Unexpected results when forgetting to tamp - Page 3

Beginner and pro baristas share tips and tricks.
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RapidCoffee
Team HB

#21: Post by RapidCoffee »

CafSuperCharged wrote:your photos suggested you might have more serious kit and hence capable of an experiment with less variability in unwanted places
Thanks for the kind words. Actually, I'm just using an inexpensive 0.1g precision scale and a kitchen timer. Anyone with decent espresso gear can (and should) repeat this experiment if so desired.
CafSuperCharged wrote:The relevance of the experiment I proposed was the entire Italian market where caffè is a cheap commodity... No tamping, in most outlets. And good to very good quality in most cases...
Yes, it's surprising, especially considering the painstaking attention to detail that we that home baristas sometimes give to the espresso-making process (can you spell OCD :twisted:). My guess: Italian baristas are generally talented and well-trained, having grown up in an espresso culture and pulled many shots every day of their adult lives. Over the years, the beans, grinders, and espresso machines in Italy have been gradually tweaked to give good results under exactly the conditions that you describe, with either no tamp, or just a light press from the tamp attached to the grinder. In addition, the relatively low doses typical in Italy (Illy suggests 5-8g singles with a volume of 25-30ml) offer more forgiveness than the finger-strike dosing usually seen in this country, perhaps due to increased headspace above the puck.

Interesting speculation, in any case.
John

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CafSuperCharged

#22: Post by CafSuperCharged »

RapidCoffee wrote:can you spell OCD
Testing a non-native English speaker/writer - I would guess obsessive-compulsive disorder?
RapidCoffee wrote:My guess: Italian baristas are generally talented and well-trained, having grown up in an espresso culture and pulled many shots every day of their adult lives. Over the years, the beans, grinders, and espresso machines in Italy have been gradually tweaked to give good results under exactly the conditions that you describe, with either no tamp, or just a light press from the tamp attached to the grinder.
Add to that often locally operating roasters that add to the equation a fundamental insight in the blend and the roast needed to get the proper result and a consistent one over time.
RapidCoffee wrote:In addition, the relatively low doses typical in Italy (Illy suggests 5-8g singles with a volume of 25-30ml) offer more forgiveness than the finger-strike dosing usually seen in this country, perhaps due to increased headspace above the puck.
Actually, Italian baristas do not like to do singles. They prefer to do two single espressi from a double PF/basket.
My guess is the dose then is about 14 grams.
Generally, the amount of coffee you get in the cup is nearer 25 or even less than higher.
They really do what they call "mouse tail paints tiger skin".
Compared to what you'll see come out of the PF in Italy, most of the videos shown in this site pour too fast and the trickle is too thick to be called a mouse tail. My general impression is also the darker colors are too often insufficiently present in the crema (to qualify as Italian style).
Next time in Italy I hope not to have forgotten my stopwatch watch so I can time the pours. My perception is they frequently are longer/slower than Dr. Illy's 28 seconds.
Writing this gives me flashbacks of Jeffrey Steingarten's books ("The Man Who Ate Everything"; "It Must've Been Something I Ate: The Return of the Man Who Ate Everything"); especially the story where he goes to Rome to figure out some Italian bread baking and brings this digital thermometer - that works like a photographic spot-meter - in order to monitor oven temperature from the customer area of the shop. Talking about OCD.
Searching for the trick that repeatedly gives divine shots, we probably should not forget the less good shots make we keep appreciating the best ones.

Regards
Peter
Netherlands
Europe

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cannonfodder
Team HB

#23: Post by cannonfodder »

I have tried both routes and had acceptable results either way. You do (or at least I had to) adjust the grind tighter with the no tamp shots. Personally, I tamp. My particular machine works better with a tamp. The no tamp method makes a big mess on my group so I have to rinse/wipe and flush the group after every shot.
Dave Stephens