HomeRoast Digest


Topic: Odd Americano behavior (30 msgs / 695 lines)
1) From: The Scarlet Wombat
Here's a conundrum.  Just got a new Isomac Zaffiro.  It makes drop dead 
wonderful espresso, best I have ever had.
However, there is something strange happening.  I used to use a Solis 
sl-90, now off to a good old espresso machine's home.  I would draw a 
double in it, and add hot water to about 10 ounces for my morning regular 
strength Americano.  It was pretty good stuff.  Now, I draw a double shot 
in the Zaffiro, marvelous espresso, but when I add water to the same volume 
as before, it tastes, well, diluted, almost as if there was not enough 
espresso for the amount of water.
One thing I do notice, the espresso from the Zaffiro simply has no 
bitterness whatever, it is delicious.  The espresso from the Solis was not 
that free of bitterness, but still was a pretty good shot.  Could I be 
mistaking the total lack of bitterness in the Americanos from Zaffiro 
produced espresso for a diluted taste?
Inquiring taste buds want to know,
Dan

2) From: HeatGunRoast
--- The Scarlet Wombat  wrote:
<Snip>
I have no idea what's going on, but I love a good conundrum (almost as much as a
snare) :o)
Anyway, seems to me that 10 oz water will just about kill a bitter-free double. Try
half that with a Perrier chaser.
Martin
Just got a new Isomac Zaffiro.  It makes drop dead 
<Snip>
=====
Martin
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3) From: miKe mcKoffee
I assume, and hate to assume, that PF shot grind load and shot time length
approximately the same. If so, interesting indeed. Then there's temp shot
difference possiblities. SL90 hotter? Strange thing is I'd expect the Isomac
double PF to actually hold more grinds than SL90 and hence stronger shot for
equal volume? Guess we'll need to wait for the thoughts and ideas from the
experienced real espresso hounds!
Kona Konnaisseur miKe mcKoffee
URL to Rosto mods, FrankenFormer etc.http://mdmint.home.comcast.net/coffee/Rosto_mod.htm

4) From: The Scarlet Wombat
Mike, the temps are probably not the same, the sl-90 is not nearly so 
stable as the Isomac, but all that does is give me better espresso.  The 
amount of ground coffee I am using is identical for both, 18.2 grams for a 
double.  Don't ask about the .2 grams, just works out that way.
Dan

5) From: John F
It is odd because the Solis uses less coffee per shot, doesn't it?
If anything the Zaff shots should be more robust not the other way around.
I'd try 8 oz. total water or an exact 50/50 ratio and see what happens.
It's a total guess but the imperfections of you Solis shots must have "carried" into the higher % of water. OR doesn't the Solis have a setting to pull longer shots (cafe'suza or something)? Could be that some sort of different extraction rate took place......yep, It is odd.
John F

6) From: Chris Tacy
This is going to sound bizarre, but try it and see if it helps.
I wasn't into Americanos, and then did some "continuing education" training
where I was shown an alternative way to make Americanos that
(scientifically) would seem to make no difference. But now I like
Americanos. Go figure.
Instead of pulling the shot into the cup and then adding hot water, put hot
water in the cup and then pull the shot "on top of" the water.
And, for what it's worth, I was also taught to not use the hot water from
the espresso machine, but rather from the coffee brewer as it's lower temp.
Shrug.
-c
PS. My reasoning is that the Zaffiro is closer to a commercial machine, and
the above is all in a commercial environment, so maybe... I don't know.

7) From: Lesley Albjerg
I really think you have hit the nail on the head.  With Alfred's Giotto, I noticed no bitterness too.  If I had a high end machine like you guys do, I would use less water in my Americano, or just stick to straight double shots!
 
