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Thread: Synesso 14g and 21g baskets - Im confused !

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    Synesso 14g and 21g baskets - Im confused !

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Ive only been into coffee for the past few months, so I apologise for my lack of knowledge..

    Im unsure as what the differences are b/w Synesso 14g double baskets and the 21g triple baskets.

    14g baskets refer to double shot dosing and 21g triple dosing? Triple dosing is one BIG shot!

    If so, what happens if one wants to have only a single shot?

    Im confused guys.. cheers :-?

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    Re: Synesso 14g and 21g baskets - Im confused !

    scp1906,

    OK, basket sizes....

    Doubles come in various sizes from the "standard" 14 grams up to about 20 grams+ and a triple is deeper and generally holds 21+ grams..... There are also single baskets that hold 7+ grams....

    Single baskets are very hard to get a good extraction from due to the shape of the basket (they neck in to a much smaller diameter at the base). You can (with a lot of effort and perseverance) get a good shot from a single.... but to quote from the commercial machine coffee course I attended...

    "Never use a single basket - if a customer asks for a single coffee - use a double basket and pour half down the drain"....

    Basically he was saying that it isnt worth the saving of 7-10grams of coffee grinds to serve the customer a poor coffee....

    The more coffee in the basket, the easier it is to get a good extraction. I personally always use about 20 grams in a double basket... even if only making a single coffee for myself.... and either take the first half of the pour.... or use the normal pour and let half go down the sink (or use it for iced coffees etc)..... I havent used a single basket for years!!!

    With the Silvia single basket it is especially hard to get a decent shot.... other single baskets are better - but it is still difficult. There is no possibility of "up dosing" - putting more grounds in to get a better coffee. With double baskets like LM and Synesso it is easy to "up dose" and the resultant coffee is far better.

    So it depends whether you want the best espresso (which requires at least a double basket - preferably up dosed - or you wish to save a few pennies at the cost of lots of frustration and quite possibly an espresso which isnt as good.

    As I said above, some people are perfectly happy with the single baskets and with appropriate technique they get good results..... but it takes a lot more effort..... and these people generally only use a single basket - and they use the technique and grind size appropriate for that basket (both of which are different compared to a double basket)


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    Senior Member greenman's Avatar
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    Re: Synesso 14g and 21g baskets - Im confused !

    I tried my single basket in Silvia and had no joy and getting lousy shots, since getting the Synesso 20g ridgeless double my shots have improved markedly (matched of course with a Pullman), if my wife only wants a single shot drink I slum it and have a single shot or put it in frig for an iced coffee.

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    Re: Synesso 14g and 21g baskets - Im confused !

    Hi - Ive got to give a plug for the LM single basket - i find i can get good single shots from it, Im quite happy with it. I also have an LM basket for doubles. I use Rocky with a grind setting 1 click coarser for the single. I do not weigh my beans - I find 2 level scoops of beans using the Silvia scoop for the single and 3 level scoops for the double is about right.

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    Re: Synesso 14g and 21g baskets - Im confused !

    the standard filter basket sold with a silvia is a 6g single and 12g double basket, fitting a 7g and 14 does improve the quality of the shot.
    if you follow the 7g per cup rule you will get a shit coffee out of a single and a good out of a double
    by increasing your single dose to approx 9g makes a lot of difference.
    it is not about just overdosing but adjusting baskets, grind and tecnique to different machines

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    Re: Synesso 14g and 21g baskets - Im confused !

    Hi All,
    Im not that enthused about 21g baskets myself, as I said in another thread today. Its not that I think they are no good, Im just a bit indifferent to them. This is for a few reasons. Firstly I believe them to be unforgiving. When the grind, dose, tamp etc are spot on they produce magnificent shots. For the experienced baristi using high grade equipment a 21g basket is easier to negotiate. However if you are a beginner using entry level kit, or even an intermediate using mid-range equipment (thats me!) it can be, in my experience, a different story. Lets say your a beginner using an entry level grinder and an ill-fitting tamper- an uneven grind + an uneven tamp will most likely lead to major channeling in on of these big buckets of a basket! As an intermediate, I have had mixed results as well. I was gifted an iberital grinder last week and before that was using an EMO480 and I have a decent but not great tamper. When using the sunbeam grinder with the 21g basket my results were inconsistent, mainly (I believe) due to the grinders inconsistency. Now with the Iberital the results are less inconsistent, but still a little inconsistent compared to using a 14g basket. Im prettysure the Iberitals more consistent grind has made the difference...but still, when I get it right the difference in the cup between a great 14g shot and a great 21g shot is (to my palette) pretty miniscule. And thats the 2nd reason why Im a bit indifferent to them. If it aint broken, dont fix it, as they say.
    So, Im not convinced that "the bigger the basket, the better" unless perhaps you are lucky enough to be highly skilled and using high end equipment.
    Cheers, Anthony

