Sometimes, and you’ve probably noticed it as well, espresso has a distinct flavor that feels like rubber on the tongue. And, if you’re anything like me, you’re probably wondering why this happens. If only to figure out how to avoid it happening again in the future.
The condition of the espresso machine used to brew it is the most common cause of espresso tasking like rubber, and this occurs most frequently when a machine is either too new or too old to brew espresso properly. There are a variety of factors that can contribute to this distinct flavor. Even so, most of the time, all that is required to get rid of it is a thorough cleaning job.
Today, we’ll look at all of the different factors that can contribute to this occurrence. Then, I’ll do my best to answer your questions about espresso, and I’ll make sure to provide solutions and suggestions to help you avoid this situation in the future. Coffee is far too good to allow a foreign flavor to detract from the beverage’s enjoyment.
What Causes Your Espresso to Be Watery?
At the very least, when compared to other beverages such as juice or tea, coffee is a very complex beverage. But, on the other hand, the smell of coffee is something we can all agree on: it makes a good first impression.
In general, coffee is extremely aromatic, and the distinct smell of freshly poured coffee is a treat in and of itself.
However, it is important to note that the smell of coffee becomes a part of the way we perceive the taste of the beverage. Consider a time when your nose was completely plugged and how you felt. The food had a distinct flavor.
When we eat or drink something, we also smell it, making both of our senses essential to the process of tasting food.
Compared to other beverages or meals, coffee has a stronger aroma, making it even more difficult to alter its distinct flavor profile. Any stray odor that enters our espresso brewing process has the potential to completely alter the flavor of our espresso, usually for the worse.
In other words, if there is an issue with your machine or any other piece that has a distinct smell, it will affect the taste of your coffee. However, this raises the question of why it tends to taste particularly rubbery in the first place.
So, what is it about espresso that makes it taste like rubber?
If we blame the machine for the rubbery taste, then logic dictates that the sealing elastic is to blame, right? Isn’t that correct? Not always; there are many components to the extraction process that can cause this flavor to develop, and rubber isn’t always involved in the process.
Do you know how certain products smell when they’re first opened? The truth is that your rubbery predicament is frequently the result of a faulty seal.
Because this distinct smell is still present throughout the machine, the first few batches of espresso produced by an espresso machine have a distinct tendency to taste rubbery.
Because they haven’t been exposed to air or the elements, new items have a distinct odor. As a result, this odor will eventually fade away on its own. In addition, after a few days of regular use, your espresso shots will almost certainly be flawless.
A thorough examination of all the machine’s components is required if this is not the case. Of course, the rubber gasket could be the source of the problem, and replacing it is a good idea if you suspect it is.
However, I have found that the gasket is most frequently faulty when a machine is prone to overheating. Is your coffee frequently bitter or burnt?
If this is the case, your machine is likely operating at higher temperatures than it should. This affects the beans and can also cause the rubber to become damaged, resulting in the release of that odor.
Let us assume that the gasket is in good condition, that the temperature is also in good condition, and that the machine is not brand new. Consider taking a look at the water tank if you find yourself in this situation.
No one can argue that dirt in the tank can have an adverse effect on the flavor of coffee, but there are times when the opposite is true.
If you stop to think about it, both plastic and rubber are derived from the same plant. As a result, the tank itself may be responsible for the appearance of this distinct flavor.
Ensure to wash your tank thoroughly, and repeat the process several times if necessary. We want the tank to have a natural scent to it. It’s not like plastic, and it’s not like soap either. Once you’ve achieved a neutral odor, the taste of your coffee should be satisfactory.
What if it isn’t your espresso machine that is causing the problem?
So you’ve done an excellent job of cleaning your machine, and you’ve changed and cleaned so many things that your machine could very well be a brand new product. However, despite your best efforts, you continue to experience that distinct rubbery taste; why is this?
While it is less common, the coffee itself can occasionally be the source of the problem. For example, Ruber is a flavor that we don’t normally associate with coffee.
Still, certain habits and beans can cause a similar flavor to rubber in the brewed beverage. If this is the case, simply changing a few things or switching to a different brand of coffee should suffice.
What method do you use to prepare your coffee? Prepare the coffee in advance and keep it stored in this manner. Whether you believe it or not, this could be the source of your problems.
Recently ground coffee has had a stronger aroma and flavor because it has been freshly ground. It has the sensation of being “more” like coffee.
This is because grinding causes it to release its aromatic compounds, which is ideal for brewing purposes.
Alternatively, if you grind your coffee and leave it to sit for days or even hours, you will lose many flavors in your cup of coffee. Likewise, ground coffee that has been left in storage will lose its natural aroma and, as a result, lose its flavor.
When this occurs, the beans can detect the smell of the container, resulting in the rubber flavor. As an alternative, the loss of aroma can result in the blend tasting more like the bean’s natural oils, which impacts the espresso.
When people complain about a strange taste in their espresso, one of the names I hear the most is Robusta, a variety of coffee beans. Even if they are not aware of it, many people are more accustomed to Arabica beans.
Coffee made from Arabica beans is typically sweeter than other types of coffee, and it tastes more like chocolate than any other type of coffee. As a result, it has a coffee-like flavor, but it is much milder in overall flavor.
On the other hand, Robusta beans contain significantly more caffeine and are more assertive. To achieve this, it has become a very popular choice for espresso, though it does come with some limitations.
Robusta beans have a less refined flavor than other types of beans, and depending on the brand, this can be very noticeable.
Some Robusta beans have a burnt oil flavor, or at least they do to people who aren’t used to it. As a result, your espresso has a distinct “rubber” flavor.
Robusta may not be your cup of tea, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing in and of itself. As previously stated, Robusta has several advantages for espresso production, but one of those advantages is not necessarily the taste.
How can I avoid rubbery drinking coffee while on the go?
Suppose you don’t want to make your coffee and instead prefer to buy it. Finding your ideal blend may take a little more time and effort.
The first thing to remember is that you shouldn’t be afraid to try new things or ask questions if you feel uncomfortable doing so.
For example, consider the following scenario: your favorite coffee shop used to serve the perfect espresso, but the flavor has recently changed for the worse. If they have changed their beans, inquire whether they have another option available with the old beans.
There’s nothing wrong with asking around, as long as you’re courteous, and you might even be able to assist them in returning to their original and classic flavor. However, if they do a good job dismissing you, they will have less business.
It’s also a good idea to visit a few more coffee shops while on your regular route. Great coffee is available on the streets, and the more you try, the more options you’ll find for your cup of joe. If you allow yourself to be a little more adventurous, you might just come across the perfect brew.
Also, it would be beneficial if you kept in mind that flavor does not necessarily have to be consistent across different franchises to be effective.
Various machines, managers, and bean policies can be found in each shop. As a result, just because you disliked one Starbucks, it does not follow that you will dislike them all, and vice versa.
However, if you want to be certain that your coffee has the perfect flavor, you’ll have to invest in your machine eventually. Adding the numbers in your head will reveal that it saves you money in the long run, which is a significant benefit.
For starters, it gives you complete control over the process, allowing you to strike the ideal balance for yourself.
Most importantly, because it is your machine and your own rules, you won’t have to be concerned about flavor variations.
If you discover the perfect way to make espresso, you can keep repeating the same procedure for as long as your heart desires. If you enjoy espresso, it is unquestionably a worthwhile purchase.