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Underextracted part two

October 14, 2011

Underextracted also known as my failure at hitting a moving target until I grabbed victory from the jaws of defeat.


This is a two part blog post because I started typing about my failure pulling a very nice shot and then I drank the very last shot I had of the coffee and it all changed…


Recall that I recently was given about 6 ounces of a very reputable cutting edge roast of coffee for espresso.  When I started this post I was going to avoid naming the coffee because I knew it was from a great roaster and that the failure was almost certainly mine.   In the end I got that great shot so I am happy to say that it was Fruit bat blend from Intelligentsia.  


As I played with it the shots stayed very sour.  I raised the temperature, but I had already started at a reasonably high temperature so that did not suffice as it turns out.  I changed the dose and that helped, but not nearly enough.  I changed the grind and again it helped but not enough.  I was running out of coffee.  It looked like there was no hope, but I made it much finer.  This was especially important and yet difficult because I was not single dosing and so the level of beans was dropping meaning that the same grind setting would not result in the same grind.  The weight of the beans changes the way a grinder grinds!


It took all 6 ounces, but the last shot was delightful.  It was so fruity that the name Fruit bat was clearly a good choice.  I ended up with a much finer grind than usual, a higher temperature, and a much higher does than I usually use (21g’s in a triple basket) but it was a shot to remember.


I love shots that you can still fondly taste  30 minutes later and this one was one of those.  I can still taste it lingering on my tongue.  Sometimes the best of those shots that linger are not the same as the best when you drink them.  This one was good when I drank it, but even better afterwards.




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