On 11/15/2018 at 8:22 PM, gfron1 said:
Right, I think making sure we're using the term espresso correctly is important. In the coffee shop world there are distinct formulas (google them), and I can tell you from experience that the key factors are: grind, volume of ground, tamping strength, water flow/pressure and water volume. If you aren't controlling those you aren't really making espresso.
Here's my explanatory story. I hate coffee, but last year I opened a daytime cafe with espresso. We had a fancy espresso machine. Because I was now doing 5 am shifts I started drinking copious amounts of espresso. Always bitter, always nasty, always supporting my hating of coffee. I switched our beans to Ethiopian and backed the roast way off (technically it was the development phase), two things that should have helped with bitterness. But still I kept drinking nasty coffee (customers really loved the changes). I can't remember why but I brought my roasting mentor in for a coffee checkup, and he watched as I pushed the "chef shot" button which pulled a quad shot, and he noted that I used about 40% too many grounds. So I dialed back on the grounds and used the 2 oz button (1 oz is standard but I don't know any coffee shop that doesn't do a 2 oz draw). And guess what...I like my coffee now!
Second thought, at home i do Aeropress (I promise I really do hate coffee despite how much I drink), and most believe that Aeropress makes coffee less acidic and less bitter.
My advice regardless of what you are technically making is to try less grounds, less water and steep a bit less. Think Americano for your final drink - top off your espresso with hot water to get the desired volume.
Give that a try and see what happens.5
Thank you for this awesome reply. It is true that every good coffee maker of today had a "bitter" past lol. I usually use one shot for my coffee (1 shot = 1 ounce). But, I am just experimenting these days to find the right formula. I guess what I am lacking is in the mixing department.