Correct dose - Page 2

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

#11: Post by Ken Fox »

malachi wrote:There is no universal "correct" dose and in fact many would argue that the concept of "correct" dose (regardless of lack of universality) is in an of itself somewhere between problematic and just wrong.
This is true if you enjoy all sorts of espressos, be they single origins, Italianate blends, or more intense and "in your face" N. American type blends. They all need to be dosed differently and perhaps the dosing will change as the coffee ages during its period of "consumability" after it is roasted.

You might, however, have less varied taste, either initially or after a period during which you thought that your taste was wide ranging. If we were talking about wine, for example, the analogy would be that after a while you no longer liked California Chardonnays or Cabernets because you came to the conclusion that French wines go better with food. In that case it would be perfectly reasonable to dispense entirely with the California wines and to concentrate on French ones. You might miss out on the odd food-friendly California wine, but by concentrating your efforts on French ones you would undoubtedly find wines you would have missed with more eclectic tastes. But I digress :mrgreen:

Using myself as an example (ok, I'm lazy as sh*t), I used to like many of those N. American blends that demand to be updosed, but in my senescence I've settled on certain types of single varietals that I feel are suboptimal when updosed, and hence I tend to dose around 14g and to pick coffees that make good espresso at that sort of dosing. The coffees that need to be updosed are now more or less undrinkable for me. But that is just my taste.

So, I'd take the proposition that you need to like every sort of coffee and you need to appreciate each one at its "appropriate dose" with a grain of salt. The most important thing for you to do is to decide what sorts of coffee you like, and the dosing will then fall into line depending on what it is that you like to drink.

What, me worry?

Alfred E. Neuman, 1955

qpsport (original poster)

#12: Post by qpsport (original poster) »

Wow! As a first time poster, I didn't expect such interesting responses from so many people. Thank you.

So, it is clear there is no single answer on amount of coffee to use. That doesn't stop me from asking this next question however :) : Would you think that of all the posters on this forum, that in pulling a single 1oz shot at home, there is at least a consensus on whether it best to use a single or double basket?

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#13: Post by malachi »

I think you'd find few who would argue that it is better to use a double basket to pull a 1oz single shot (though you'll find plenty who might argue that the "best" singles are a split double - which I guess is a purely semantic difference).
"Taste is the only morality." -- John Ruskin

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#14: Post by Fullsack »

Too me, what's at the bottom of the cup tastes better than the first sip. Why wouldn't you just pull half of a double into the cup, 10-15 seconds and then stop a double basket pull instead of doing a split?
LMWDP #017
Kill all my demons and my angels might die too. T. Williams

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#15: Post by malachi »

To many including me that tastes "incomplete".
Always interesting to pull a shot into 3 to 6 different demis (divided by increments of time) and taste the difference. It's a good learning exercise.
"Taste is the only morality." -- John Ruskin


#16: Post by zin1953 »

With the exception of a "split double," I can't even think of anyone who pulls a single "normale" shot with a double basket . . . .
A morning without coffee is sleep. -- Anon.

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#17: Post by AndyS »

another_jim wrote:Your results make no sense to me....if the high/low dose taste relation remains the same, then my theory is screwed; since it means the taste changes on dosing have nothing to do with the extraction changes.
Yeah, the results of this particular session were a surprise to me, too! Mostly (with the Robur), I've measured a fairly flat dose/yield relationship, not this directly proportional one.

I speculate that the answer may lie partly in the correlation between dose and peoples' chosen brew ratio. IOW, is someone's shots are more "lungo" with low doses and more "ristretto" with high doses (based on brew ratio definitions), then the inverse dose/yield relationship is preserved.
VST refractometer/filter basket beta tester, no financial interest in the company

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#18: Post by Whale »

zin1953 wrote:With the exception of a "split double," I can't even think of anyone who pulls a single "normale" shot with a double basket . . . .
It is possible but you have to serioulsy updose since the design of the basket does not redirect the flow like a single basket does. In the end (pushing it a bit far) if you updose a lot and end up with 1 oz or so, you are pretty much pulling a ristretto.
qpsport wrote: ...Would you think that of all the posters on this forum, that in pulling a single 1oz shot at home, there is at least a consensus on whether it best to use a single or double basket?
IMHO a single basket is clearly BETTER (I will regret this....) for pulling a single shot using a "normal" dose of coffee. THe design of the basket is such that the flow is concentrated in a smaller area, this is good for both extraction and fine migration (flow restriction).

