A few hints from Heather Perry - Page 2

Beginner and pro baristas share tips and tricks for making espresso.
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Marshall (original poster)

#11: Post by Marshall (original poster) »

EspressoObsessed wrote:Where does this leave those of us who underdose, either because we have Rocky/Silvia combinations or follow the advice in this thread: Basket Overdosing; time for a serious re-evaluation!? Leveling isn't possible at lower doses, and Ken's advice to grind really, really fine and use a minimal tamp doesn't seem to work for R&S. I'll keep my dissecting needle.
You can level with your pinkie without filling to the top. I do.
Los Angeles

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#12: Post by Psyd »

EspressoObsessed wrote:Where does this leave those of us who underdose, because we have Rocky/Silvia combinations
I dose level, and I use the Rocky/Silvia combo at my girlfriends house. I use the LM style baskets leveled with a Stockfleths, and I'm getting absolutely rock-solid excellent results.
Espresso Sniper
One Shot, One Kill

LMWDP #175

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Team HB

#13: Post by cannonfodder »

There are as many ways to level your dose as there are home baristas. It is simply a matter of what works for you. I find that with a below the rim dose, the method that I use, and apparently Heather as well, works well for me.
Dave Stephens


#14: Post by k7qz »

cannonfodder wrote:That works especially well when properly dosing a 14-15gram dose which is well below the rim of the basket. I then simply knock off the top of the center mound, thump the portafilter on the tamping stand 3 times to settle out the grounds then do a light tamp with a no pressure tamper spin to polish. No fuss and perfect almost every time. And I did away with the portafilter tap between tamps, one tamp and no tap tap.
Interesting. My routine mirrors Dave's exactly. Maybe it's "great minds think alike"? :wink: OTOH, it could be that this is the "diet" an A3 seems to prefer-

It also reinforces a belief that I have only recently come to hold (largely due to Ken's "time for a re-evaluation" thread), which Heather seems to champion as well (no pun intended! :lol: ), at least as I understand her via Marshall's nice summary OP. IOW, the less one "disturbs" the grinds in the basket prior to pulling the shot, the more consistent (and hence better) the results are in the cup- as long as we are comparing grinders & machines in the same category. That is to say, my decaf grinder is a little DL Rocky and this grinder produces clumped grounds to such a degree that it seems to benefit from a little WDT action.

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Team HB

#15: Post by RapidCoffee »

I've never had the honor of watching Heather pull shots. However, notes from Mike at Coffee Klatch indicate she favors high doses, at least during competitions:
Heather believes all perform best with great crema using a bit of a dose up method. She uses about 22+ grams and runs just at or under an ounce (till it begins to change to blond) in 26 to 27 seconds with the machine at 201.
"All" refers to four Coffee Klatch espresso blends, all world class: House Espresso, Belle Espresso, USBC Blend and WBC Blend. I believe that "ounce" may be per spout (for a total of two ounces), but I'm not sure.

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#16: Post by jesawdy »

Regarding Coffee Klatch recommended dosing:
RapidCoffee wrote:I believe that "ounce" may be per spout (for a total of two ounces), but I'm not sure.
It does indeed mean two ounces.

I am of the opinion that once you get a good enough grinder, most of the rituals we subscribe to are not usually necessary. With the Mazzer Super Jolly and the Cimbali Max which I have been using for several months now, (both with dosers), there seems to be no difference in the quality of the drink if I "thwack, thwack" the doser, or just let it fill for about 10 seconds and then dose. Finger level, NSEW level, Stockfleth's, jostle level (for a lower dose), WDT, they are yield similarly good results.

I may get the occasional self healing spritzy, but most of my bottomless pours look good.
Jeff Sawdy

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#17: Post by TimEggers »

I've been sticking with the grind, dose, and level tamp myself with great results. I am finding though that I am using slightly higher doses but the espresso remains excellent. I also have my machine dialed down to a low 7.75 bar too so this may compensate the attack quotient for me.

Before the higher doses were too aggressive for my tastes, now with the lower pressures I am able to use more coffee, get the gloppy slow pours (that don't channel at all) that result in sweet chocolaty syrup. Yum, man this is fun!

Dave my routine almost mirrors yours. I have even better results when I removed my portafilter holding fork (as you mention) and am able to hold the portafilter even lower. Each thwack of the doser sends a grounds "spray" that almost covers the entire basket at once. A few thwacks like this a quick level and tamp and I'm pulling the best gloppy tasty shots of my life.
Tim Eggers
LMWDP #202


#18: Post by Randii »

Today I had the honor and pleasure of taking Heather's home barista class. Heather helped me to refine my technique, cleaned up a lot of bad habits and bad advice I had acquired, and got rid of a lot of extraneous tools I thought I needed to make espresso. She taught me to work intuitively with the coffee, without the various "crutches" that newbies tend to depend on, like scales, timers, thermometers and yoghurt cups.

Heather taught me how to look carefully at a puck to understand how the espresso is extracting and to help clean up my distribution and tamping technique. She even taught me how to froth milk in only two tries, which I thought would take hours for me to learn! Heather taught me how to pour latte art, which I had never attempted (I will be practicing so I can show her a perfect heart!).

Heather is an excellent teacher and I would highly recommend her classes. There are things that you just can't learn on your own. Reading about espresso technique and watching videos only gets you so far. You need the experience of being taught directly by a real master of the art, to completely develop your skills. Someone who can perfect your technique and make changes as needed. I learned more in the few hours I spent with Heather than I have learned in all months I have spent trying to learn on my own.

Heather reminded me that espresso is an *art* as well as a science. Once you throw all of the extraneous tools away, you step into the realm of art.

Thank You Heather for a wonderful experience!



#19: Post by Randii »

Oh, and Marshall,

Heather still thinks you should re-consider that GS/3! :lol:



#20: Post by Beezer »

Thanks for posting your experience with Heather's class, Randii. I considered taking her class myself. In fact, my wife asked me if she should get me the class as a 40th birthday present, which I thought was a great idea, but a bit too pricey. Now I'm wondering if maybe I should have taken her up on her generous offer.
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