Pulling 'true' doubles - Page 5

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

#41: Post by John P »

There's not much to add to what's already been posted by Chris (Malachi), but...

I pull doubles, many doubles, day in and day out. Right now our espresso is a Single Origin Ethiopian Harrar Boldgrain. It works best at 16 g and 197 F for ~ 30 seconds and I probably get about 2.25 ounces per double. Last week our blend consisted of two Pulped Natural Brazils and a Washed Ethiopian Koratie, which pulls nicely at 17.5-18g at 199 for ~ 27 sec and yields maybe 1.75 ounces for the double.

As Chris mentioned, the notion that you can use one set of parameters to define what a double, a single, or even a ristretto is -- is ridiculous. The espresso may be 3 days old.... it may be eight days old... it may be Summer with the AC, it may be summer without the AC, it may be Winter, you may or may not have ceiling fans , etc. all of these can definitely affect the crema, and thus, the volume of your extraction. And as for how the beans and roast affect the temp and dose is another thread in itself.
malachi wrote:It's the taste in the cup that matters. Not the way it looks. Not the crema volume. Not the volume of the shot nor the time it takes to extract.
It's how it tastes.
Truer words have not been written.
John Piquet
Salt Lake City, UT
caffedbolla.com

Ken Fox

#42: Post by Ken Fox »

malachi wrote:Sure... you want to pull doubles that are 45-60ml in volume?
Here is my opinion which I'm sure a half dozen people are going to dispute but so be it.

2 - use a very high quality grinder. *

* I'd guess that something like a Max Hybrid is probably at the low end in this case.
That would be a "guess" that I would dispute. The Cimbali Max (the original one, of which I own 2 that I've modified slightly to eliminate the autogrind function plus the trap door on the chute) is clearly based on the original DRM grinder that Schomer raved about sometime ago. The original DRM version, as I understand it, had a 68mm planar burr, whereas the burrs of the Cimbali Max were downsized by about 6% to 64mm. Since the conical burr fits into the planar burr, presumably the conical burr that grinds the coffee before the planar burr is similarly downsized. Cimbali apparently owns what is left of DRM, or at least their patents. I believe there is a difference in motor speed between the old DRM and the newer Max, but for home use with very modest throughput I sincerely doubt that heat buildup is a real concern even with faster rpms on the Cimbali Max vs. the older DRM.

The DRM/ Cimbali Max design is not a slightly modified planar grinder. Anyone who would take 20 seconds to eyeball the 64mm planar burrs in a Max and to compare them to, say, the 64mm burrs from a Cimbali Jr. grinder, would see that the outer half of the Juniors burrs are used for crushing, and the inner half for slicing. With the Max, the entire crushing function (and then some) is born by the conical burrs, and the entire 64mm surface of the Max's conical burrs is for slicing, only.

I would not propose, for an instant, that Cimbali came up with the Max with the intention of making a grinder that produced better grinds for espresso. I think that this part was, honestly, an accident. The original Max was designed for a busy restaurant or small cafe type setting, as an autogrinder, where one has to assume that quality of grinds was of secondary importance and durability/throughput were primary. For some reason they took the old DRM hybrid burr design and put it into the body of what had been the old Cadet autogrinder, whose market niche was the same as the new Max's became.

Probably largely by accident, the derivation of the Max's burrset led to a lot of discussions on online fora having to do with this burrset, its derivation, and the possibility that it would produce some advantage in the cup, as many had thought was a quality of the original DRM burrset on which it was based.

I had an involvement in this relatively early on, when I was able to get TJ Tarateta (Ammirati Imports, a Cimbali distributor) to import a couple of the original Max's for me to play around with; prior to this point there had been a few of these floating around in North America, but not many. Before I bought these two original Max's, Jeff Sawdy got one off ebay, and later Dave (Canonfodder) found one as well.

Ultimately, Chris and Tj Tarateta decided to import a grinder with the guts of the Max grinder inside the body of the Junior grinder, minus the autogrind function and with a smaller hopper so it would fit under kitchen cabinets, hence the current supply of the "Hybrid Max" available from Chris.

I have one of these grinders as well, so I have 3 Max's in total.

In comparison, the original Max's are larger but they are better sound insulated and hence less noisy. The original models have a different adjustment setup with the knob on the right side rather than the front (as is also found on the Junior grinder). I find the original version more pleasant to use and adjust, but no real difference in function, with the hybrid "Chris'"version being smaller and fitting under kitchen counters.

As to grind quality, I consider it to be the equal of my Compak K10 WBC, which sits just next to my Chris' hybrid Max on my main kitchen counter. I don't think that there is a dime's worth of difference in grind quality among any of my 4 grinders.

