How many grams does your portafilter basket hold?

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ladalet

#1: Post by ladalet »

I would like, with your help, to create a graph displaying the different basket sizes for each machine on this forum and correlate each basket size with a reasonable volume of espresso that can be consistently achieved. For example: the basket of a machine holds 16g of dry coffee and should yield consistently on average 2oz or 60ml of liquid espresso. However, most of the lever machines in this forum are not 16g. They come in several sizes.

When I joined this forum a couple of years ago as a lever newby, I could have really saved myself from alot of waisted time attempting to fix something that was not broken. While attempting to learn my new lever machine I was proceeding under the assumption that a shot of espresso was on average 1oz and a double was 2 oz (+ or - a small volume). I was occasionally able to achieve this but not very often--but just often enough to keep me chasing my tail. So, I assumed that when the shot turned blond during the last 1/2 oz of my double shot that I had channeling and attempted every trick under the sun to stop the cursed channeling. I chased this false issue around for quite a while before realizing that my basket did not hold enough ground coffee to consistently yield a 1oz single or 2oz double.

So, I thought that I would create a chart, based on the excellent chart created by AndyS in the Tips and Techniques forum, that could be a quick reference to all of the newbys to the lever forum arranged by machine.

EDIT: I thought that it would be useful to have a convenient link to AndyS's thread for quick reference. Brewing ratios for espresso beverages


I believe that it could make their learning curve much less painful to have a realistic expectation as to how much shot volume they should be able to consistently achieve for their given machine. The result will be in expected volume not weight. Weight may be added later. And of course it will be open any suggestions offered. Each of you know your machines better than I.

What I would like is the size (mm) and volume (grams) of your double and single baskets (not overfilled) and the make and model of your machine, and year if applicable (i.e. pre and post 2000 LaPavonis).

Even though I have a Cremina, mine did not come with a factory double basket. So, I will still need the specs on a factory Cremina double basket.

Thanks in advance

Best wishes,
Lance
Lance Goffinet
LMWDP #019

Matthew Brinski

#2: Post by Matthew Brinski »

Even with the same basket, you can have a drastically different result in how much coffee it holds by weight depending on the type of coffee and degree of roast - some coffees will be much denser than others. Try weighing a level dose of Black Cat versus Terroir Northern, and you will see what I mean.

ladalet

#3: Post by ladalet »

Matthew I understand your point. I have noticed, when going back and scanning through some of the older threads, a great variability on the reported amount of coffee owners dosed on like machines. In fact I have been re-evaluating this issue since writing the thread. In addition, on many machines the basket can be successfully overfilled without touching the group screen. This extra volume is legitimate to use to produce either extra volume or stronger espresso so should be factored in.

I guess what would be helpful is to find out what "on average" or is typical that each user of each machine can consistently dose on his/her machine without the puck hitting the group screen. Of course there will always be some variability from coffee to coffee and from the age of the beans.

Perhaps I may be making this more complicated than it needs to be. I guess I could have just asked that each user simply report how much espresso volume he or she is able to "consistently" extract from his or her machine before bloinding. I was looking to correlate basket volume in dry coffee to a predicted "typical" liquid volume of extracted espresso. In any event I am sure that any new lever user would find it helpful to know a reasonable range of extracted fluid they should be able to "consistently" achieve out of their machine before blonding. It is just 1 variable that can be removed from the equation if you know that, for example, after pulling 1.5 oz of espresso that likelihood of blonding should be expected to increase as one pulls more volume, and that one should (probably) not blame technique at this point. This could save time and frustration.

