Timing a double shot - Page 2

Beginner and pro baristas share tips and tricks for making espresso.
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tmaynard (original poster)

#11: Post by tmaynard (original poster) »

HB wrote:I would say put away the timer and taste the espresso, then you be the judge.
Maybe a bit of background would help. Until I got my mini measuring glass I've been pulling (essentially) unknown volumes into espresso cups, taking (essentially) an unknown amount of time. Naturally, my shots were all over the map.
jesawdy wrote:I think the answer is... it's all good if it tastes good to you.
Yes, of course you're right. I got that measuring cup and followed my customary procedure when facing the unknown: I FREAKED OUT. :shock: I think I'm better now -- thanks to all the valuable insight from this forum.
jesawdy wrote:The PNG file you refer to is from AndyS's brew ratio thread,
Yup. I confess to being too lazy to hunt down the source. Thanks.
jggall01 wrote:a little more than 2 oz from 17g of ground coffee, and it takes around 25 seconds
That sounds about like my results so far (I use 16.6 grams).
DaveC wrote:To try and keep it as simple as possible
This may have been the mental sledgehammer that awakened me to the fact that I was freaking out. Thank you. My heart rate is nearly back to normal.
cannonfodder wrote:Try keeping notes at the beginning.
This is good advice. There's a risk that I'll backslide into obsessing about trivialities, but I can see the value of leaving breadcrumbs on my path to a godshot.
RapidCoffee wrote:oft-quoted statement from the Italian Espresso National Institute
Yeah! That's the ISO standard I was after :) If you're going to start somewhere, that might as well be it.

Thanks to all (quoted or not). Your input is appreciated.

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tmaynard (original poster)

#12: Post by tmaynard (original poster) »

jggall01 wrote:Stop the extraction when the stream gets too blond.
Curious, I dug out the owner's manual for my Gaggia Coffee. This is precisely the instruction given there. There's no mention of timing, and precious little about volume.

In an earlier life I was a chemist, and technique, precision, and accuracy were pure survival skills. I have to fight (like this time) to prevent that from bringing out the Mr Hyde in me.

Thanks again to one and all.

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#13: Post by Italyhound »

Interesting, in reading the Al's rule thread, that the volume of shot is measured with the crema. That seems like a very variable variable - no? 60 ml including crema may reduce to a much smaller volume of liquid upon settling. Just wonderin' ...

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#14: Post by jesawdy replying to Italyhound »

Yup... that's one reason I find AndyS's brew ratio idea a good way to talk about shots, beyond just comparing notes.
Jeff Sawdy

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tmaynard (original poster)

#15: Post by tmaynard (original poster) »

Italyhound wrote:the volume of shot is measured with the crema.
I have been studying the Instituto Nazionale Espresso Italiano website (http://www.espressoitaliano.org/index_en.asp?lang=en) and they also specify that the shot volume includes the crema. At least in the document (PDF) I downloaded, they only give the specifics for a single (7g coffee, 25 sec extraction, 25ml espresso (crema included) -- all with tolerances) ... but I think "Al's Rule" faithfully extends this to doubles.

While reading there, I began to feel that this "standard" might hinder espresso refinement in the future. I can't believe, in this day and age of technology -- and those to come! -- that this is the be-all and end-all of extraction perfection. These folks seem to have carved in stone the final word on espresso. Upon due reflection this just seems like a bad idea to me. Perhaps they leave room for changes ("subject to change at any time without notice"), and that simply wasn't in the text I read, at least I hope so.

Of course, their goal is different from the typical HB: they want to ensure a McDonald's (perhaps that's too harsh -- is Starbucks better?!) level of espresso consistency from certified cafe to cafe. The average HB is in pursuit of the godshot, as defined by his/her own tastes, and they may deviate wildly from the INEI "standard."

What this all means is that, finally, I may be prepared to abandon my cold, scientific approach to pulling a shot (which is what the INEI seems to be after), and shift into my "other" brain and brew shots "artfully." Find the parameters that satisfy me best, and the devil take the hindmost. [Nota Bene: I haven't actually made this conceptual leap, but I am considering it.]

All of which means, of course, that I have put myself right back at Square One. :sigh: