Single Dose vs On Demand Espresso Grinders

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Dapuma

#1: Post by Dapuma »

Is single dosing the natural evolution of making espresso if you don't change beans often, or is there merit for pressing a button and being good to go in the morning. So many seem to be single dosing...is that because you are changing coffees all the time?

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Jeff
Team HB

#2: Post by Jeff »

I single dose for a few reasons:

Clean grinder in the morning -- I don't have "any" day-old grinds that would throw off the first shot of the day. I don't consider this being paranoid, though it has been a while since I confirmed my conclusion years ago to vacuum out my shop grinder at the end of the morning's coffees.

Stale coffee -- I keep my coffee sealed as long as I can. That way I believe it stays fresher during the week or so it takes for me to go through a bag

Grind changes -- Like Clean grinder in the morning, I don't have the last grind setting's coffee bleeding into the shot after a change. With a hoppered grinder, I'd need to grind through 2 g, 5 g, 10 g, ... , to get the last grinds out. That could cut 14 shots out of a 250 g bag down to 9. I can dial in and enjoy a 100 g bag with my single-dosing approach. I wouldn't be able to do that if it were 25 g a shot instead of 17 g.

Pre-weigh, vacuum seal, and freeze doses -- Not for everyone, nor do I think it is "essential" for most people. When a bag is what I think "aged enough", I weigh out 17.1 g (my normal dose is 17.0 g in the basket) into individual 50 mL Weck jars, vacuum pack them, and freeze them. That way I don't have to rush through a single bag and can enjoy a few coffees at a time, without having them all "go stale" on me. I go to the freezer in the morning, decide which of 2-4 bins I want to pull coffee from this morning, pop the top, and grind. This is probably over the top for many people, but can be "interesting" when your coffees get rarer (sometimes only a couple weeks out of the year before they're gone) and more expensive.

Smitward

#3: Post by Smitward »

I single dose because I change beans all the time and I feel the advantage goes to single doser In that case. I really enjoy the entire process of making a shot. I like to weigh the beans each time. efficiency isn't important to me when making coffee. I also like that the waste is minimal in single dosing since there's no purging.

Generally on demand is a faster grind time and skips a step so I imagine in most hands it would be a more efficient workflow. Also some people really dislike weighing beans. It gives you a chance to drop coffee beans all over your floor multiple times per day.

A lot of it boils down to what you want your experience to be. If you want fewer steps, get on demand. If you want to be able to mix it up between shots then go single dose.

klee11mtl

#4: Post by klee11mtl »

I do not switch between coffees. I purchase 10-12 oz bags and go through a bag in about 8-10 days. Half the bag is split into single dose glass jars for singles and doubles; the other half goes into an Atmos until the jars need refilling.

The idea being beans are only ever exposed to light and air once or twice before use. My guess is since the beans are never more than 25 days off roast it doesn't really matter, but for me coffee is all about the experience so I feel good about it when I smell the coffee grinding.

The unintended benefit I found with single dosing is for my wife during the work week as she leaves well before I wake up. With the grinder dialed in, pre-measured doses, and programmed volumetric machine, she can make a latte without all the "hoopla" she claims I do. I still make her weekend drinks but she can make herself a decent latte during the week in about half the time I spend on mine.

My original intent for single dosing was to be able to have decaf drinks in the evenings but I found I don't actually enjoy them so that has stopped.

Plinyyounger

#5: Post by Plinyyounger »

I have both, the hopper is convenient when I'm using it. I don't have issues with old grinds being in the burrs. Nor do I have issues with beans being in the hopper for a few days. Coffee taste great all the time. I don't purge the grinder anymore either, lol. I used to think it was necessary, but I've found it isn't for me.

I enjoy the single dose too. This grinder is just a better grinder, so it creates awesome flavors, but I also like it because I'll switch between the two beans I'll keep on hand.
Big 98mm flat grinder, been there done that, sold it. I’m happy now.

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JB90068
Supporter ❤

#6: Post by JB90068 »

Jeff wrote:I single dose for a few reasons:

Clean grinder in the morning -- I don't have "any" day-old grinds that would throw off the first shot of the day. I don't consider this being paranoid, though it has been a while since I confirmed my conclusion years ago to vacuum out my shop grinder at the end of the morning's coffees.

