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  1. #1
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    Espresso tasting bitter

    I have a Breville, "The Barista Express" which I absolutely love. My wife surprised me with some really nice espresso beans the other day and I couldn't wait to try them out. I typically drink an americano (strong one) and while using the same grind settings and whatnot with other, cheaper beans worked great, these beans seem to make for a bitter espresso shot. I have tried going for a more coarse grind, finner grind, adjusting how much pressure I put on the tamp, and I still have a bitter, sour tasting espresso.

    The puck is bone dry when I take it off, usually moreso than usual in that it is hard to get the puck out.

    Any ideas?

  2. #2
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    Any bean origin/roast level can be used for any method of coffee preparation, but some are definitely better suited for espresso. Lately alot of roasters are focusing on bright notes in single origins and blends leading to notes of citrus, berry, etc. These notes can across to some as sour or bitter, when in fact it's intentional.


    How fresh is the coffee in question? I won't buy coffee that doesn't have an actual roast date as fresh matters, plain and simple.


    If the puck is that dry either the coffee is just too stale or you're overdosing.
    I'm a legend among my own kind... you my friend are just a legend in your own mind. Later!

  3. #3
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    The coffee is definitely fresh. It is arguably the highest quality coffee I have ever bought which is what is making me scratch my head at its bitterness. I tried some this morning with less grinds and the puck was less try but the espresso was still bitter. This is the description of the beans from the website:

    "Wonderfully balanced and layered with complexity that unfolds with every sip.Stonefruit gives to a Caramel Pecan that lingers nicely on the pallet.
    Espresso Cultivar is 60% Guatemalan 40% Costa Rican."

    Any ideas?

  4. #4
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    Maybe you are over-extracting? I am assuming you have Espresso Cultivar? If so, here is their suggested shot parameters:

    Suggested Shot Parameters:
    Water Temp: 200 degrees
    Dose: 18 – 18.5 grams
    Shot Volume: 1.5 oz
    Shot Time: 21-23 seconds

    Or maybe it's supposed to taste "bitter" and could use a tiny pinch of salt like someone was discussing in another topic, to "correct" the bitterness.
    My cheerful disposition is brought to you today by a STRONG cup of coffee.

  5. #5
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    Salt to correct bitterness? Why not a sip of lemon juice while we're at it, lmao?!?
    I'm a legend among my own kind... you my friend are just a legend in your own mind. Later!

  6. #6
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    Hehe. Sorry, I've never tried that myself, but I mean, if he's doing everything right and it still tastes bad then it must be crappy coffee, right? I looked it up, crappy coffee gets salt.
    My cheerful disposition is brought to you today by a STRONG cup of coffee.

  7. #7
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    Maybe it's just not a great coffee for his taste, equipment, etc. Of all the coffees I've tinkered with for espresso at least 90% don't work well for me.

    If I pulled what I'd consider a crappy shot I'd add a bit of sugar or honey... worst case would be dumping it out. No salt or lemon for me.
    I'm a legend among my own kind... you my friend are just a legend in your own mind. Later!

  8. #8
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    I was just joking on my last post about it being crappy coffee. He needs to try the parameters they suggested and start from there.
    My cheerful disposition is brought to you today by a STRONG cup of coffee.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by tazzadiluna View Post
    I was just joking on my last post about it being crappy coffee. He needs to try the parameters they suggested and start from there.
    That is more difficult than some might imagine because of the machine in question. Breville machines are OK, but have some limitations. Among those would be the thermoblock heating system (which AFAIK is used in all Brevilles except the dual boiler) and this usually leads to inconsistent and lower than desired brewing temperature. There is a way to work around this to a degree. Another issue would be the double basket not allowing a large dose, such as 18-18.5 grams.
    I'm a legend among my own kind... you my friend are just a legend in your own mind. Later!

  10. #10
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    Thanks for the responses, I am just going to have to say either I got a bad batch or my machine does not work well for this bean. Instead of drinking bitter americanos I just threw it in my drip machine and it is pretty good.

 

 
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