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    Sleep is overrated Thundergod's Avatar
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    Re: Synesso 14g and 21g baskets - Im confused !

    I disagree Anthony.
    Ive found the bigger baskets to be more forgiving.

    For example, look at how many people say to avoid single baskets and to just use a double.

    In my very early days of this coffee making journey (just over a year ago :) ) It was suggested to me by a former Australian Barista Champion that I should get a bigger double basket.




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    Re: Synesso 14g and 21g baskets - Im confused !

    TG- Thats interesting you find the bigger baskets more forgiving, not my experience at all... Has that always been the case- even before you had the prosumer set-up? Have you noticed any channeling when using a naked P/F?
    We all hear lots of this expert recommends this etc.... but my question is- why?
    Im not convinced that a god-shot through a 21g basket is better than the same through a 14g basket- unless your drinking it as a milk based coffee, then I concede that the extra oomph is good to cut through milk...
    I must admit- I do wonder if the 21g basket has developed a life of its own beacuse an expert somewhere said its the thing to do...
    If it is as is said around here- its whats in the cup that counts- then to my palette the 21g basket is just overkill, or to put it another way, why WOULDNT I use a 14g basket?
    Cheers, A

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    Re: Synesso 14g and 21g baskets - Im confused !

    CB: A triple basket holds more coffee - obviously. That means there are more coffee oils and volatiles in the basket to be extracted, which in turn means the potential for a longer shot before blonding. It also means a greater buffer to absorb any pressure irregularities within the basket. If you literally had a basket that was a bucket, youd struggle to get anything other than an even extraction; on the other hand a 4g single basket would be basically impossible to get an even shot from. That to my mind is the why a triple basket can be more forgiving than a double.

    Does that automatically mean a triple is better than a double, or should be used in all instances? By no means. All other things being equal, a triple basket will give you a longer and thus richer extraction, but for many people a double may be more than adequate, and perhaps more pleasant to the palate. At Epic we used Synesso double baskets and there was never an issue with premature blonding but there were always variations with exactly how much volume youd get; if wed used triples, more coffee = even longer extractions before blonding; but it just wasnt necessary considering they were all ristretto shots anyway. As far as cutting through the milk, more espresso isnt the only answer to that, its also got a lot to do with the beans being used, though obviously a greater volume of any given bean will be more obvious in milk.

    At the end of the day, you use whatever you like the flavour from. If youre finding little difference between a double and a triple in results, then it probably means something in your technique on the triple isnt quite as good - perhaps it needs a firmer tamp to compress the added depth of coffee without which the puck is underpacked; perhaps its a larger diameter basket to get the capacity up and youre getting channelling around the edges, I dont know. Itd be interesting to know whats holding things back, but in the meantime if youre happy with the results from the double then like you say, why change? :)

    Greg

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    Sleep is overrated Thundergod's Avatar
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    Re: Synesso 14g and 21g baskets - Im confused !

    Ill answer your questions/points in order.

    My first machine and grinder are the Expobar and Macap.
    (I spoiled myself straight up.)
    But I do think the slightly bigger basket made a difference (at the time).
    Now however, I think my experience would help me use the original basket better than I did in the beginning.
    I dont use it now though as my Pullman tamper is fitted to the bigger basket.

    When I first got the naked PF there was SO MUCH channelling that the coffee seemed to go in every direction EXCEPT down. *;D

    I do drink flat whites.

    Whether or not 21g baskets now have a reputation because of what some expert(s) said in the past I cant answer but do trust my expert implicitly.

    If a 14g basket does it for you then so be it and think of how much coffee youre saving. *:)


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    Re: Synesso 14g and 21g baskets - Im confused !

