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Just now, catpuccino said:

Tamping force generally has very little impact on how the shot runs. A level even tamp is important, but the actual force you use is not considered an important variable.

As @DavecUK says, get a naked portafilter. They're dead cheap and an invaluable debugging tool.

I plan to.. what I do not know is which naked PF will fit my Profitec.. I also want to get a better basket and possibly a larger one 

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People are allowed to post it's down to you put them on the ignore list then.

2 rules to follow especially for sour espresso and new users: 1. Warm up machine properly, it must be on for at least 30 minutes before a shot, ideally longer. I personally have my machines on a

He's actually one of the good guys Tom. I saw the post that you may not have liked as very similar to DaveC's - it's very easy to over complicate and overthink coffee. He also mentioned an aspect that

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49 minutes ago, M5Sime said:

Yes...

I would not use Ashbeck, aside from anything bicarbonate is low, you don't get much calcium and magnesium, and it contains chlorides and sulphates. Should be around 50 for 40 alkalinity. You might like alkalinity a bit higher for espresso. This alone could be the reason for perceived sourness but it looks like you might have a bit of channelling too.

Volvic would be a better option. Very slightly scale forming and still has chloride and sulphates but with more magnesium and bicarbonates. 

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1 hour ago, M5Sime said:

It is Ashbeck. I bought it because of the same consensus on this site.. it tastes good cold and also from my machine for tea. 

But it makes your coffee more acidic.

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1 hour ago, M5Sime said:

 

 

 

 

DCB82EE0-1E38-485B-830C-D54C5EC20FF4.jpeg

 

The lower height area around the edge of the puck is suspicious.

Looks like you might be getting edge channelling from too fine a grind, Try going a little coarser.

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17 minutes ago, MWJB said:

The lower height area around the edge of the puck is suspicious.

Looks like you might be getting edge channelling from too fine a grind, Try going a little coarser.

I believe this is the imprint of the shower screen as it is often touching the puck when wet (not when dry). I’m going for a deeper basket in the future to get 18+ g in

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4 minutes ago, DavecUK said:

I'm not familiar with that blend, what's it comprised of.. Please don't say coffee or Arabica etc. 

Says, "Caramel, almond, chocolate" on their site, doesn't sound like a particularly bright coffee.

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5 minutes ago, MWJB said:

Says, "Caramel, almond, chocolate" on their site, doesn't sound like a particularly bright coffee.

Happily take suggestions. I like bold strong espresso as I almost always drink milk based drinks 

I bought it to learn the craft. I am looking to learn with a coffee that means I can produce consistent results and good flavour. 

Edited by M5Sime
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Try some coffee from other roasters, get some single origins, Brazilian, Costa Rica, Rawandan or Java etc..

If u have a Brazilian u can always blend it yourself with any of the others 50/50. 

Edited by DavecUK

Nothing here...

 

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5 minutes ago, M5Sime said:

Happily take suggestions. I like bold strong espresso as I almost always drink milk based drinks 

I bought it to learn the craft. I am looking to learn with a coffee that means I can produce consistent results and good flavour. 

Espresso strength is something you decide with ratio & grind, boldness/intensity is more down to origin/roast/process.

It would be good if you could tell us what espresso you have enjoyed in the past? "Bold" could mean an intense, bitter, burnt rubber Robusta, or a very blueberry tasting Ethiopian...it doesn't have a specific meaning.

Your results will be consistent with any coffee, if your inputs are consistent. This only means they could consistently not be to your liking, or that they are. Again, the flavours you enjoy from coffee are more relevant.

Don't worry so much about showing us videos & photos, focus more on the grind setting, weight in PF, shot time & output...do this shot by shot so we can see a methodical process.

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11 hours ago, M5Sime said:

Could just be the video, not very clear, but it looks like there's a lot of channeling happening. Notice when you zoom in to the left side of the portafilter that the color goes blonde very fast, and also you can see the flow pulsing heavily.

As others have suggested, get a naked portafilter, only way to tell if your prep is correct.

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Hi @M5Sime,

don’t worry too much. I am also quite new to all this Espresso stuff (bought my Lelit Bianca end of last year). I read a lot in this forum, watched plenty of YouTube videos and was in theory the best barista.

