Monthly Archives: May 2011

Espresso extraction

I have been thinking about the way espresso tastes.  There is a long standing prejudice against acidic taste in coffee. I find it confusing, considering that the vast majority of bevvies that we enjoy every day are highly, sharply, and sweetly, acidic. What would a hot summer’s day be without a glass of ice cold lemonade? Every put a penny in a glass of Coke for kicks? White wine would never be the same without the fruit flavours, brought you by the delightful fruit acids present. And some say coffee is a fruit (technically, it’s a pit). Here’s the lowdown with ‘brightness’ and espresso.

Acidic and volatile aromatic compounds in coffee are extracted easily, therefore, first, in a shot of espresso -> followed by caramels (sweetness) -> then by bitter/astringent compounds. Think in terms of seconds. 20 seconds (sour) -> 25 seconds (sweet) -> 30 seconds (bitter), generally.
Acid without sweetness is called ‘sour’ or ‘sharp’. This is always underextraction. Acid with sweetness is called ‘crisp’ or ‘bright’.  It is responsible for fruit and floral impressions. This is a good thing.  It’s important to note the distinction between ‘sour’ and ‘acidic’ in our coffee tasting vocabulary. Sour is vinegar, acidic is like lemonade.  Acidity balanced with sweetness balanced with bitterness is just right. It’s what we are looking for. This is best.
Overly Acrid/bitter flavours rcome from overextraction (and sometimes stale coffee).
There is another rule of thumb.  The darker the roast, the less fruit (citric acid) remains, and the more bitter (chlorogenic acid) will be present in all shots. It gives a broader window through which to jump; it is more forgiving.
The lighter the roast, the narrower the window for balance, but the greater the potential to have a complex, expressive flavour which captures the nature of the origin. Pulling shots of lightly roasted coffee as espresso is like balancing on a knife edge.
If you can handle it.  I encourage you to try.
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Simple Things; Well Made

I try to make a habit of not eating bread. I think it’s a fundamentally bad idea, given the video I just watched. My mouth is watering, my pulse quick, and I wand BREAD. Well, OK, a certain kind of bread. Have a look and see if you agree ..


Twitter top followed

Here is a sign of the times; Twitter’s 20 most followed. Oh the joy! A Canadian is ahead of Barack Obama.

1
Lady Gaga (@ladygaga)
mother mons†er
10,210,068 followers
143,466 following
764 tweets
2
Justin Bieber (@justinbieber)
NEVER SAY NEVER 3D out on DVD NOW!!
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113,176 following
9,144 tweets
3
Barack Obama (@BarackObama)
44th President of the United States
8,110,824 followers
697,251 following
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4
Britney Spears (@britneyspears)
It’s Britney Bitch!
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422,829 following
745 tweets
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Kim Kardashian (@KimKardashian)
business woman, exec producer, fashion designer, perfumista
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137 following
7,613 tweets
6
Katy Perry (@katyperry)
i kissed a girl AND diddled her skittle.
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72 following
2,897 tweets
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ashton kutcher (@aplusk)
I make stuff, actually I make up stuff, stories mostly, collaborations of thoughts, dreams, and actions. Thats me.
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637 following
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Ellen DeGeneres (@TheEllenShow)
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taylorswift13 (@taylorswift13)
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Shakira (@shakira)
Welcome to Shakira’s Official Twitter page. Bienvenidos a la página oficial de Shakira en Twitter
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Oprah Winfrey (@Oprah)
Live Your Best Life
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32 following
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Selena Gomez (@selenagomez)
The Official Selena Gomez Twitter Page
5,442,495 followers
521 following
1,551 tweets
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Rihanna (@rihanna)
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452 following
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14
Twitter (@twitter)
Always wondering what’s happening.
5,101,690 followers
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Twitter en español (@twitter_es)
¡Bienvenidos a la cuenta oficial de Twitter en español!
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50cent (@50cent)
It’s the kid 50 Cent | G-Unit
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Justin Timberlake (@jtimberlake)
Official Justin Timberlake Twitter.
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Ryan Seacrest (@RyanSeacrest)
The day will happen whether or not you get up. – John Ciardi
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399 following
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Mariah Carey (@MariahCarey)
Citizen of the World Dahhhling!
4,428,144 followers
50 following
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CNN.com is among the world’s leaders in online news and information delivery.
4,348,860 followers
41 following
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