Thank you for your thoughts.
Lance Goffinet
LMWDP #019

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timo888

#4: Post by timo888 »

ladalet wrote:Perhaps I may be making this more complicated than it needs to be. I guess I could have just asked that each user simply report how much espresso volume he or she is able to "consistently" extract from his or her machine before bloinding. I was looking to correlate basket volume in dry coffee to a predicted "typical" liquid volume of extracted espresso. In any event I am sure that any new lever user would find it helpful to know a reasonable range of extracted fluid they should be able to "consistently" achieve out of their machine before blonding. It is just I variable that can be removed from the equation if you know that, for example, after pulling 1.5 oz of espresso that likelihood of blonding should be expected increase as one pulls more volume, and that one should (probably) not blame technique at this point. This could save time and frustration.
But you are making it less complicated than it is* yet in oversimplifying things you are not really simplifying things for the newbie barista. To make things simpler for the newbie barista one need only say:

:arrow: it depends upon the dose
so vary your dose by a couple of grams either way and see what happens

:arrow: it depends upon the grind
so grind coarse and grind fine and grind in between and see what happens

:arrow: it depends upon the roast
so buy some light roasts and some dark roasts and some darker light roasts and see what happens

:arrow: it depends upon the tamp
so tamp very lightly and tamp very hard and see what happens

After that little litany one inscribes the tetragrammaton of the espresso god: YMMV


Regards
Timo

*The porosity of the coffee and the water draw are the two primary factors that determine the volume of beverage in the cup. But the porosity is itself determined by quite a few interrelated factors which can produce dozens of variations.

the dose (basket maximum is not a valid measure -- baristas do not always dose to the max)
the processing of the bean
the blend
the roast depth
the age of the roast
the humidity
the grind
the force of the tamp
the water temperature
the pressure
the height-to-width ratio of the cake

ladalet

#5: Post by ladalet »

timo888 wrote:
But you are making it less complicated than it is* yet in oversimplifying things you are not really simplifying things for the newbie barista. To make things simpler for the newbie barista one need only say:

:arrow: it depends upon the dose
so vary your dose by a couple of grams either way and see what happens

:arrow: it depends upon the grind
so grind coarse and grind fine and grind in between and see what happens

:arrow: it depends upon the roast
so buy some light roasts and some dark roasts and some darker light roasts and see what happens

:arrow: it depends upon the tamp
so tamp very lightly and tamp very hard and see what happens

After that little litany one inscribes the tetragrammaton of the espresso god: YMMV


Regards
Timo

*The porosity of the coffee and the water draw are the two primary factors that determine the volume of beverage in the cup. But the porosity is itself determined by quite a few interrelated factors which can produce dozens of variations.

the dose (basket maximum is not a valid measure -- baristas do not always dose to the max)
the processing of the bean
the blend
the roast depth
the age of the roast
the humidity
the grind
the force of the tamp
the water temperature
the pressure
the height-to-width ratio of the cake

Timo, I am not at all disagreeing that that the variables you list are not important and can affect shot volume. However they are more or less equally important (covary) to all machines independent of basket size. Basket size affects maximum dose size and makes machines unequal in expected shot volume with all of your listed variables being equal or optimized. Basket size places a limit to available shot volume.

Independent of the variables you have listed, a machine with a 49mm basket that holds a 11 gram dose will not extract the same volume of espresso as a machine with a 58mm portafilter that holds 18 grams. With the 58mm portafilter and 18 gram dose it would not be unresonable to expect, with the other variables controlled, consistent 2oz doubles and up to 2.5 or 3oz of volume before blonding. With a 49mm portafilter and a 11 gram dose it would be unreasonabe to expect the same volume. Empirically I think that this can be easily demonstrated.

I guess the point that I have failed to make is that different machines have different capacities (limitations) for dosing dry coffee for extraction. These differences in dosing capacity, with all other variable optimized or equal, will produce different volumes of extracted espresso. These volumes quite often differ from the volumes that have traditionally defined a double (2oz), single (1oz), ristretto (.75 oz), etc... And, if our understanding and expectation is that a double is 2oz of extracted espresso and the most that ones machine can produce is 1.5 oz of extracted espresso that one may reach the false conclusion that there is a problem such as channeling when attempting to extract that last .5 oz. There is not enough coffee in the basket to get that last .5 oz without blonding. There may be exceptions where the conditions may allow a 2oz extraction, but not consistently.
Lance Goffinet
LMWDP #019

