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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Keaton Ritchie said:
the judges aren't going to drink all of your caps, and may be looking for the more in-your-face flavour you'll get when you lift the crema to the top of the cup.


Go pull a shot next time you're near your machine, and let it sit for ten seconds or so, maybe fifteen, and then lift the crema off the top with a spoon and taste it. Then spoon off all the crema and taste the rest of the espresso.
It could change your comp technique, and your scores. Let your taste decide.

As background, I run a shop where latte/mocha drinks are set at 1-2-3 shots for 12-16-20 oz. And we just installed a new Aurelia with raised groups, this being an unintended (but positive, I think) consequence of me getting an "upgraded" machine I did not order because the specs I wanted were unavailable for some reason. So I haven't used it much yet. That said...

 

A 16 oz. is probably our most popular size for lattes and mochas, so what I have been doing the past couple days is a hybrid approach: Putting the paper hot cup under one of the spouts, and a shot glass under the other. This allows me to retain more of the crema in the paper cup, but also watch the volume of my pours against the time of the pour. And while I have not done the taste tests Bryan and Ricky have suggested (yet), it seems this might be the perfect compromise for someone who wants to a.) pour latte art, b.) monitor shot time/volume, and c.) "stir" the espresso (since the addition of the second shot from the shot glass would naturally mix the two when you pour it in). 

 

In these parts (between Louisville and Nashville) you will almost always see baristi pulling directly into ceramic if the drinks are being served that way; my suspicion is that while the baristi might defend this as being based on taste, it really has much more to do with latte art. Until I read through this thread this morning, I've never really questioned it... now I am going to have to try a few things for myself. 

 

(As a side note, I really appreciate you guys/gals for being willing, after years of experience, to question long-held assumptions and constantly re-evaluate things. My general experience is that people tend to grasp firmly to whatever ratio/method/definition they learned from the espresso pro who brought them up, and formulate a sort of espresso religion around it. And that's not fun, and sort of a jerk move. So thanks.)

Recently the assumption I've been testing the most is "appropriate" shot times.  It's amazing how many SO espresso I'm pulling between 18-22 seconds these days.

 

-bry

R. Justin Shepherd said:

(As a side note, I really appreciate you guys/gals for being willing, after years of experience, to question long-held assumptions and constantly re-evaluate things. My general experience is that people tend to grasp firmly to whatever ratio/method/definition they learned from the espresso pro who brought them up, and formulate a sort of espresso religion around it. And that's not fun, and sort of a jerk move. So thanks.)

 

 

My first commercial spro machine was an E61 group Faema Jubilee. Had to use shot glasses. No head room.

It went bad and/or had some mfr. flaws so thanks to a good warranty, Delanios replaced it with a new twin grp. Aurelia Nuova Simonelli. Sweet that 20oz cups for go drink customers fits fine. This was designed with the US go drink market in mind. Love my Aurelia................

Joe

I completely agree with Rick here.  and just to add a bit of opinion, I think the flavor changes when you pull the shot into a vessel that is not warmed.

Ricky Sutton said:
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.

if I'm making a 12oz drink or something in a house mug, I'll pull directly into the cup so as to not leave any espresso or crema in the demi toss.  our house mugs sit on top of our machine to keep warm.  16 and 20oz cups don't fit so I'll use demi's for them. 

maybe it's all in my head, but I think I get a better head of crema and better defined latte art as well as more speckled shots when I pour directly into the cup.

Very true.............

The less you move the shots before applying the art the better. Most new espresso machines are designed and built to be able to put most sizes of cups under the groups.

Joe

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