Espresso brew ratio - coffee shops vs home

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

#1: Post by pwnell »

I am very confused. When I walk in to most coffee shops, they will brew a double shot espresso as 2oz. I presume that is fl. oz. so approx. 60mL or roughly 60g.

A double shot of espresso is usually brewed from 14 - 18g of coffee. If they brew an espresso, that should be 28g - 36g out for the classic 1:2 ratio. 60g is much closer to a lungo. Does this mean most coffee shops brew lungos and not espressos?

I know for a fact my only local coffee shop uses 18g and they sell it as 2oz for a double shot. That is a 1:3 ratio - not true?

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#2: Post by PIXIllate »

Don't mix measurements. Grams in, grams out. Ounces, fluid or otherwise, are to be avoided. Crema is light due to all the air.

pwnell (original poster)

#3: Post by pwnell (original poster) »

I am not mixing measurements. I am asking about the coffee shops. They sell a double shot in fl. oz. So I am asking about their brew ratio if you convert that back to grams.

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#4: Post by PIXIllate »

pwnell wrote: I know for a fact my only local coffee shop uses 18g and they sell it as 2oz for a double shot. That is a 1:3 ratio - not true?
You are mixing measurements. 18 grams is weight, 2oz is volume. That's why no one uses anything but grams to discuss coffee. The volume of espresso shots will vary greatly even with the same weight due to differences in the crema.

pwnell (original poster)

#5: Post by pwnell (original poster) »

Thanks for your response but you are clearly missing the point of my question. I cannot help the coffee shop industry at least in Canada do not talk grams out but only fluid ounces out. So to copy their recipe I have to convert if I do not know how many grams out they target.

Probably the answer to my question is that the extra volume is solely due to crema, that their 2 fl. oz is probably 40ml liquid and 20ml crema.

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#6: Post by Jeff »

Unless you've got the same equipment and water as they do, replicating their "recipe" isn't going to replicate their espresso.

What I've found valuable over the years is understanding what my "normal" parameters are and then roughly finding out a roaster's recommendation relative to their normal. That is a really coarse thing; shorter/normal/longer and cooler/normal/warmer. I might try adjusting my first shot based on those changes. Might ...

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#7: Post by PIXIllate »

I'm from Nova Scotia. No one in their right mind would do that. If the coffee shop is recommending grams in and oz out then find another coffee shop to get advice from. Or just buy their beans and start pulling and tasting.

Start with 18g/36g ~30 sec.
Do you like it?

Play with grind shot times up and down 5 seconds (25, 35).
Do you like it more or less?

If you didn't like it what is it that you don't like?
If it's too bright and acidic run the shot to 38g out.
Is it better?

If it's too bitter run the shot to 33g out.
Is it better?

A lot of this is going to have to do with your grinder. One of the reasons I bought better grinders is because I like the intensisty, mouthfeel and texture of shots pulled under a 2:1 ratio. In order to do that and still get high EY% a good grinder and extended pre infusion helps a great deal. But now we're getting into more advance shot profiling and tasting.


#8: Post by BaristaMcBob »

Espresso should have a good amount of crema, which is mostly air. So, 2 fluid ounces (or 60 ml) will not weigh 60 grams. Just to keep it simple, I'm assuming 1 fluid ounce = 30 ml = 30 grams.

In my case, I use 17g and brew until my scale measures 34g. I get lots of crema, so my shot, by volume, is 60 - 65 ml.

pwnell (original poster)

#9: Post by pwnell (original poster) »

I have the niche zero. Thanks for the advice, I will play around.


#10: Post by beans+crumble »

Perhaps the coffee shop is saying/displaying their double shot as 2oz because that's what most people will understand when looking at a menu? Perhaps they really pull it as grams in:grams out but don't display it that way. Did you ask one of the baristas what their recipe is in grams in:out? With most smaller specialty cafes I've been to, their baristas will be able to share that info with you... if they can't then maybe someone dials in their grinder in the morning and all they do is grind and hit the double shot volumetric button all day long. I've also had success asking small cafes over Instagram direct messaging what they recommend one of their roasts be pulled at on a home machine. It will give you a good starting point at least.