SantaCruzan

#6: Post by SantaCruzan »

The AndyS chart referenced at the top of the thread is what helped me finally abandon a multi-pull technique. With a 49mm Pavoni basket, I find ± 12 grams to be about the right amount of dry coffee. This amount of coffee paired with a single pull in the Pavoni, typically delivers, to my taste, a pretty darn good shot (usually 1-1/3 oz but with a lot of variance). Initially, I spent far too much time trying to extract that magical "2-oz in 28 seconds" shot - a semi-auto mantra that just doesn't translate to lever machines.

ladalet

#7: Post by ladalet » replying to SantaCruzan »


Thank you. This is the very point I have been trying explicitly to get across. I just though that it might be a good and helpful application of his chart to use it to make a chart of the expected shot volumes of the different machines on this forum. So far I think that I am alone in this thinking.

P.S. you can get our pull volume up to 1.5 to 1.75 oz out of your current basket with a couple of mini-pumps during pre-infusion. During pre-infusion you pull down past the group water inlet just enough to get some resistance. Lift the lever to the top again letting in more water and repeat one or two more times until either the lever feels it is a hight as the water inlet in the group and or 10 seconds has gone by. With practice this will make more sense. With the mini-pumps you really do not stress the puck. You displace water into the puck for extra volume during your actual pull. It worked pretty well for me. However the Elektra basket is really what makes all this work so much better.

Check out the results here:
Olympia Cremina + Elektra Basket + Cafe Doma's Vito's = Mass

And the technique here:
Using the Olympia Cremina -- The Movie (Video)
Lance Goffinet
LMWDP #019

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timo888

#8: Post by timo888 »

ladalet wrote: the variables you list are ... important and can affect shot volume. However they are more or less equally important (covary) to all machines independent of basket size. Basket size affects maximum dose size and makes machines unequal in expected shot volume with all of your listed variables being equal or optimized. Basket size places a limit to available shot volume.
I disagree with the above. The variables are not equally important to all machines independent of basket size. The importance of those variables will be attenuated or intensified depending upon the basket volume in relation to its height. Two baskets with the same maximum absolute volume, but one of them broad and shallow and the other tall and narrow, will interact differently with, say, the same brew pressure. In isolation, maximum volume of the basket is a misleading metric.
ladalet wrote: Independent of the variables you have listed, a machine with a 49mm basket that holds a 11 gram dose will not extract the same volume of espresso as a machine with a 58mm portafilter that holds 18 grams.
I agree with this statement but this was not your original point. You wanted to give newbie baristas with a 49mm basket, say, or a 53mm basket, or a 58mm basket, but not all of them, some metric whereby they could gauge whether they were making shots of appropriate volume for their basket.
ladalet wrote: And, if our understanding and expectation is that a double is 2oz of extracted espresso and the most that ones machine can produce is 1.5 oz of extracted espresso that one may reach the false conclusion that there is a problem such as channeling when attempting to extract that last .5 oz. There is not enough coffee in the basket to get that last .5 oz without blonding. There may be exceptions where the conditions may allow a 2oz extraction, but not consistently.
OK. I certainly agree with you here. It would be unwise to expect all machines to adhere to some spurious ideal standard of volume. [It puzzles me that you are seeking out deep baskets rather than accepting your own wisdom on this subject :wink: ] With lever machines, one should make espresso according to the machine's water draw rather than seek to produce shots that meet some conventional definition that has nothing to do with espresso quality. To me that is as ridiculous as defining how large a piece of pie ought to be. Wide enough to stand up without falling over is good enough for me.

The amount of espresso produced will vary by machine type and even within type, both according to water draw and basket dimensions. Not only basket volume but basket shape. Two baskets that hold the same volume but with dramatically different height-to-width ratios will not extract the same, even if the water-draw of the machines and their brew pressure happen to be identical.

