Mastering the Art of Dialing in Espresso

In the quest for the perfect espresso, the process of dialing it in is both an art and science. Here, we dive into the journey of mastering this intricate process. With a brand-new coffee in the hopper, one that had never been tasted or tested before, the adventure begins. Armed with a Mythos One grinder and a Black Eagle Gravitech machine, the goal is to achieve the best-tasting shot possible. The process starts with careful adjustments of dose, grind size, and extraction parameters. This meticulous attention to detail ensures every shot is a step closer to perfection.

The first attempt, however, didn’t go as planned. The initial shot, brewed at 18 grams in and 40 grams out in 34 seconds, was harsh and unpleasant. Adjustments had to be made. The grind was set too fine, leading to a slow extraction. After tweaking the grind to a coarser setting, the shot pulled in 25 seconds but was under-extracted and unsatisfactory. Further fine-tuning led to a more balanced espresso after a 27-second brew time. With every slight adjustment, from grind size to dose, the espresso evolved. Ultimately, pushing the extraction yielded a shot with good clarity and satisfying texture, proving that persistence in dialing in is crucial.

Adjusting the Grind

The first adjustment involved setting the grinder to a coarser setting. The initial shot pulled at 18 grams in and 40 grams out over 34 seconds was overly harsh, muddy, intensely sour, and generally unpleasant. The extraction was too slow, contributing to these negative flavors. By tweaking the grinder to a coarser setting, the shot took 25 seconds to pull. However, this led to an under-extracted shot with unsatisfactory flavor. The grind was too coarse, causing the espresso to rush through.

Further adjustments were made to find the right grind size. By making the grind slightly finer each time, the shot times were adjusted accordingly, moving from 34 seconds to 27 seconds. These changes started to yield better results, showing a more balanced flavor profile. Although the initial adjustments were imperfect, each step brought the espresso closer to the desired taste.

Playing with Parameters

Alongside grind size, other parameters were also adjusted. The dose, staying constant at around 18 grams, was tweaked along with the amount of liquid output. The attempt was to find the optimal balance between strength and extraction. Moving from 34 seconds to 27 seconds in brew time offered good insights into these adjustments.

Eventually, a shot pulled at 18 grams in and 38-39 grams out over 29 seconds started showing promise. The shot had improved clarity and texture, yet there was still space to refine it further. By pushing a bit more liquid through the ground coffee without changing the grind size, a better balance of sweetness and extraction was hoped to be achieved.

Final Adjustments

The final tweaks involved dropping the dose to 17 grams and aiming for a 42-gram output. This finer grind and lesser coffee quantity aimed to enhance extraction and balance. The result was a more drinkable, sweet, and clean espresso with satisfying texture, albeit slightly more acidic due to the light roast used.

These adjustments demonstrated the importance of persistence and careful tweaking. Every change, no matter how minor, impacted the final espresso shot’s flavor profile. This process of gradual refinement highlights the art and science behind making a perfect espresso, a journey that brings both challenges and rewards.

After numerous adjustments, the final espresso shot achieved was notably more satisfactory than the initial attempts. By carefully tweaking the grind size and adjusting the dose to 17 grams with an output of 42 grams, the resulting espresso was sweet, clean, and balanced. Despite the lighter roast, which naturally brings out more acidity, the espresso retained a good amount of texture and clarity, resulting in a delicious shot that met the desired standards.

This meticulous process of dialing in underscores the importance of patience and precision in espresso making. Each small adjustment, whether to the grind size, dose, or extraction time, plays a critical role in developing the flavor profile of the coffee. The journey of finding that perfect shot is filled with trial and error, as seen through the series of modifications made during this session.

This exercise serves as a valuable reminder that dialing in is both an art and a science. The experience garnered from this session will undoubtedly inform future efforts with different types of coffee, promising even more refined results. Ultimately, each step taken in this detailed process contributes to the broader understanding and mastery of crafting the perfect espresso.