Les
The Scarlet Wombat  wrote:
Here's a conundrum. Just got a new Isomac Zaffiro. It makes drop dead 
wonderful espresso, best I have ever had.
However, there is something strange happening. I used to use a Solis 
sl-90, now off to a good old espresso machine's home. I would draw a 
double in it, and add hot water to about 10 ounces for my morning regular 
strength Americano. It was pretty good stuff. Now, I draw a double shot 
in the Zaffiro, marvelous espresso, but when I add water to the same volume 
as before, it tastes, well, diluted, almost as if there was not enough 
espresso for the amount of water.
One thing I do notice, the espresso from the Zaffiro simply has no 
bitterness whatever, it is delicious. The espresso from the Solis was not 
that free of bitterness, but still was a pretty good shot. Could I be 
mistaking the total lack of bitterness in the Americanos from Zaffiro 
produced espresso for a diluted taste?
Inquiring taste buds want to know,
Dan---------------------------------
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8) From: miKe mcKoffee

9) From: Rick W
Tracy,
Not bizarre at all.  That's exactly the way I pull and Americano.  I do
use hot water from the espresso machine which serves two purposes. It
heats the cup while I'm tamping the shot and provides the foundation for
the espresso to come into.  
Here's my Americano process on my SL90 for a single:
1. Grind 11gms, fill the single filter basket, level and set aside (PF
is still in the machine staying hot).
2. Pull 4oz of hot water into a Cappa cup.  If using a Saeco Cappa cup,
I fill to just below the word "Saeco" on the inside of the cup (very
handy ref point).
3. Tamp the grinds.
4. Load-n-lock the basket into the PF.
5. Pull the shot into the cup containing hot water.
Works very well and I've created lots of Americano lovers this way.  If
I'm pulling a double, I increase the coffee to 17-18gms and use two
Cappa cups each filled with 4oz of water.
Rick Waits 
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put
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from
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temp.
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machine,
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know.
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dead
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Solis
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a
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enough
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was
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be
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Zaffiro
<Snip>

10) From: AlChemist John
I don't have an answer here, just a comment that my espresso is the 
same.  I keep hearing that an espresso is great for that one cup, just make 
an Americano, but it always just tastes watered down.
Sometime around 08:26 2/25/2004, The Scarlet Wombat typed:
<Snip>
--
John Nanci 
AlChemist at large
Zen Roasting , Blending & Espresso pulling by Gestalthttp://www.dreamsandbones.net/blog/http://www.chocolatealchemy.com/

11) From: John \
AlChemist John wrote:
<Snip>
Geez John - what do you drink with dinner?  There are different drinks - 
and Americano is tremendously popular for a reason.  Drinking just 
espresso is like just eating roast beef and foregoing ribs, steaks, 
sausage - because you like roast beef.

12) From: AlChemist John
My point is that I would like to drink Americano's, but the ones I make 
don't taste right.  They taste like watered down coffee, not watered down 
espresso.
Oh, ale for dinner, whenever it isn't water.
Sometime around 19:52 2/25/2004, John \"wandering Texas\" Abbott typed:
<Snip>
--
John Nanci 
AlChemist at large
Zen Roasting , Blending & Espresso pulling by Gestalthttp://www.dreamsandbones.net/blog/http://www.chocolatealchemy.com/

13) From: John \
AlChemist John wrote:
<Snip>
We'll have to work on that at the gathering.  Maybe you just have too 
refined a taste

14) From: Ed Needham
Dan,
Your new espresso machine probably operates at a slightly different
temperature or pressure and makes a double more drinkable as a straight shot,
but not potent enough for a diluted americano.  How about using less water in
the americano?  are you using hot water from the espresso machine or from a
water kettle on the stove?  I don't use boiler water for drinks.  I think
water boiled in my glass carafe tastes better.
***********************************************
Ed Needham
To Absurdity and Beyond!
"Nunc Aut Nunquam"  (Ed wonders how Dan's email reader sounds translating
that to speech!)
homeroaster ... d.o.t ... com
***********************************************

15) From: Chris Tacy
This is a multi-part message in MIME format.
well... an Americano is, by definition, watered-down espresso, so... =
sounds like your tastebuds are functioning fine.

16) From: miKe mcKoffee

17) From: The Scarlet Wombat
I'm willing to try espresso on top of water, but that means the mug will be 
sitting in the water in the drip tray.  A trip solonoid valve unit will 
spray water down into the tray so your mug will nearly always be sitting in 
water, but if it works, it is a small price to pay.
Dan

18) From: Dan Bollinger
This is a multi-part message in MIME format.
People say my Americanos are stronger than normal, American coffee (which we all
know is weak to begin with by European standards). I make mine from a double
shot and add 6 oz. of water.

