I know, I know, how horribly newb of me right?

I just need a brush-up and I'm not afraid to ask you brilliant baristas for help. Pictures of videos would be a plus :)

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I figured I'd been AWOL long enough, lol

 

-bry

Brady said:

Loved this post, and the JH blog entry you linked. Thanks, Bry.

Bryan Wray said:

http://www.jimseven.com/2011/05/22/a-lovehate-relationship-with-esp...


Scroll down about 1/4 of the way and you'll note that he links to a Barista Magazine article.

 

The three paragraphs below that are very important to answering your question.

 

I think it's important to explore why (as Alex stated) "Brew ratios are the big thing now..."

They are the big thing because it takes this "art" and guesswork out of espresso.  I love to call being a barista an art and a craft as much as the next person, and I'm not saying that there is no art in being a barista, but what I am saying is that there should be no guesswork when it comes to finding the exact weights (both input and yield) of a known espresso.

 

If it's an espresso that you work with everyday and you work with it on fairly consistent roast dates day after day and week after week you should know how much you should be dosing.  You should know what that feels like, you should know what that looks like.  You should also know what the result should look like in the cup.

 

Having said that, it is my opinion that you should first know how much you need your liquid yield to weigh.  That is, take a scale, put the demi on top of it and place it under the portafilter.

 

For my espresso blend that I use every day I know that if it was roasted 8-9 days prior (which it almost always is) I want my "recipe" to look like this:

19.5 gram dose (dry coffee in the portafilter)

200.5F water temp

26 second pull

29 gram liquid yield

 

The only reason that I know that is because I've kept notes and I continue to keep notes.  I write down what changing one variable does to the flavor.

 

Do I weigh every single shot that I pull?  No.  However, I weigh every shot in the morning until I'm sure I know the volume line on my demi that I need to pull the espresso to that I'm consistent to 1-2 seconds 5-6 espresso pulls in a row.  You could hand me a shot glass and say, "Where do you pull an espresso to in order to have it weigh 29 grams?" and I would be able to point and tell you within a gram or so (hopefully).  It takes practice, but practice is more necessary in this field than in any other I've been in (not that I've been in a ton).

 

It's great to be able to evaluate by color, but recently I had a customer tell me, "My home espresso machine is producing really blonde shots, what's wrong?"

 

My response (with a smile) was, "How blonde do they taste?  Do they taste blonde if your eyes are closed when you're pulling them?"  He laughed and knew exactly what I was getting at.  My point was that simply looking at a shot isn't enough most times.  A hotter grouphead is going to produce darker looking shots.  So is a cloudy day.  So is pulling your shot too slowly or to too little volume.  

 

The same reason we don't use volume to measure the amount of coffee in our coffee bags is the same reason we shouldn't use it to measure the amount of coffee in our demitasse cups:  It isn't consistent enough.

 

The same reason we don't solely use color to determine roast level is the same reason why we shouldn't use it to determine extraction level:  It isn't consistent enough.

 

-bry

Finally got around to reading it. Great post Bry. Proof again how fortunate miKe is to have you on his team.

Joe
Bryan Wray said:

http://www.jimseven.com/2011/05/22/a-lovehate-relationship-with-esp...


Scroll down about 1/4 of the way and you'll note that he links to a Barista Magazine article.

 

The three paragraphs below that are very important to answering your question.

 

I think it's important to explore why (as Alex stated) "Brew ratios are the big thing now..."

They are the big thing because it takes this "art" and guesswork out of espresso.  I love to call being a barista an art and a craft as much as the next person, and I'm not saying that there is no art in being a barista, but what I am saying is that there should be no guesswork when it comes to finding the exact weights (both input and yield) of a known espresso.

 

If it's an espresso that you work with everyday and you work with it on fairly consistent roast dates day after day and week after week you should know how much you should be dosing.  You should know what that feels like, you should know what that looks like.  You should also know what the result should look like in the cup.

 

Having said that, it is my opinion that you should first know how much you need your liquid yield to weigh.  That is, take a scale, put the demi on top of it and place it under the portafilter.

 

For my espresso blend that I use every day I know that if it was roasted 8-9 days prior (which it almost always is) I want my "recipe" to look like this:

19.5 gram dose (dry coffee in the portafilter)

200.5F water temp

26 second pull

29 gram liquid yield

 

The only reason that I know that is because I've kept notes and I continue to keep notes.  I write down what changing one variable does to the flavor.

 

Do I weigh every single shot that I pull?  No.  However, I weigh every shot in the morning until I'm sure I know the volume line on my demi that I need to pull the espresso to that I'm consistent to 1-2 seconds 5-6 espresso pulls in a row.  You could hand me a shot glass and say, "Where do you pull an espresso to in order to have it weigh 29 grams?" and I would be able to point and tell you within a gram or so (hopefully).  It takes practice, but practice is more necessary in this field than in any other I've been in (not that I've been in a ton).

 

It's great to be able to evaluate by color, but recently I had a customer tell me, "My home espresso machine is producing really blonde shots, what's wrong?"

 

My response (with a smile) was, "How blonde do they taste?  Do they taste blonde if your eyes are closed when you're pulling them?"  He laughed and knew exactly what I was getting at.  My point was that simply looking at a shot isn't enough most times.  A hotter grouphead is going to produce darker looking shots.  So is a cloudy day.  So is pulling your shot too slowly or to too little volume.  

 

The same reason we don't use volume to measure the amount of coffee in our coffee bags is the same reason we shouldn't use it to measure the amount of coffee in our demitasse cups:  It isn't consistent enough.

 

The same reason we don't solely use color to determine roast level is the same reason why we shouldn't use it to determine extraction level:  It isn't consistent enough.

 

-bry

Are you cleaning and backflushing regularly? Have you checked your screens and gaskets? If the group heads are programmed the same but are pulling drastically different, one of them could need some maintenance (or both). 


Are you getting the same bars of pressure from both?

Brandi Heath said:

40 seconds isnt our norm. thats just for our single origins that are just a lil different :)

 

we have a nuova simonelli. i checked the users manual and they said there isn't a way to program the sides differently. one of our groupheads pulls great shots, the other runs long. not sure how to compensate them.

 

Could it be that they have been used unevenly? is there a way to check the count of pulls on each grouphead? In that case, start using the less used one more until they are similar in number. Making sure you use both groupheads the same amount should help out in that problem!!

Brandi Heath said:

40 seconds isnt our norm. thats just for our single origins that are just a lil different :)

 

we have a nuova simonelli. i checked the users manual and they said there isn't a way to program the sides differently. one of our groupheads pulls great shots, the other runs long. not sure how to compensate them.

 

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