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  1. #1
    Junior Member
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    Jun 2017
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    Obtaining the Optimal Light Roast Espresso Shot. HELP!

    Hello Espresso Connoisseurs,

    I have been trying to figure out how to pull a nice Ethiopia Espresso Shot for some time now with little success. My aim here is to achieve a sweet and bright cup of espresso...in one sense, it'd be nice to achieve an over the top, in your face, bright cup of espresso that would need to be toned down rather than the other way around.

    How are you pulling your shots of Ethiopia, Kenya, or other light roast coffees? How are you roasting these coffees?

    Any help is greatly appreciated!

  2. #2
    Senior Member
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    Canada
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    Are these coffees not too acidic to be used as a single origin espresso ?

    the only one I have ever tasted that was good was a blend of many roasts of the origin

  3. #3
    Member
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    Oct 2018
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    Michigan
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    In order to make a good espresso, you basically HAVE to use a dark roast coffee. The entire body and structure of espresso comes from the fact that oils are released during the later stages of the roasting process. These oils are what produces the crema, and what makes espresso....well...espresso. When you light roast a coffee, the beans do not expand to their full capacity (up to double in size for a dark roast) so the flow characteristics of the puck are much different than a normal espresso roast.
    The best espresso is actually not even made from arabica beans, but rather robusta beans. Most of the best quality robusta beans in the world are sent to Italy to make their espresso, and the Italians know espresso.
    Having said that, I won't say you can not make a good cup of espresso with a light roast, but I would suggest trying a drip style cold brew technique. I love my cold brew concentrate. I was a hardcore espresso man, and now I'm all cold brew. Happy brewing!
    Coffee is the magical stuff that dreams are made of!

  4. #4
    Super Moderator
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    I think we will just agree to disagree. Have you ever seen the Lavazza espresso? It is light roast and kicks out loads of crema. Robusta coffee will boost your crema. The reason I roast my espresso dark for my stores is so it shines through the milk and other stuff they pour into the cup. I personally enjoy a lighter roast espresso...but I do not use milk or sugar. I love bright coffees.
    "Wine is for aging, not coffee."
    Ken Hutchinson, Starsky and Hutch

  5. #5
    Junior Member
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    Jun 2017
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    Yes I agree! I really do love the bright espresso shots and have in the past been able to achieve a very nice macchiato. Any thoughts as far as roasting for espresso goes? If I am looking for a bright espresso, are there any basic tips to try on the roasting side of things?

  6. #6
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
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    5
    Quote Originally Posted by argudbrandson View Post
    Hello Espresso Connoisseurs,

    I have been trying to figure out how to pull a nice Ethiopia Espresso Shot for some time now with little success. My aim here is to achieve a sweet and bright cup of espresso...in one sense, it'd be nice to achieve an over the top, in your face, bright cup of espresso that would need to be toned down rather than the other way around.

    How are you pulling your shots of Ethiopia, Kenya, or other light roast coffees? How are you roasting these coffees?

    Any help is greatly appreciated!

    I own a shop and we exclusively lean light to medium on all of our coffees, including espresso. You do NOT have to have dark roast for good espresso, however, high acidic coffees will be pretty bright and sometimes bitter on the front end depending on your machine. Most of our lighter roast espresso will be a blend of something floral/sweet (Ethiopia) and something with more body/chocolate tones (Guatemala). Just follow general SCA guidelines as a starting point....20g of coffee in, 40 g out, and pull around 28-32 seconds depending how coffee reacts. Up the grams in if you need more acidity.

    Best of luck!

  7. #7
    Senior Member
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    Aug 2005
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    Central North Carolina
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    1,453
    Anybody with the HAVE TO HAVE DARK mantra... first, taste is subjective and we all have an opinion. Second, define what you consider dark... I home roast and have used A LOT of nationally recognized artisan roaster coffees over the years for home/commercial use. Absolute best espresso for taste, texture, aroma, etc. I prefer what I'd consider a solid medium roast, around full city level. Nice mahogany brown color, no surface oils beginning to show. This is the point that gives a good balance of coffee notes, roast notes... not too light to be acidic and not too dark to begin tasting bittersweet, smoky, etc.

    Sorta reminds me of a guy we met at an event we were vending at with the mobile commercial setup we had. He had been the espresso/latte/smoothie vendor previously on the grounds and also roasted coffee for his events. Maybe he didn't like what were doing there and came over with the 'to do an espresso blend the right way you HAVE to blend 3 or more coffees' when he asked what coffee we used. Told him it's a single origin/blend as it was a single origin Brazil Ipanema that was split green. Half roasted a bit lighter, half a bit darker, then blended. Technically it was simply a blended single origin... Told him a blend consists of 2 or more coffees... doesn't have to be 3 or 4 or 5. He stormed off and didn't bother us anymore.
    Last edited by shadow745; 12-29-2018 at 04:23 PM.
    I'm a legend among my own kind... you my friend are just a legend in your own mind. Later!

 

 

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