How many espresso "sink shots" do you pull?

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

How many espresso "sink shots" do you typically pull?

1 out of 10
2 out of 10
3 out of 10
4 or more out of 10
Total votes: 133

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#1: Post by HB »

The poll What does your typical espresso rate? asked about your drinks, but didn't ask how many times you pulled a shot to satisfy your expectations. Frequently I'm testing new equipment, so I'll pull a lot more espressos than would be necessary on my "usual" gear. On a weekday morning, I will pull around 4 or 5, taste them all, but really only drink two. On the weekend, it's about double that.

The poll question intentionally skirts the definition of what a "sink shot" is. The broadly applied definition is something undrinkable, but what some consider undrinkable is passable for others and vice-versa, so let's go with the more literally definition: It's an espresso you choose for whatever reason to sink, not drink (and do another one assuming time allows).
Dan Kehn

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#2: Post by Matthew Brinski »


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#3: Post by jesawdy replying to Matthew Brinski »

less than 1 out of 10....

Perhaps I am indiscriminant... or consistent? Hmmm. :?
Jeff Sawdy

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#4: Post by prof_stack »

Since I stopped overextracting, the Gaggia Factory has consistently made great shots, using just a 4-second pre-infuse followed by a 10 second count before pulling down the lever.

But maybe 1 in 10 stands out as definitely less than the others. But I'm a capp drinker so the milk probably hides things that the H-B pro's would notice right away. No matter, I'm happy.
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Ken Fox
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#5: Post by Ken Fox »

I voted 1 out of 10 because there was no other choice indicating less than that. I make about 5 double shots a day, give or take (more when there are people visiting) and toss a shot once or at most twice a week.

p.s. the above does not include what happens when I change bean type in a grinder, which understandably requires adjustment. Also, I'm using 3 Cimbali Max grinders, which are much more forgiving than your typical smaller commercial planar grinder.
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#6: Post by cannonfodder »

It depends on the grinder. Like Ken, I have a newly acquired Max which appears to be much less temperamental and requires fewer grind changes. I have only had the grinder for 4 days now and already ran through a pound of coffee. I had two sink shots out of the entire pound. One when dialing in the grinder (only took one shot) and the second today when my beans ran out and the grind shifted. On the planar burr grinder 3 or 4 shots in a pound get dumped unless I am in a hurry and gulp it down regardless of the taste or dump some milk in it to cover up the sins of the grinder or barista.
Dave Stephens

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#7: Post by RapidCoffee »

I also voted 1 in 10. It's much lower than that on my equipment, mostly associated with dialing in a new roast. The number of sink shots rises dramatically when I'm testing new gear. It wasn't too bad on the Titan Grinder Project, since the large conicals are notably forgiving. But as I mentioned early in the Lever Smackdown:
RapidCoffee wrote:The Pavoni has a steep learning curve, at least if you're working out the various parameters by yourself. It's not hard to get decent pours, but tricky to get really good ones. I've dumped more shots down the sink in the past week than, oh, maybe going back to my Hall of Shame days. :oops:

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#8: Post by Jacob »

In four months with my Robur/GS3-combo, doing 4-6 doubles a day, I have only drained two shots that were meant for drinking :twisted:

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#9: Post by Coffeecritter »

I voted 1 in 10 because I'm on a learning curve with my Olympia Cremina. Even with the new equipment, it's down to next to nothing undrinkable. I'm amazed at the quality of the lever shots even with immature technique. The MK7R/Elektra combo is consistently wonderful. :D

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#10: Post by woodchuck »

Voted 1 in 10 even though it is probably less than that. My shots do still move around some taste wise but still not so bad that I would throw them out most times. Sometimes if I'm changing coffees I'll put one or two in the sink before I get everything dialled in again.