Can you draw a triple vs. a double shot without adjusting a grinder?

We are opening a new shop in January and trying to figure out the drink sizes we will offer. Ideally we'd like to offer three, (12-16-20 oz), with 2, 3, and 4 shots respectively. The question becomes how to draw a triple shot at 23-24 grams with the grinder set for drawing perfect doubles at 16 grams. We don't want to have to adjust the grinder every time we need a triple but it doesn't seem possible to draw the same quality shot with the same grind setting once it's dialed in for a double. Adding 50% more coffee and 50% more water seems certain to increase the time required, thus changing the flavor. A shop I worked at in the past used a separate grinder dialed in just for triples. We won't have that option. Any thoughts? 

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Hi, Bob! It's very tough to make 20 oz. beverages profitable without charging $8 for a latte. My opinion would be to offer 8, 12, and 16 oz. and do doubles for all sizes. What we see in many specialty coffee shops these days is something like "all drinks priced as doubles" at the bottom of the menu.

It's unusual for a 16 oz. to be served with 3 shots, so I'd at least look at offering 12 and 16 oz. drinks as a double. It's is definitely going to be tricky to dial in a coffee for those multiple shot offerings, but a doserless grinder with more than one programming option for dose would be helpful (like a Nuova Simonelli Mythos). I think trying to decide on parameters for a double vs. a triple is going to tricky and time consuming for you and your staff, as well as giving more room for error and waste.

Hope this helps, and have fun!

Hi I'm the store manager helping open this shop with Bob.

My thought on this is neither "You definitely can" or "You definitely can't". Like any unanswered question I think this is best done with experimentation, and that experiment is easy to set up.

Jen Hurd's spot on -- take a Mythos grinder (or any number that let you program different timed doses), program it to give you two different doses, and pull shots and taste them! Having a way of measuring the TDS and extraction would be great, too, so we're not relying strictly on qualitative measurements. Of course taste is what's going to win the day.

All of this goes to answer the question of "Can you?", whether we should or not is a question for Ian Malcolm. (no coffee discussion is complete without a reference to Jurassic Park)

Great point, Will! TDS could be really helpful for consistency and real numbers, but I totally agree that you still have to taste it. 

Coffee, uh, finds a way.

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