Now for the last instalment in this series. This time we will be discussing the final element of a coffee shot which is caffeine.
Caffeine is the part that everyone is looking for in coffee, it’s well known for giving you an energy boost but what you may not have known is it’s also responsible for the bitter taste that coffee can have.
Caffeine is easy to spot as it is the last part of the shot to extract, it’s a light yellow or “blonde” and tends to be a lot thinner or more watery than the rest of the shot. If you run a shot and wait for the colour to get lighter then catch the last part separately in the glass you’ve caught mostly caffeine.
The taste and smell of caffeine is bitter and acrid and is very easily identifiable by most people as being “bad coffee”. This is because if you have too much caffeine in a shot it will overpower the flavours of the sugars and oils and all you’ll be left with is that bitter and dirty taste.
If this is happening to you or you notice this in your shots all you have to do is make your grind finer to release more oils and sugars to balance the caffeine back out and you’ll be well on your way to making fantastic flavoursome coffees once again.
Remember the golden ratio for coffee is 60mL of coffee over 30 seconds INCLUDING the time from when you press the button.
Next week we begin a new section where we will be talking about the basics of steaming milk