Which basket for a fill, level then tamp 14g dose?

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TimEggers

#1: Post by TimEggers »

I've gone back to using a 14g dose by weight like I used to do before dosing, leveling and tamping. The espresso is great but one thing I can't do is dose, level and tamp and end up with a 14g dose. To get the basket to fill up and still end with my desired 14g dose requires a grind too coarse for a decent (or even usable) pour. I have to grind more coarse so 14g of coffee fills the basket.

I can tighten the grind to get a good pour but I end up with a 16g dose (or more) in the basket. The espresso is pretty good but I want to get back to the 14g dose.

Is there a different basket available that may be a little smaller that when properly ground coffee is filled into it, leveled then tamped one can get a good pour with a 14g (by weight) dose?

Currently I'm using my Quickmill's standard basket. Any pointers to specific baskets?
Tim Eggers
http://www.facebook.com/TimEggers
LMWDP #202

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jesawdy

#2: Post by jesawdy »

Tim-

I think it will depend almost as much on the grinder, coffee and your dosing/distributing technique in addition to the basket, if you want a level cut at 14g.

The Rancilio double basket is smallish. Also, Espresso Resource has some 12g baskets that I've wanted to try, but have not.

Ken or Jim may likely chime in here that you don't need to level cut, as these smaller doses are somewhat self healing. I'd agree that you can dose by sight (or weight with a scale), and just jostle or tap the sides of the portafilter to level and get good results. I will just tap the sides to level or just go with the leveling that occurs with WDT and go.
Jeff Sawdy

Ken Fox

#3: Post by Ken Fox »

TimEggers wrote:I've gone back to using a 14g dose by weight like I used to do before dosing, leveling and tamping. The espresso is great but one thing I can't do is dose, level and tamp and end up with a 14g dose. To get the basket to fill up and still end with my desired 14g dose requires a grind too coarse for a decent (or even usable) pour. I have to grind more coarse so 14g of coffee fills the basket.

I can tighten the grind to get a good pour but I end up with a 16g dose (or more) in the basket. The espresso is pretty good but I want to get back to the 14g dose.

Is there a different basket available that may be a little smaller that when properly ground coffee is filled into it, leveled then tamped one can get a good pour with a 14g (by weight) dose?

Currently I'm using my Quickmill's standard basket. Any pointers to specific baskets?
I'm unaware of any baskets like this, and in fact they may be detrimental to the espresso if they do exist. My thinking at this point is that the headspace from a larger basket (than the coffee dose) makes precise distribution and tamping unnecessary, and the logical extension of this thought would be to try out an ultra deep "triple" basket in a bottomless PF to see how that works out. I'll get around to trying that out eventually.

In any event, I think you are going to find that you will need to find another method of accurate dosing other than relying on getting the coffee dose flat with the top of the basket. In a high volume environment, the doser can be adjusted to provide whatever dose you want, however in a home or other low volume setting, a scale is probably the best solution.

I ordered low volume "12g" baskets from espresso parts source, and unfortunately (as they warned me when I placed the order) these baskets hold much more than 12g, in fact they hold 17g according to my scale.

Since these "12g" baskets they are selling are industry standard, and since they (espresso parts source) directly import and wholesale them to many other dealers, you will probably get more or less the same item no matter whom you buy it from, so the search is probably futile for the purposes you express.

ken
What, me worry?

Alfred E. Neuman, 1955

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HB
Admin

#4: Post by HB »

Ken Fox wrote:I'm unaware of any baskets like this, and in fact they may be detrimental to the espresso if they do exist. My thinking at this point is that the headspace from a larger basket (than the coffee dose) makes precise distribution and tamping unnecessary, and the logical extension of this thought would be to try out an ultra deep "triple" basket in a bottomless PF to see how that works out. I'll get around to trying that out eventually.
That's what I was doing yesterday, i.e., using the deeper ridgeless 18+ grams basket with a lower dose of 15 grams. There was a lot of headspace, but the pours were easy. I used a scale for dosing and didn't intentionally change my distribution / tamping routine. The extra preinfusion time because of the vibe pump's slow rampup does seem to offer a wider margin of error.

