Americano - does the water go in before or after the espresso?

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mathof
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Postby mathof » Dec 29, 2015, 5:08 pm

I know that there are different views on this question, but I haven't found an informed discussion by searching. How do Home-Barista members prepare their long blacks?

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aecletec
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Postby aecletec » Dec 29, 2015, 7:28 pm

Isn't the order the difference between a long black and an americano?

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JohnB.
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Postby JohnB. » Dec 29, 2015, 7:40 pm

I don't think it makes a damn bit of difference. I've done it both ways but normally add the water to my shot as opposed to pulling the shot into the hot water.
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nickw
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Postby nickw » Dec 29, 2015, 7:47 pm

aecletec wrote:Isn't the order the difference between a long black and an americano?


Americano: Shot first, then add water, which usually mixes in the crema
Long black: Water first, espresso second, crema sits on top.

Many who make the long black do so to preserve the crema on top.

Personally I like to mix the crema in, to balance the taste. Pure crema itself is bitter.
Which happens when making an Americano.

LukeFlynn
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Postby LukeFlynn » Dec 29, 2015, 7:50 pm

I usually pull the shot on top, then stir slightly, it usually gives the customer/guest a better presentation (IMO).

wsfarrell
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Postby wsfarrell » Dec 29, 2015, 7:53 pm

JohnB. wrote:I don't think it makes a damn bit of difference. I've done it both ways but normally ad the water to my shot as opposed to pulling the shot into the hot water.


Sir Ronald Fisher in England, who pretty much invented statistical significance testing, came across a woman who claimed she could tell whether her afternoon tea had been poured tea first or milk first. He gave her eight cups, four prepared each way, and randomized the order of presentation. She got all eight correct. Chances of this with random guessing were 1 in 70.

So there! :D

day
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Postby day » Dec 29, 2015, 8:09 pm

If you have ever been into poker you would not see 1 out of 70 as a long shot:) awesome anecdote though
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JohnB.
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Postby JohnB. » Dec 30, 2015, 10:25 am

nickw wrote:Americano: Shot first, then add water, which usually mixes in the crema
Long black: Water first, espresso second, crema sits on top.

Many who make the long black do so to preserve the crema on top.

Personally I like to mix the crema in, to balance the taste. Pure crema itself is bitter.
Which I do so my making an Americano.



It's been awhile so I tried the Long Black version this morning & was immediately reminded why I prefer the Americano version. Not only are there streaks of crema on top when you pull the shot into the water but nasty looking pools of oil. Way too disgusting to look at first thing in the morning. I dumped it into the sink & made myself an Americano. So I was wrong, there is a difference. One version is way uglier then the other. If you are drinking it on an empty stomach first thing in the morning do yourself a favor & pull the shot first.
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ilker
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Postby ilker » Dec 30, 2015, 11:00 am

I heard Tim Wendelboe was talking about pulling a shot first, take the crema out and add hot water to make an Americano.
He said it tasted better. Never say never.

danaleighton
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Postby danaleighton » Dec 30, 2015, 11:24 am

wsfarrell wrote:Sir Ronald Fisher in England, who pretty much invented statistical significance testing, came across a woman who claimed she could tell whether her afternoon tea had been poured tea first or milk first. He gave her eight cups, four prepared each way, and randomized the order of presentation. She got all eight correct. Chances of this with random guessing were 1 in 70.

So there! :D

LOL! Excellent example. Sorry for the diversion, but this is a good example of the weakness of null hypothesis significance testing (NHST) that I will use in my teaching. The main charge against NHST in psychology is being led now by Geoff Cumming, who published a good primer on why NHST is inappropriate in many cases in science. I am reproducing a figure from the article, which you can read freely I think in the journal Psychological Science here.

Basically, the figure shows that any given experiment, even with a medium strength effect which is considered good in behavioral data, we can get results that vary widely in their statistical "significance" (scare quotes used intentionally) from p = .001 to p = .75. A p value < .05 is tradiationally considered statistically significant, and only likely to occur once in 20 times. 1 in 70 is p = .014 which is a statistical significance that would have me and my students jumping for joy in the lab.

What this all means for things like blind or double-blind testing of coffee and espresso, etc. is that without numerous replications and meta-analysis, we cannot know whether the results we are getting are "true" per NHST. We may be getting successes when there is none, but most importantly, if we fail to detect a difference, it could be simply a failure that occurred that one in 20 times, whereas the next replication may succeed. Thus, NHST gives us little confidence in any one result without replication and meta-analysis. Geoff's argument is that estimation of confidence intervals give us a much richer information base to interpret the strength and importance of any single result. But, that is getting into extremely esoteric ideas better left for another day.

This is not to diminish the importance of our use of double-blind and triangulated tasting protocols as some of the more scientifically inclined folks around here do, but rather to temper our interpretation of these results if they are based on NHST.

Reference: Cumming, G. (2014). The new statistics: Why and how. Psychological Science, 25, 7-29.
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