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Low extraction time with Pilot Coffee Roasters SANTA MARIA 'PACAMARA' – EL SALVADOR

Dextro360

New member
Feb 11, 2022
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2
Ontario, Canada
Hello coffee lovers, looking or your opinion on my assumption.

I have a Breville Barista Express and have always been able to adjust my settings to get the perfect extraction for espresso from different local coffee roasters however, with my recent purchase from Pilot Coffee Roasters I am unable to make an decent cup of espresso. The coffee bean I purchased is the SANTA MARIA 'PACAMARA' – EL SALVADOR, their website contains instructions for espresso which are pretty standard, the problem I am experiencing is low pressure during extraction. The roast date was Feb 4, and although the rest period is 14 days, I've always been able to use whole beans a few days after the roast date and was fine with extraction. Today is now day 7 after the roast date, and extracting espresso is not getting any better.

I'm starting to think the roast date on the package is not true as what I am experiencing now is what I usually experience when coffee beans are over 1 month old.

I use the built in grinder on my espresso machine, I use a coffee distributor, and bottomless portafilter and a scale to weight my beans.

Espresso Instructions on their website for this bean:
Dry Dose: 18g
Wet Dost: 38
Brew Ratio: 2.19
Duration: 30s
Strength TDS: 9.49%
EXT. YEILD: 20.53%
REST PERIOD: 14 days

My Measurements and Results:
Dry Dose: 18g
Grind Setting: 1 (Finest)
Extraction Time: 21sec
Pressure: 10%

Dry Dose: 18.2g
Grind Setting: 1 (Finest)
Extraction Time: 21sec
Pressure: 12%

Dry Dose: 18.4g
Grind Setting: 1 (Finest)
Extraction Time: 22sec
Pressure: 25%

Dry Dose: 18.6g
Grind Setting: 1 (Finest)
Extraction Time: 24sec
Pressure: 42%

Dry Dose: 18.8g
Grind Setting: 1 (Finest)
Extraction Time: 25sec
Pressure: 47%

The espresso does taste better using 18.8g. I am thinking why should I have to use 18.8g to just barely make a decent cup of espresso?

With 2 years of making espresso using this machine I'm not an expert but I wouldn't say I'm inexperienced either.

I would like your thoughts on my situation, is it me or the coffee bean? I have a funny feeling the roast date of Feb 4 is not true.

Thank you for reading my post, looking forward to hearing all your thoughts!

Dextro360
 

Musicphan

Well-known member
May 11, 2014
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Kansas City
What does the rest period mean? Is that their suggested time to wait before using (I assume so)? Espresso taste best IMO at least 7-10 days off roast date.
 
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Dextro360

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Feb 11, 2022
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Ontario, Canada
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What does the rest period mean? Is that their suggested time to wait before using (I assume so)? Espresso taste best IMO at least 7-10 days off roast date.

Google says the rest period is the days one should wait after the roast date before using the beans.
I know I'm using the beans a bit earlier, but as the days go by, my extraction is not getting any better.
 

Musicphan

Well-known member
May 11, 2014
1,596
34
Kansas City
I would seal it up best you can and wait a week... honestly, there are some beans that just taste better after sitting. My espresso blend is best 1-3 weeks after roast although I can use it after a few days. Looking at their website it looks like they have a lot of time invested in giving you best practices for brewing each coffee. I would probably go with their advice first.
 
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Dextro360

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I would seal it up best you can and wait a week... honestly, there are some beans that just taste better after sitting. My espresso blend is best 1-3 weeks after roast although I can use it after a few days. Looking at their website it looks like they have a lot of time invested in giving you best practices for brewing each coffee. I would probably go with their advice first.
Thanks I'll wait it out and try again at the 14 day mark then post my results, cheers!
 

shadow745

Active member
Aug 15, 2005
1,622
15
Central North Carolina
Great advice given thusfar and the general 'rule of thumb' is 7+ days post roast rest for most coffees to mellow out for espresso. Gives it time to degas and develop more flavor, balance, etc. For the greens I like and taken to a full city range I find most start to peak around day 6-7. After roasting I leave the jar lid loose for 24 hrs, then snug down and wait. For new-to-me greens I will try an extraction on say day 2-3, then maybe 4-5, etc. to determine peak for that batch. If too fresh the flavor will tend to be rather pungent, the crema will be volcanically furious and diminish quickly. Usually you can see tiny bubbles form from being really fresh. If I really want to try something super fresh I will leave it sitting out overnight in an open container, grind 15-20 mins in advance, etc. Those seemingly simple things do allow it to mellow out a bit faster, but no real rhyme/reason for it and difficult to do consistently.
 
