Should a traditional cappuccino be made with a 14 gram double shot portafilter or a 21 gram double shot portafilter?

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WBC rules call for split shots out of a 14. I think you're looking for more complexity rather than sweetness from the espresso, since properly steamed milk will lend the drink all the sweetness you need.

Are you using a full extraction or a split shot?
Is a split shot the same as a short-pull? I do not usually do a full extraction. I tend to enjoy the richness of the short-pull.
I want to be able to make a cap with 1/3 espresso, 1/3 steamed milk, and 1/3 foam, but make it an 8oz drink. It seems like I need a 21 gram portafilter for that. Most traditional caps are 6oz.

James Liu said:
WBC rules call for split shots out of a 14. I think you're looking for more complexity rather than sweetness from the espresso, since properly steamed milk will lend the drink all the sweetness you need.

Are you using a full extraction or a split shot?
split shot: half a shot out of a double or triple basket, using splitters.

I don't think you're going to be able to do 1/3-1/3-1/3 with super short shots in an 8 oz drink, even with triple baskets. There's a reason trad capps are 5-6oz.
You need to use the dose that tastes the best. If tradition gets in the way of that. Forget it. Make a new tradition.
Your blend for espresso will need to be dialed in to deliver the best flavor. The rule of thirds is not absolute...you have wiggle room when it comes to taste.
Start calibrating your shots, make tons of capps, keep a log of all the parameters you use and a tasting log to see wether you like 17 g, 2 ounce, 27 seconds, 6 ounce capp the best or a 20 g, 1.75 ounce, 28 second, 6 ounce capp best.
It all boils down to dialing in the "recipe" and repeating it.
Also, while you're tasting, keep in mind that the best extraction profile for a capp might not be the same thing as the best straight shot.
How would I pull the shot differently for a straight shot as opposed to for a capp?
This is a great discussion, I am learning a lot!

James Liu said:
Also, while you're tasting, keep in mind that the best extraction profile for a capp might not be the same thing as the best straight shot.
Hi,
I suggest u to go with 21g. This is my experience !!!
I also am having a challenging time with steaming for this application. I am using a 12oz milk pitcher, so there's less waste, but I'm finding it difficult to produce good microfoam using this small amount of milk. I have been thinking maybe I need a smaller steam wand because it heats the milk too quickly.

Thoughts, experiences...?
I tend to find a touch longer on shots for capps rather than for straight shots.

And as for steaming small quantities of milk, decisiveness is all. Find a steam wand/pitcher position where you basically don't have to move either while you're steaming. Another thing you can try is to steam slightly more milk, slightly thinner before you pull your shot and let the pitcher sit undisturbed as you pull your shot. Then pour some milk off (it will come from below your foam) and then carefully spin the foam and milk back together. That's how I like to do my macchiatos, but I've heard of people having success doing capps that way too.

And as for having a smaller steam wand, that may help. What machine are you on? You can swap La Marzocco & Synesso steam wand tips, and that has a huge effect on steam volume. Synesso makes both a high volume tip & a low volume tip, and the smaller tip is in my experience slightly shower than a La Marzocco. You might consider dedicating to smaller drinks by putting a slower tip on it.
Thanks, thats really helpful. Yeah, I have been thinking about changing tips and switching to smaller drink sizes. I need to find a way to introduce this to my clientele (I manage a small cafe for a church) without them missing the larger drinks too much. They're all stuck on Starbucks style 20oz lattes and capps.

I'm using a Grimac Lola II. I would love a La Marzocco or Synesso, but this is what we have to work with.

James Liu said:
I tend to find a touch longer on shots for capps rather than for straight shots.

And as for steaming small quantities of milk, decisiveness is all. Find a steam wand/pitcher position where you basically don't have to move either while you're steaming. Another thing you can try is to steam slightly more milk, slightly thinner before you pull your shot and let the pitcher sit undisturbed as you pull your shot. Then pour some milk off (it will come from below your foam) and then carefully spin the foam and milk back together. That's how I like to do my macchiatos, but I've heard of people having success doing capps that way too.

And as for having a smaller steam wand, that may help. What machine are you on? You can swap La Marzocco & Synesso steam wand tips, and that has a huge effect on steam volume. Synesso makes both a high volume tip & a low volume tip, and the smaller tip is in my experience slightly shower than a La Marzocco. You might consider dedicating to smaller drinks by putting a slower tip on it.

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