Are all espresso types extracted in 20-30 seconds?

Beginner and pro baristas share tips and tricks for making espresso.

#1: Post by Mook »

I was just about to hijack the thread regarding the Americano when I decided that posting a new topic would be more appropriate.

My question:

Are all espresso types extracted in 20-30 seconds?

For example:

Is it that you put (hot tab-) water in your espresso('s) afterwards or do you set the grind coarser and extract in approximately 30 sec?

I've just tried both and definitely like option 2 better. (it was a double shot and a 100 ml drink). I expected that option 1 would be less bitter because your not extracting the lesser parts of the coffee but I wasn't right on that one.

So while making ristretto, espresso's, lungo's etc. Do you tune the grind or do you extract longer or shorter? Thanks in advance!



#2: Post by mattwells »

You are describing two different drinks.

Americano - Shot of espresso + hot water.

Cafe Crema (I believe is the name) - espresso extracted long for 5 oz. (or so) of 'espresso' volume, no water added.

I think that is what you are talking about, but I may be misunderstanding your post.

Matt Wells

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#3: Post by DC »

mattwells wrote:You are describing two different drinks.............I think that is what you are talking about, but I may be misunderstanding your post.

That's how I understood it too. Mook's option 1 is an americano. I pull a double espresso into hot water (a couple of minutes off the boil) to make an americano. Other people pull the shot then add water. An americano should not be bitter unless there was a problem with your espresso extraction.

Your 'option 2' sounds like a long 'lungo.' As matt says, some people pull 5 or 6oz 'cafe cremas' - I've never tried this, but its all down to your taste :)

Yes, you control the shot you are after with grind, thereby trying not to over- or under-extract your coffee.


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#4: Post by mrgnomer »

Far as I know the extraction rate for normal espresso is about 25 sec for all types; single, double, triple... It represents the optimal extraction time for standard espresso given optimal grind fineness and dose. Roast freshness and the hand/knowledge of the operator provide the necessary extraction conditions as well. Final volumes vary according to type.

Ristrettos can pull much longer. 30+ sec for a smaller volume than normal. You can take a normal shot and go longer for a lungo as well. Rate of extraction determines the character/taste of the espresso in the cup.
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#5: Post by lparsons21 »

When I was first getting into this, I used to pull a cafe crema at about 40-45 seconds. Then I was advised that pulling beyond 30 seconds was bringing out the 'bad' parts of the coffee. Since then I adjust tamp/grind so that whatever I pull through the puck is at or about 25 seconds. The result is a better cup.

I do Americanos for some coffees, like Bolivians and Colombians because they seem better that way.

But for a Cafe Crema, a DP Sidamo is just scrumptious.


#6: Post by Dogshot »

Mook wrote: My question:

Are all espresso types extracted in 20-30 seconds?
After several years of working on it, and after digesting Jim's latest piece, I would say that all espresso types are extracted until the blonding point. For example, try this for yourself: build an espresso, but let it flow until you get the 5-6oz for a Cafe Crema - is it any good? Now try loosening the grind so that you get a 5-6oz beverage before the flow turns white - how is it now?

My short answer would be yes, since you are less likely to get severe blonding in much less than 30 seconds unless it's a terrible pour. However, making an espresso, Americano or Cafe Crema based solely on time and with no reference to the extraction is a recipe for a bitter, overextracted beverage.


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#7: Post by mrgnomer »

Cafe crema: a coarser grind extracted over a longer time for a volume size of about a cup of that it? Kind of like using your espresso machine like a drip brewer, I thought, the first time I read about it.

The idea of pulling past 30 sec with a grind/dose/tamp for a normal shot, as far as I know, again is the rate of extraction. From what I'm reading there is a point where the best the grinds have to offer is extracted and after that you get a cooked over extraction. That point is marked when the tiger striping of the shot ends and the stream becomes light and watery. With channeling that point comes sooner than 25sec but under good conditions it happens around 25 sec. The rate doesn't apply to cafe cremas since, as far as I know, that's a different style of extraction.

With ristrettos you're restricting the shot and the extraction rate slows down so for the same extraction as a normal shot you can go much longer. I just started with triple ristrettos and they usually go longer than 40sec and I end up with less volume than a normal double.
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#8: Post by lparsons21 »

I think the 25 second rule is just a guideline to just prior to blonding. That time for the given volume is what is accepted for a proper pull. I don't use a timer any more because I've finally gotten the feel for the grind/tamp needed to get an excellent, if not 'god shot' pull.

For me, I do my Americanos and doubles the same way. 2 oz in 25 seconds to just before blonding.

Cafe Cremas are done the same way with a lighter tamp and maybe a coarser grind. Still trying to go for a pull, in this case 6 oz, in 25 seconds or so to just before blonding. I think you have to try it and pull a few into blonding to get the feel for the proper tamp/grind, just as you do for espresso shots.

Mook (original poster)

#9: Post by Mook (original poster) »

So as far I understand there's no 1 rule. I've read that people ristrict there ristretto by using there normal espresso grind and then stopping the pump at approximately 20 ml (resulting in an extraction that is probably just under 20 seconds). Same for lungo's: same grind but leaving the pump on for a longer time till it's a 50 ml (or 60, or whatever you fancy) drink.

On the other hand: mrgnomer restricts is ristretto's by tuning the grind and thereby restricting the waterflow.

I have to agree with Lloyd. For me it tastes better. More volume = coarsers grind, same extraction periode (approximately, as far as i understand, it comes down to analysing the colour). It just feels weird pulling an espresso shot in hot water.


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#10: Post by Fullsack »

I like using the 24 to 27 second rule as a tool to make micro adjustments to my grinder, blonding at 20 seconds tighten the grind, no blonding until 35 seconds make it coarser.
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