Am I sentenced to a life of single-dosing voodoo? - Page 2

Grinders are one of the keys to exceptional espresso. Discuss them here.
Kran

#11: Post by Kran »

I'm all about the voodoo: grind into a blind shaker, pull the middle while twirling to distribute, WDT with only a thin needle, clover spin, tamp and pull. One of the reasons I keep doing this is because it gives me a way to time my HX flush routine. I've been doing this with my Atom both single dose and on demand.

Any change in result if you dose 17g or 16g? I get most consistent results in that range with the basket I use, not sure what type you're using.

Side note, when I was using a home made londinium-like tool it seems to add more issues to my prep routine.

Bluenoser

#12: Post by Bluenoser »

What happens if you grind a bit coarser to lessen the likelihood of channeling? Maybe if u try the flavor will be good. Just a thought.

However when I switched to a VST basket my requirement for puck prep went way up

baldheadracing
Supporter ♡

#13: Post by baldheadracing »

GregoryJ wrote:I... Surely others have a much simpler routine.
The more the beans that you use resemble a "traditional Italian espresso roast/blend," the less of that stuff you have to do. It isn't like most barista's in Italy are using scales, WDT, timers, precision baskets, etc. ... in part as the roasts are forgiving.
What I'm interested in is my worst espresso being fantastic - James Hoffmann

GregoryJ

#14: Post by GregoryJ »

Kran wrote:Any change in result if you dose 17g or 16g? I get most consistent results in that range with the basket I use, not sure what type you're using.
I'm using the stock Breville double basket (though I might have to change to a single if I keep doing all this experimenting!) I seem to recall going to smaller doses required a finer grind that didn't sit too well with my taste buds. I've also read that thicker pucks (or deeper baskets) tend to be more forgiving, so some people prefer the 53mm Spaziale machines.
baldheadracing wrote:The more the beans that you use resemble a "traditional Italian espresso roast/blend," the less of that stuff you have to do. It isn't like most barista's in Italy are using scales, WDT, timers, precision baskets, etc. ... in part as the roasts are forgiving.
I use pretty developed beans, usually roasted just to the beginning of 2nd crack. I thought having to redistribute grinds was mostly a consequence of single dosing and the average particle size becoming coarser as the "feeding force" reduces during the grind.

Quester

#15: Post by Quester »

Grind directly into the portafilter and get good at the horizontal tap to level. It's super fast. It may not be perfect--but it sounds like a tradeoff that would work for you. I used this method with my Peak for a couple years and had great pours. And I was doing this with my daughter's Niche a few weeks ago when I didn't have my (many) distribution tools with me.

What I love about single dosing is always having several coffees, dialing-in and documenting the recipe on the bag, and then pulling different coffees for the family depending on what everyone wants.

baldheadracing
Supporter ♡

#16: Post by baldheadracing »

GregoryJ wrote:I'm using the stock Breville double basket (though I might have to change to a single if I keep doing all this experimenting!) I seem to recall going to smaller doses required a finer grind that didn't sit too well with my taste buds. I've also read that thicker pucks (or deeper baskets) tend to be more forgiving, so some people prefer the 53mm Spaziale machines.
I have heard that as well; although that has not been my experience at +/- 1g of a double basket's rated dose. Basket design does affect as well, for example, VST baskets.
GregoryJ wrote:I use pretty developed beans, usually roasted just to the beginning of 2nd crack. I thought having to redistribute grinds was mostly a consequence of single dosing and the average particle size becoming coarser as the "feeding force" reduces during the grind.
My apologies - by "traditional Italian espresso roast/blend," I'm talking about blends that might feature a bit of (super-easy-extracting) Robusta, as well as a good proportion of (easy-extracting) Brazils, taken well into second crack (and even more ease of extraction). I have found these blends very forgiving - although I rarely drink them now.

You are right that re-distribution is mostly a consequence of single-dosing, but as for average particle size becoming coarser towards the end of a single-dosing grind; I'm not convinced that I would be able to notice a difference in taste, although no doubt others are better tasters than me, and grinders make a difference. For example, I used to dose directly into the portafilter/basket when I had an HG-1 using Stephen Sweeney's custom mounts. I could not taste a difference between shots with and without WDT for the darker coffees that I was drinking at the time. (All of the shots gave good-looking pours, similar times, similar TDS, etc.)

