Pull the shot directly into the mug, or into shot glasses?

I just started working in a coffee house, and I was wondering what the effects are in using each of these styles of pulling shots.
Thanks

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I prefer to pull from a bottomless portafilter directly into a heated 8 or 10 ounce coffee mug. Add a little steamed milk and BAM!
Normally i go for mugs, but it all depend on what you are doing. But i always pull my shots into cups if I'm going for espressos or machiatos. =)
The advantage of pulling shots into shot glasses is that you can keep a closer eye on volume. It's hard to gauge volume in different sized latte cups.

The advantage of pulling shots directly into the cup is that you don't lose any of she shot/crema/heat in the transfer. Also, you don't have shot glasses to keep clean.

At my store, we pull all of the shots into demi's and then transfer into whatever cup. I do this to keep a close eye on volume, and also the demi's retain heat much better than glass. We just use the hot water tap on the bar to rinse them after each use, and keep them full of hot water so that they're warm.
We pull into shotglasses for everything except straight espresso. Helps us maintain a consistent shot volume. For straight espresso you hate to lose that great pattern of flecking on top of the crema before it is served.

You'll lose a little heat and a little crema with shotglasses. I think its negligible for milk drinks though.
I pull straight into the cup being served if I can, mainly to save time. Time of transfer and time of cleanup. I agree with Brady, however, the difference is pretty slim when it comes to taste.

For me it's just a matter of not wanting to cleanup a ton of shot glasses.

-bry
Another advantage of doing a transfer from a shot glass or demi (and for some reason i don't ever see people discussing this) is that the shot is then "pre-stirred". Espresso is not a homogenized liquid. It comes in stages. I've found that drinks made by pulling a shot directly into a cup then pouring the drink, results in the last bit of the shot (relatively thin, watery, citric, floral) becoming the contrast on the top of the drink. When i take a drink of a milk drink, i don't want to only experience the higher end of the shot on the first drink. I also stir my espresso before drinking for this reason.

Try making one capp pulling the shot directly into the cup and not stirring in any way, then pouring the milk. Then try making another by pulling the espresso into a different vessel and transferring or by vigorously swirling the espresso before pouring. I would like to hear opinions especially from Brady & Bryan.
Tomorrow. Machine is cleaned currently. Besides, we just got those spiffy RW glass shot pitchers with handles and pour spots. Perty snazzy. :)

-bry

Ricky Sutton said:
Another advantage of doing a transfer from a shot glass or demi (and for some reason i don't ever see people discussing this) is that the shot is then "pre-stirred". Espresso is not a homogenized liquid. It comes in stages. I've found that drinks made by pulling a shot directly into a cup then pouring the drink, results in the last bit of the shot (relatively thin, watery, citric, floral) becoming the contrast on the top of the drink. When i take a drink of a milk drink, i don't want to only experience the higher end of the shot on the first drink. I also stir my espresso before drinking for this reason.

Try making one capp pulling the shot directly into the cup and not stirring in any way, then pouring the milk. Then try making another by pulling the espresso into a different vessel and transferring or by vigorously swirling the espresso before pouring. I would like to hear opinions especially from Brady & Bryan.
Personally for caps' and smaller believe they're may well be some benefit to swirling or maybe stirring the espresso before introducing the milk pour, but believe pulling first into anything other than the pre-heated porcelain cup intended for the shot and beverage is a waste of carefully, yay lovingly crafted espresso. I only say maybe stirring because even stirring will remove part of the shot as the coasted spoon leaves. Which doing occasionally tasting the pull to augment visual and smell QC is not a bad thing to do now and then. However, you will not see the practice of pulling into other than the intended serving vessel (whenever feasible) implemented at my shops.

For 12oz lattes and above highly doubt swirling or stirring would make squat of a difference. So much milk highly likely pretty fully homogonizes the beverage during the pour. 8oz double shot latte, maybe.

The argument that pulling first into another vessel so you know the volume you're pulling doesn't hold water, if you know what your shots are doing. Which you can/should know by simply observing. I can usually call my shot time within 1 or sometimes 2 seconds for a given target volume pretty much within 5 or 6 seconds of starting the shot and highly accurately 12 seconds into the pull. Unless a total stall of course and there's nothing within 12 seconds but it's gonna be a sinker anyway! Or a bizzare tasting 2 minute 1/2oz ristretto:)

Bryan Wray said:
Tomorrow. Machine is cleaned currently. Besides, we just got those spiffy RW glass shot pitchers with handles and pour spots. Perty snazzy. :)

-bry

Ricky Sutton said:
Another advantage of doing a transfer from a shot glass or demi (and for some reason i don't ever see people discussing this) is that the shot is then "pre-stirred". Espresso is not a homogenized liquid. It comes in stages. I've found that drinks made by pulling a shot directly into a cup then pouring the drink, results in the last bit of the shot (relatively thin, watery, citric, floral) becoming the contrast on the top of the drink. When i take a drink of a milk drink, i don't want to only experience the higher end of the shot on the first drink. I also stir my espresso before drinking for this reason.

Try making one capp pulling the shot directly into the cup and not stirring in any way, then pouring the milk. Then try making another by pulling the espresso into a different vessel and transferring or by vigorously swirling the espresso before pouring. I would like to hear opinions especially from Brady & Bryan.
On a slightly related topic... here's a recent post on the merits of weighing your shots. I don't do this yet, but have been meaning to start. My gram scale will fit nicely under a cup on our machine's tray. Not for production, but to see where we are from time to time.
I agree that extracting into shot glasses is the way to go for consistency, but I usually extract into the cup I'm serving the drink in. If I have an order for straight espresso or a machiatto I extract into 4 oz. (sample) hot cups. This approach allows me to keep an eye on volume as well as preserve any taste, texture, coloration, etc. I'd like to add that I'm a big believer in controlling the extractions manually and watch each and every one without stepping away from the machine while this is taking place. I know some of our more "coffee knowledgable" customers watch for things like this and do appreciate it. They are so used to watching the barista push a button and walk away, so when they see a totally different approach they instantly pick up on it. Same goes for milk texturing, etc.
Or measure the shot by weight? Andy Schecter's Portafilter.net challenge here: http://portafilter.net/?p=503
It depends on the situation for me whether or not I pull into a mug or a shot glass.

If I've just arrived at work and am still dialing myself in to the grinders or If the shots are jumping all over the place, then I will use a shot glass. Another situation would be (obviously) if a customer brings in their own mug and it is too large to fit beneath the group-head.

Most of the time after that I prefer to pull the shot into the mug. As stated in a previous reply, a heated up mug is fantastic and I prefer to do this as well.

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