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?
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.