Don't get me wrong, syrups are for the cosmetic connoisseur but when I have to, I like to have my espresso pulled straight into the syrup of choice instead of pouring the espresso from the shot cups and then into the cup with the syrup, but I find that I lose my crema. I figure, having the espresso hitting the syrup at first gives the syrup a better way (chance) to mix with the espresso since it's at a higher temp. My large cups (solo t16) don't fit under my pf, and my glass shots 'fraid won't hold too much. I hate using metal because it's an excellent conductor....

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I'm a little confused, are you talking about making drinks for yourself or for customers? if they're for you try using a ceramic mug that does fit under the portafilter. Another good way of mixing syrup into a drink is to steam it into the milk. So if your making a vanilla latte for instance put the syrup in the steaming pitcher, then pour in the cold milk and steam away. I do this for customers when they request it done this way. Personally I don't notice a flavor difference as long as I pour my steamed milk into the cup fast enough.
I too am a bit confused. I wouldn't recommend pulling shots into any other glass/cup than the one you're serving it in. When espresso is first pulled into a shot glass and then poured into a cup, some of the crema will stick to the sides of the shot glass. Granted, if your cups are too large to fit under the portafilter, you are forced to use shot glasses (unless, of course, you just get rid of those nasty 20oz cups). Use the shot glasses when you're getting dialed in, and also to check yourself for consistent quality; but when serving a drink, you want the espresso to come into contact with as little surface as possible.
http://www.amazon.com/Rattleware-Logo-Shot-Pitcher-Glass/dp/B001GZYTIW


Couldn't find it on espressoparts.com, but this is what we use in our cafe. The glass really helps to hold temperature of the espresso well and the glass makes it easy to keep clean, and keep track of the volume of your shot.

Hope this helps!
That's pretty interesting, the shot glasses you linked to. At our store, espresso is usually pulled into one (or two) stainless steel bell pitchers; this is mostly because we make our Americano's "long black" style, pouring the espresso over hot water, in order to preserve the layer of crema on the surface. We also have two regular-shaped shot glasses, which are reserved for training new baristas about espresso volume. However, they make terrible containers for pouring, because the crema instantly dissipates when introduced to the bottom of the cup. For myself, I usually try to pull the shot straight into the cup I'm serving it in (if the drink is flavoured, the syrup will already be on the bottom). In lattes/trad. cappucinnos/macchiattos, I give the 'spro a bit of a swirl in the cup, like Rick said, in order to mix the layers of flavours together. I actually want to have the crema broken up a bit, because it allows the milk to mix better when forming latte art.

Chadwick Rookstool said:
http://www.amazon.com/Rattleware-Logo-Shot-Pitcher-Glass/dp/B001GZYTIW


Couldn't find it on espressoparts.com, but this is what we use in our cafe. The glass really helps to hold temperature of the espresso well and the glass makes it easy to keep clean, and keep track of the volume of your shot.

Hope this helps!
Depending on the machine you're using - we've found that by using a chopped portafilter (naked) that we can easily slide a 16z cup under the grouphead.
Also, as a tangent from the discussion, you want to be sure that you aren't necessarily concentrating on volume alone when pulling your shots. There are many factors that can change the volume that your shot will be producing in order to taste good. If there is a change in ambient temperature, humidity, or several other things along that line, your volume is going to change drastically. A better method of regulating your shots would be to look for "blonding" of the espresso. This is when you can see a change in color on the liquid flowing out of the portafilter and it signifies that the espresso has been stripped of all it's qualities and you are virtually just diluting the shot that you have pulled and adding a certain element of bitterness to it. You might want to try pulling a shot until blonding has been achieved in one shot glass and then removing the first shot glass and replacing it with a second one and capture the post-blonding espresso to see how it tastes. You are going to experience a very watered-down, bitter, and thin liquid, which could not possibly add to espresso, but rather detract from it. Also, be sure to taste your shots regularly throughout the day because the espresso may be changing constantly due to all the changes that can happen with slight environmental changes. Below is a youtube video that you can watch that may give you a good idea of what blonding looks like, as it is somewhat hard to describe without a visual aid. Hope this helps....



http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FxXtDtKruaA
To be totally honest, why use syrup at all...rather seek a single origin coffee that would provide you with the flavor profile your after....but I probably have to help you out..

well here it is... besides pre-heating the cup....put the syrup in a shot glass and heat it in a froth pitcher with some water... this makes the syrup the same temp and density of the espresso that you will extract ON TOP OF the syrup....


still think you should look into the single origin thing though...

anywho..cheers
I usally pull my espresso straight into a 1/2 oz of syrup but I don't make any drinks bigger than 6oz any bigger than that and it's like an espresso in a sea of milk. I asked for a 6oz latte at some coffee bar in snotsdale and the guy looked at me like I was crazy. I actually had to explain to him to only use 4 oz of milk. Toffee nut is where it's at
technically the volume of a shot doesnt matter, its actually the colour, once the running esspresso comming straight from the pf starts turning a light tawny colour you know the shot is ready, measurement arent flexible enough cause they dont account for the differences in grind, bean and age of the bean


Ricky Sutton said:
I seem to be a minority in disagreeing with the "espresso directly in the cup it will be consumed in" thing.