    Coffeebreath,

    As much as an overdosed (my double Synesso will take 20grams) or even a triple makes tamping easier (in my experience with a fitted tamper) it also makes the flavour of the espresso much richer.....

    A larger dose prolongs the onset of blonding..... but even before you notice the actual blonding.... it is starting to add bitter elements to your espresso.

    It might take 60ml for onset with 14 grams.... but 90ml with a 21 gram dose... so if you stop at 60ml.... well before blonding - you will get a nicer espresso.....

    A tasting test we did with a standard double....

    Extract into three espresso glasses.... first third of the pour into one, the middle third into the second and the rest into the third glass... then taste each one in turn..... the first and second are good but the third is starting to taste a little nasty....

    Try the same thing with a triple and you will find a different result.

    Some people prefer the more bitter elements which you get in the last third - they feel it makes the espresso flavour more balanced.... me - I can (and prefer) to live without it....

    So its what you like in the cup that counts.... and for me that comes from overdosing (with the added bonus it is then less fussy).

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    Re: Synesso 14g and 21g baskets - Im confused !

    GP & JB- Thanks. That was informative and I learned from and thought about your comments.

    My machine is set up like so: Its a 2 group Pavoni and both P/Fs have 14g baskets & single pour spouts (or 1 single, 1 naked to be precise) . Every shot I pull is a double ristretto (30mls), so blonding is generally not an issue.

    My tamper is an off the shelf job and fits pretty well, BUT its not FITTED (I do plan on ordering my pullman soon GP!..and that may make my comments here redundant!), I think your comments about the ill fitting tamper causing channeling with the 21g are right- but I think it may also be a technique thing as well...Im gonna work on that and see.

    Im going to try some side by side tasting (with comparible pours) as you suggested JB and see if I still think that the diff between 21g & 14 g shots is minimal, and if not, whether 1 is better than the other.

    I dont always agree that more is better though. A good bean well made is exactly that- and richer and "stronger" (for want of a better term) does not always = better. Sometimes it does- but so does understatement and subtlety.

    I realise that you guys have more depth of knowledge and experience than I, but with a set up like mine, I still think that 21g baskets are neither here nor there...

    Cheers and thanks for the insight though...but now Im off for a rich, syrupy and delightful 14 GRAM shot!!
    Anthony.


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    Re: Synesso 14g and 21g baskets - Im confused !

    Quote Originally Posted by coffeebreath link=1200754258/0#11 date=1200949602

    I dont always agree that more is better though. A good bean well made is exactly that- and richer and "stronger" (for want of a better term) does not always = better. Sometimes it does- but so does understatement and subtlety.
    I could not agree with you more! Which is why you should, as we say, use whatever method you need to to give the imbiber the flavour they prefer, whether that be yourself, your family or your customers! :)


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    Re: Synesso 14g and 21g baskets - Im confused !

    This has been an interesting discussion - On a slightly related matter, If i use a double basket for a single shot and just take the 1st 30ml, I can see from JavaB that I should avoid some bitterness - My question is around the caffeine hit - Is the caffeine higher in this case vs using an overdosed single basket to get 30ml in approx 30sec??

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    Re: Synesso 14g and 21g baskets - Im confused !

    Hi argon.
    firstly let me preface by saying Im no expert in the science of coffee extraction- but I believe what im about to say is true.
    The caffeine content in a shot will have more to do with the volume of coffee used than the volume of water it is extracted through, so, if you are using a larger basket...more coffee = more caffeine.
    Also, all the action takes place at the front of the extraction. You can see this by observing the pour. Thick/viscous at the start, thinning towards the end. So even though you are only using the 1st half of a double shot, it is in that 1/2 that the bulk of the oils and other volatile substances are extraced (ie as JavaB said above- the 1st 30mls of a double pour will differ from the 2nd 30mls).
    If you have not already stumbled across it, have a look at www.coffeeresearch.org it has some great info about the more scientific side of our passion...
    Cheers, Anthony

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    Re: Synesso 14g and 21g baskets - Im confused !

    According to Mr Illys article, an espresso will extract 60 to 70 percent of the caffeine so you are right, more coffee = more caffeine.

