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How big a dose do I get

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  • How big a dose do I get

    When I order a coffee out somewhere, more often than not it is disappointing. Usually weak and not nearly as good as I make at home.

    At home I use a 7 gms per cup into a 200 ml cup and find it strong enough and not at all bitter. We use Toraja beans and extract perhaps 30 ml per cup.

    Looking at a few books they suggest that the normal dose now is two shots. One book said a flat whit is two shots 50 ml in a 150 ml cup.
    To me that sounds very strong and nothing like I would expect to find in a coffee shop.

    Sometimes I ask for a stronger coffee but not a double and sometimes that works but other times it is just too bitter.

    So what am I getting in a cafe and what is it reasonable to ask for? If I ask for a stronger coffee do they just do a longer extract?
    Is the only answer to find a good shop, so much depends on who makes it.
    Is a double shot normal?

  • #2
    Re: How big a dose do I get

    Hi nutfarmer,

    I usually drink flat whites, single shot (~30mL) in a 150 mL cup. I read around about 1.5 years ago and found quite a range of opinions of what the ratios of shot:milk for particular drinks. Im usually disappointed with coffees when I go out for breakfast etc. If you watch the "baristas" you can usually see why (pre-ground, poor dosing, poor levelling, poor tamping, PFs left on the bench getting cold, all leading to bad extraction that is not watched at all, just cut either when the timer goes off or when they remember they were pulling a shot). A "small" flat white is often served in a "normal" cup. Most people order mugs or bigger. Its a real pleasure when you find somewhere that does make a decent cup consistently. Ive only found one place where I live - all shots are pulled with a bottomless PF. so to answer your question, I reckon youve just got to find a good place where they actually care about what they serve up. Funny thing is, a few years ago I wouldnt have cared - how sad is that?

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    • #3
      Re: How big a dose do I get

      Unfortunately, as with many things, there are coffee shops, and then there are "coffee shops"...
      Now that you are more aware of what good coffee is, compared to the average customer, you have little choice, if you are gong to pay for a coffee, find somewhere that consistently does a decent job and support them, tell them why you go there to encourage them to continue to do a good job.
      Alternatively if there is nowhere that is consistently good, you may try to educate the staff....if you can.
      You will soon know if they are trying to make your drink as you asked them to.
      Regarding your specific question about what to order, you might try ordering a double ristretto base for your drink, if they are happy to try that you might get a decent drink, provided the machine is operating in satisfactory temp range, and grinder is set within satisfactory range, etc...

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      • #4
        Re: How big a dose do I get

        I think at home you probably have fresh beans and someone who cares what they are doing and doesnt have the pressure of a line of people.

        Any body who has had any business would know that conscientious talented staff are at a premium.

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        • #5
          Re: How big a dose do I get

          Thanks for the responses. All very good.

          I was wondering about a double restretto and good to see someone suggest it.

          The comment "would we have cared a few years ago" is great.

          I recall as a child thinking coffee and chicory essence was coffee, and later that instant was coffee; although, I cant say I took much to instant.

          I suppose you expect to find well trained people with the best technology and think you should be able to get a great coffee, but of course nothing really happens like that, there are all sorts of pressures and compromises, and it is not life or death.

          Didnt see any comment on when a double shot would be served. I suppose for larger cups or mugs or when ordered specially?

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          • #6
            Re: How big a dose do I get

            Originally posted by 5249485A5D4E51594E3C0 link=1308183487/4#4 date=1308278772
            I suppose you expect to find well trained people with the best technology and think you should be able to get a great coffee, but of course nothing really happens like that, there are all sorts of pressures and compromises, and it is not life or death.

            Didnt see any comment on when a double shot would be served. I suppose for larger cups or mugs or when ordered specially?
            Shot sizes and quantities can vary wildly depending on how the machine is set up, how well the barista knows their job, and also what type size of cups/glasses the business uses. Generally when we set up a machine we program the touchpad buttons to standard volumes of 20, 30, 40 and 60 mls, which correspond to ristretto/espresso/double ristretto/double espresso. But some customers want different volumes programmed to suit much bigger takeaway cups, and quite a few respond to customer complaints that the coffee is too weak by reprogramming the doses much larger and over-extracting the coffee, since they often see every extra gram of coffee used as money lost. Needless to say, quality suffers.

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            • #7
              Re: How big a dose do I get

              If you come into where I work and ask for a double shot, that is what you will get. I will extract a single shot from my naked portafilter, dump the puck, dose again and start from scratch for the second shot. I figure that if you are going to have a double shot, then you want to drink a good coffee!

              Only yesterday, whilst training a new staff member to make coffee, did I show her the first 30 mls and then the 2nd 30mls from the same portafilter. Even her comment on the second was that it just tasted watery! Compared to the first smooth and rich shot of course.

              Generally, I only serve a 30ml shot in our cups, latte glasses and mugs. I do believe that the general coffee consumer thinks a latte is weak, so most get a surprise when they come and get one of mine! My regulars who dont like their coffee strong have learnt to ask for a half shot or have learned to drink it strong too. I mean, yes, as said elsewhere, coffee is a strong drink from an espresso machine!! (I think I saw Fresh Coffee say that recently.)

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