Once I ordered some extra baskets and Chris Coffee accidentally sent me the smaller "E61 12 grams" baskets instead. They have been quietly gathering dust in the drawer for over a year; I really should give them a try:

Image
18 and 12 gram basket from Controlling shot extraction pattern

Sorry, that's a horrible picture. Another small basket is the stock Giotto double:

Image
Giotto stock basket (left) and ubiquitous 18 gram basket (right)

For sake of completeness:


Stock 18 grams Faema-style (top), ridgeless basket (bottom) from Quickmill baskets?

The lowest I can consistently volume dose with stock Faema-style baskets is 15 grams. Below that threshold I have to do a "WDT fluff" to do a proper redistribute, though based on your comments and others, I may be able to dispense with this by grinding even finer and tamping lighter. Funny how I've read that same comment years ago and haven't given it a fair shake. It's not easy to change one's habits...
Dan Kehn

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TimEggers

#5: Post by TimEggers »

Thanks for the clarification Ken. I am beginning to see exactly what you are talking about now.

So why has the dose, level and tamp routine become so prevalent even though it often results is very large doses?

Or in other words why has updosing become so popular?
Tim Eggers
http://www.facebook.com/TimEggers
LMWDP #202

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cafeIKE

#6: Post by cafeIKE »

Gotta say the idea of a fixed 14g dose may not be the best idea. :roll:

Dose for the best taste. Full Stop !!!

12g basket and scraper.

I've had the scraper for many, many years, but saw them at Cookin' Stuff in Torrance CA a few months back.

Here's my routine for the 12g basket in the Vibiemme:
  • Grind directly into PF with cut down yogurt cup*, moving PF to distribute, about 18 - 20g.**
    Gentle Side to Side shake to distribute and level.
    ONE gentle rap on counter to compact slightly.
    Down dose slightly with scraper to about 14g. (Rotate the scraper 360° to evenly spread the coffee)
    Two or Three gentle raps on counter to level / 'crush the clumps' :lol:
    Gentle tamp.
Yum!

Variations in combination for different coffees [batches or blends]:
  • Adjust grinder to suit roast / blend.
    Skip first rap on counter and grind finer or [almost never] grind coarser and rap twice.
    Change position of scraper to remove more or less coffee.
    Adjust brew temp. [Almost never]
Just this morning, I tried Ken's ramekin method and made the worst shots in a very long time, not to mention being at sixes and sevens. :? The dose was 1g less than I'd typically get, but the agro of futzing with all that hardware is a HUGE impediment to enjoying the coffee. I suppose I could spend a couple of weeks tweaking and honing the mechanics, but I very seriously doubt I'd be any better off. Some here, untasted, have opined that my shots must be 'mediocre'. Current score is tied 5 : 5 for gShots*** between YHS and the baristas at Intelligentsia / 49th Parallel / Caffe Luxxe / Discovery Coffee / Koffee Klatch et al. As further testament to the efficacy of the technique, when I first tried a bottomless PF for a few weeks, I got bored and thought "Wot a wank!" It was not until the Tamper Road Show that I first had a sprite with the BPF and that was only with the most radically curved tampers.

Taste! Taste! Taste! and damn the numbers!

*The only modification in years is the addition of the cut down yogurt cup. It's the only change that made any improvement: Not the taste, just dosing mechanics.
**You want coffee above the rim after the level shake and first rap. I'd rather dump coffee in the knock box than shots in the sink :!:
***In almost 40 years, prior to the Vibiemme the score was 0 : 3 in favor of the baristas :wink:

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RapidCoffee
Team HB

#7: Post by RapidCoffee »

HB wrote:That's what I was doing yesterday, i.e., using the deeper ridgeless 18+ grams basket with a lower dose of 15 grams. There was a lot of headspace, but the pours were easy. I used a scale for dosing and didn't intentionally change my distribution / tamping routine.
I've also been experimenting with lower doses, and I'm not convinced that it's improving my double pours. Thus far, the most noticeable effect of downdosing doubles is a slightly wetter puck. But I do prefer the taste of downdosed triples. I'm not a big fan of triple baskets, but I have enjoyed using the triple basket for iced coffee this summer. (I consider the 18g ridgeless "double" to be a small triple basket).
John