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Dextro360

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Last Friday February 18th was exactly 14 days from the roast date, here are my test results:

Dry Dose: 18g
Grind Setting: 1 (Finest)
Extraction Time: 19sec
Pressure: 35%

Tried again right after with higher dose

Dry Dose: 18.2g
Grind Setting: 1 (Finest)
Extraction Time: 22sec
Pressure: 40%

On February 21st I gave it another go

Dry Dose: 18.4g
Grind Setting: 1 (Finest)
Extraction Time: 22sec
Pressure: 40%

On February 22nd I tried again just 30 min ago

Dry Dose: 18.6g
Grind Setting: 1 (Finest)
Extraction Time: 21sec
Pressure: 45%

I can't seem to dial in with this coffee bean, not driving me nuts yet but I haven't ran into these many problems dialing in with other beans before, maybe it just wasn't meant to be, your thoughts are appreciated!

Thanks
 

topher

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Aug 14, 2003
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Boca Raton
I know with commercial grinders the settings change. That the numbers are just reference points. So you might have your espresso grinder perfectly dialed in. 2 hours later the humidity could change and ruin that shot. I saw my grind change in a matter of 15 minutes when I was competing. I dialed my grinder in at 27 seconds. 15 minutes later when it was my turn to go I pulled my first shot and it went from 27 seconds to 39. It was crazy. I had to reset the grinder and start the process over. In your case would first buy a better grinder and see if that helps. When you see coffee combo units ie. coffee brewer with a espresso machine incorporated togetger...they aren't as good as having a dedicated machine for that purpose only. Just my 2 cents.
 
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Dextro360

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I know with commercial grinders the settings change. That the numbers are just reference points. So you might have your espresso grinder perfectly dialed in. 2 hours later the humidity could change and ruin that shot. I saw my grind change in a matter of 15 minutes when I was competing. I dialed my grinder in at 27 seconds. 15 minutes later when it was my turn to go I pulled my first shot and it went from 27 seconds to 39. It was crazy. I had to reset the grinder and start the process over. In your case would first buy a better grinder and see if that helps. When you see coffee combo units ie. coffee brewer with a espresso machine incorporated togetger...they aren't as good as having a dedicated machine for that purpose only. Just my 2 cents.
Thanks for the input, but there are so many grinders out there I have no idea which one to choose. Do you have any suggestions or a trusted website you can share?
 
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Dextro360

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Also keep in mind (if not already mentioned) that some coffees just aren't ideal for espresso regardless of equipment, variables tweaked, etc.
That's a good call, these aren't labeled as espresso, and this is my first non espresso bean I'm trying to make espresso with. Even though they list instructions for espresso that does not mean this bean is ideal for espresso I can live with that thought!
 

shadow745

Active member
Aug 15, 2005
1,622
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Central North Carolina
That's a good call, these aren't labeled as espresso, and this is my first non espresso bean I'm trying to make espresso with. Even though they list instructions for espresso that does not mean this bean is ideal for espresso I can live with that thought!
Case in point... a guy I know somewhat into home roasting gave me a bit of green to try that just wasn't cutting it for him. Not sure of the exact origin, but labeled Congo ______. Notes basically come across as cocoa and pronounced acidity. I took it a bit darker than my usual batches to really help neutralize that apparent insane acidity. Also boosting extraction temp and grinding a bit different to bring out the best it has to offer. Regardless of changes I made it still isn't ideal for my taste. Imagine bittersweet cocoa with a lemon juice finish... might be better in press, pourover, etc., but espresso pressure brings out every positive/negative a coffee has to offer and some just won't cut it for espresso for many enthusiasts regardless of how things are manipulated. Some tend to look at the roast level as being a primary indicator for 'espresso specific', but origin/process method is quite important as well.
 
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Dextro360

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Feb 11, 2022
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Ontario, Canada
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Case in point... a guy I know somewhat into home roasting gave me a bit of green to try that just wasn't cutting it for him. Not sure of the exact origin, but labeled Congo ______. Notes basically come across as cocoa and pronounced acidity. I took it a bit darker than my usual batches to really help neutralize that apparent insane acidity. Also boosting extraction temp and grinding a bit different to bring out the best it has to offer. Regardless of changes I made it still isn't ideal for my taste. Imagine bittersweet cocoa with a lemon juice finish... might be better in press, pourover, etc., but espresso pressure brings out every positive/negative a coffee has to offer and some just won't cut it for espresso for many enthusiasts regardless of how things are manipulated. Some tend to look at the roast level as being a primary indicator for 'espresso specific', but origin/process method is quite important as well.
Reading lemon juice finish just made me cringe lol. You bring out many good points, again thanks for sharing. I'll try using my Italian style stovetop espresso maker tomorrow in the hopes that I get a better results!
 
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