which is usually around the 22.5g mark and aim for 45 out in 25-35 seconds. It’s really strange as when I’m using the single basket I can make espresso which is at least drinkable and sometime quite good. If anyone has any thoughts I’d be very grateful.

 

I know now the grinder is a weakness and I have niche on order. Also if anyone has any recommendations for a bean that is easy to extract for straight espresso and is sweet that’d be great.

 

Thanks

 

Michael

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Have you changed the ratio.. at 1:2 it's unlikely to be massively over extracted, especially with that grinder..

Is the strength ok ?

What other ratios ( no timings for shots ) have you tried.

Have you tried a longer ratio say 1:3 or more , taste and adjust ?

Using alot of " different" beans can make life a bit harder as they will taste different and need minor adjustments to get the taste ball park.


I write a blog, it's nothing to do with coffee ...

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Also if your having difficulty discerning bitter and sour, try adding just a dash of water to the espresso to open it up.

Personally i find the Oracle grinder not very good at the lighter side of life. I tend to go for something a little easier to use , and pull the ratio a little shorter. But this is down to personal preference , the coffee im using and the fact that I am drinking it as a milk drink. The grinder on the oracle is again it's weak point.


I write a blog, it's nothing to do with coffee ...

https://rjwinc.wordpress.com

Instagram - rjw_inc

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Have you changed the ratio.. at 1:2 it's unlikely to be massively over extracted, especially with that grinder..

Is the strength ok ?

What other ratios ( no timings for shots ) have you tried.

Have you tried a longer ratio say 1:3 or more , taste and adjust ?

Using alot of " different" beans can make life a bit harder as they will taste different and need minor adjustments to get the taste ball park.

 

Thanks I've not tried adjusting the ratio's yet but I'm going to do that now following your suggestion. Not sure exactly what you mean by strength but it is very full bodied and strong tasting - perhaps too strong!

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I'll try adding water that's a good suggestion. Thank you for taking the time to reply I appreciate it. If you have any other thoughts / tips for getting nice espresso from the Oracle please let me know?

 

Michael

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Thanks I've not tried adjusting the ratio's yet but I'm going to do that now following your suggestion. Not sure exactly what you mean by strength but it is very full bodied and strong tasting - perhaps too strong!

So strength is a function fo the raltioship between coffee and water.

If you feel it's too strong, you can make it weaker simply by adjust the ratio. SO 22>44 is stronger than 22>66.

Full a shot as is, add a dash of water , taste. does it make it any easier to disern bitter, sour, etc


I write a blog, it's nothing to do with coffee ...

https://rjwinc.wordpress.com

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Also - I think the beans are going stale quickly in the hopper as I only make 1 - 2 drinks a day so I've been single dosing. I'm doing this by running the grinder until empty then adding 25 grams of beans, and then for the next coffee running till empty etc.

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No, it's not really possible for it to be under & over-extracted at the same time. It is more likely just under-extracted & bitter (bitterness has multiple potential causes).

 

Have you tried going coarser & 60-70g out?

 

What is the brew ratio with the singles that taste good? Short term, if they are preferable why not focus on them?

 

All beans are the same easiness/hardness to extract. It's the grind & brew ratio that you need adjust to suit new beans.


“Coffee evokes the most insane reactions in people”, Rene Redzepi.

 

https://markwjburness.wordpress.com/

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No, it's not really possible for it to be under & over-extracted at the same time. It is more likely just under-extracted & bitter (bitterness has multiple potential causes).

 

Have you tried going coarser & 60-70g out?

 

What is the brew ratio with the singles that taste good? Short term, if they are preferable why not focus on them?

 

All beans are the same easiness/hardness to extract. It's the grind & brew ratio that you need adjust to suit new beans.

 

The singles taste OK with a 1:2 ratio in about 35 seconds. The dose is about 11g on the single. I am focusing on the singles for now as I've burnt through about 2kg of expensive beans with the double. Its strange though as everything I've read is that the oracle single basket isn't very good and to get the best out of it use the double. I'm trying to figure out where I'm going wrong as i'm aiming for nice espresso. The best I can do now is OK really and rarely nice.

 

I'm getting a kg of Rave fudge blend and will experiment more with brew ratios as soon as it arrives.

 

Thanks for all the help so far!

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Also - I think the beans are going stale quickly in the hopper as I only make 1 - 2 drinks a day so I've been single dosing. I'm doing this by running the grinder until empty then adding 25 grams of beans, and then for the next coffee running till empty etc.

How long have they been in there ?


I write a blog, it's nothing to do with coffee ...

https://rjwinc.wordpress.com

Instagram - rjw_inc

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The singles taste OK with a 1:2 ratio in about 35 seconds. The dose is about 11g on the single. I am focusing on the singles for now as I've burnt through about 2kg of expensive beans with the double. Its strange though as everything I've read is that the oracle single basket isn't very good and to get the best out of it use the double. I'm trying to figure out where I'm going wrong as i'm aiming for nice espresso. The best I can do now is OK really and rarely nice.

 

I'm getting a kg of Rave fudge blend and will experiment more with brew ratios as soon as it arrives.

 

Thanks for all the help so far!

 

OK. Are you changing grind setting with the singles vs doubles? The single has less resistance than the double basket so I'd expect the single to run to a higher brew ratio than the double to extract the same. If you're struggling to get a good 1:2 shot in the double, I would think it even harder with the single.

 

Grind a bit coarser & try 35g out, 40g out, 45g out, what happens?

 

I'd use the double if you need a bigger drink, or more coffee in the dose, but otherwise 'best use' is what tastes best while wasting the least coffee :-)


“Coffee evokes the most insane reactions in people”, Rene Redzepi.

 

https://markwjburness.wordpress.com/

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