Stale coffee -- I keep my coffee sealed as long as I can. That way I believe it stays fresher during the week or so it takes for me to go through a bag

Grind changes -- Like Clean grinder in the morning, I don't have the last grind setting's coffee bleeding into the shot after a change. With a hoppered grinder, I'd need to grind through 2 g, 5 g, 10 g, ... , to get the last grinds out. That could cut 14 shots out of a 250 g bag down to 9. I can dial in and enjoy a 100 g bag with my single-dosing approach. I wouldn't be able to do that if it were 25 g a shot instead of 17 g.

Pre-weigh, vacuum seal, and freeze doses -- Not for everyone, nor do I think it is "essential" for most people. When a bag is what I think "aged enough", I weigh out 17.1 g (my normal dose is 17.0 g in the basket) into individual 50 mL Weck jars, vacuum pack them, and freeze them. That way I don't have to rush through a single bag and can enjoy a few coffees at a time, without having them all "go stale" on me. I go to the freezer in the morning, decide which of 2-4 bins I want to pull coffee from this morning, pop the top, and grind. This is probably over the top for many people, but can be "interesting" when your coffees get rarer (sometimes only a couple weeks out of the year before they're gone) and more expensive.
Ditto.This pretty much mirrors exactly what I do.
Old baristas never die. They just become over extracted.

jgood

#7: Post by jgood »

I got sick of either having a not great first shot (with some retention from the day before) or grinding a 1/4 or 1/3 dose (to dump or use with a cone) to flush out the stale grounds in the morning -- so I got a Niche. Seems quite a bit better in that regard. Wouldn't go back. I'm not a "bean switcher" -- I tend to stick with one. BTW I don't pre weigh the doses, just weigh the next dose while the first one is grinding. It's not a fast grinder, but there's plenty of stuff the fill the extra seconds - put milk in pitcher etc.

BogongTiger

#8: Post by BogongTiger »

Dapuma wrote:Is single dosing the natural evolution of making espresso if you don't change beans often, or is there merit for pressing a button and being good to go in the morning. So many seem to be single dosing...is that because you are changing coffees all the time?
I prefer single dose because I find it fast, simple and reliable and I'm assured of fresh coffee. I've half a dozen small containers with lids that hold up to around 20g coffee, and put whatever dose I want in them all from whatever coffee blend or SO I'm using. At the moment it's 18g. When I use them up I refill them - every couple of days or so. If I want to mix up coffees it's simple, no fuss, with a single dose grinder.

At the start of each session I'll purge the grinder - which is not really necessary as there's only about 0.1g or less that comes out :) It's easy to tip the dose into the hopper, grind into the portafilter, tamp and pull a shot.

Satchmo780

#9: Post by Satchmo780 »

I'm an on demand type of guy.

I stick with one bean for long periods of time. I fill my hopper half way to make sure there's enough weight to grind consistently.

I like that I don't have to think about it. Hit the double shot button and I'm good to go. I get a variation of 0.4g with the timed grind, but I don't find that really changes the flavour that much for my undeveloped palate.

I buy in 5 lb bags, portion it out into 3/4 lbs and freeze. I find I go through enough that there isn't much noticeable difference between when it goes in the hopper and when it's finished.

Single dosing just seems like a huge pain for little benefit. I perhaps could understand if changing beans often (but I don't get how many doses you need to dial in on a stepless grinder every time you switch beans).
LMWDP #737

gobucks

#10: Post by gobucks »

I think there is a reason that grinders specifically designed for home use are nearly all single dose, and commercial grinders almost exclusively use hoppers - single dosers provide more flexibility and less waste, which are important in a low volume workflow, but much less so in a cafe.

Some of the larger commercial grinders can retain up to 20g, which means you're either gonna have to deal with stale coffee (esp on that first shot in the morning) or you're going to be doing a lot of purging. This isn' a problem in a cafe, but if you're just making a single digit number of coffees throughout the day, it seems wasteful, and beans are expensive!

I also find pre-weighing out all my doses into bean vaults, and knowing that my dose will be accurate to +/- .1g, is a lot more accurate than time-based dosing, and much easier than trying to weigh out my grinds in the portafilter afterwards.

As for flexibility, it's not just about switching coffees, but also switching brew methods - I can switch from espresso to pourover and back and only waste maybe 1g total.