But it took weeks until I got some ok tasting espresso. And still I am lacking the consistency.

My biggest lessons learned: I tried many different beans from various - in this forum well known roasters - but I accept that I simply don’t like all beans. My first real break through came with the „Development  House Espresso Blend“ from craft house coffee. I get consistent great tasting shots. Whereas I never got a tasting shot from e.g. the Columbia El Muro.

If you read through this forum you might get the impression that you always get a great shot from any „great beans“ - if not, then it’s either the machine or more likely your skills.

I compare it with craft beer: just because it’s a „craft beer“ from a hipster micro brewery (2.50 a bottle) it’s not necessarily your taste.

I wish there were more statements from members here in the forum that sometimes someone simply doesn’t like the espresso out of a certain bean...

So don’t worry, you will find some beans with which you make great tasting espresso...

 

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8 minutes ago, Johey said:

Hi @M5Sime,

don’t worry too much. I am also quite new to all this Espresso stuff (bought my Lelit Bianca end of last year). I read a lot in this forum, watched plenty of YouTube videos and was in theory the best barista.

But it took weeks until I got some ok tasting espresso. And still I am lacking the consistency.

My biggest lessons learned: I tried many different beans from various - in this forum well known roasters - but I accept that I simply don’t like all beans. My first real break through came with the „Development  House Espresso Blend“ from craft house coffee. I get consistent great tasting shots. Whereas I never got a tasting shot from e.g. the Columbia El Muro.

If you read through this forum you might get the impression that you always get a great shot from any „great beans“ - if not, then it’s either the machine or more likely your skills.

I compare it with craft beer: just because it’s a „craft beer“ from a hipster micro brewery (2.50 a bottle) it’s not necessarily your taste.

I wish there were more statements from members here in the forum that sometimes someone simply doesn’t like the espresso out of a certain bean...

So don’t worry, you will find some beans with which you make great tasting espresso...

 

Thank you! This really helps. The latest beans might be a good deal of the issue. I shall persevere ?

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12 minutes ago, Johey said:

I compare it with craft beer: just because it’s a „craft beer“ from a hipster micro brewery (2.50 a bottle) it’s not necessarily your taste.

I wish there were more statements from members here in the forum that sometimes someone simply doesn’t like the espresso out of a certain bean...

So don’t worry, you will find some beans with which you make great tasting espresso...

 

Well sure. The thing is people usual complain of sour or bitter shots, or both and top it off by saying they can't pick out any of the flavour notes. Some beans are harder to get good shots out of than others, and I'd never recommend a blend for a beginner just because I personally find them much harder to use than single origins. The development espresso blend was pretty easy to work with in the sense it was well developed, so very forgiving, and to get the best out of it you probably had to stop it short, so if you were following 25-30 seconds for 1:2 then you'd probably get a good shot or close to it. Not all blends are so easy and I personally don't like Rave's offerings. I had a problem with acidity long ago (not sourness) mainly because my shots were lacking sweetness, and though I'm fortunately past that now I still steer towards natural processed coffees, so will always recommend people try naturals if they're having problems with overly acidic shots despite seemingly perfect puck prep, pours etc. 

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On 02/02/2020 at 19:22, MWJB said:

The lower height area around the edge of the puck is suspicious.

Looks like you might be getting edge channelling from too fine a grind, Try going a little coarser.

Might be a feature of the shower screen, could be too much but the shower screen I use has a raised edge and some marking on the puck from it are normal with an ideal higher doses. Ie Enough space for the grinds to expand to a reasonable amount when the water goes in. That generally doesn't leave a totally flat used puck, just flattening around the edges from the shower screen feature.

Some how I suspect problems are down to the supposed ideal triangle. It differs according to the bean. And maybe dose.  I feel some of the comments relate to finessing something that is essentially correct in the "triangle" area. Triangle isn't a term I would normally use - dose - time and ratio is clearer. Try several variations. Then worry about finessing it.

John

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23 minutes ago, ajohn said:

Might be a feature of the shower screen, could be too much but the shower screen I use has a raised edge and some marking on the puck from it are normal with an ideal higher doses. Ie Enough space for the grinds to expand to a reasonable amount when the water goes in. That generally doesn't leave a totally flat used puck, just flattening around the edges from the shower screen feature.

