Interesting article: Barista vs. Volumetrics - Page 2

Beginner and pro baristas share tips and tricks.
cpreston

Postby cpreston » Mar 28, 2013, 1:42 pm

It could be called fussy I suppose, but weighing the shot adds only 3-5 seconds to my routine. I put the cup on a Triton T2 (cover removed), put both on the drip tray, hit the tare button. I stop the shot a couple of grams early to allow for response time of the scale.

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yakster

Postby yakster » Mar 28, 2013, 4:01 pm

This becomes a tricker proposition with a lever where you pull the cup instead of stopping the shot. I have put the scale down on the drip tray with the clear plastic lid facing up to catch any spilled espresso and the cup on top of that.
-Chris

LMWDP # 272

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Bob_McBob

Postby Bob_McBob » Mar 28, 2013, 4:10 pm

cpreston wrote:I put the cup on a Triton T2


I also use this scale. I have tried a number of different pocket digital scales for espresso, and the Triton T2 is by far the best. The update speed of the display and the horizontal orientation of the platform make it incredibly well-suited to the task. I would strongly recommend this model to anyone who wants to weigh their shots or doesn't like their current scale.

Note: The newer Triton T3 has a higher capacity, but doesn't perform as well, unfortunately.

yakster wrote:This becomes a tricker proposition with a lever where you pull the cup instead of stopping the shot. I have put the scale down on the drip tray with the clear plastic lid facing up to catch any spilled espresso and the cup on top of that.


I use a spring lever exclusively right now, and every shot is weighed. It's not too hard to pull away the cup and scale simultaneously and let the rest of the shot run into the drip tray.
Chris

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another_jim
Team HB

Postby another_jim » Mar 28, 2013, 5:03 pm

Personally, I think being exact on dose and grind adds quality to the shot, whereas being exact on the shot's weight detracts from quality.

The reason is simple: shot quality is not about how concentrated a shot is (brew ratio); but about how well the solids have been extracted. The precise combination of dose and weight determines the rate of flow and most of the extraction yield. However, by making sure shots are stopped only after they have fully blonded; you add an extra layer of control to assure yourself a full solids extraction.

I need to make a personal mea culpa here. When we all started to talk about blonding many years ago, we though you could go too blond, and told b people to avoid light marks in the crema. But the truth is you can't go too blond. You can make the shot needlessly weak; but you can't really overextract by using too much water (that is more a question of heat and pressure). Heather Perry (the only two time USBC champ) taught us this; she always took all her shots to a fairly clear point.

The consistency LM is measuring is not taste consistency but weight consistency. It doesn't take an Einstein to figure out that using a scale will make that better; it also doesn't take an Einstein to know that engineers have a weakness for taking precision to self-defeating lengths -- by making a process very precise in terms of the measurements actually taken at the cost of subverting the very qualities those measurements are supposed to represent.

Another example: varying pressure to assure a smooth flow adds another layer of control over extraction. If LM had announced that constant pressure is always "far more consistent" than variable pressure, would you take that seriously?
Jim Schulman

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Bob_McBob

Postby Bob_McBob » Mar 28, 2013, 5:28 pm

The blog post is talking about extraction yield consistency. The shots were weighed to provide the beverage weight to calculate extraction from a TDS reading. I don't really follow anything in your reply unless you are categorically rejecting the notion that extraction yield is a meaningful measure of anything related to espresso, which is a whole different level of discussion.
Chris

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RapidCoffee
Team HB

Postby RapidCoffee » Mar 28, 2013, 6:59 pm

If you are concerned with extraction yield consistency, then using a flowmeter (or scale) to monitor the exact amount of brew water that passes through the puck makes sense.

But if you are concerned with taste, I agree with Jim. Consistent and accurate coffee dosing is far more important than precise measurement of shot weight. I weigh every coffee dose. I only weigh the shot when I'm testing coffees for H-B.

From Is there legitimacy in this kind of dose imprecision?
another_jim wrote:A few grams on the shot's weight has less impact on taste than a few tenths gram on the dose.
John

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another_jim
Team HB

Postby another_jim » Mar 28, 2013, 7:18 pm

Bob_McBob wrote:The blog post is talking about extraction yield consistency. The shots were weighed to provide the beverage weight to calculate extraction from a TDS reading. I don't really follow anything in your reply unless you are categorically rejecting the notion that extraction yield is a meaningful measure of anything related to espresso, which is a whole different level of discussion.


I didn't realize they were calculating extractions. Nevertheless, while I don't reject the concept of calculating extraction from TDS; I think the current tech for doing this is far less accurate in terms of taste than just letting the shot blonde and tasting the result. But that is another story.

My more general point is very simple. Some espresso variables correlate directly and atemporally to taste; others correlate via complex differential equations. The ones that correlate directly should be set accurately at the outset; the ones that are bouncy-bounce systems should be regulated closed loop. That's why I weigh doses, but regulate the blonding (and now the flow) by eye.

Once LM comes out with flow and marginal extraction regulators, I'll happily buy their superauto. Then, I'll make a living letting people subscribe to get the proper brewing data for each new coffee. :P
Jim Schulman

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TheSunInsideYou

Postby TheSunInsideYou » Mar 28, 2013, 7:23 pm

another_jim wrote:I need to make a personal mea culpa here. When we all started to talk about blonding many years ago, we though you could go too blond, and told b people to avoid light marks in the crema. But the truth is you can't go too blond. You can make the shot needlessly weak; but you can't really overextract by using too much water (that is more a question of heat and pressure). Heather Perry (the only two time USBC champ) taught us this; she always took all her shots to a fairly clear point.


Michael Phillips was also the USBC champ twice. I'm kind of taken aback by this statement. Your point here is completely contrary to any experience I've ever had. Just today I was dialing in a new SOE we got from Intelli, and the first shot I pulled had developed bitters and ashiness from a pull that I felt was too far into the blonding. Then I pulled it a little shorter, with less blonding, and the bitters had all but disappeared. I was using a Robur E with a full hopper and a Synesso Hydra with all of the group heads set to the same temperature. You have a lot more years of experience than I, so I am inclined to submit to a knowledge greater than my own, but I just cannot see how this could be true. I could be missing something, or maybe I'm misunderstanding what you're saying.

-Dave-
Caffeine is proof that God loves us.

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yakster

Postby yakster » Mar 28, 2013, 7:33 pm

The qualities in the liquid at the end of the shot may be changing in character depending on if you're using a declining pressure and/or temperature profile similar to a spring lever or something flatter.

I'm tempted now to draw out my shots on the La Peppina spring lever and compare this with drawn out shots on my Gaggia Factory manual lever.
-Chris

LMWDP # 272

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Bob_McBob

Postby Bob_McBob » Mar 28, 2013, 8:08 pm

another_jim wrote:Nevertheless, while I don't reject the concept of calculating extraction from TDS; I think the current tech for doing this is far less accurate in terms of taste than just letting the shot blonde and tasting the result. But that is another story.


Edit: Revising my thoughts on the subject as it relates to the discussion.
Chris