The Cimbali Max, like other commercial machines and grinders made by Cimbali, is bulletproof.

So, at least in my opinion, the Max is not some sort of "just makes the grade" budget version of a very high end grinder. It is simply, a very high end grinder with superb grind quality that happens to be a very good deal in comparison to other choices available in the marketplace at this particular moment. If I were a home user in search of the most bang for the buck, I'd buy the hybrid Max from Chris. If I were operating a cafe or other commercial setting, I'd find the greater throughput of the Compak to be a real plus and were I deciding between these two grinders, Í'd lean towards the Compak.

You really can't go wrong with either of these grinders and for virtually any home user, either of them would be a dream grinder.

ken
What, me worry?

Alfred E. Neuman, 1955

Ken Fox

#43: Post by Ken Fox »

malachi wrote:88c = 190.4F
the +/-2c gives you a range of 186.8F to 194.0F

Stumptown Hairbender is commonly brewed at 197F to 200F (depending on style)
Vivace Dolce at 203.5F
Ecco Caffe Reserve at 201.5F
49th Parallel Epic at 200F
Etc

14g double rules out almost any "new american" style espresso blends (From Hairbender through Black Cat and so on). It also rules out most blends used in USBC and WBC comps. It also rules out a ton of high grown washed SO espressos.
Most of these coffees are best at doses between 17 and 20 grams for a double so we're talking about a significant variance as a percentage of dose.

Even the 50ml (1.7oz) double doesn't work for some great coffees. There are a bunch of coffees (James Hoffmann has written a little about this) where stopping the flow earlier kills the top end of the coffee resulting in imbalance. These coffees regularly are pulled at 2oz to 2.25oz. Coffees like the Cuvee Coffee Meritage are pulled at 1oz to less than that for a double.


The Vivace Dolce is a seminal american espresso. It has played a huge part in the development of speciality espresso in NA. If you had the world's greatest barista dose 14 grams into a double basket (ground on a 3 phase Robur fine enough to give you the 50ml in 25 second), then had them pull a full 1.7oz of it - on a completely tricked out Synesso running at 194F.... I am 100% certain the result would be entirely undrinkable.

So... is it really a good idea to tell people who are just learning what espresso should be like - who are just learning how to make espresso - who are working with entry level equipment -- that THIS is what they should do?
In the end you have to decide what you like and what you don't like; it is a bit too much to try to tell someone who likes White Zinfandel that White Zinfandel is crap (certainly my opinion but not something I'd want to tell someone who has just discovered wine as a beverage. I would hope that their taste might "improve" given a bit of time to experience other things).

Where I would take issue with this "American Espresso" business is the notion, long crammed down the throats of American wannabee home baristas, that "seminal American Espresso" is an "advance" of any sort, whatsoever. It is an approach, among many, that you might like, tolerate, or detest. My personal opinion tends much more towards the latter two than the former :mrgreen:

My personal home espresso adventure grew up in an atmosphere (mostly on alt.coffee) where it was assumed that the way things were being done in North America were an improvement on decades of experience in Italy, and that this was the way that a person in the know would proceed, e.g. updosed shots made with what passes for marquee blends from the cafes that we have all heard about repeatedly. I don't agree with that notion; there are other ways, in fact easier ways, to get good shots using other sorts of coffees (SOs or simple blends) that are not designed to be in your face or to demand to be updosed in order to be appreciated.

And it took me a very long time to gain the self confidence to realize that maybe the Italians weren't as "dumb" as we had all assumed on alt.coffee, but rather that maybe they had just decided that this was the way that they preferred to do it?

And, we can mix and match among these techniques. There is nothing to stop you from using higher quality coffees than the Italians use (as I do) but with their basic technique, which to my taste gives the best of both worlds, with an easygoing methodology (no dissecting needles, no handstand tamps, no cursing) to boot.

ken
What, me worry?

Alfred E. Neuman, 1955

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malachi

#44: Post by malachi »

Ken Fox wrote: You really can't go wrong with either of these grinders and for virtually any home user, either of them would be a dream grinder.
Hey... I'm a huge Cimbali / DRM fan. It's what I prefer.
My saying it's the minimum... I'm not saying it's not incredible. I'm simply saying it or things like the Robur et al are your choice.
"Taste is the only morality." -- John Ruskin

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malachi

#45: Post by malachi »

Ken Fox wrote: Where I would take issue with this "American Espresso" business is the notion, long crammed down the throats of American wannabee home baristas, that "seminal American Espresso" is an "advance" of any sort, whatsoever. It is an approach, among many, that you might like, tolerate, or detest.
If you like it - it's an advance.
If you don't - it's not.