Some how I suspect problems are down to the supposed ideal triangle. It differs according to the bean. And maybe dose.  I feel some of the comments relate to finessing something that is essentially correct in the "triangle" area. Triangle isn't a term I would normally use - dose - time and ratio is clearer. Try several variations. Then worry about finessing it.

John

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The triangle is a square :-) - Grind setting, dose, output & taste evaluation.

Most expansion occurs when the 3 way solenoid drops pressure above the puck.

To me, anything that suggests the puck is expanding tight against the screen, or is impermeable enough to be sucked up against the screen to suffer a deep indentation (rather than a just a ghosting of the screen holes imprint), also suggests it's too dense & water might not be contacting all of the dose...then extraction drops & caramel, choc, almond coffee can start tasting generic, sour. (If the coffee was more rhubarb/cranberry/hibiscus/yellow plum/grapefruit, I'd expect some brightness, but not sharp, pucker inducing tartness).

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On 02/02/2020 at 12:23, M5Sime said:

Hi all thank you .. my brew temp is 95 and steam temp is 131. With all the experiments and cleaning my PF that is more room temp than hot.. 

Rather than washing the portafilter wipe it clean with a cloth. That way it will stay hot. It needs at least 15min in most machines to gain heat when the boilers and grouphead are up to temperature.

A decent flush is often needed to get the items around the shower screen hot. It's good practice to flush after a shot as well.

You might like to compare tastes with a hot portafilter and a cold one. If you are an espresso drinker you wont be pleased. May be machine dependent but where various hot things are added to a shot you may be surprised - other than they may be a touch cooler. Far too cool for an espresso drinker. It's worth doing this sort of thing anyway even with a hot one especially if making drinks for yourself and others on the trot. Yours may be the only one that tastes as it should. My wife and son didn't mind me tasting there's but it was a while before I tried them.

I got fed up with tamping concerns so bought 2 things. A 2 slope so called distribution tool - they don't but can be used to apply a rather light tamp that is level. Then a calibrated tamper. I've used 2 as decided to get a 58.5mm one. Prior to that I tamped and then offset the tamper and ran it around with a firm polish. No different to the 58.5mm one. The distribution tool needs to be used the same way - even a 58.5mm one. I did try a 3 wing tool. I found that they are more inclined to mess up flows out of a bottomless pf. Both ideally need evenly distributed grinds before they are used.  I chose to use a 15kg tamper. They can usually be adjusted but the one I am currently using can only be set higher by putting washers on top of the spring. ;) I don't like spending money so none of these were expensive. As they do what they should I can't see any point in changing them. I'm currently guessing 20kg for reason I wont go into. May add washers later but have found with scales that it's easy to guess pretty accurately. 10kg - no thanks I've tried it but different grinders might change that. . The switch from 15 to 20 needed about 4 sec more shot time for the same ratio. Currently in my case anyway.

I also use different basket sizes. You may read about espresso drinker opening the flavours out. Some beans have such a strong flavour that it can masks others - this can mean a weaker drink is needed. I drink americano so could add more water. I don't so dose sizes have to be changed. I always drink near 10oz / 300ml.

:) Hope this helps. I reckon espresso at home is a hobby really but eventually it can all be done pretty quickly with any bean that proves suitable for the drinker.

John

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1 hour ago, MWJB said:

The triangle is a square ? - Grind setting, dose, output & taste evaluation.

Most expansion occurs when the 3 way solenoid drops pressure above the puck.

To me, anything that suggests the puck is expanding tight against the screen, or is impermeable enough to be sucked up against the screen to suffer a deep indentation (rather than a just a ghosting of the screen holes imprint), also suggests it's too dense & water might not be contacting all of the dose...then extraction drops & caramel, choc, almond coffee can start tasting generic, sour. (If the coffee was more rhubarb/cranberry/hibiscus/yellow plum/grapefruit, I'd expect some brightness, but not sharp, pucker inducing tartness).

:) I usually agree with you on most things but on fill height afraid not.

? God help us all if people start talking about ideal squares.

John

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9 minutes ago, ajohn said:

 

? God help us all if people start talking about ideal squares.

John

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No one is even talking about triangles yet, and a triangle based on shot time is more like a line of unknown length.

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