Dear coffee professionals. I've been thinking about serving single and double espressos. To many people, they are simply a different size. But I know they can produce a slightly different result depending on what you're looking for. 


Do many coffee bars keep one portafilter with a smaller basket? Also, do many double baskets allow smaller doses? or they they stop the tamper from going down that far? 



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Most shops don't use the single, since it requires slightly different technique and grinder setting.  In a commercial environment, this probably means a dedicated grinder. I have little use for the single myself and therefore don't use it.

There was a thread about the single on here a long time ago. While you're waiting for others to jump in, you might try using the search function to see what others have said.

Using a double basket with a single dose presents a couple of challenges:
1. Your grind settings would have to change radically - your 1 oz or less shot will pull at a much, much faster rate than your regular double, due to decreased resistance.
2. Double basket shape is not optimum for extracting a single dose.
3. The change in headspace (distance between top of the puck and dispersion screen) will have an effect.
4. Accurate dosing would be a challenge (unless using a timer grinder), since you can't use the "fill and level" volumetric dosing method.

Bottom line, if you really want to pull a single, use the basket that was designed for the purpose.

I LOVE the results I can get with single baskets. I've never done a blind tasting with controlled variables, but getting sweeter, clearer tasting shots seems much easier. That said, unless you can experiment and find perfectly matched baskets (where you can get the right flow rate in your double and single baskets simply with the same grind by varying only the dose), you need a dedicated grinder in a commercial setting. I've experimented with pulling singles and doubles using the same grind and two different timer settings on one grinder- it's tricky and results are never optimal with both, at least using the pairs of baskets i had at my disposal. 


also, dosing and distribution on single baskets is a little trickier than doubles. Careful distribution of a timed dose, or using a curved tool to swipe excess coffee out of the basket are the best ways i've found, and even then channelling is a little bit more likely than with doubles I've found. 

Thanks! This helps, and i've been thinking about this. For a while, I was considering two mahlkonig double hopper grinders where you can preset the grind. This way, there could be maybe...a basket each for a single origin or blend. But, this does seem to be very inconvenient and not many customers would care for the option.

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