How to Taste Coffee



Really strange. But maybe we can find the cause :slight_smile: lets give it a try.

I am not sure about better controll with Rossa vs Rossa Air … I think what Ross means is you can feel the resistance on Rossa, which is true for sure … and maybe you have even a bit finer grained controll over pressure. But there is something about what Rossa Air does by design, that I think is not so easy to do with Rossa. There is a curve ramp up and slow ramp down when you find the ballance point of the valve/pressure … that makes the pressure stay for some time then drop slowly … and this I think is really really good way to extract, the slow decline. But its just a little different way to controll that trades some bonuses for other ones … Both are amazing designs from my POV … its so simple and so well functioning.


Ok … if you may - please measure the particle sizes, and make me a close up picture of your puck before after tamping and after gusher shot … need to see what it does :slight_smile:


Did you ever try a Rossa?

About the only thing it can’t do is a really fast ramp up - as you can’t wind that fast. Holding pressure is easy. Slow ramp down has perfect control.

I have never used the Air. It was not a choice at the time - the air came out quite a while after I bought my machine.


After a lot of detective work I may have covered the “issue” with the Sette grinder. The grinder has macro and micro settings (I think you can guess where this I going right :rofl::roll_eyes::scream: ).

Well I re-watched a review and they got the settings the wrong way around when they were talking about it (just a slip of the tongue I guess). And I had copied that review - so I was trying to use the macro setting as the micro adjustment - which doesn’t work very well…

I am not usually this stupid - but I just assumed the reviewer knew what they were talking about… Just goes to show you should always read the manual CAREFULLY :blush:

I still need to confirm that this actually solves the problem - but if it does I guess I should delete the earlier entries. And apologize!


I originally missed the significance of a BAND of 200 microns :slight_smile: But I get it now - and will certainly try this technique once I get the Rossa and Sette working in harmony.


The first shot I ever pulled was a god shot. I was astoundingly lucky and now it doesn’t matter what everyone says, I will blinded by my love, its a tough learning curve no doubt…But I don’t pull shots really, because I no longer have that machine and also I needed a better grinder. The Hario is OK, for aeropress and V60 it’s fine. I have the brace from orphan espresso so it is much more consistent but still not an espresso grinder.

For the espresso grinder troubleshoot: did you break in the grinder with a kg of roasted beans. Usually the manufacturer will say how much but you should run a couple pounds of roasted be to clean up/break in the burrs. That would be the first cause. Second would be that the burrs are misaligned or faulty. Because if you are getting heavy channeling and your tamping is constant then you can move to…Is your dispersion screen on the espresso machine clean? Sometimes they can get clogged either with grind particles or calcium buildup. I am out and about right now so I haven’t been able to read over everything said so far but I’ll be back tomorrow and maybe I can suggest something else.


The Rossa is a bit of a different beast - very simple. Just water and a basket - no dispersion screen. The grinder is well broken in has seen several kilos of beans. From a visual inspection of the burrs they appear to be in good condition. The baskets are in good condition and clean.

But as mentioned earlier the grinder burrs may have been a little misaligned, as it seems to work better after I cleaned and re-assembled. Also there was the “adjustment issue” - oops… Hopefully addressing these things fixes the problem.

However making one or two good shots does not prove it is all good - but I should know in the next few days. If there are still issues then I may have to consider the possibility of a faulty grinder. Having a second grinder to compare against would be helpful…

I’m actually wondering if the gushers were caused by the coffee being TOO fine (which be consistent with my “adjustment issue”). And because of the fineness the coffee puck just dispersed into the water - rather than staying together as a puck. It is pretty clear that when I empty the gushers there is no puck - so the question is why? As I mentioned this little machine has no dispersion screen (to restrict expansion of the puck) so the “head space” is actually the whole container of water. I guess the only way to test the “too fine” idea is to try coarser grind settings and see what happens… Perhaps firmer tamping might help too.


I stand by my opinion - this machine is not quite up to scratch for making great espresso (at least not consistently).

I used the machine I spoke of fairly intensively for about three months on an off over a three or four year period. And it was (unfortunately) not up to the standard of a good pump based machine. It is possible that the one my friend had was a dud - but I doubt that. I have pulled a (very) few much better shots on other lever machines - like an idrocompresso(?) that Kees had in his workshop.


True, yea I will prob get a pump like the DE+1 because in all honesty I am getting fatigued by all the “Manuel-ness” of my setup but still enjoy tweaking the settings.

In my “playing with tamping” in the aeropress one critical thing i forgot to mention is that; if you are using a very light grind you will have to tamp harder because when infusing/introducing the water can cause the puck to breakup. I don’t tamp in the aeropress anymore but I did pull some good shots it just took a lot of pressure.


A wise choice IMHO. I have seen (an early prototype of) the DE1+ demoed and it rocked.