FWIW, I do use WDT (and OCD, RDT, Tidaka funnel ...) with the Pharos.
What I'm interested in is my worst espresso being fantastic - James Hoffmann

User avatar
another_jim
Team HB

#17: Post by another_jim »

I'm always surprised be the agony many people have dosing shots. Like the OP, I went single dosing on a traditional doser grinder to the Niche, and found no change between thwacking the doser and shaking the cup. The prep time when single dosing on the Niche is slightly less for me.

I sometimes wonder if people are being too perfectionist about how the pour looks; and not picky enough about how it tastes. If you want espresso porn, grind coarse and overstuff the basket. The shot will pour and look gorgeous; the taste ... not so much. Now grind fine, dose low with lots of head room, and you might get dripping, sometimes the pour never comes together, and you have several streams, and it's all going to look very ugly. But as long as there is no channeling, the shot will taste better despite the ugly pour.

A quick reminder: channeling is when the puck springs a leak, and you have coffee squirting out. Ugly dripping is not channeling, it's just a tight shot.

Always remember: pourology is like puckology: a lot of wasted binge watching. If your prep agonies are from pourology, just stop watching.
Jim Schulman
★★★ Very Helpful

User avatar
Peppersass
Supporter ❤

#18: Post by Peppersass »

+1 on Jim's post.

You may be under a misimpression about single-dose grinders versus grinders with hoppers. The main issue is consistency. With hopper grinders, the grind will vary depending on the weight of beans above the burrs. With single-dose grinders, that weight is always the same for a given dose/bean.

You can always grind a little finer as the weight of the beans in the hopper decreases, but it's hard to do that with consistency. As someone pointed out, a better strategy is to keep a minimal but consistent weight of beans in the hopper. Easy enough to do: after grinding a dose, dump an equivalent weight of beans into the hopper. Or, raise the default weight in the hopper enough to make the weight variation minimal and replenish the weight at the end of the session or before the next.

All that said, it's not the hopper that will minimize or eliminate the need for WDT, RDT, etc. As Jim implied, it's the doser. Basically, it does a WDT for you as you thwack the grounds into the portafilter. Clever, those Italians! And as Jim says, thwacking the doser takes time. It also takes time to brush it clean every session.

I see that the Eureka Atom is a doserless grinder, so it probably won't require any less fiddling than the Niche Zero or any other doserless grinder, single dose or with a hopper. It's possible your Niche Zero needs alignment or some other servicing to improve the grind, but in my experience the "need" for WDT/RDT varies with the bean, the grind and ambient factors like humidity.

As for the need for WDT/RDT, I think Jim is spot-on. In my experience, even with top-notch grinders, beautiful pours do not correlate with great taste. Yes, channeling is bad and will negatively affect taste (and is mostly a result of poor distribution, bad burrs, etc.) But halo extractions, blank spots, uneven or wandering cones/streams, etc. have never bee a predictor of taste for me.

DaveB

#19: Post by DaveB »

another_jim wrote:I sometimes wonder if people are being too perfectionist about how the pour looks; and not picky enough about how it tastes. If you want espresso porn, grind coarse and overstuff the basket. The shot will pour and look gorgeous; the taste ... not so much. Now grind fine, dose low with lots of head room, and you might get dripping, sometimes the pour never comes together, and you have several streams, and it's all going to look very ugly. But as long as there is no channeling, the shot will taste better despite the ugly pour.
Thanks for this! I have been fastidious with my puck prep, and yet was wondering why it takes so long for the stream to consolidate - relative to shots I've made in the past. Come to think of it, one coffee I was using regularly had so much volume for a given weight that the roaster recommends a triple basket for an 18 gram dose. Here's an example of instant "espresso porn" with that coffee:
More recently with the medium roast coffees I've been rotating, the pours look nothing like this and take 15-20 seconds to consolidate, yet I'm getting great shots consistently with zero spritzing or other woes, But if I ever want to "show off", now I know what to do! 8)
Von meinem iPhone gesendet

boren

#20: Post by boren »

I get very consistent shots (usually very close to 25 ml @ 25 sec) and all I do is grind 11.3 gram (using Sette 270Wi), tap on the side of the portafilter to make it less "hilly", level with the clover-shaped leveler, and tamp with a spring-loaded tamper. No channels, no issues.

I only keep about a day or two worth of beans in the hopper. The rest are in an AirScape container in the fridge. When I'm about to run out of beans I take the container out and leave it there for a few hours. When it reaches room temperate I fill the hopper with beans good for the next day or two. My coffee is never stale.

Oh, and I do purge about a couple of grams of coffee in the beginning of the day or if somehow more than half a day passed since I last used the grinder (during quarantine days this practically never happens, I drink a lot of coffee now).