I have been at this for about a year and im looking to broaden my skills, and suggestions?

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Don't knock the baskets. It breaks the seal for the espresso to pull effectively. And be sure not to over pack the basket with espresso grinds. Your ideal amount of espresso in a double portafilter is about 8 grams. the basket can hold more but after 8 grams the shot pulls very slow and causes the flavor to die out. You are looking for a steady flow with a caramel color. Remember your times for lungos and ristrettos. I like my shots at 31 seconds making it a lungo. Our store pulls at around 24 to 26 seconds. We aim more for ristretto shots but I am more of a fan of long shots.
Welcome, Ben.

You've made a good first step, lots of good info in this community. My suggestion is to spend a few hours browsing through the discussions here and reading. Lots of good tips to be found.

Drink lots of different stuff made by lots of different people. Focus on the things you are tasting.

Gabe, pretty sure you meant 8g for a single, not a double. The standard recommendation for double is 14-16g, 2oz or so, in 20-30 seconds.
Thanks buddy. It was pretty late for me last night. Listen to Brady, Ben. 8g for a single and 14-16g on a double. By the way, Octane's throwdown was SICK!!! We need to hit that up again, Ben.

Brady said:
Welcome, Ben.

You've made a good first step, lots of good info in this community. My suggestion is to spend a few hours browsing through the discussions here and reading. Lots of good tips to be found.

Drink lots of different stuff made by lots of different people. Focus on the things you are tasting.

Gabe, pretty sure you meant 8g for a single, not a double. The standard recommendation for double is 14-16g, 2oz or so, in 20-30 seconds.
You were at Octane last night? Bet that was a late night. Some Charlotte guys were down there too.... wish I could have made it.
thank you, i will definitely do that i get better and better everyday and im starting to just feel it.

Brady said:
Welcome, Ben.

You've made a good first step, lots of good info in this community. My suggestion is to spend a few hours browsing through the discussions here and reading. Lots of good tips to be found.

Drink lots of different stuff made by lots of different people. Focus on the things you are tasting.

Gabe, pretty sure you meant 8g for a single, not a double. The standard recommendation for double is 14-16g, 2oz or so, in 20-30 seconds.
when training my future baristi, i like to make them steam every time on other steam wands, once left, once right...make them be able to do proper milk at any side...not a key to become a champion, but makes your brain work different...
To kind of echo Brady here, focus on tasting everything. Really develop your palate. It makes coffee more enjoyable if you can not only notice, but properly describe what it is you are tasting. Your customers will get more out of their interaction with you if you do so as well.

Also, really devote time to research, both online and in books, but also your own experimentation. If you have a question about coffee and can't find the answer to it, ask it here or elsewhere, but ask it. If no one has an answer then do the coffee world a favor and experiment and then post the results. If coffee is something you are truly passionate about, which it sounds like it is, then devote some time and effort into it. Get to know what technology is on the horizon that could reshape things. Get to know where you coffee is coming from specifically and help increase awareness of the farmers. Keep perfecting your craft and focusing on learning as much as you possibly can about multiple areas of coffee and you will have a profound impact on the people you interact with on a day to day basis.

-Bry
start saving for plane tickets to seattle, chicago, and NYC. fell in love with coffee each time.
most stuff is different than anything you've seen before, and coffee is constantly changing. Learn as much as you can and then use that knowledge to figure out what is going on at any given time.
Taste. Taste. Taste.

Learn to tamp by feel. Gram measuring is fine to ensure consistency, but each espresso will have it's own feel, and after awhile it will become intuitive. Don't get caught up in the numbers, just follow the cup.
yeah i know what your sayin its becoming easier and easier as it goes on. thank you for the help.

John P said:
Taste. Taste. Taste.

Learn to tamp by feel. Gram measuring is fine to ensure consistency, but each espresso will have it's own feel, and after awhile it will become intuitive. Don't get caught up in the numbers, just follow the cup.
i grew up in chicago but i knew nothing about coffee so when i go to visit my fam i know what field trips to plan haha thank you.

Buehrer said:
start saving for plane tickets to seattle, chicago, and NYC. fell in love with coffee each time.

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