Brewing ratios for espresso beverages - Page 11

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

#101: Post by CafSuperCharged »

ozzyymclaren wrote:so sad but modernity does that. we forgot our traditions.
In general I am saddened by the loss of traditions, arrogance of modern people thinking previous generations were stupid because they had less technology, or at least different, and subsequent loss of deep knowledge of many important things, like what constitutes healthy diet or which products from the land are in season when. We also had improvements and not just in democratic freedom and tolerance.
In my country, in my life, my parents went from percolator pot to drip filter and as a child I found that an improvement.
Before that, 19th century, the ritual was to extract coffee in a boiling process to a very strong potion of which some was served in the cup and next hot water was added. I would not want to go back to those traditions.
When my parents replaced the hand grinder on the wall by an electric rotor one I was a sad and disappointed boy for some time. After I introduced espresso into my life decades later, I did not do other styles anymore.



#102: Post by CafSuperCharged »

ozzyymclaren wrote:i wish to change my bean but, illy is the best i can find in my country. there are no roast houses. all i can get is packed espresso beans. there are some rosters but they roast for turkish coffee.
all the other packed beans i can find are, segafredo, davidoff, starbucks, lavazza. so i have nothing to do... :cry:
There is another Turkish, I think, member at HB, "Kahvedelisi" that might be able to advise you of an address?

As to Illy, Lavazza or Segafredo, if they are fresh and you understand the roasters' intentions you can get excellent results. In all cases the hand of the barista is leading.
Of these three, I would prefer probably the professional Lavazza blue. The best Illy espresso I ever had (8.5 out of 10) was in Tuscany, IIRC in a village just off the Quattro Corsie between Firenze and Siena. They used the 5 kg metal cans that are screwed on top of the grinder as bean hopper. The machine 2 E/61 group VBM (Vibiemme). Personally, at home, I have tried, but was never able, to get a decent one, from locally sourced Illy.
The retail Illy whole bean cans have an air valve so as to let the coffee gas (and aroma) out. Shelf life predicts quality. In stead of a best-before date two years in the future, I would want the roast date on the can.
Then, to add to the blasphemy, pre-ground Illy espresso is actually better, when far away from the factory. With large factory quality control, you at home are more likely to have a bad grinder or bad burrs, or both, than the factory. Try the darker roast (black band around the can) and immediately after opening take your tamper and tamp the contents very tightly, in the can. It will stay OK, not excellent maybe, for a few days. The problem with the pre-ground is, temperature and pressure settings of your machine should match the ground - you have no option to slightly adapt the grind to the machine.

As to caffè, espresso, culture in Italy, that is not a monomaniac thing. I would generalize the North generally is milder, more Arabica (because they have more money?) and Illy fits in with that. Going South, you will find the coffee to become less mild, more complex IMO, and if you go very South, the fraction of very dark roast increases. Napoli would be dominated by the lever (sprung piston, pump-less) machines. Potentially a matter of less money to modernize and upgrade to pump machines, but the darker roast in such lever machines at very profiled and lower pressure has a totally different impact on the sensory system than that roast in a pump machine. So why change machine architecture? An example of this coffee is Izzo.
I have hypothesized, next to climate, the change in roast North to South also may have to do with water quality in the grid changing North to South, if no water treatment is applied in the bar. Compare fresh water from the Alps in the North with water from a deep aquifer in the South.
The only thing that is similar all over the country is, a caffè is more like what would be called "ristretto" at HB than "espresso". The mouse tail being real thin and the extraction being slow relative to volume; always rich crema and "tiger skin" for that matter.
My personal preference is in the Tuscany-Lazio (Roma) region, generally, which is not to say I cannot enjoy a good caffè anywhere else. I source my coffee from a Roman roaster, through a Dutch agent. From what I described here, you would deduce not to expect any Illy in Tuscany, but still there was this exception and it even was better than the regional average (7.5 out of 10), in my taste.


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#103: Post by Stuggi »

I got a sweet (IMHO) idea from all this. People are constantly talking about volumes not being comparable due to the crema. Well, turns out you can compute that as well. If you for instance have a shot that's 60ml in volume, but weights say 35 grams, then you know that the density of that shot it 0,58333 g/ml, which then can be used to compare different volumes. The density measurement also has the appealing nature that even if you let the crema settle, it shouldn't change a lot, so it's infinitely comparable. Well, as long as your initial comparison isn't absurd to start with and you remember to take the readings in somewhat close succession. :mrgreen:
Sebastian "Stuggi" Storholm
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#104: Post by Ozark_61 »

Hard to believe I missed all of this in the past... but on a recent trip to a local shop, they had a blackboard up with ratios on it and it lead me to this post. So, I've been playing with this and very happy to improve my skills after a long doldrums, but I have a question. After reading some of the reviews of favorite roasters and recommended ratios of the brews - I was interested in the comments about temps / dosing and relationship to taste. Is there a chart that shows a relationship between dose and taste, temp and taste, etc? It would be cool if some of the experienced folks could rough something out on a single graph with the different axis consisting of dose/temp/ratio or something to that effect and the relationship in taste to enhance high/low notes etc. Hope I'm making sense...
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#105: Post by mitch236 »

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#106: Post by Ozark_61 »

Perfect! Thanks for the links there. See what kids do to you geek-time??? Brother - keeping up with 3 kids 4 and under at home we have our hands full :lol:
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#107: Post by naimnut »

I'm so glad somebody posted a link to this thread. It's been great reading but also a great inspiration for reexamining my shots. And basically getting closer to 100% ratios and ending my shots earlier.

Really fun stuff.

Of course, its probably only fun for geeks.