Tips for dialing in new coffee to reduce waste?

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

#1: Post by sfaticat »

Hey all, I have a question about dialing. Whenever I buy a new blend or origin I notice I go through a lot of coffee when dialing. About 4-6 oz worth. Is this too much? I weigh out my beans, portafilter, and yield. Check when pulling how long it takes to get to desired yields (36ml/g). Is there any tips you guys do when dialing in new coffee?

p.s. the recipe I do is as follows

18g in
36ml/g out
I aim for around 25-30 seconds for the yield

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#2: Post by slipchuck replying to sfaticat »

I "reduce" my waste buy using the not so perfect shots in Cappuccino and Lattes.
How long have you had your equipment? I found once I got to know the grinders ins and outside it becomes easier to dial in

“There is nobody you can’t learn to like once you’ve heard their story.”

sfaticat (original poster)

#3: Post by sfaticat (original poster) replying to slipchuck »

About a year. I just recently started using only fresh beans and it's been tricky to dial in. Could be the beans I'm using? I been buying from George Howell (if you know his roasts)

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#4: Post by slipchuck replying to sfaticat »

I don't know those beans but I stuck with the same beans and roaster until I got to know the personality of the grinder and it made a big difference in the long run
Fresh is the only way to go!

“There is nobody you can’t learn to like once you’ve heard their story.”

sfaticat (original poster)

#5: Post by sfaticat (original poster) replying to slipchuck »

Thats a good idea. Im not too crazy with these beans. The roast is a cinnamon like color. Maybe I'll stick to one from a shop thats local and play around with it until I get to know my grinder better. Fresh is a whole new ball game when it comes to dialing in.


#6: Post by daveR1 »

Whenever I try a new roast (which I do frequently) I ask the roaster for their recipe for that coffee. I ask for dose IN/ coffee OUT in grams, grouphead temp, shot time & how many days to rest new beans before pulling. I use this as a starting point which gets me dialed in quicker.

Since I have a 53mm diameter PF in the Spaziale vs. the 58mm for E61 groups, I usually have to reduce the dose to fit my baskets. I do keep the same ratio - i.e. if they say 20 g. in 30 g. out, then I might try 16 g. in 24 g. out.

I've found most roasters are eager to help you get the best out of their coffee and more than willing to recommend recipes.


#7: Post by 4CrazyKids »

A couple of things here. Your recipe should change if you have different beans and origins. Second, over time you'll start to recognize things about the beans your using which will help you dial in faster. I can pretty much tell by the roast level and how much volume of unground beans I get with certain weights what my grind should likely be set at in my grinder for those beans. For instance coffee that is darker roast I already know I'll need to set my grind coarser because the beans will be lighter and more brittle (darker roasted beans grind easier). If they're lighter roasted they'll be denser, less beans will weigh more and they'll need to have a tighter grind. I have marks on my grinder for starting points for lighter and darker roasted beans. It usually only takes me 2-3 shots to get it right. I drink my mistakes because they're usually not far off. Then I adjust my recipe to make the absolute best of the beans I'm drinking.


#8: Post by michael »

with the double and triple ims baskets, I find I can almost always go with recommended recipes even with the 53mm

but sometimes with a previously untried coffee I can waste quite a bit trying to get the correct grind on the robur or the kony with that large retention; any suggestions on that 8)


#9: Post by daveR1 replying to michael »

I tried that, I have the IMS dble & triple baskets. For me, I preferred the small shots I got from sizing the dose/output down for the dbl basket. Seems like there's a long running discussion about whether the triple makes for a very thick puck which some think results in uneven extraction.

Anyway, making a smaller drink just gives me the excuse to pull another shot to "catch up" ;)


#10: Post by dantyvogel »

Personally unless the roast level is dramatically different, I never change my grind setting. Pull and taste first shot, it should at least be somewhat close to where you'll get a drinkable shot on the next adjustment.