19) From: AlChemist John
I just leave it that we can work on it .
Sometime around 20:20 2/25/2004, John \"wandering Texas\" Abbott typed:
<Snip>
--
John Nanci 
AlChemist at large
Zen Roasting , Blending & Espresso pulling by Gestalthttp://www.dreamsandbones.net/blog/http://www.chocolatealchemy.com/

20) From: AlChemist John
Sometime around 22:32 2/25/2004, miKe mcKoffee typed:
<Snip>
My point exactly.
<Snip>
Could be and no offense taken.  The espresso are great though.
<Snip>
Deal
<Snip>
--
John Nanci 
AlChemist at large
Zen Roasting , Blending & Espresso pulling by Gestalthttp://www.dreamsandbones.net/blog/http://www.chocolatealchemy.com/

21) From: Lesley Albjerg
Great answer Mike!  My thoughts are the same as yours.
 
Les
miKe mcKoffee  wrote:

22) From: Brian Hyde
I make a 2 oz. double and fill it to 6 oz. in the cup.  So yes I do 
stronger, but very smooth Americano.  
Brian  
Lesley Albjerg wrote:
<Snip>

23) From: Michael Guterman
The Scarlet Wombat wrote:
<Snip>
Dan,
I use essentially the same machine you do.  I make Americanos in a five 
ounce cappa cup.  I draw a normal double shot, and top up with hot water 
from my kettle.  The Amica hot water delivery is sort of scary, at 
best.  I find this to be a very satisfying drink.
Michael

24) From: Ben Treichel
Hey!! That machines worth a lot more than he paid for it. Also, my Dad 
says that its a poor craftsman that blames his tools!!
miKe mcKoffee wrote:
<Snip>
-- 
Ben Treichel
Program Manager
S.E Michigan
SwRI
248-232-7365 (o)
248-935-6845 (m)

25) From: Ben Treichel
P.S. I'm not talking about "Al" here.
Ben Treichel wrote:
<Snip>
-- 
Ben Treichel
Program Manager
S.E Michigan
SwRI
248-232-7365 (o)
248-935-6845 (m)

26) From: AlChemist John
Agreed.  It is priceless because of what I paid.
Sometime around 11:37 2/26/2004, Ben Treichel typed:
<Snip>
--
John Nanci 
AlChemist at large
Zen Roasting , Blending & Espresso pulling by Gestalthttp://www.dreamsandbones.net/blog/http://www.chocolatealchemy.com/

27) From: The Scarlet Wombat
I think I've solved the Americano mystery.  I believe the sl-90 was 
producing a larger and somewhat more acidic shot than it should have, or I 
was using the wrong number on the preprogrammed setup.  I could turn what 
was a double shot from it into a 10 ounce drink with good flavor.
Now, enter the Isomac, and a true double shot measuring a tweak under 2 
ounces, will not dilute to a 10 ounce drink successfully, it tastes 
watery.  So, we try to coarsen the grind a tad and make a crema and then 
expand that to 10 ounces and voila!  We have a tasty Americano of the 
proper volume.
I forget who suggested using a cafe crema for this, but my thanks to said 
person.
Dan

28) From: David Lewis
At 5:10 PM -0800 2/25/04, miKe mcKoffee wrote:
<Snip>
I'd always had a problem with water from my Techno's steam boiler 
tasting stale, which is a problem because it's convenient for making 
my wife's tea. I finally realized that I almost never steam, and the 
head space above the water was picking up a taste. Now, part of my 
morning ritual is to open the steam valve for a minute, heating her 
pot with the wand. Now the water from the steam boiler tastes fine.
Of course with single boiler machines like the Silvia and Zaffiro, 
where you're regularly pumping water out the steam wand, that 
wouldn't be an issue.
Best,
	David
-- 
"A designer knows he has achieved perfection not when there is 
nothing left to add, but when there is nothing left to take away."
Antoine de Saint-Exupery

29) From: Tom Murray
If I'm not mistaken, unless you have a heat exchange machine you 
espresso water and hot water come from the same boiler.
There for would it not be reasonable to assume that your espresso would 
also be stale.
Tom(who has one of the few machines whose hot water comes from a heat 
exchanger)
David Lewis wrote:
<Snip>

30) From: Tom Murray
I don't normally post to my own replies but sense the server is down  I 
have been getting the list out of order and did not follow the thread 
correctly.
Please disregard my previous post.
Thanks
Tom
Tom Murray wrote:
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