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HB
Admin

#8: Post by HB »

TimEggers wrote:So why has the dose, level and tamp routine become so prevalent even though it often results is very large doses?
cafeIKE wrote:Taste! Taste! Taste! and damn the numbers!
I think the answer is the same: It's enhanced consistency that led to the popular dosage amounts, not the other way around. Prominent cafes and their baristas refined their technique using volume. The baskets they selected were most consistently dosed to around 17-18 grams.

Although it may appear I'm a strong advocate for "numbers," more accurately I advocate attention to consistency, using whatever means work best for you. What works for a seasoned home barista of 10+ years isn't what I would suggest for someone with less than a week of experience. The Stockfleths Move for Dummies video is directed at new owners who want to experience early success, not because it's "thee way" to do things, but because anyone with opposable thumbs and a whit of intelligence can master it with 30 minutes practice. When I'm testing equipment, I will revert to super precision mode, but I don't bother with such machinations most of the time. For me, it's good to alternate between Zen and precision mode (Exercises for tuning your barista techniques elaborates on this point).
cafeIKE wrote:Some here, untasted, have opined that my shots must be 'mediocre'.
I would never say one way or the other without tasting. My evaluation of my own espresso moved markedly downward as I gained experience as a sensory judge. I have no qualms about rating my average espresso a 3.0 to 3.5, which is around the midpoint of regional competitors. A barista needs to pull 3.5+ espressos to have any hope of advancing to the second round of the nationals and 4.0+ consistently to advance to the finals (refer to What does your typical espresso rate? for more).
Dan Kehn

k7qz

#9: Post by k7qz »

HB wrote:The lowest I can consistently volume dose with stock Faema-style baskets is 15 grams. Below that threshold I have to do a "WDT fluff" to do a proper redistribute, though based on your comments and others, I may be able to dispense with this by grinding even finer and tamping lighter.
I'd bet that you'll find that you can indeed dispense with the "fluff" Dan. To my astonishment, I have been able to do this very thing. It's amazing but it just seems to work: weigh the espresso dose, dump it into the PF basket, light tap, tap on the mat to settle the grounds (no particular distribution per se), light tamp, lock in and pull the shot. Simple is better, right?
RapidCoffee wrote:But I do prefer the taste of downdosed triples.
Rapid: You're reading my mind. I've been toying with the idea of next trying downdosed triple basket shots. Did I read you correctly in that you're pulling 18 gram shots in triple baskets?

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another_jim
Team HB

#10: Post by another_jim »

A couple of clarifications:

Filling a basket to the rim with fingerswipe dosing is updosing. The method was invented by top American cafes to get consistent dosing without using the doser and stale ground coffee. It also allowed them to make a punchier shot for the overwhelming proportion of milk drinks they served. Given that weighing grinds is slow, a grind that is timed, coupled with a curved swiper as illustrated in prior posts, is probably the most efficient and commercially viable way to achieve consistent doses at lowered amounts.

Every double basket out there is designed for 12 or 14 grams, and every single basket for 6 or 7. These weights will create pucks well below the top of the basket, since the idea is to leave a lot of clearance for the puck to expand. Companies who produce very deep baskets, like LM, Cimbali, and Faema, believe a very large head space is required, companies that produce shallower ones like NS or Rancilio, do not. It has absolutely nothing to do with the dose they recommend. That is always 6 to 7 and 12 to 14 grams.

In my experience, headspace is an independent variable from dose. I find it overwhelmingly important on the Elektra and (ironically) Rancilio groups, and less important (equally ironically) on the LM or Faema groups.

One should stick with a minimum head space appropriate to the group; one should change dose to match the coffee. If a coffee requires a very high dose, this may mean using a very deep triple basket to ensure adequate head space.
Jim Schulman