    [s]However, you are also wrong because if you extract for an extra 30 seconds you will get approximately an extra 75% more caffeine as in the first 30 seconds; more water = more caffeine.[/s]

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    Re: Synesso 14g and 21g baskets - Im confused !

    Quote Originally Posted by Thundergod link=1200754258/15#15 date=1200991056
    According to Mr Illys article, an espresso will extract 60 to 70 percent of the caffeine so you are right, more coffee = more caffeine.

    However, you are also wrong because if you extract for an extra 30 seconds you will get approximately an extra 75% more caffeine as in the first 30 seconds; more water = more caffeine.
    /me scratches his head

    So is that another way of saying that of the 70% total caffeine content of the beans that is extracted, 60% of it is expressed in the first half of the shot and the remaining 40% comes out in the second half of the pull? :-? :-? :-?


    Java "Easily confuzzled" phile

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    Re: Synesso 14g and 21g baskets - Im confused !

    ...Im with you Java-phile...somewhat befuddled.

    TG- are you saying that if you pour your espresso for 60 seconds you will get 145% of the available caffeine??!! or are you saying what Javaphile just said, which is, well sort of exactly what I said...

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    Re: Synesso 14g and 21g baskets - Im confused !

    Quote Originally Posted by Thundergod link=1200754258/15#15 date=1200991056
    According to Mr Illys article, an espresso will extract 60 to 70 percent of the caffeine so you are right, more coffee = more caffeine.

    However, you are also wrong because if you extract for an extra 30 seconds you will get approximately an extra 75% more caffeine as in the first 30 seconds; more water = more caffeine.
    My interpretation of the above, without having the Illy text before me, is:
    1st 30 seconds of extraction = 60-70% (65% for ease of calculation) of available caffeine extracted, 35% remains in coffee
    2nd 30 seconds of extraction = 75% of remaining caffeine extracted = 26.75% of total extracted

    Evaluating the above, a 30 second extraction will give 65% of the available caffeine while a 60 second extraction will give 91.75% of caffeine extracted.

    Just my 8.25%s worth.
    Greg

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    Re: Synesso 14g and 21g baskets - Im confused !

    OK OK let me put it another way.

    In the graph in the article at the 30 sec mark caffeine extraction was 0.4 parts per million.
    At 60 sec it was approx. .7 ppm.

    Clear as mud?

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    Re: Synesso 14g and 21g baskets - Im confused !

    Sorry guys, I think Ive misread the graphs.
    So I take back the second statement.

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    Re: Synesso 14g and 21g baskets - Im confused !

    Just to make sure what I am doing is correct. I alway use a double basket but only pour a single shot from this. Is this then classified as a ristretto?

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    Senior Member fatboy_1999's Avatar
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    Re: Synesso 14g and 21g baskets - Im confused !

    My understanding of ristretto is that it is a restricted shot.

    So the pour would be stopped around 20 seconds.

    So doing a ~20 second pour with a double basket into one cup = double ristretto.

    Doing a full 30 second pour with a double basket into one cup = double espresso.

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    Re: Synesso 14g and 21g baskets - Im confused !

    Interesting because WBC rules say, "An espresso is a one-ounce beverage (25 to 35ml including crema)...brewing flow time is between 20 to 30 seconds"

    I have two understandings of ristretto Fatboy...yours and also that a finer grind producing only 15-20mL of espresso in 30 seconds is acceptable.

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    Re: Synesso 14g and 21g baskets - Im confused !

    According to a couple of cafes Ive been to, the third definition of a ristretto is a blank look ;)

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    Re: Synesso 14g and 21g baskets - Im confused !

    Quote Originally Posted by fatboy link=1200754258/15#22 date=1201736429
    My understanding of ristretto is that it is a restricted shot.

    So the pour would be stopped around 20 seconds.

    So doing a ~20 second pour with a double basket into one cup = double ristretto.

    Doing a full 30 second pour with a double basket into one cup = double espresso.
    Yep, a ristretto is a restricted shot, but I beg to differ on your understanding of what a double (or doppio) is.

    A double ristretto/double espresso refers to the volume of liquid extracted - not the amount of grind crammed into the basket. So, a double ristretto is 40ml & a double espresso (a true doppio) is 60 ml. Whether you extract these respective amounts from a 7gm basket :P or a 21gm basket is immaterial as the descriptor (only to the quality of the shot).