Pretty simple really.

Taste is entirely personal and subjective. And since coffee is about taste... well... you can see where I'm going with this.
"Taste is the only morality." -- John Ruskin

Ken Fox

#46: Post by Ken Fox »

malachi wrote:Hey... I'm a huge Cimbali / DRM fan. It's what I prefer.
My saying it's the minimum... I'm not saying it's not incredible. I'm simply saying it or things like the Robur et al are your choice.
And as I stated in that other thread, I'd really love to see Chris N. send Dan a loaner Max Hybrid, to compare with the Compak K10 and the Robur. The results would be very interesting no matter what the outcome. Having no hands on experience whatsoever with the Robur, I'd like to know what I am missing.

ken
What, me worry?

Alfred E. Neuman, 1955

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peacecup

#47: Post by peacecup »

There has been a lot of discussion on this thread of what's better, and what equipment makes better espresso etc. I'm curious to know if anyone, besides Ken and Jim, has ever done any serious blind taste testing. Has anyone honestly ground two shots of the same beans on two different grinders, used the same espresso machine, and tasted the difference? For example, can anyone confidently identify a shot pulled on a Max vs a Robur with his eyes closed? It would surprise me if it were possible.

Once again, the "true" double was/is probably a commercial product, i.e. someone pays for 2 oz of espresso, and that's what they get. If you pay for a glass of wine you don't want the bartender to fill it halfway do you? Clearly, espresso has evolved well past this, but I suppose that is the origin, and where the original standards come from. 14g, 2 oz. It would be in the interest of the baristas to learn ways to make these as tasty as possible. I maintain it is an useful exercise for the home barista as well.
LMWDP #049
Hand-ground, hand-pulled: "hands down.."

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malachi

#48: Post by malachi »

Ken Fox wrote:And as I stated in that other thread, I'd really love to see Chris N. send Dan a loaner Max Hybrid, to compare with the Compak K10 and the Robur. The results would be very interesting no matter what the outcome. Having no hands on experience whatsoever with the Robur, I'd like to know what I am missing.
I've never had the chance to do a comparo head to head (and agree that I would love to see one).
But I've worked on a Max and an Alinox - as well as a Robur.

In a low volume (ie home or slow bar) environment, I think I'd slightly prefer the Alinox over all others. It's a PITA to maintain and wastes more coffee than the Max (though less than the Robur) but I (personally) love the shots I get from it. I think the Robur seems to result in the second best shots and the Max is third (though not by a lot).

Once the volume goes up... it's all Robur all the time.

The above comments are just my opinion and are based on my own personal tastes and my own personal opinion of what espresso is.
"Taste is the only morality." -- John Ruskin

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malachi

#49: Post by malachi »

peacecup wrote:There has been a lot of discussion on this thread of what's better, and what equipment makes better espresso etc. I'm curious to know if anyone, besides Ken and Jim, has ever done any serious blind taste testing.
Yes.
peacecup wrote:Has anyone honestly ground two shots of the same beans on two different grinders, used the same espresso machine, and tasted the difference?
Yes.
peacecup wrote:For example, can anyone confidently identify a shot pulled on a Max vs a Robur with his eyes closed? It would surprise me if it were possible.
As noted above - I've never done a head to head with the Max and the Robur.
But I've done this with a lot of other grinders. And believe me... there are literally hundreds of coffee professionals who have done this as well (in many cases for years now).
I've even done it "double blind" (runners unaware of which shots were from which grinders; tasters equally unaware).

The vast majority of experienced coffee tasters (not always professionals, of course) can easily identify that two shots come from different grinders. Over the course of a number of shots, they can be reasonably accurate identifying shots from "Grinder A" versus "Grinder B" (grouping).
I doubt many (if any) can say (blind) "that shot was from a Robur" if they didn't know that one of the grinders being used was a Robur.
peacecup wrote:It would be in the interest of the baristas to learn ways to make these as tasty as possible.
I don't get it.
Why?
What's the point?
The goal is to make good tasting drinks - not drinks of a certain volume that are as good tasting as you could get at that volume. That's just a arbitrary constraint that is likely to negatively impact flavour in the cup. And why would you want that?
peacecup wrote:I maintain it is an useful exercise for the home barista as well.
Why?


The above comments are just my opinion and are based on my own personal tastes and my own personal opinion of what espresso is.
"Taste is the only morality." -- John Ruskin

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Viernes

#50: Post by Viernes »

Sorry if I do not understand correctly but... this thread (well, first post) means that is harder to get a good shot from 14g/50ml/25sec than a "non true double", right? What's the size of the "non true" double? 17gr? 90ml? 30sec?. Thanks.