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Thread: A little help please..

  1. #1
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    A little help please..

    Hey all.. I believe I make a reasonable latte style coffee, but I was asked to make a double ristretto the other day and I've come to the realisation I don't really understand what it is I'm doing, so I need a little help. I have a Sunbeam EM700, and a Breville Smartgrinder pro. I use the double basket I believe (wider diameter base with all holes), and I grind in about 16g coffee. I then select the dbl shot button and get a pour around 25-28 seconds. FYI.. I do the milk frothing first and use good quality recently roasted beans. So can you let me know what it is I'm making (double latte?) and how to do Ristretto!

    Thanks.

  2. #2
    Senior Member LeroyC's Avatar
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    Hey there, don't worry the person that asked for a double ristretto probably doesn't know what they're talking about either. I had a laugh! (Unless of course they're a coffee geek or professional). Anyway, to your question - you are making a fairly standard double shot espresso style drink there. To know if it's technically a ristretto or an espresso you need to know the output. That is, you need to know what you end up with in the cup. This is called the yield and ideally you'd weigh it, although for beginners checking the volume in a shot cup of some sort is ok. Anyway here's some basic parameters that describe the difference between espresso and ristretto based on your 16g dose:

    Espresso/short black:
    About 45-60ml in total (including crema) OR
    About 30-45g

    Ristretto:
    About 25-35ml (including crema) OR
    About 15-25g

    Your shot time of around 28secs is good and should be the same regardless of what drink you're making. To properly change between espresso and ristretto you need to adjust your grinder to achieve a different output in the same amount of time, but this isn't something that can be done for just one drink then changed back. So if you're normally making a standard espresso and want to make a ristretto you need to cheat a bit. The easiest way to do this is to increase your dose a little bit. This will slow down the shot and you'll be able to stop it with a lower output (but still at around 30secs) without it being horribly under-extracted. This is very much a work around and definitely isn't the proper way to do it, however you don't have any other choice.
    You may already be making ristrettos so go and check your output somehow and get back to us. Good luck and have fun.

  3. #3
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    Leroy what a great answer with explanation, problem and solution all included.

  4. #4
    Senior Member level3ninja's Avatar
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    The other shortcut is to cut the shot off early. Grind and dose as normal and stop the shot as soon as it starts to blonde (usually around 18 - 20s).

  5. #5
    Senior Member LeroyC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by level3ninja View Post
    The other shortcut is to cut the shot off early. Grind and dose as normal and stop the shot as soon as it starts to blonde (usually around 18 - 20s).
    That can be worth a try if your normal shot is a little on the tighter end of 'espresso'. But if it's more like a 60ml-from-16g-in-28sec type shot then cutting it off short will most likely produce a sour, under-extracted 'rizza'. It might work, but it's even more haphazard than the cheat I've described above. Maybe the OP could experiment with both methods and see what happens.
    Dimal likes this.

  6. #6
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    Thanks for that Leroy, great info there. I'll weigh the result and get back to you on that. FWIW I'm grinding on "5" so I'm guessing I should increase the amount slightly, but also grind on something smaller like "3" yeah?

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    Ok so by weight the pour is 46g.. I assume if I do a ristretto, I have to manually stop it around 30 secs otherwise it will continue to try and pour 60 mls yeah?

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    If your machine does that automatically, then yes, you'd need to stop it.

  9. #9
    Senior Member LeroyC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by IvanG View Post
    Ok so by weight the pour is 46g.. I assume if I do a ristretto, I have to manually stop it around 30 secs otherwise it will continue to try and pour 60 mls yeah?
    A 46g yield from a 16g dose in 25-28sec is at the very edge of what most people would call true espresso. Generally I recommend people aim for a ratio of 1:2 for a true espresso shot (this is called the brew ratio) and ideally achieve that in about 28-30secs. In your situation this would give you a yield of 32g from your 16g dose. The only way to do this is to grind finer.
    The disclaimers here are that every coffee and every equipment set up is a bit different, and everything should be driven by taste, or the 'in the cup' result as people refer it. If you're happy with how your coffee tastes now then don't go making drastic changes. But yes, you are a long way from a ristretto at the moment as a ristretto is usually around a 1:1 or maybe 1:1.2 ratio. You'll possibly struggle to slow down the shot enough to get a ristretto simply by increasing the dose. But give it a go and see what happens. It's worth a try as you might actually find the result is something you prefer yourself for your latte.

  10. #10
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    Thanks Leroy. My machine is an EM7000, and I can program the pour to stop earlier. So, if I grind finer and program it to stop at 28seconds, I should be getting closer to the "magic" tasting espresso. Will give it a shot (pun intended) tomorrow..
    LeroyC likes this.

  11. #11
    Senior Member trentski's Avatar
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    Behmor Brazen - $249 - Free Freight
    Leave the time the same and fine the grind so you get less espresso.

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