    Personally, for all my shots I only use a 16gm basket double spout PF but updose to fit closer to 20gms compacted grind. To extract a double ristretto, I waste a fair bit of grind in the quest for fullness & richness of flavour - I cram 20gms in, extract 20ml over app. 20 seconds, lose the puck, and repeat (so, 40ml from 40gms).

    cheers,
    Tony

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    Re: Synesso 14g and 21g baskets - Im confused !

    Quote Originally Posted by Wushoes - David S link=1200754258/15#23 date=1201746520
    I have two understandings of ristretto Fatboy...yours and also that a finer grind producing only 15-20mL of espresso in 30 seconds is acceptable.
    Yep,

    This is the genuine article but because of a lot of other factors, a lot of PBTC just leave the grind setting as is and pull the shot short..... Not a true Ristretto in that the intensity and sweetness will be lacking,

    Mal.

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    Re: Synesso 14g and 21g baskets - Im confused !

    Quote Originally Posted by m@ link=1200754258/15#24 date=1201754929
    According to a couple of cafes Ive been to, the third definition of a ristretto is a blank look ;)
    Yep- But I reckon this topic is a good reason why! Alot of us whom (supposedly!!) know what we are talking about differ on exactly what it is.

    By the way- I happen to agree with Wushoes and Mal- being that a true double ristretto should be restricted by grind- not by time, but I differ in that I reckon a double ristretto should pull to 25mls-30mls- I just think that double the volume of coffee (ie 2 x 7-10 grams) benefits from a slightly longer pour...just my personal taste.

    However what I really wanted to say is this: when making coffee in a commercial environment it is impracticle to adjust the grind on a stepless grinder to make 1 double ristretto for 1 customer, so I guess a "true" double espresso at your local cafe is gonna be hard to find, even if they dont scratch their heads!

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    Re: Synesso 14g and 21g baskets - Im confused !

    Quote Originally Posted by coffeebreath link=1200754258/15#27 date=1201766772
    but I differ in that I reckon a double ristretto should pull to 25mls-30mls- I just think that double the volume of coffee (ie 2 x 7-10 grams) benefits from a slightly longer pour...just my personal taste.
    Yes, cb, this is the sort of volume I tend to work with too but I think maybe Wushoes was referring to the volume from a Single Ristretto, not a Doppio.

    Anyway, regardless of the size of the Basket used, a properly poured Ristretto is a most delightful way to enjoy espresso.... Will never sacrifice these to the God of Lattes ;)

    Mal.

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    Re: Synesso 14g and 21g baskets - Im confused !

    Quote Originally Posted by Mal link=1200754258/15#28 date=1201868004
    Quote Originally Posted by coffeebreath link=1200754258/15#27 date=1201766772
    but I differ in that I reckon a double ristretto should pull to 25mls-30mls- I just think that double the volume of coffee (ie 2 x 7-10 grams) benefits from a slightly longer pour...just my personal taste.
    ... a properly poured Ristretto is a most delightful way to enjoy espresso.... Will never sacrifice these to the God of Lattes ;)

    Mal.
    So what exactly is a properly poured ristretto Mal? :-?

    Im getting a tad confused with espresso variation definitions here ...

    Perhaps this highlights exactly what m@ posted earlier, in that a request for a certain poison gets a blank blink! (Succinct & to the point BTW m@)

    ... any standard definition of an espresso based beverage is uncertain, because theres no agreement as to what the bloody standard is!





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    Re: Synesso 14g and 21g baskets - Im confused !


    While there seem to be some golden rules in espresso, it seems that all rules can be broken. A mate of mine, who only drinks espresso, is pretty fussy. Hes go my naked PF at the moment to check his shots. He is able to get very good shots from single baskets as well as double baskets (as determined by both the pour from the naked PF and TASTE). Another sacred cow that hes laid to rest is the need for a perfect tamp. Hes recently experimented with the "Merlo tamp", which is grinding finer, up-dosing and using that plastic disc that hangs off the grinder by pushing the PF up against it to flatten and "tamp" the grinds. Then he extracts awesome shots, transferring the aroma of the beans into the taste of the shot.

