Ken Fox wrote:I have to believe that a whole bunch of techniques would never have been developed in the first place, had we (in N. America, and in the enthusiast community) dosed like the Italians have always dosed. To me, as I have stated in another thread, updosing probably represents a spectacular wrong turn that can be attributed largely to Mr. Schomer and people who follow him.
To my good friend Ken:
ENOUGH ALREADY. It is getting tiresome
to read your daily bleating about the evils of updosing.
Every open-minded barista comes to the realization that the size of the dose is one variable
that may be used to manipulate the taste of a shot. It is just as valid to updose or downdose
as it is to select greens, adjust roast profiles, create new blends, or experiment with extraction temperatures, pressures, baskets and portafilters.
You are no doubt aware that Heather Perry is the reigning US Barista Champion and won the silver medal at the World Barista Championships. She also won the prize for "Best Espresso" at the World Championships. When you buy her WBC blend, the enclosed instructions say "Heather prefers the dose up method with 22-24 grams of coffee."
Are you seriously trying to tell us that Heather doesn't know what she's doing? Do you really believe she updoses because it says in Schomer's book
that you're supposed to do it that way? Are you saying that the WBC judges didn't know what great espresso tastes like? Nonsense.
Your comments are a slap in the face to good baristas who sweat the details using their own tastebuds
, and who constantly experiment to find what tastes best
with their coffee. And you make the mistake of thinking that simply because downdosing makes it easier to pull a nice-looking
bottomless extraction, that's all that matters. On the contrary, last time I checked, most of us still prefer to taste
the espresso before we make up our mind how good it is.
I have been fortunate to have experienced some spectacular, updosed
espresso shots pulled by baristas far more skilled than I. I know you have, too, although in your present giddy state you have probably forgotten. My heart goes out to you in your current state of confusion.
Downdosing is not some miraculous magic that will right all the wrongs in our espresso universe. With certain coffees, certain tastebuds, and perhaps with certain grinders, downdosing is a great technique. But let's not take this technique to ridiculous extremes.