Recommended brew ratio for flat whites/cappuccinos - Page 2

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

#11: Post by Moxiechef »

When you've got time, try an experiment.

Pull three shots in your 10oz cups.
Steam a large volume of milk, at least 450g.
Then, on a scale, pour into each cup, 100g, 125g & 150g. When pouring, pour from high up so that the milk stirs in all the espresso and crema. This will help level the playing field when you taste them, so you're not getting an initial shot of crema flavor on your tongue.
Give them a taste.

If the 100g milk is still too weak, you might need to put two shots in your flat white/cap. But you should be able to see what your desired ratio is.


#12: Post by jdrobison »

Jeff wrote:Pour three (or four) shots from a double basket for the two of you.
I agree with this solution. What you're looking for is a larger cappuccino and changing the brew ratio isn't going to get you that.

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#13: Post by PIXIllate »

Or...... have two smaller ones.....


#14: Post by crwper »

I've had some really good results recently with very long shot times. I imagine this will depend a lot on the bean you're using--I don't think a dark roast would hold up well to this.

For a flat white, I've been pulling 18 g in, 45 g out in 60 seconds, then adding 120 g of steamed milk. Pressure is 9 bar and temperature is 96 °C. Puck prep is important, but with WDT I don't seem to be getting any channeling--flow rate is pretty consistent through the entire shot.

The 1:2.5 extraction ratio and longer shot gives a high extraction yield (about 22%) but a fairly low TDS (about 9%). However, I think maybe it's the EY that really shows through when milk is added--maybe it gives the drink a little more complexity.

I've tried ristretto shots as well, but wasn't getting the flavour profile I wanted. Usually, a ristretto will give you higher TDS but also lower EY, which could be the cause.


#15: Post by jdrobison »

PIXIllate wrote:Or...... have two smaller ones.....
He could but he also previously said that he wants a larger drink


#16: Post by cgibsong002 »

Pulling a longer shot is just like adding water to your cappuccino to make it a latte. Aka not a good idea. Maybe you like watered down milk drinks? If you're doing it purely to have a bigger drink, well, that doesn't make any sense. If caffeine is meaningless to you then just pull 2 doubles or a triple and make a proper latte. Or 2 cappuccinos. There's really no magic trick. More coffee or more milk.


#17: Post by DeGaulle »

If you adhere to your dose of choice and 2-2.5 brew ratio on your espresso, what if you aerate your milk a little more agressively? If the foam/milk ratio is increased a little, the tendency to drown out the coffee taste in your 10 oz cup is reduced while the texture will be a bit more foamy.


#18: Post by crwper »

cgibsong002 wrote:Pulling a longer shot is just like adding water to your cappuccino to make it a latte.
It's not quite the same thing, because the water I'm adding in this case goes through the espresso. What winds up happening is that it results in a weaker output, but also one with a higher extraction yield. So if there are extraction products which taste good with milk, but show up late in the process, this can be the right way to go.

For example, the plot above shows a bunch of shots using Rosso's Two Wheel coffee. The two "+" markers highlight two particular shots. These two shots are the same coffee, same grind setting. On the top, we have 18 g in, 36 g out; on the bottom, we have 18 g in, 45 g out. The only difference here is letting the shot run longer.

You can see here that the shot does get weaker--the point moves downward when we let the shot run longer. But it also gets more fully extracted--the point moves to the right as well.

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#19: Post by Jeff »

I'm not sure your protocol for estimating EY, but if you're below 20% or so, I'd look into why your extraction seems low. At least with light roasts (Wendelboe, La Cabra's lighter roasts, a handful of North American roasters' drip offerings) a Niche Zero, measured with a dropper, an Atago with Magic, EY ~ TDS * bev_mass / dose_mass, I'm typically seeing 22-23% EY when dialed in. I'd expect darker roasts to be easier, though also easier to extract unpleasant (to me) bitterness.

Once you've got the extraction down, you may find a different "recipe" for your milk drinks.


#20: Post by crwper »

Jeff wrote:I'm not sure your protocol for estimating EY, but if you're below 20% or so, I'd look into why your extraction seems low.
Thanks! I don't want to derail the original post, but my protocol is pretty basic at the moment.

After the shot is done, I stir and take a sample using a transfer pipette. Once this has cooled to room temperature, I put three drops on a Brix refractometer. At the moment, I'm not doing any filtering, as my understanding is that this has a fairly small effect on the measurement (other than making it a little noisier), and my first goal was to keep things simple and "give this TDS thing a shot." If anything, I believe the lack of filtering should push TDS a little higher than it should be.

Once I've got the Brix measurement, I calculate TDS as 0.85 x Brix, and then EY as TDS * output / input.

The cluster on the bottom here is at 2.5:1, the center cluster is 2:1, and the top is 1.5:1, all with 18 g in. With a Eureka Mignon Specialita, I'm finding that if I grind finer than this, I see diminishing returns in TDS/EY, so I don't think grinding finer will help.

One thing that comes to mind as I'm typing this is that I'm running the shot at 106 °C measured at the boiler on the Gaggia Classic Pro (with REX-C100 PID). I've done some "flash boiling" tests, and figured there's about 10 °C drop between there and the brew head. I would be a little surprised if the drop was bigger than that, but maybe it's worth bumping the temperature up and noting changes in taste as well as TDS. Two Wheel is a medium-light roast, I would say, so I think it would tolerate higher temperatures reasonably well.