When people say brew for 25-30s is that after the first drop?

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

#1: Post by yalag »

Is the 25-30s when you start pressing the brew button or when you the first drop starts happening?

I have a recipe now that doesn't even starts dripping until 13s in. Is that ok?

Pressino

#2: Post by Pressino »

Well, my machine has a shot timer that starts when I pull up the E-61 handle, and when I'm using the stock infusion spring for automatic preinfusion I usually see coffee emerging in 6 to 8 seconds. For a 2:1 shot that usually works out to 30-38 seconds on the timer or 24 to 30 seconds when you subtract the time to saturate the puck. I think it's more important to correlate the duration of extraction with the result in the cup and be consistent regardless of when you start counting time.

BaristaBob

#3: Post by BaristaBob »

That's okay. A lot of my coffees start dripping around 13 to 15 sec. (preinfusion for me), then flow normal from there. Total time is 25-30 sec. including my 15 sec. preinfusion. Total amount in the cup is normally 32g to 40g.
Bob "hello darkness my old friend..I've come to drink you once again"

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cafeIKE
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#4: Post by cafeIKE »

First drop.

40g in 15s from first drop might be less intense.

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SteveRhinehart

#5: Post by SteveRhinehart »

I start timing from the moment water contacts coffee, which is basically when the pump starts. The lag time between first water contact and first drop can vary quite a lot by grind size, coffee permeability, flow rate, brew pressure, even water temperature. I don't pay much thought to overall shot times in general, but starting my timer with the pump allows me to keep more consistent notes as I play with different styles of extraction.

For example: blooming shots work by soaking the puck and then cutting off the flow of water for 20-30 seconds, before resuming and finishing the shot. This means there is an extended time between when the pump has started and when the first drops hit the cup. Once flow begins again, it will be faster than a typical 9 bar shot, so you may only have 20 seconds of flow until you hit your desired yield. This 50 second extraction only has 20 seconds of flow into the cup. If I only noted the time from first drop I'd have a misleading record of what happened.

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Jeff
Team HB

#6: Post by Jeff »

Pressino wrote:I think it's more important to correlate the duration of extraction with the result in the cup and be consistent regardless of when you start counting time.
SteveRhinehart wrote:I don't generally pay much thought to overall shot times in general, but starting my timer with the pump allows me to keep more consistent notes as I play with different styles of extraction.
The "36 g in 25 seconds" benchmark is just that, a benchmark. Most machines don't have a flow-rate gauge, so total mass in total time is a reasonable proxy for getting to that first stop in dialing in espresso. Wildly over or under that, you generally make a big adjustment. Closer, you tune by taste.

The idea of a benchmark and keeping notes is so that you get to the point where, almost subconsciously, your brain goes

> "I've tasted that kind of off balance before. Usually 1/2 mark coarser resolves it."

I prefer written, as I find using a pencil helps me internalize, as well as easily seeing the progression of a given dial in, or aging if I'm not drinking a lot in a week.

I measure from pump on as it is consistent, without a judgement call, and without the effects of puck prep or weather.

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homeburrero
Team HB

#7: Post by homeburrero »

You will see expert advice that says you should time from first drops ( Timing of extraction starts when? ) but note that many experts also advise throwing your stopwatch away.

I think in most cases nowadays you can assume the timer starts when the brew flow starts because that's the way typical built-in shot timers on modern machines work. But not always - the main exceptions would be times reported by folks who use a scale that auto-starts the timer when the scale senses first drops.

When sharing my shot times I try to report total time along with a mention of the time til first drops. When hearing reports of shot times by, for example, the baristas competing at the WBC, I just assume it starts when the brew pump starts on the machine - that's what they get from the built-in shot timer on those Black Eagle machines.
Pat
nínádiishʼnahgo gohwééh náshdlį́į́h

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cafeIKE
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#8: Post by cafeIKE »

The trouble with times from pump on is it varies wildly with the same grind and dose @ the same pressure
BDB e61 GS3 Descent etc.

With the same shot parameters, at least one is in the same ballpark from first drop for standard pressure.
It's not even the same state from pump on.

chanty 77

#9: Post by chanty 77 »

I've always (for over 30 years) been brewing for 25-30 (sometimes a little long depending on what the stream of espresso looks like) as soon as the first drop comes out.

jpender

#10: Post by jpender »

There isn't a consensus. And there isn't a good reason why one should choose total time versus from first drops.

Extraction starts when the water first begins to flow but if you're doing a slow preinfusion it's happening at a different rate than if you go full on from the start. For that matter, flow rate can change during the shot which also affects the rate of extraction.

It's just a recipe. So maybe the best thing is to note both numbers. That way if you want to attempt to replicate a shot you'll know what it is you're trying to do.