Is the first shot of the day really considered not as good? - Page 2

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

#11: Post by barry »

awww, c'mon. ;) the first shot is just a wake-me-up so we can make the second shot w/o fumbling around. if you drink the first, you'll better appreciate the quality of the second! :lol: besides, someone took the time to pick those beans, the least we can do is take the time to drink the brew!

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cannonfodder
Team HB

#12: Post by cannonfodder »

Before each shot I give the grinder a quick one second pulse to clean out some to the stale grinds. Those get dumped into a container and if I need to pull a garbage shot, I use those discarded grinds. I dont often dump the first shot anyway. Exception being after a detergent cleaning, the first one goes right into the drip tray. I did not say I dump the first shot, just that those are the reasons why one may opt for it. I usually do several flushes in the morning to stabilize the machine. Once excessively long one to flush out everything and get the temp down, then gather the stuff for whatever drink I am making, flush again, grind/dose/tamp, flush to brew temperature and pull my shot. That is the price you pay for a heat exchanger, got to flush the water and thank heavens for a plumbed in machine.
Dave Stephens

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Spitz.me

#13: Post by Spitz.me »

cannonfodder wrote:I think about every reason the second shot would be better has been covered. Stale grinds in the grinder chute from the previous day, the oils from the previous days shots cooked on and spoiled on the grouphead which gets purged off with the first shot of the day, a freshly cleaned machine often benefits from being seasoned after the cleaning to coat the brass with oils and remove any leftover detergent and kill any metallic flavors you may get from the metal. The machine also tends to stabilize after the first shot. The brew path has been brought up to temperature, the water in the system is fresh and the machine is simply happier the second time around.
Do we actually believe that hot water can purge off 'baked' on coffee oils from previous days shots considering we use Cafiza and similar products to properly clean our machines? I think more proper is that we coat the bad coat with a good coat. Also, I think a really nice flush in the morning helps me, so I don't need to sink a shot unless I've pulled everything all wrong.
LMWDP #670

mitch236
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#14: Post by mitch236 »

I haven't tasted my first shot of the day in a long time! I have a routine that I follow every morning. When I get to the machine (which I leave on 24/7), I grind a double (19gm currently), run it into the drain while I get my "wet" towel ready and fill my pitcher with cold milk. Then I take out the pf, quickly brush the screen, knock out the puck, wipe the screen with the "wet" towel, dry the pf with the dry towel and pull my drink shot. I clean my machine (without detergent) daily so when I start every morning, everything is clean!

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cannonfodder
Team HB

#15: Post by cannonfodder »

Spitz.me wrote:Do we actually believe that hot water can purge off 'baked' on coffee oils from previous days shots considering we use Cafiza and similar products to properly clean our machines? I think more proper is that we coat the bad coat with a good coat. Also, I think a really nice flush in the morning helps me, so I don't need to sink a shot unless I've pulled everything all wrong.
Not sure where you got that idea. Water alone will not remove the old coffee oils. However, a garbage shot will remove some of the old oils. Oil will dissolve oil, hence the first shot of the day goes down the drain. That shot helps to dissolve a lot of the old oils and recoat everything with fresh oil. Most of the time, I simply don't worry about it and the first shot of the day gets consumed, usually in milk. The second shot is usually straight up. The question was why would the second shot be better than the first. This is one of the possible reasons.
Dave Stephens

jerryf

#16: Post by jerryf »

What I typically do after any series of shots is:
  • flush grounds from the screen and group both with blind portafilter (wiggle) and without;
  • water backflush two or three times;
  • wipe the screen and group underside with a paper kitchen towel folded to fit snugly between screen and group wall;
  • blank portafilter wiggle flush, filling the blind filter and lightly locking the PF to keep the screen soaking in water until the next use.
With that cleaning protocol I find that whenever I remove the blind PF from the group the water it contains is inevitably brown and sometimes contains grounds. I really can't comment on the quality of the first shot since my technique is sometimes inconsistent but the shots are rarely objectionable.

Jerry

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cafeIKE
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#17: Post by cafeIKE »

For those who feel the first shot is fine, try this test :

For 1 week sink the first shot. When you now drink the first shot, if it tastes as well as the past week then drink it. If not...

darilon

#18: Post by darilon »

My first shot of the day are on average not as good as subsequent shots, but not usually to the point of sinking them, especially since my first shot of the day usually goes into a cap and the milk is good at masking the slightly bitter over temp first shot if I haven't flushed properly. The rest of the 'first shot' variables can be managed: clean out stale grounds, do a proper backflush/clean at the end of the previous day to avoid rancid oil residue (besides, if you flush up to 6 oz total in the process of getting your hx machine evenly heated up, how many of those are left for the first shot anyway?). A first shot is not voodoo - the same principals apply to every shot. I've had a bit of a problem with not just the first shot in the last week because I had a couple weeks without a machine. I had to remember all the little things that went into the process before things started to get good and consistent.

Javacat

#19: Post by Javacat »

The first shot of the day in my experience has almost always been the best one. I think as long as you are cleaning the screen and the basket really well between shots though, the following shots can be as good. I have found that a screen and basket can foul rather quickly as the oils bake onto the surfaces. I now make it a routine to always pop out the baskets and scrub down with Cafiza and also diligently scrub and backflush the group if the machine has sat for longer than about 20 minutes. I have definitely noticed a much greater clarity to my shots since I've paid more attention to this. Same for the grinder - a lot of grinds can get trapped in crevices and every day they should be swept out and brushed. All grinders will trap stale coffee that will slowly make it's way into your shots. I think the cleanliness issue is not given enough attention to home baristas. It is definitely much more important than to a busy cafe that are in constant usage all day.

kurt

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Benjammer

#20: Post by Benjammer »

I had a good first shot today, usually I only do 1 doubleshot and make it into a cappa.
I did use a fresh never used VST basket. No coffee oils on that. Although I usually flush with water, and then clean my portafilter with a light soap solution to get rid of any oils that may accumulate on it. I don't think that was a factor.