Espresso extraction time - is it normal to prefer 40s or more?

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

#1: Post by ZapoTeX »

OK, I've owned my Breville Infuser for over 3 years and I've always just looked at the pressure gauge, no scale, no timer.

I started using a scale and a timer recently - first reaction: WHY the hell did I not do it earlier!!!???

That said - I go for a brew ratio of about 1.75 (from 14 grams in the basket, I go for a double espresso of about 24-25g). The common recommendation is that optimal brew time is 25 to 35 seconds, but I find myself preferring shots that take 40-45s seconds.

Is it normal? Is it simply that the Infuser has a very slow preinfusion (which means brew times are not comparable to other machines)? Am I overly sensitive to acidity and less sensitive than others to bitterness?

FYI, I'm using medium/dark roast mix of arabica and robusta from a nearby roastery and I grind with Baratza Sette 270 Wi.

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Randy G.

#2: Post by Randy G. »

The key w.ord in the subject of your post is "prefer." If you have tried "A" and "B," and you like "B" better, then logic dictates that you should work on refining "B." Your 'preference' is your normal.. for now.
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macal425

#3: Post by macal425 »

If you prefer a 40-45secs pull, then there's no need to change anything. If you're including the preinfusion in you're time, then it will actually be a 30-35secs pull. I have the Breville Barista Express and the preinfusion is usually around 7-10s. I assume your machine is similar. It's not uncommon for me to have a 40+sec pull (after preinfusion) and sometimes I'm pleasantly surprised by the flavor. An over extracted shot is rarely wasted, whereas an under extracted shot usually makes it's way into the sink. BTW, I had the same reaction after getting a scale. I struggled for months to get a good shot when I was eyeballing the grind into the portafilter. A scale made a huge difference.

DamianWarS
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#4: Post by DamianWarS »

ZapoTeX wrote:OK, I've owned my Breville Infuser for over 3 years and I've always just looked at the pressure gauge, no scale, no timer.

I started using a scale and a timer recently - first reaction: WHY the hell did I not do it earlier!!!???

That said - I go for a brew ratio of about 1.75 (from 14 grams in the basket, I go for a double espresso of about 24-25g). The common recommendation is that optimal brew time is 25 to 35 seconds, but I find myself preferring shots that take 40-45s seconds.

Is it normal? Is it simply that the Infuser has a very slow preinfusion (which means brew times are not comparable to other machines)? Am I overly sensitive to acidity and less sensitive than others to bitterness?

FYI, I'm using medium/dark roast mix of arabica and robusta from a nearby roastery and I grind with Baratza Sette 270 Wi.
grind, dose, and yield are fundamental ways to control espresso and time is a product of these things (among others). It seems you were focused more on the yield/dose aspect before and didn't care about things like how it impacted the time (at least for long shots). now you have added a scale and timer you are more aware of the relationship between these things and I would say that's a win in itself. you know what you prefer and you have the tools to reproduce that day after day or at least you know what you're aiming for. if you keep notes on the changes you make you may be able to narrow in a very specific taste and maybe even find something more enjoyable. my tastes have migrated quite a bit, when I first started I was trying to reproduce a starbucks latte now I can hardly stomach those things. you like what you like and that's the only goal that matters but as you develop some of your technique and style expect it to change down the road.

ping279

#5: Post by ping279 »

I have the same grinder and similar machine as you, the only difference being I have the dual boiler breville. It definitely depends on the beans but I am consistently pulling shots around the 40 sec mark. Like others mentioned, if you're including pre infusion time in that number then your actual brew time is less. Recently I've changed my pre infusion to 10 sec and do 19g in, 38 out, in 40 sec +/- a couple seconds. That puts the brew time for me kind of at the 30 second mark. Any less and the sour, acidic flavors really show. Follow your taste buds and don't try to fit within a certain time window. I've seen others on here talk about 50+ sec shots that are delicious.