Thanks for that observation - as this seems to be exactly the same behavior I am seeing. Hopefully this is the same issue with my gushers!!! Because it actually explains what is happening - and it then all makes sense. And can all be fixed :slight_smile: :smile: :wink: :sunny:


i just read through everything and I’m hopeful that you solved your problem. It’s always nice when the solution is an easy fix, and one that doesn’t cost a whole bunch of mula! XD

@pavel I really want to get those sieves now and see how it will vary the extraction in my V60 or aeropress :smiley:


Yeah :slight_smile: me too … I really enjoy when a problem is solved, its what I do for living and yet I also like the feeling of “problem solved” just for the feeling of it.

Regarding sieves and their effect … I have written it before, that its adds a lot of time and work, so its not something you will do too often. But it makes anything way more sharp and defined when its used. So I do it when I do have some special beans, that I want to see through this maginfying lens … :slight_smile: Its great tool, just not the most practical when time spent sifting is taken into account.


Progress report - looking much better!!!

Coffee extraction started at about 5 bar and ran at 4 (= a little “fast”) using macro notch 3 (so 2 finer macro notches left) and micro on finest. Not sifting.

Coffee tasted great, very smooth - but I think I can get a bit more flavour out of it by going a little finer. Extractions starting at 6+ bar seem to be a sweet spot on the Rossa.


While the Kruve is great it is small and a bit finicky. If (when?) I decide to sift more I will probably get some larger round lab sieves (I can use for cooking as well - sieving can make nice smooth mash - of course you can also use amylase enzyme to break down the longer chain starches to give mash an amazing smooth mouthfeel - and its much healthier than the traditional method of adding 50% butter…). The larger sieves should be much quicker - and you can sift enough coffee for several cups of coffee (unlike the Kruve which is more like a single serve sieve).


A question…

I am having trouble hearing the first crack - any clues? Get a cheap stethoscope maybe??? Stick my ear onto the roaster (and burn myself)?

Or perhaps just don’t worry - as I can see a (very) slight momentary dip/leveling in the temperature curve at about 200C (exhaust temp) which is probably caused by compensating for the heat generated by the (exothermic) 1C…

Haven’t tried for 2C yet…


And switching to “mad scientist” mode - inspired by Matt’s video…

I thought it was interesting when he talked about a higher TDS espresso maybe 24+ from using a roller grinder (though maybe sifting can achieve this too). Combining this with the 100 micron penetration limit for coffee particles.

And it made me think that to get a higher TDS you need to break down the cell walls better. This is the same issue I faced when making oils - I needed to break down the cell walls to get out the flavour compounds. I used a high power blender and then NO2 in a cream charger (apparently the charger works by cavitation). There are two other approaches that could further break down the cells - using a rotor-stator blender or a sonicator (ultrasonic homogenizer). The sonicator uses cavitation to break down cell walls and emulsify.

So I wondered how this could be applied to an espresso machine. Building a rotor-stator homogenizer into the head of an espresso machine might be a little difficult. But perhaps adapting the rotor-stator design principles might make for an effective grinder??? However using ultrasonics in the head would probably be fairly easy.

Imagine if you could double the water penetration into the coffee - then you could perhaps get a 40 or 50 TDS espresso - imagine that…

I am sure there would be technical issues to overcome - as the sonicated coffee could possibly be so fine that it would choke a normal espresso machine. So perhap it would need a lot higher pressure (though when I tried that it “burns” the espresso on a normal espresso machine) - so perhaps higher pressure and lower the temperature. Or perhaps high pressure to extract and then vacuum to suck out the coffee…

The sonicator (ultrasonic) actually sounds like it might even work… Perhaps we need to talk to John Buckman…


For a louder first crack you need to approach where you think first crack can be, I’ve hit1C in 2 min at 448C (correction: 448F) or where I like, in the latter part of 5min to the beginning of 8min (in that range). For a lot of clarity and no roast flavor, though to be honest I am getting a lot of baked flavors on the warm cup aroma which I has been my latest conundrum. I’m more prone to the Rao Method (declining ROR) not the development time because with the profiles I am tuning I can drop 5s - 30s but the sweet spot for fruits so far have been in the 10-15s drop after hearing the first crack. But I also am trying to work on getting more cracks, because even letting the profile ride at a 15-20*/min ROR I am still only getting a handful of cracks.

Cell walls (cellulose matrix) in coffee breaks down it makes it easier for water to extract the flavor/aromatics, so there is a good amount of breakdown needed. Which can be achieved in lighter roasts too, and is critical for a good tasting light roast.

I’ve been taking a break from roasting, and when all my samples are finished I might switch to tea for a while and give myself a break. But one day soon I will do a consolidation of my findings so far to help, hence why I put up the poll so see at what level people are at. 10 people out of 200-344 I guess that’s the best we can hope for…

There was a cold extracted coffee that was said to use “sound waves” I’m sure it was more in the sonic spectrum like you are thinking of. Though I never tried a bottle but the general consensus was that it was pretty good.


I assume you mean 448F :blush:


LOL, yea…or maybe I searzalled the beans!!! mmuaahaHAHAHAH, jk yea Fahrenheit for sure, I should switch over to Celsius but lazy and 'merica (lol also jk).