How many espresso "sink shots" do you pull? - Page 2

Beginner and pro baristas share tips and tricks.

How many espresso "sink shots" do you typically pull?

None
38
29%
1 out of 10
52
39%
2 out of 10
17
13%
3 out of 10
12
9%
4 or more out of 10
13
10%
 
Total votes: 132

User avatar
Psyd

#11: Post by Psyd »

Other than dialing in shots with a new bean or a fresher bean, hardly any. There are enough folk about that think my worst shots still kick any but two of the shops in Tucsons work that I can find a home for most of my shots. Quite often I'll drink a short shot, or a slightly long shot (usually not off by more'n five or seven seconds of optimal at the most) just to keep me in touch with what's good, and what's better. I've discovered that I tend to like shots that run slow and take a bit longer. Not with all coffee's, but enough to notice a trend. Gushers go in the sink, but I don't get a lot of those, and 'super ristretti' :? (ten seconds or more into the shot and nothing in the cup yet) can survive if you cut off the front-end, and still be enjoyable, actually.
Most espresso is either too precious to let it go, or a learning tool. I've taken sips of pulls that I thought were horrible as they were on their way to the sink, and I've usually been right!
Espresso Sniper
One Shot, One Kill

LMWDP #175

User avatar
narc

#12: Post by narc »

True sink shots have become less and less an occurance. But I've become little more cynical, critical, picky or whatever. So I voted on 2 or 10. Since 2 of 10 shots I would be embarressed to serve to anyone considering my comments about good espresso and the gear I have on my counter.
LMWDP #151

User avatar
Ardvaark

#13: Post by Ardvaark »

I usually toss a few when I'm dialing on a new bean. Otherwise, I'm pretty reluctant to toss a shot, unless it's downright undrinkable. I think of each pull as another lesson to be learned.

Also, beans are expensive! And while this is hardly a hobby for the destitute, I'd rather not end up there. :wink:

User avatar
Jasonian

#14: Post by Jasonian »

I'm almost always trying a new coffee (and not always a pleasant one).

That having been said, every shot is a learning experience, no matter how foul it may appear to be before tasting (and often, it looks better than it is).

Usually sink shots aren't due to user error, though. Usually it's just a bad(unfavorable?) batch of coffee :x
Owner - AJ Coffee Company
HB Rocks!

User avatar
Marshall

#15: Post by Marshall »

On my Zaffiro, 1 in 30. On my imaginary GS3, 1 in 75.
Marshall
Los Angeles

User avatar
HB
Admin

#16: Post by HB »

Given the constant stream of requests for diagnostic assistance, I'm surprised by the low sink shot rate. And it's noteworthy that the anonymous home page poll of the same question is garnering less flattering results. Maybe the active forum members have higher skills than lurkers (or think they do)?

As an example, today I pulled six shots of Paradise Roasters Espresso Corleone ("Southern Italian Style Espresso"). It's a dark roast with evident oils, so I targeted lower temperatures and dosed 15 grams. There were no true sink shots in the session; using the 0 to 6.0 scale, the lowest was a 2.0 and the highest was nearly a 4.0. Most were around 2.5 to 3.0 and I only sipped them a couple times. I was a bit more critical since it's a new blend and I wanted to run the gambit of grind settings (a range of ~2.5 notches on a Mazzer Mini E).

All things considered, I answered 2 out of 10 espressos are sink bound. Not because the sinked pulls were substandard, but because I thought that I could do better and had enough coffee to try again. When switching blends, I'll be lucky to hit the zone on the second shot (i.e., at least a 2.5), but usually am in the ballpark by the third. The next 20+ attempts before the bag is empty are for chasing after the +4.0 espresso. On days that I'm not testing and not feeling so critical, I'll only pull two or three shots and am happy to not think about scores.
Dan Kehn

User avatar
Psyd

#17: Post by Psyd »

HB wrote:it's noteworthy that the anonymous home page poll of the same question is garnering less flattering results. Maybe the active forum members have higher skills than lurkers (or think they do)?

The next 20+ attempts are chasing after the +4.0 espresso. On days that I'm not testing and not feeling so critical, I'll only pull two or three shots and am happy to not think about scores.
I do gotta say that there are some of us that aren't quite the 'Home Barista' that some of the others are. I have two machines, four if you count anything in mothballs (mokapot and a steamtoy!) which I don't, and that's because I have a travel kit. I'm betting that a large percentage of the posters here only have the one, and lurkers almost entirely.
I pull most of my shots to dial in a new blend or with the sole purpose of having a drink. If I'm testing a new technique, it's to see what I can do with the next drink. I'll adjust as I get to the next time I want a drink, but I'll not sink it because it's not good, I'll only sink it if it's bad. There is a small grey area between the two, and drinking the effort tells me lots about the new technique, and where to go from there. If it really sucks, I'll sink it and start again. Most of us will, and there are really only a few (if I'm getting any of this right) that will pull six or eight shots in a row just to see what they can do. Or get out the Scanning Electron Microscope, the plotting thermocouple/laptop combo, or the barometrically calculating flux capacitor! I'm just a guy that want to make drinks, that, truthfully, lets the more adventurous (and caffeinated! :wink:) amongst us go do all of the serious research and page down to the bottom to see the results. If they look good, I'll tweak my next drink in that direction.
I've gotten to the point that if it doesn't suck, then I'm happy. Sure, I'll hope for more, and take the advice of the sages that post here and see if I can get it to work, but I think that most home baristi (as opposed to the Home Baristi, if you get my drift) are like I am. If the result is drinkable, drink it and move on.
I wish I had the time, beans, money and ambition.
Espresso Sniper
One Shot, One Kill

LMWDP #175

User avatar
Marshall

#18: Post by Marshall »

HB wrote:As an example, today I pulled six shots of Paradise Roasters Espresso Corleone ("Southern Italian Style Espresso"). It's a dark roast with evident oils, so I targeted lower temperatures and dosed 15 grams.
One way I keep my sink shot ratio low is by avoiding roasts I am unlikely to enjoy, such as oily, dark roasts. :D

That being said, I regularly rotate 5 or 6 blends with which I am familiar, with an occasional experiment. The "experiments," of course, have lower success rates until I become familiar with their requirements.
Marshall
Los Angeles

User avatar
HB
Admin

#19: Post by HB »

Marshall wrote:One way I keep my sink shot ratio low is by avoiding roasts I am unlikely to enjoy, such as oily, dark roasts.
Pshaw! Some roasters have the skill to pull off a good dark roasted coffee and I believe they're worth trying.

Years ago the range of coffees I enjoyed was quite narrow. I characterize my preferences of that time as "comfort blends" (lots of chocolates, heavy body, simple). Today I find those same coffees good, but uninteresting. I'm in the mood for change, so I have a standing monthly order with Paradise Roasters for whatever Miguel decides. It pushes me out of my comfortable rut and the orders have included dark roasted coffees. I've had a few that were very good.
Dan Kehn

loydb

#20: Post by loydb »

I went with 1 in 10. It's probably less, but every now and then I'll have somehow managed to misread the triple-beam, or tamp like a girly-man, or have the grinder mis-set, and the shot will blow through in 10 seconds.

loyd