Espresso - does dose matter, or is it all about the brew ratio?

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

#1: Post by cuppa »

Does the dose change things if the ratio is the same? If it does, what is the impact of the dose on the taste, and how does it do it?

For instance, Klatch recommends 36g out from a 20g basket for a lot of its coffees. My Breville Oracle takes a 23g dose and I can't adjust it. So, if I get 36 / 20 * 23 = 41.5g out from the 23g basket, will I get the "same" espresso that I would get with their recommended numbers or will it be quite different?


#2: Post by BodieZoffa »

I don't waste time bothering with time, volume or ratios. I like to updose quite a bit with some variance between coffees depending on origin/roast level and I extract until the puck has given up what it has to offer and it's done. Main thing for me is just keeping the dose weight consistent as that's all I will ever weigh.

cuppa (original poster)

#3: Post by cuppa (original poster) replying to BodieZoffa »

Interesting. How do you know when to stop the extraction? I have given up on trying to figure out when the stream turns blonde.


#4: Post by BodieZoffa »

I watch the spouts like a hawk to note the slightest change in color and texture. Once the streams lighten a bit and start to curve inward I stop. I go by texture and taste to dial things in and do like to push the restricted flow aspect pretty heavily as it simply works for me.


#5: Post by Graymatters »

Have you watched the Hoffmann video on Dose?
LMWDP #726

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#6: Post by Jeff »

Yes, dose matters, even if the ratio is the same.

Whether it matters enough for you to manage it with your coffees and grinder is something that a dozen shots over a week or so could give you an idea of.


#7: Post by Rustic39 »

I haven't explored the boundaries of this in a systematic way yet, but I understand that some baskets are engineered for their drain holes to be sized ideally to match the designated dose capacity of the basket. I hear VST is one that does this.

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#8: Post by cafeIKE »

Most basket claims are specious.

Roaster dose recommendations maybe valid in their shop on their equipment. Elsewhere, unlikely.

Brew ratios are for keeping notes, not a formula for a particular setup.

With a new coffee:
  • 17.5g
  • Grind setting 15
  • Double Basket
  • 30s shot
Adjust from there. It can sometimes take a pound to get an outlier roast to behave.

See Espresso 101: How to Adjust Dose and Grind Setting by Taste and Mano Lite: A Short Guide to Dialing in Espresso SOs and Blends


#9: Post by exidrion »

If you want to make more espresso for a large milk based drink, dose more. If you want to make less espresso dose less. I don't typically change dose to adjust taste.

That said, it depends on the roast. To make your life easier with light roasts, I'd reccommend the 14-18 range, as they are harder to extract. With medium to medium dark, you can go 18-23( :shock: )g.

As an Oracle owner myself, if you're using the built in grinder and tamping mechanism, I'd really upgrade to a standalone grinder so that you can actually control the dose and variability, and use third party baskets; at 23 grams it's nearly impossible to get a decent extraction with MOST coffee's, especially with that grinder. It'll always be a lot of coffee and under or over extracted. I get what Breville was trying to do here as most thirdwave places seem to be dosing at least 19 grams and up, but they're pulling double ristretto's suitable for giant milk drink on more capable equipment.

Note that the stock basket fits like 20g as an upper limit if you're doing it manually IMO. Trying to manually WDT and tamp more than that without the auto tamper that SHOVES a giant dose in it is very cumbersome.


#10: Post by fliz »

dose matters because puck thickness matters. if you want less resistance w/o grinding coarser, reduce your dose.

This might be necessary with a light roast that's difficult to extract unless ground fine.