Beginner and pro baristas share tips and tricks.
Tekomino. Don't forget to put the scale inside a large freezer bag to protect it from water (at least mine splashes around at the end).
tekomino (original poster)
Arpi wrote:Don't forget to put the scale inside a large freezer bag to protect it from water (at least mine splashes around at the end).
Luckily I don't have problems with splashing.
I hope that being a pro with a balance and being honest, knowledgable and cheery are not mutually exclusive.
Yeah, that was a bad example. Sorry. It's just that my average supermarket deli person doesn't know all that much about their product. And I get mad when the supermarket hides fat underneath their carefully weighed butcher meats.
- Supporter ♡
Arpi wrote:Don't forget to put the scale inside a large freezer bag to protect it from water.
Arpi, that's a great idea. I've been avoiding using the scale to measure my finished product because I pull the demitasse when the shot starts to blond and slip in a bowl to catch the remainder as my spring lever continues its release. I didn't want to fry my scale with the liquid. I think I can use a small ziplock and put it in the drip reservoir (not enough clearance between the bottom of the portafilter and the drip tray grate on the La Peppina) to do this. I'll have to give this a try.
When I read the bit about the block of cheese, I immediately pictured either a Norman Rockwell painting or a painting in the style of Norman Rockwell at a local restaurant that shows a grocer and a little old lady customer cheerfully not looking at each other as they both put a finger on the scale while weighing the purchase, the grocer pushing down and the lady pushing up.
LMWDP # 272
Marshall, I don't think Tek's protocol is aimed at the barista who is happy with his/her product. I believe it was aimed at the newbie/intermediate barista (or anyone who is determined to improve) as a great tool. Until I started weighing my preshot pf, I was all over the map. Before I could even think about adjusting the parameters of my equipment, I had to become consistent with the variables. That includes all that Tek alluded to and also includes grinder and machine. Many here have no problem modifying their machines with PID to have tenth of degree accuracy (or at least perceived) over brew temps. We have all sorts of HB'ers with titan class grinders. Why not add the same level of accuracy to the grinds and product? In my humble opinion, there is no easier way to dial in beans than having the accuracy and consistency that all these "digital" products provide.
But many people are from the camp that cares less about the absolute quality in the cup and more about the total experience, and there's nothing wrong with that either!
mitch236 wrote:Marshall, I don't think Tek's protocol is aimed at the barista who is happy with his/her product. I believe it was aimed at the newbie/intermediate barista (or anyone who is determined to improve) as a great tool.
If he'd written that, I would not have responded. It's actually a pretty good idea (as Denis acknowledged, Andy Schecter's idea) for troubleshooting.
Instead, he wrote this, which is why I objected:
I think people should be using this all the time. It simply makes sense to know how much coffee you put in and how much you get out so you can repeat and most importantly tune up your espresso experience.
Marshall, I think that statement was in the context of the statement he makes at the beginning of his post:
tekomino wrote:...I believe that this method is very useful for beginners and others that would like to improve consistency of their espresso making. I know that doing it this way provided huge consistency improvement for me so I am sure someone else will benefit as well.
But I agree with your take on the part that you quote. I guess my critical reading skills started to fade by that point and I just glossed over his statement that "People should be using this all the time."
tekomino (original poster)
Hey, I still think people should know exactly how much goes in and how much goes out.
If you cook, you follow a recipe and nobody objects that they have to take half-teaspoon of this, tablespoon of that. Even when you are familiar with the recipe you still measure and adjust to taste.
But, and here is important point, you still measure even if you don't use digital scale. You might have very good eye for how your coffee fills your basket and how espresso flows and fills your cup and that sure can be accurate for your taste. You are just replacing digital scale with memory of how things tasted good to you. It is a routine you follow while trying to keep things the same as much as possible... And if that works for you great
And if you are not happy with your espresso give this a try. That's why I wrote it down since it works very good for me and I don't feel like it is a burden even when I am half awake.
To be filed under Food for Thought
While some aficionados may feel that precise measurements detract from the "art" of making espresso, it's accepted practice in other culinary endeavors. For example, bakers measure precisely as a matter of course (e.g., searching on baking accuracy of measurements
yields many admonishments like "Accuracy of measurement is essential in the bakeshop" and "For baking, accuracy for ingredients is crucial.").