Best way to make a "big" cup of coffee with an espresso machine

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

#1: Post by AVoss »

We do not drink espresso. I like a cup of 120ml my wife even more (and with milk). But we now have an espresso machine for making coffee drinks (after many years of pod machines of every make). We started with the cheapest halfway decent machine, a Delonghi Dedica 685 and soon will have a Sage Bambino Plus (for better milk foaming and even faster than the already fast 685). We grind our beans fresh for each cup with a Sage Smart Grinder Pro.)

What is the best way to make a nice cup of coffee with our equipment?

(We used a bottomless portafilter from our start with the Delonghi and have difficulty with our shots. Channeling can be seen quite often, especially with the lighter roasted beans that we used recently, even when using a WDT tool, Crema is thin most cases, but we do not care basically. We grind relatively fine, between 5 and 15 on the Sage grinder, level with a tool and tamp with an automatic tamper and the shot time is some 30 seconds for 110ml at the moment.)

tennisman03110

#2: Post by tennisman03110 »

This might sound like a stupid answer, but why not just buy a V60 and make a carafe of coffee? Are you steaming the milk? How much coffee and how much milk per drink?

If you stick with the machine, I'd say dial in the espresso to something "standard", and add hot water to get your desired volume.

AVoss (original poster)

#3: Post by AVoss (original poster) »

We do not drink more than a cup each at different times (except breakfast). In times long gone by we had a traditional brewing machine of course. We still have it for many cups for guests. But we changed to single pod machines years ago for easier handling. I then tried a single cup drip coffee filter but did not like the handling and bought a Vertuo machine because it has "big" pods. But I did not like their coffees (and neither their pseudo crema). Our first fully automatic machine was a desaster: We bought a semi brand new Delonghi but its grinder was worn out and the machine produced no good coffee. And now we have a portafilter machine.

Nunas
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#4: Post by Nunas »

You have two main options, both usually made with a lighter roast than traditional espresso. The most common is an Americano. It consists of water and a normal espresso shot. The ratio is typically a shot of espresso and two to three "shots" of water. The other is the Sprover (short for espresso pour over); To make one, you grind coarse enough that you don't generate more than about 1.5 bar of pressure, and the pull lasts about fifty seconds, giving a ratio of about 1:12. These are only general guidelines...tune for best taste :wink: I'm a 99% espresso drinker, but have briefly messed around with both of these, mostly when we have company that does not drink espresso. Of the two, I slightly prefer the Sprover.

jpender

#5: Post by jpender »

I wasn't aware that "traditional" espresso is less often used to make Americanos. When I order in a cafe or make coffee for myself 95% of the time it's an Americano aka long black. At cafes the coffee is usually whatever they're pulling and often that's a medium roast but frequently it's on the darker side.

In any case that seems like the easiest path: pull a good double shot of whatever coffee you like and then add water to taste. For me it's 16g of beans in a cappuccino cup topped up with hot water to a total volume of 4 to 4½ oz. I think pulling longer shots as with a Sprover or a Caffè Crema is likely to be more difficult to master. But maybe it depends on the coffee.

Nunas
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#6: Post by Nunas »

jpender wrote:I wasn't aware that "traditional" espresso is less often used to make Americanos. When I order in a cafe or make coffee for myself 95% of the time it's an Americano aka long black. At cafes the coffee is usually whatever they're pulling and often that's a medium roast but frequently it's on the darker side. In any case that seems like the easiest path: pull a good double shot of whatever coffee you like and then add water to taste. For me it's 16g of beans in a cappuccino cup topped up with hot water to a total volume of 4 to 4½ oz. I think pulling longer shots as with a Sprover or a Café Crème is likely to be more difficult to master. But maybe it depends on the coffee.
John, I haven't had an espresso or espresso drink in a café in several years; but I don't doubt for a moment that in most coffee shops one would get whatever they're pulling. We had a nice espresso/gelato shop here for a few years (COVID did them in). They offered three different coffees for espresso, including one which was different each day. It was the barista there who suggested the medium blend for Americanos, as opposed to the dark one they had, which included an unknown percentage of robusta (the blend is a trade secret, he claimed). I agree, Americanos are way easier to do than Sprovers; but I found that my Synchronika can do Sprovers quite easily, using the flow control. -Maurice

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yakster
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#7: Post by yakster »

When I make an afternoon shot for myself on my Robot, my family always wants Americanos. I don't get it, I'd rather have brewed coffee, but they like them, with creamer.
-Chris

LMWDP # 272

jpender

#8: Post by jpender »

For me it's largely a textural thing. I really like the mouthfeel of espresso. And from years of drinking moka coffee my preference is for something in the 2-3% strength range. So metal filtered, emulsified, strong. I love straight shots too but they're gone so fast. I like it to last at least a few minutes.

Lately I've been drinking coffees almost exclusively from Saka Caffè, a Neapolitan style roaster. So medium-dark beans with varying degrees of robusta (up to 60%). They're easy to pull and easy to drink. It's not terribly complex -- it's like a cup of chocolate -- but very satisfying.

There's a place in Sydney, just a little cafe near the airport, that makes killer long blacks. I have other reasons for wanting to return to Australia but when I think about it I always imagine that little place. They make a nice breakfast and really good coffee.

Allen

#9: Post by Allen »

When I want a large coffee drink I make two "Filter 2.1" and dilute with 450ml of hot water.

GDM528

#10: Post by GDM528 »

In the process of performing a stupid-espresso-machine-trick "Turpresso"? Turkish coffee with an espresso machine. I stumbled on a method to produce a surprisingly pleasant +120g cup of joe, no added sugar or milk required:

1) Grind as fine as your machine will allow.
2) Underdose the basket. I put 15g into a 18g VST for a 1cm puck depth, but your mileage will vary.
3) Really long preinfusion, like a minute or so. Grind transforms into some sort of freaky/spooky trans-dimensional colloidal superfluid.
4) Low pressure / low flow for about 2-3 minutes until you reach a 8:1 brew ratio.
5) For a bit of extra flavor, and a lot of extra mouthfeel, dump the spent puck into your cup. Prudent to wait a bit before drinking.

Your espresso machine may not allow this, 'cause, well, it's so wrong on multiple levels.