How to get a big cuppa joe?

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

#1: Post by audio-a »

I'm about to buy a Breville Barista Express. I know I can use the double filter for a double shot, but is there a downside to allowing it to run more water through? I love settling down with a big cup of coffee in the morning - I use an oversized mug every day. I know how to brew a long black/americano, but what would happen if I ran more water through the shot? Or should I just do two double-shots and get the best pulls possible?

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#2: Post by keno »

If you pull a double shot with more water it will get bitter due to overextraction as well as weak. If you want a larger volume espresso based drink you are better off pulling a double and then adding water to make an Americano - the result will be weaker but not bitter. Or you can pull additional shots if you prefer a larger volume of a full strength espresso drink.

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#3: Post by another_jim »

audio-a wrote: is there a downside to allowing it to run more water through? I love settling down with a big cup of coffee in the morning
It's called a cafe crema, you can Google it. The downside is that you have to set the grinder somewhat coarser than for regular espresso shots. The alternative is an americano (google this as well), which is a double shot worth hot water added. One way to conveniently get the hot water is to steam heat it with the wand. Good luck.
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#4: Post by Nunas »

Generally, one makes an Americano to get a cuppa Joe. But, hey, it's your machine and your taste buds. There is an easy test you can do to get a good idea of what will happen if you pour significantly longer shots. Get four or five shot glasses and a strip of rigid wood, metal or or plastic. Arrange the shot glasses in a line on the strip the first one under the portafilter (if you don't have a single spout just remove the double), the remainder 'downstream'. Start the machine and pull the shot glasses through the stream so that the first part of the shot goes into the first glass, the second in the next and so on. Run a good long shot...say 50 seconds. Taste the coffee in each glass. You'll get a good idea of the tastes that will be added by the additional coffee pulled.

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#5: Post by audio-a (original poster) »

Thanks. Sounds like my only option is to pull two double-shots back to back and adding hot water/milk to taste after. I'm trying to decide if I'll be happier with a superautomatic that will make it easier to get as much as I want each morning, or if I'll be able to get a decent-sized mug from a double-double shot from a semi before I settle down with my cup for the morning.

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#6: Post by Nunas »

I do two double shots back to back every morning, split two ways for two standard cappuccinos. So, if you don't split that would fit a decent sized mug, especially if you add a bit of hot water. Sometimes I also want a big cup of joe later on. In this case, I use my triple basket, hot water to make an americano, and foamed make a kind of a thinned out latte. Works for me.

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#7: Post by cannonfodder »

A cafe crema, which is your run a lot of water through the puck option, is like a brewed coffee. You open up the grind which slows the extraction rate allowing you to get more water passed through the coffee bed before you start over extracting. Those single serve K-cups essentially do this to speed brew a cup of coffee in 40 or so seconds. Unfortunately you would have to change your grind all the time going from an espresso to cafe crema. You could always get an aeropress or siphon pot.
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#8: Post by lagoon »

Or a second grinder


#9: Post by entropy4money »

just get a cheap grinder that can grind coarse and do a long pull. You can get the hario skerton for about $30, it is really fast for coarse grinds. You just have to get a spring that fits the shaft to stabilize it, very easy and cheap thing to do. I love espresso, and nothing tastes better than that. But during the winter times, I feel like having a big cup of warm coffee too :p. I think french press coffee tastes better than cafe crema, but I guess that's personal preference.

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#10: Post by audio-a (original poster) »

I think I'm set on the semi-automatic (Breville BES870XL) and pulling two doubles, add hot water/steamed milk to taste and settling down for the morning with that. I've been doing a simple pour-over into my mug and adding cold soymilk so this can only be an improvement. :) Although, I will experiment with the cafe crema option - sounds intriguing.