    So while well worn advice may be the best way for a newbie to go towards achieving good shots, its by no means the only way. However, the one emphasis must be on consistency in preparation routine. All bets are off if you cant reproduce the shot, or something very similar to it.

    Cheers,

    Mark.



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    Re: Synesso 14g and 21g baskets - Im confused !

    Pretty well agree with all of that Sparky,

    I think the "Golden Rule(s)" exists mainly as a guide to help get newbies off the mark so they have at least some chance of pulling decent shots from their hardware. Once a home barista has refined their technique and gained better understanding and confidence of the various elements of the process under their belts, experimentation soon has you trying out slight alterations to the tried and true. Its all good though once youve got the trainer wheels off..... ;)

    Mal.

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    Re: Synesso 14g and 21g baskets - Im confused !

    Quote Originally Posted by Sparky link=1200754258/30#30 date=1202903209
    Another sacred cow that hes laid to rest is the need for a perfect tamp. Hes recently experimented with the "Merlo tamp", which is grinding finer, up-dosing and using that plastic disc that hangs off the grinder by pushing the PF up against it to flatten and "tamp" the grinds. Then he extracts awesome shots, transferring the aroma of the beans into the taste of the shot.
    Interesting observation. I considered letting this go through to the keeper because any comments will more than likely be read as well of course hes going to say that. ::) But Ill bite cos its something Ive given a fair bit of thought and some recent experimentation to.

    Id agree that its not impossible to get a good extraction without tamping, but with a few qualifiers (i.e. I believe theres more to this topic than just you dont have to tamp):

    • If you donít tamp the group will get a lot messier from the loose grounds so youíll have to pay a lot more attention and time to keep that clean, and failure to do so will compromise the flavour in other ways
    • As you rotate the portafilter to load it, obviously the portafilter, basket and coffee are all rotating while the group is not. The fact the coffee will start off in contact with the showerscreen (especially in an updosed situation such as this) means there are two likely scenarios for addressing that rotational force:
      1) the coffee in contact with the showerscreen moves, so itís theoretically more likely to get blocked by having loose coffee shoved in and rotated through 45 degrees
      2) the coffee in contact with the showerscreen doesnít move while the portafilter does, in which case the rotational force of loading the portafilter is taken somewhere in the puck, leading to a puck shear and the potential for channelling
    • Any benefit of a polish (and thatís a subject in itself) is lost
    • youíll have to compensate for lack of tamp with other factors such as finer grind (exactly as described)

    HoweverÖ I DO believe itís possible to get a good extraction without tamping providing youíre prepared to adjust the other factors accordingly. At least allowing the group to do the tamping itís going to apply pressure evenly each time. Luca once relayed a story to me of someone trying all sorts of fancy tamping methods on a bottomless portafilter to get a good extraction, while a colleague dosed, smoothed with the palm of the hand, loaded and got a good extraction.

    That story really distills the essence of my view on the subject. What it says to me is not that, categorically, tamping has no benefit, but rather that:

    • good results are possible without tamping providing youíre prepared to accept the other shortcomings of that method
    • poor tamping (be it by technique or equipment) has the potential to be worse than no tamping at all as it may result in applying vastly different compression rates to different parts of the puck, which is a perfect recipe for channelling (in this case its more than likely the level of updosing means the last bit of puck compression is being done by the group anyway which equalises the puck pressure, so the initial tamp probably has little effect). My own recent experiments with a bottomless portafilter support this view
    • correct tamping has the potential to give the best of both worlds Ė an even compression of the puck plus reduced wear, maintenance and cleaning of group gaskets and showerscreen

    So in my view, while its possible to get good results without tamping, it still very much has a place in espresso preparation, provided, as with all other factors of the job, technique and equipment are up to scratch. The nature of that technique and equipment are subjects in themselves.

    Greg

  34. #34
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    Re: Synesso 14g and 21g baskets - Im confused !

    Great write up Greg. well of course hes going to say that. ;)

    I appreciate you doing this write up cos I dont have that much experience in tamping experimentation. Ive started to try a few things lately, provoked by posts on CS, and what you say rings true me thus far. I guess Im finding similar results, but dont really have the backing of the why part.

    Thanks!

