Re: Espresso 101: Adjusting By Taste...

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

#1: Post by exidrion »

Hello all,

When doing this exercise and one reaches the section "How to adjust dose and grind to fix the balance for most coffees", is it correct to assume that the output and time remain the same 20-25 gram weight in 30 seconds as done in grinder calibration?

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#2: Post by another_jim »

Note: there are some precsion baskets, like VSTs, that are unfriendly to dose changes. The procedure presupposes baskets that can use a wide range of doses.

Imagine a graph with dose and grind fineness as the axis. Then there is a single line with a negative slope (higher dose + coarser grind versus lower dose and finer grind) that will conserve the same brew ration in the same shot time. In practice, since coffee changes, this line will be more or less fat zone. However, the exact quantities are not all that important; what is important is to be able to use ths same basket and get reasonable shots with lower dose/finer grind or higher dose/coarser grind combinations.

When you campare these shots you will find that the the higher dose/coarser girnd shots are less extracted than the lower dose/finer grind shots. This means the coarser grind/higher dose shots will have more pronounced bitters and acids, and less body, buffers, caramels, and other middle or comfort food elements. The opposite holds for finer grind/lower dose shots.

You can use this to adjust how edgy or laid back your shots will be. Temperature changes can slightly change the acid/bitter balance; but that is moslty about the roast and coffee.

Having flow profiling lets you get away from the single dose/grind line and explore the state space as a whole. In general, very light roasts sometimes benefit from updosing with finer grinds and using long preinfusions at 2.5 to 3 bar to soften the puck and get a fast flow. Once you have this entire state space available, there's so many possibilties, that it's impossible to really characterize them all. My practice has been to shift the dose/grind line up for very light roasts, but to stay with the same tradeoff drill.
Jim Schulman