Given these variations, espresso should be defined in terms of its extraction-intensity, which is what AndyS was trying to do, I thought, with brew ratios based on relative weights of ground coffee to water (though he did give rough volumes as a kind of handy reference).

Regards
Timo

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TUS172

#9: Post by TUS172 »

A point 'in-case' I own a Europiccola and 2 Creminas (a 67 and a 86) I use the same two A leva baskets in all of them. while I can comfortably place 17.5 weighed grams of the same espresso roast in the baskets for the Europiccola and get a great shot with the same procedure I use on the Creminas... I can at maximum only put 17.0 grams in when I use the Creminas. This is using all the machines on the same day with one roast, the same grind, tamp, tamper, and basket.

Perhaps it is because the Europiccola allows for more headspace over the puck with the lever in the full upright position, leaving more of a chamber for the hot water to flow into. Or perhaps it is because the shower screen sets a bit lower in the chamber on the Creminas then does the Europiccola giving the Europiccola the additional space for more volume. So as the puck swells in the Europiccola there is more area for it to expand before contacting the screen.

But as timo wrote... change any of the consistent measures used above (same procedure, one roast, the same grind, tamp, tamper) you can throw all the data out the window and start all over... even though you are using the same basket on one machine. This is especially true when using baskets of comparably small size and a finite amount of hot water, when one considers the semi-autos 58mm baskets and supplied pressurized water until you 'kill' the switch. When I owned my Silvia (PID'd) it was less of an issue because of the volume allowed in the triple and Gaggia double baskets I used. I mean when you can get up to 25.0 grams of espresso into a basket to make your puck all you need do is know your roast, grind and tamp to produce a very impressive shot for a double. At that point (I felt) it was not an art but shear production. JMHO... :)

Advice to newbies to levers? First read as many posts as you have patience for about how the more experienced do it on Home-Barista! Keep as many variables as possible the same. Use a really good espresso blend, the same high quality tamper, the same size basket, a proven procedure and always weigh your espresso dry to a tenth of a gram. Then adjust your grind and tamp... When you have what you think is the optimum for that weighed dose but feel there is either great or moderate room for improvement change the weighted amount of dry espresso. By doing this you are taking as many variables as possible out of the mix and concentrating on how to get the best possible shot out of a certain weight. By pre-reading allot of posts you have an idea of where to start and the procedurte to use. And as always... ENJOY THE ADVENTURE! :wink:
Bob C.
(No longer a lever purist!)
LMWDP #012

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peacecup

#10: Post by peacecup »

I'll second all of the ideas relating to keeping things constant, and varying one parameter at a time (grind, dose, tamp, bean type). One easy way to do this is to find a locally-roasted blend that you like, and buy it fresh every week or two. Start with the same dose and tamp for every shot, and vary the grind until you're getting the type of shot you like (taste, crema, volume). As the beans age you may need to tighten up the grind a little day by day. Once you've started to get consistently good shots you can start varying other parameters, but still one at a time works best.

RE: consistent dose - if you don't have a scale you can substitute by using a consistent volume (i.e. two scoops, or some level in the basket). I realize this will not satisfy the purists, but it works. I always use two scoops of whole beans in my hand grinder, and grind and dose them all (also reduces waste).

Re: Lance's original idea of basket capacity (weight), it will certainly vary by roast level, and even bean age and humidity. That said, a 58-mm triple basket is likely to hold a bit more than a 45-mm double, and it would be worthwhile to have a concise list of these. Perhaps confidence intervals around a mean.

Lastly, I have been experimenting with a modified Fellini-Goffinet triple-pull pre-infusion to see if I can up the two-pull volume on a Ponte Vecchio doppio to a traditional two ounces (regardless of all the bantering, I still consider a 15-g, two oz. shot a doppio ). Yesterday was the first day I tried it and the results are promising - more on that later


PC
LMWDP #049
Hand-ground, hand-pulled: "hands down.."