Confused about basket size for "standard" espresso - Page 2

Beginner and pro baristas share tips and tricks for making espresso.
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#11: Post by Peppersass »

I drink singles almost exclusively. Yeah, it requires a good grinder, meticulous preparation and gentle pre-infusion. A funnel like the Tidaka is very helpful, almost essential.

Singles and doubles taste different. I drink light roasts almost exclusively, which work well with the fine grind required by a single.

I also went to singles because I was looking to reduce my daily caffeine intake.

It's possible to pull both singles and doubles with the same grind setting. Jim Schulman has posted about this. What you do is dial in a double, then adjust the dose down to match the ratio of the hole areas of the single and double basket. VST baskets are designed so that, in general, you can simply adjust the dose based on the basket capacity ration -- e.g., dial in a 14g dose in a double basket, then use a 7g dose in a single basket.


#12: Post by Campisi »

Now I'm really confused. I'm a newbie using a Breville dual boiler. It came with "single" baskets (one single wall, one double wall) and "double" baskets (single and double wall). I'm ignoring the double wall baskets. I use the "single" basket but that takes about 12g of coffee. Grinding with a sette 270wi. I use a naked pf and mostly, MOSTLY, get good to very good tasting espresso. I try for about 24 to 30g of liquid, depending on my mood. Am I pulling single shots here?! Why did Breville make a single basket take 12g and not 7g?
Runners, yeah we're different.

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#13: Post by Jeff »

In general, if the dose fits with enough "headspace" above when it is tamped (a couple of mm, around the thickness of a US nickel), then it's a right-size basket. Not "the" as there is no such thing, despite what some manufacturers of expensive baskets claim. When I change coffees I sometimes have to change baskets - 17 g of dark roast is often a different volume than is 17 g of light roast.

(17 g is just what I happen to use for the light-roasted coffees I typically pull. 18 g or so is another common choice.)

Campisi wrote:Why did Breville make a single basket take 12g and not 7g?
I don't have a very satisfying answer for that. Some is that the Italian tradition, now ensconced in marketing, is that a "single" is "7 g" (and a bunch of other pseudo-specs). Some is that American "third-wave" started pulling 18-20 g as a typical shot. Some is that a 7 g puck in a 54 or 58 mm basket tends to be very thin and challenging to extract reliably well.

This image might help with the history.

On the left is a current "double" basket.

In the middle is a "double" basket from an Italian home machine of the late 1950s, an Arrarex. I might be able to get 10-12 g into the Arrarex basket.

Oh the right is a basket that tries to get a 7 g single out of a 58 mm machine. Only the very bottom portion of that basket gets filled with grinds. To use it, not only do you have to buy the basket, but probably a different tamper. A special funnel helps too. That setup can cost close to what Breville's inexpensive grinder costs.

I think that Breville wants to provide success to its customers, not frustrations. I had a lot of frustrations trying to reliably pull low-dose shots with less-fancy baskets. You've probably already stepped past the level that most BDB owners reach by wondering if it is a "single" or a "double". Success for many home-espresso enthusiasts is a cup of espresso, milk, and sugar in the morning that is comparable to their local coffee shop.


#14: Post by bean74 »

Gargamel40 wrote:So what would be the difference in brewing between:

1. Bottomless portafilter (VST basket), 18g of coffee, pulled between 25 and 30s and 40g of liquid. One cup.

2. Double spouted portafilter (VST basket), 18g of coffee, pulled between 25 and 30s and 40g of liquid. Two cups.

Number 1 looks to me like a standard espresso for one. But number two makes the espresso for two people under the same conditions with less coffee.
The "standard" espresso, at least in the NE US, is the double shot. If I order an espresso in a coffee shop or restaurant, this is what typically arrives. It is also the basis of nearly all milk concoctions, from latte to macchiato, at least in this corner of this country. I'm sure regional differences are wide.

If you read older literature on espresso, at least in English, you will nearly always see this defined as 1 oz. weight of espresso from 0.5 oz. weight of beans, in up to 30 seconds. Over time, the baskets and doses have grown a bit, and people have found the strict 2:1 ratio isn't always ideal.
Jeff wrote:In general, if the dose fits with enough "headspace" above when it is tamped (a couple of mm, around the thickness of a US nickel), then it's a right-size basket.
This is how I learned to do it, several years ago, and still my primary method of checking things any time I make a major change to the input variables. Lots of pucks stuck to shower heads, or conversely very soggy pucks, before I learned a "14g basket" isn't always ideal at 14g dose. The nickel never lies, I still keep a cleanly washed one in the cupboard above my machine.

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#15: Post by vecchi della seattle »

7 and 14 are Italian for single and double. Also 1 and 2 pulls on a doser. It dates back to when Italy was a poor country and poured a 1:3 shot at the train station for commuters on the go. The only single basket I found that works reasonably well is the LM single (9 grams). It needs it's own tamper, I think a 43mm. 58mm portafilters are basically too big to pour a single.


#16: Post by Campisi »

I've been reading here about 7g 'singles' but anything less than about 10 or 11g in the Beville 'single' would require a special tamper to get past the shoulder of the basket. I'm feeling happy with 11 to 12g doses and 20 to 30g espresso in about 28 sec, give or take. For now. :)
Thank you for the explanations.
Runners, yeah we're different.