I always pull my shots in a demi. My reasons for this are so that i can keep a very strict eye on volume. Were i to put a 16 oz. paper cup under my portafilter, i couldn't see the splitters and therefore have no idea what the shot is doing. To be able to watch the espresso coming from the splitters and watch it pooling in my demi has greatly increased the consistency of my shots. Also espresso kind of stays in the layers it is produced in. The espresso at the bottom tastes super dense and bassy (chocolates, caramels, toffee etc.), the middle of the shot is the fruit and the top is citrus and floral. The crema is invariably the ashy and bittersweet qualities. Those profiles will change depending on, well everything. But the theory is there that shots don't mix themselves. Which is why i stir my espresso before drinking. Anyway, my point is that if i pull a shot directly into a capp cup and don't vigorously swirl the shot before pouring, those bitters are risen to the surface of the drink as i pour and the top of my capp doesn't taste so great. Then when i reach the bottom, it's super syrupy. If i always pull into demi's then pour the shot into the cup, it's pre-mixed. Sure i lose some crema. It's a sacrifice i currently make in exchange for my drinks tasting better (to me).

As far as syrup is concerned, i always put it in the cup. I've seen a noticeable difference in the texture of my milk when steaming syrup with it.
Ricky Sutton said:
I agree about the volume issue. I pull my shots around 1.75 oz. between days 2-3 post roast, dosing at about 19 gr. in an 18 gr. synesso basket. Days 4-5 it's 1.5 oz. with a 20 gr. dose. Days 6-8 it's 1.25 oz. with a 21 gr. dose. These are all ROUGH estimates, but they're the guidelines that i start a shift with before i begin tweaking.
I strongly disagree about blonding. As i said before, i can pull a 40 second shot without seeing any blonding at all. That shot would not be ideal. It's not as simple as blonde espresso tastes bad and brown espresso tastes good. I've had plenty of experience with rich reddish-brown espresso tasting terrible if something is off. More rarely, sometimes the stream thinning out a little bit is exactly what a shot needs. Since the last few seconds of the shot seem to be where a lot of the more floral and acidic flavors reside, sometimes having those present in a capp for instance helps the espresso to have a more present personality in the drink. For my current espressophilosophy, it's all about extraction. Too much time or surface area, bitter and astringent. Too little time or surface area, sour or underdeveloped. Time (dictated by grind size/dose) is significantly more important to me than color.

Damon Lurie said:
technically the volume of a shot doesnt matter, its actually the colour, once the running esspresso comming straight from the pf starts turning a light tawny colour you know the shot is ready, measurement arent flexible enough cause they dont account for the differences in grind, bean and age of the bean


Ricky Sutton said:
I seem to be a minority in disagreeing with the "espresso directly in the cup it will be consumed in" thing.

I always pull my shots in a demi. My reasons for this are so that i can keep a very strict eye on volume. Were i to put a 16 oz. paper cup under my portafilter, i couldn't see the splitters and therefore have no idea what the shot is doing. To be able to watch the espresso coming from the splitters and watch it pooling in my demi has greatly increased the consistency of my shots. Also espresso kind of stays in the layers it is produced in. The espresso at the bottom tastes super dense and bassy (chocolates, caramels, toffee etc.), the middle of the shot is the fruit and the top is citrus and floral. The crema is invariably the ashy and bittersweet qualities. Those profiles will change depending on, well everything. But the theory is there that shots don't mix themselves. Which is why i stir my espresso before drinking. Anyway, my point is that if i pull a shot directly into a capp cup and don't vigorously swirl the shot before pouring, those bitters are risen to the surface of the drink as i pour and the top of my capp doesn't taste so great. Then when i reach the bottom, it's super syrupy. If i always pull into demi's then pour the shot into the cup, it's pre-mixed. Sure i lose some crema. It's a sacrifice i currently make in exchange for my drinks tasting better (to me).

As far as syrup is concerned, i always put it in the cup. I've seen a noticeable difference in the texture of my milk when steaming syrup with it.

Word. And for the record, I could choke a machine out pulling a 1 minute shot that didn't blond at all. Who's up for tasting that one? Hey it didn't blond though so it must be delicious...

-bry
Well, actually, there is a huge difference in the milk texture of a cappuccino and a latte, so the volume of the drink is entirely negligible. A cappuccino is not defined by it's volume, though it is a necessary condition for it to truly be a cappuccino.

Ricky Sutton said:
I think a 6oz. latte is treading a little too close to the borderline of being a capp for my taste. Then again so is a gibraltar, but i drink those on occasion. I never have drinks with syrup, but if i did Monin's Toffee Nut would totally be the way to go.

Russell Greene said:
I usally pull my espresso straight into a 1/2 oz of syrup but I don't make any drinks bigger than 6oz any bigger than that and it's like an espresso in a sea of milk. I asked for a 6oz latte at some coffee bar in snotsdale and the guy looked at me like I was crazy. I actually had to explain to him to only use 4 oz of milk. Toffee nut is where it's at
It is true that you can have a shot that tastes terrible right at the point of blonding, but that just means that you have to change something in the way that you are pulling the shot. You should be able to get a shot that tastes amazing right at blonding, that entirely negates the volume of the shot being pulled. There are far too many changing variables in the character of espresso for volume to be the regulator of what is "right" for the shot. But, chemically, blonding does and always will denote the exhaustion of the valuable oils being extracted from the espresso. Post-blonding, you are diluting with bitterness; pre-blonding, there are still so many more good oils that you can get out of your espresso.

Ricky Sutton said:
I'll try that shot Bry. Just have some seltzer water handy.

You do have to start somewhere though. And though it's all a huge generalization, there are baseline standards like crema = good, blonding = bad. That's just the first tier of the ladder in figuring out your coffee/machine/techniques. Much like anything else, it's an acceptable standard so long as you realize that it's a step in your evolution and you don't get stuck there forever. With agricultural products like coffee and milk, nothing is constant.

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