    YeeZa

  35. #35
    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    Re: Synesso 14g and 21g baskets - Im confused !

    Dont get me wrong,

    Tamping is important but I think the method employed is more important than the force used, so long as that is held within reasonable tolerances of consistency. Having a custom made tamper such as the Pullman makes it all so much easier to do. And from your own experiments Greg you discovered that once past a certain applied force, the actual force used makes very little difference to the integrity of the puck.

    Theres more to tamping than meets the eye, its not just a matter of applying xxKgs force and then going for it, you need to make sure that the average bulk density of the puck is as uniform as possible in order for ensuing pours to be repeatable. I have developed a method that works for me, every time, despite the actual force being used varying quite a bit. I agree with you though, the lack of using a tamp altogether is probably not the best way of doing things. I have tried doing this but the results varied too much over the course of time and just adds yet another variable to the process, and who needs that?

    Mal.

  36. #36
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    Re: Synesso 14g and 21g baskets - Im confused !


    OK, get those worms back into the can...

    All I wanted to say was there are more ways to skin a cat. Greg has gone into more detail as to the pros and cons with his excellent follow-up. I dont use this minimal tamp technique because I dont want to use the shower screen to tamp the puck due to all of the points referred to above as well as the potential for the puck to swell during the extraction, which would add to the excessive wear and cleaning woes.

    Ultimatey, if youre careful and methodical, you can use a single basket (some are better than others) or vary the way you tamp and still get good results. That said, I tamp with a fitted tamper and only use a double basket.

    Cows shouldnt be sacred, just good eatin

  37. #37
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    Re: Synesso 14g and 21g baskets - Im confused !

    Totally agree Sparky, I didnt really want to take this thread OT as its definitely a topic for another thread, but it was just too juicy a worm to let go! Shows what happens when fattened worms get let out of the can ;) Any commonly accepted dogma has to stand the test of a challenge, tamping, 15kg, pressurised baskets are useless, fresh beans, grind on demand or whatever it may be. Nothing should be too sacred to challenge; if its right itll be standing at the end and if not why would we believe it? To go even further OT, its the attitude I take to religion - while Ive been brought up a Bible follower from day 1 its important for ones own beliefs in anything to see them withstand a challenge to ones own satisfaction as it gives confidence in the truth of those beliefs.

    Aaaanyway, back to Synesso baskets! ::)

    Greg

  38. #38
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    Re: Synesso 14g and 21g baskets - Im confused !

    Quote Originally Posted by Greg Pullman link=1200754258/30#36 date=1202996515
    ...any commonly accepted dogma has to stand the test of a challenge, tamping, 15kg, pressurised baskets are useless, fresh beans, grind on demand or whatever it may be ...
    grrrrrrowl Greg [smiley=evil.gif]

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    Re: Synesso 14g and 21g baskets - Im confused !

    ....jeez this has been good reading!

    I wholeheartedly, 100%, completly and unfalteringly (etc..!) agree with the last 7-8 posts in this thread.
    Its confirmed alot about what I thought I sorta knew about tamping etc, but also- and more importantly to me- it goes beyond the dogmatic/absolutist/"theres only 1 right way to produce a good shot" talk that often is a feature of coffee snobbery (which does no one any good, particularly the less experienced of us).
    Im sort of repeating what GP said here, but if you REALLY want to extend your capabilities and knowledge you dont keep doing the same thing over and over. If your coffe making routines are robotic you will attain a certain skill level then plateau, but if you continue to experiment and challenge what you THINK you know you will gain a much deeper understanding, and if you are like me, the more you learn about coffee the more you realise how much you DONT know!
    Its a journey, not a destination.
    **now please visualize me stepping down from a soap box**
    Cheers, Anthony

  40. #40
    Senior Member GregWormald's Avatar
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    Re: Synesso 14g and 21g baskets - Im confused !

    Behmor Brazen - $249 - Free Freight
    I dropped into The Coffee Barun on Friday pm and Mark was kind enough to show me his techniques with his Synesso machine.
    The best shot of the afternoon was well tamped, a triple basket, a bottomless holder, and Ill bet there was no more than 15-20 ml of coffee out of the fully dosed basket. It flowed from the filter holder like honey, slowly and gently, and all crema.
    Greg



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