With regards to the original question; the INEI recommendations are a very good start. They give good taste results (IMHO) and are the basis for the concept of updose and downdose.

FWIW, I am currently dosing 7 for a 1 oz single and 15 for a double 2 oz, and often go to Italian blends. Maybe I have a few italian taste buds or my brains functions the same way... Since the Italians are crazy That would make me crazy as well!!! :shock: :lol:
LMWDP #330

Be thankful for the small mercies in life.


#19: Post by CafSuperCharged »

In addition to super posters' opinions, I would say there are many variables in the espresso process. So by keeping a few of them (almost) constant this provides something to start with.

In Italy, ordering a caffè means you will have a single shot of espresso (demitasse less than half full). Many coffee houses use a local blend or one they roast themselves and the blending and roasting are done relative to the bar's reference values for those variables.
If you step into a coffee house and order caffè, they will usually combine your preparation with someone else's, 99% of the time using a double dose of coffee in a double portafilter giving two caffè.
I even noticed when I was waiting long enough according to the barista without a second customer coming in, they did a double with one trickle of coffee running into the drip tray.

Personally, I tried singles, but never got it to work as well as I like. Also, I have noticed from tasting, as well as discussions in these fora, that thickness of the coffee bed and headroom between coffee bed and shower screen, influence taste. So the shape of a single filter basket will certainly matter.


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Team HB

#20: Post by cannonfodder »

An excerpt from the Buyer's Guide to the Vibiemme Domobar Super Bench thread shows how I find my single shot starting point. Singles tend to be very picky on dose.
Today I decided to work on some single shots from the Domobar Super. Single shots tend to be more challenging especially for US users. The trick is dosing, most people have become accustom to overdosing. They simply thwack the doser while grinding until they have a small mound above the rim of the basket. Then sweep the grinds level with the basket and tamp. With a single basket you simply cannot do that. Singles take more finesse and an eye for detail.

The end goal is a one ounce drink produced around 28 seconds. The diminished dose of a single requires a finer grind so an adjustment on the grinder is needed, but before you can adjust the grind you must find a starting dose. One of the critical points is to get the proper headspace (the air space between the top of the puck and shower screen). If you overdose a single you may not be able to lock the portafilter into the group or the surface of the puck will scrape against the shower screen. That will crack and disturb the puck that you spent so much time preparing.

One trick that can be used to gauge your dose starting point is to use a nickel as a gauge. Dose into your basket and tamp, then place a nickel on the surface of the puck and lock your portafilter into the group. Then remove the portafilter and look at the puck. If the nickel is pushed deeply into the pucks surface, or there is any cracking of the puck, your dose is too high.

To demonstrate this, and assist myself in finding a starting point for the single dose on the VBM, I decided to use this method. I started off with a 10 gram dose in the stock single basket. I distributed my dose by tapping my finger against the side of the basket. I also tap my basket down against my tamping stand to further level and settle the dose. Tamp, put my nickel in the center of the puck, lock it in and remove.

As you can see, the dose is too large. The shower screen did not contact the puck but the nickel was press deeply into the pucks surface causing radial cracks in its surface.

Using the results from the 10 gram test, I dosed down to 9 grams for the second try. Once again I prepared my dose and placed the nickel in the center of the pucks surface and locked in the portafilter. This time the nickel was slightly indented in the surface of the puck. I decided to use 9 grams as my starting point.

I continued to down dose without the nickel to see how low I could go. I continued to reduce the dose by .5 gram increments until my tamper was bottoming out against the concave sides of the single basket. At 8 grams my tamper was bottoming out against the sides of the basket. I was still getting a leveled tamp but it was not getting fully compacted by the tamp. You will feel when the tamper is hitting the basket instead of being stopped by the puck.

I decided on a 9 gram dose for the Ambrosia blend I was using. An 8.5 gram dose would also work but I was very, very close to bottoming out the tamper. You could also do like the Italians and grind extra fine and use a very light tamp just to level the puck.

I find the single shots from the Domobar Super to be comparable with other E61 vibratory pump machines. The singles tasted a little sweeter and brighter than the doubles with a creamier mouthfeel. A good shot and well worth the work.

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Dave Stephens