Hi guys,

 

In need of a bit of advice seeing as I'm still pretty green!  When I'm making americanos/long blacks in the cafe, the crema in the ceramic cups is terrible but really nice in the take away cups. 

Espressos looking good too, nice red/brown crema, but in the 6 or 12oz ceramics, very thin, burnt looking, and lasts only few seconds

I'm thinking its the machines tap water temperature being too high maybe?? but wouldn't that mean the take away cups should also have bad crema or is the t/a cup lowering the temp somehow???

 

Any thoughts or tip would be fantastic oh wise coffee gurus!

 

Cheer

Paul

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How's your dishwasher?

I've seen this problem in a place where the dishes were not truly cleaned and also in a place where they didn't know that dishes must me air dried; they wiped them off, and apparently, not with clean cloths.

There are other reasons but I found this in a couple of shops.

What's the top diameter of the ceramics you're using versus ToGos? Usually ceramics wider. Could simply be greater surface area.

Bottom line, how do they taste?

I like where both Fraser and Mike are headed. Let me add two other ideas...

 

Do you use the same hot water to make both drinks, or do the takeaways get filled from a brewer tap (sometimes they don't fit under the espresso machines spout)? Is there a drink assembly sequence difference?

 

Thanks guys for the replies....

On the washing front, cups go through a dishwasher which dries them as well, but I've also hand washed and let them dry naturally with same result, so don't think its that, but thanks for the idea Frasier.

My first thoughts were that it was the diameter being so wide in the 12oz ceramic versus take away 12oz.  But if I pull a double into the 6oz ceramic which roughly has the diameter as the t/a cup, it also gets bad crema, so don't think its the diameter either Mike.

 

Both drinks also come from the same machine tap Brady but I just had a thought as I'm writing here.  You're were right, the t/a cup barely fits under the portafilter spout, but that also means the water in the cup is very close to the portafilter spout when it pulls, only few cm's, whereas the ceramics are well below the spout coz they're not tall cups.....

 

Maybe the coffee falling from a bit of a height is causing it to go under the water surface rather than sit on top??  I'm just guessing here, I'm no expert.  Maybe I could try placing the cup on a stand of some sort to bring it higher, closer to the spout.  Sorry I'm thinking out loud here.....no idea if it might be right!

Thanks for the help tho, I appreciate it!

Paul

 

Just to let you know of my progress.  Holding the cups closer to the portafilter spout helped a lot in getting better crema on top of the Americanos.  Although it looks good at first , it still disappears quite fast, much more than the t/a cup.

 

Not a perfect solution but a big improvement, at least the cup looks nice when its hitting the table in front of the customer!

Paul

 

Americanos still giving trouble! raising the cup seemed to help, or prolong the crema a bit, but only for a double shot in the 6oz and less so in the 12oz.  If someone asks for a single though in either of these cups, no matter how high I hold the cup, there's no crema :-(

I know crema doesn't mean good taste, but many average joe's think itss the sign of a good cup.

Now I'm wondering is the cause possibly the size of my shots, I'm going by weight, 18g grounds giving me 33g doubles, a 55% ratio.  It means volume wise, my shots, especially when split into singles are pretty small, maybe just too small for the amount of water in the americano.

 

Anybody using similar dose and finding the same result or agree the small shot weight could be the culprit?!?

This might seem obvious, but how fresh is the roast?  Also, have you tried using another roaster's beans?  20g's or above?

 

Thanks for the reply, we use beans from one roaster, but the coffee is good quality and tastes great.  Beans are never more than 3 weeks old, and rested for a few days first.

I've never gone more than 19g coz the basket won't hold more, the puck gets indented by the screw on the screens. 

The strange thing is espressos look and taste great, nice crema which doesn't disappear too quickly, so i don't think its extracting badly.  Its just when pulled over water.

I'll keep trying! 

It might be a case of restricting your pull too much. For Americanos, I generally pull longer than a straight shot for increased body and crema (not luongo mind you, more normale)

Could it have something to do with the temperature and insulation differences between ceramic and your togo cup material? Are your ceramics well warmed before use?

Thanks for that Zayde, it could be, but just looking at the shots, I think the majority or Crema in the cup comes in the early part of extraction rather than the end.  Or thats how it looks anyway.  So I think lengthening the shot might not give too much more crema. 

It might really just be case of the cups diameter being too big for the shot as Mike said.  Another Barista came into the cafe and asked me if I had trouble with americanos in the large cup coz they use the exact same one in his cafe and also the same prob.

I've gotten quite used to it now! I just hold the cup up to spout,  which helps a lot and drop the drink quickly to table before the crema disappears.  Working well so far.  Thanks very much for response

Paul

Zayde Naquib said:

It might be a case of restricting your pull too much. For Americanos, I generally pull longer than a straight shot for increased body and crema (not luongo mind you, more normale)



Benjamin Hall said:

Could it have something to do with the temperature and insulation differences between ceramic and your togo cup material? Are your ceramics well warmed before use?

Thanks Benjamin, the togo cup defo retains heat better, I do warm the ceramics first.  Temperature diff might well play some role in it, maybe in combination with cup diameter as Mike said earlier in discussion.  Cheers for the input.  Its been going on so long now I've gotten used to it and found a way around it as I was saying above.  Taste seems great though (for an Americano), which I guess is the most important thing. :-) Thanks 

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