I am thinking about how to establish more consistency in my espresso dosing. I confident at this point that I am pretty good at maintaining a consistent 20-21 grams of espresso in a double basket, but I love thinking about the method of levelling/distributing/dragging/dosing. I have read about and seen the methods coined as Stockfleth, Shyndel, and Schomer. I am now wondering how all of you do your thing. Myself, I use a kind of three point Stockfleth/Schomer hybrid ... pushing and rolling the coffee around the edges creating a center pile that I push back into the grinder. But how do YOU do it?

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Sound interesting... is there a way to post a mini video clip of that or a sequence of photos?
depending on your grinder you may not even need to level, but there are two schools of thought on leveling. I typically do two norwegian swipes and three flat fingered swipes across the top of the pf basket. I tried the staub method for tamping for a short time, but it was way too involved. I find that a light tamp with a quick upward twist at the end will knock loose some of the grounds into the pf and whatever isn't covered is taken care of by a light tap of the pf on the counter (i'm not a big fan of tapping with the tamp anymore). Then my second tamp is the firm (40 lbs) tamp with a spinning polish to finish the puck.
Sounds like a Norwegian-Norwegian-flat-flat-flat, light tamp, "Murky thump", heavy tamp&polish?

I gotta look up this Norwegian thing...

Me? I overfill slightly, thump to settle, redistribute and dish it slightly with the doser lid, light tamp, light tap (or a thump if I'm feeling noisy) heavy tamp and polish. 14 gram double every time. I tried using my finger for the distribution, but it isn't quite curved enough and my shower head sticks down far enough that the finished puck surface has to be below the retainer groove.

One other thing I do - palm the tamper a bit and rest three fingers and thumb on the tamper "foot?". This lets me feel the basket rim with my fingertips to see where things ended up and make sure the puck surface isn't angled.

Cool discussion.
You know, i think I showed my ignorance in relative terminology... it just might be called the scandinavian technique.. Anyhow, I cup the portafilter to create an "L" with my thumb and index finger, then rotate my left hand to redistribute the coffee evenly in the pf.
On YouTube there is a video titled the"Stockfleth Move"...
I am pretty sure that's what you are referring to!
I'd link it for you but I am typing this from my iPod.
Chris DeMarse said:
You know, i think I showed my ignorance in relative terminology... it just might be called the scandinavian technique.. Anyhow, I cup the portafilter to create an "L" with my thumb and index finger, then rotate my left hand to redistribute the coffee evenly in the pf.

Stockfleth's Move : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DuOj0NhQnic

Schyndel's Method : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QiEiQbSm-gc&eurl=http://www.bari...

Schomer's method is apparently a NSEW back and forth light sweeping over the top of the portafilter. This is what most of the people around me do, perhaps because I am in the Pacific Northwest.

Sorry to geek on this... I am just curious about people's own signature method of establishing consistency.
Denise Smith said:
Sound interesting... is there a way to post a mini video clip of that or a sequence of photos?
While grinding, I move the porta fully (well, as fully as you can) counterclockwise, and then back around to clockwise (I start with the handle pointing to the left): I find this the easiest way to get an even distribution. After that, a pretty standard Stockfleth, with a simple pull em/push em to finish. "Light" tamp, knock (always with the tamper handle "top"), then finishing tamp and polish.
easy peasies.
okay... i'm just embarrassed now... not sure where I got scandinavian/norwegian from.. it may be a misunderstanding stemming for earlier "terminology"... anyhow, I am more concerned with the method than the "barista speak". Thanks for your gentle correction.
on a similar note, I have seen a reverse stockfelths in competition a few times.... I mean that rather than pivoting the hand holding the pf in, somehow it goes the other way.. i tried it a few times and found it to be utterly awkward... but it seems to somehow cut down on waste
I've done stockfleths both ways. Rotating clockwise just seems more natural, yeah. I'm really amazed at how much coffee people dose, and ultimately, throw back into the chamber. Its almost embarrassing sometimes. I throw back maybe 2-3 grams, tops.
... not saying in King Barista or anything. I just rrrrrrrrrrrreally hate waste of any kind.
Though I'm a relative newbie, for what it's worth the good pro trainer dispatched to coffeehouses around NorCal by Sebastopol, CA-based Taylor Maid Coffee & Tea Co. seems to advocate the Stockfleth. So that's what I do. I don't know what the Schomer method is. But man, that Schyndel stuff seems acrobatic by comparison.
Wow, dose and tamp techniques must number in the range of infinite, and surely many of them work well, and mastery of any sound technique will eventually yield higher consistency... I imagine in the end the best thing is to find a technique that is 100% repeatable. That said, here at the Jet Steam Lab we have adopted the collapse and sweep technique utilized (and perhaps pioneered) by Scottie Callaghan ( http://www.scottiecallaghan.com ).

The idea is number one, to over dose the pf basket, settle the grounds with a firm "collapse" (without topping off the basket afterward, as this disrupts the grinds distribution in the basket). From my discussions and samplings with Instaurator, we have found that the best shots have a distribution of grounds in the pf basket from fine at the bottom to coarse at the top. Although there are grinders being conceived that would create this distribution automatically by adjusting the fineness of the grinds during the grinding process (via motorized worm drive, or some similar apparatus), currently the only way to settle the finer grinds to the bottom of the pf basket is a strong collapse or attacking the portafilter with a chop stick, which is silly and way too time consuming ;)

Scottie has developed what are called "sweeps".... these are a numbered set of "sweeps" for no better term, which basically replace your fingers when leveling. They have varying curvatures so that you can subtly change your dose in the pf basket by stepping up or down incrementally through the sweep set. Though up for debate, this may be the most accurate way to dose coffee consistently, with Instaurator, Mick Kiely and Genaro Benmayor informing me that the accuracy can be within .2 grams per dose.

The other benefit of the sweeps is that it consistently creates more volume of coffee around the perimeter of the pf basket vs. the center... creating a more even extraction throughout the puck from edge to center.

here's a pic from Scottie's site, see attachment:

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