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Newbie questions.  Crema? prebrew?

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  • Newbie questions.  Crema? prebrew?

    Hey!

    Im brand new to this world of coffee, and Im feeling a little confused! :-?

    I have a function on my machine to prebrew, and I was wondering if I could ask the experts a couple of questions...

    1. Do I keep the prebrew liquid in the cup or chuck it out?

    2. If a shot is meant to be 25-30mL, does that include prebrew or is that on top of prebrew (assuming I keep it).

    3. Where does crema fit in to all this? Does the 25-30mL include crema?

    4. And just one more thing...Ive read that a latte should have 1 fifth espresso, 3 fifths milk and 1 fifth foam. Well, my latte glasses are 250mL, so 50mL should be espresso right? Should I put in 2 shots or should I let the machine run longer with 1 shot?

    Forgive my naivety, I am a lowly newbie. Nowhere near snob yet! Maybe one day

    Thanks!

  • #2
    Re: Newbie questions.  Crema? prebrew?

    What sort of machne do you have Boof? It may help us to answer your questions.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Newbie questions.  Crema? prebrew?

      By "prebrew" do you mean "pre-infusion?"

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Newbie questions.  Crema? prebrew?

        Originally posted by Boof link=1183811340/0#0 date=1183811340
        Hey!

        Im brand new to this world of coffee, and Im feeling a little confused! :-?

        I have a function on my machine to prebrew, and I was wondering if I could ask the experts a couple of questions...

        1. Do I keep the prebrew liquid in the cup or chuck it out?

        2. If a shot is meant to be 25-30mL, does that include prebrew or is that on top of prebrew (assuming I keep it).

        3. Where does crema fit in to all this? Does the 25-30mL include crema?

        4. And just one more thing...Ive read that a latte should have 1 fifth espresso, 3 fifths milk and 1 fifth foam. Well, my latte glasses are 250mL, so 50mL should be espresso right? Should I put in 2 shots or should I let the machine run longer with 1 shot?

        Forgive my naivety, I am a lowly newbie. Nowhere near snob yet! Maybe one day

        Thanks!
        If I can attempt to answer your questions in turn

        1) What is prebrew liquid? Usually no espresso comes out during preinfusion.

        2) The shot time starts from when you hit the brew button/switch and ends when you stop the shot (or the machine does in case of volumetric machines) and should be between 20-30 seconds. I aim for 25-30 seconds.

        3) The volume includes crema, although it does dissipate if you wait too long

        4) Im not sure about the ratios, however a standard duralex glass should take 1x 30mL espresso shot and steamed milk with a foam head that settles down to about 1cm thick.
        • Assuming a Duralex glass is a perfect cylinder (straight walls) and has a total internal volume of 220mL (a guess), Id estimate the volume of foam on top to be anywhere between 40 and 50mL...so it would be around 1/7 espresso, 2/7 foam, 4/7 milk. So within reasonable bounds (and my calculations are by no means definitive) the ratios you have put forth seem okay


        Cheers and welcome to CoffeeSnobs. Youre well on your way to coffee snobiness.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Newbie questions.  Crema? prebrew?

          Hi everyone. Thanks Wushoes and everyone for your quick responses.

          Ive got a fully-automatic (dont hate me, Im new to this!).

          If you hit prebrew it soaks the ground coffee before brewing. It spits out some liquid before brewing starts. I think I read on a different forum that I should keep it (I think it was coffeeforums.com, but I thought Id ask the real experts!

          I know nobody likes these automatic ones, but if you could help I would appreciate it.

          Thanks again!

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Newbie questions.  Crema? prebrew?

            Hi boof and welcome to CoffeeSnobs,

            It sounds like you have a super automatic - it does everything for you including grind and tamp..... a fully auto you grind and tamp manually (it controls the volume of extraction, temperature and thats all)

            Super autos have little in the way of manual adjustment - so you cant get them to do exactly what you want - but I wouldnt say we hate them or those that have them! ..... they just dont give the quality of coffee that most of us desire.

            Pre brew should pass enough water into the grinds to just wet them - nothing should come out..... but with a super auto you dont have control over this.... you could try setting the grind finer and increase the dose (if you can) - that might help.

            But to answer your question, yes you should keep it as part of the pour.... but you will be hard pressed to get the 30ml in 30 seconds from one of these machines..... they are easy to use - but that ease of use comes at a price.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Newbie questions.  Crema? prebrew?

              Having used one of these machines before (in a commercial environment) we used to discard the first part of the extraction, as it was brown and watery and not particularly tasty - and the crema wouldnt usually kick in for a sec or two.

              So in theory at least I have no problem discarding the first part of the extraction

              But if you are getting a good brown / red crema straight away, I wouldnt bother discarding the first part of the pour

              And if not I would be speaking to the manufacture to see what I could do to trick up the machine to improve the pour

              Cheers,

              Pat

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Newbie questions.  Crema? prebrew?

                Originally posted by Boof link=1183811340/0#0 date=1183811340
                Hey!

                Im brand new to this world of coffee, and Im feeling a little confused! :-?

                I have a function on my machine to prebrew, and I was wondering if I could ask the experts a couple of questions...

                1.  Do I keep the prebrew liquid in the cup or chuck it out?

                2.  If a shot is meant to be 25-30mL, does that include prebrew or is that on top of prebrew (assuming I keep it).

                3. Where does crema fit in to all this?  Does the 25-30mL include crema?

                4.  And just one more thing...Ive read that a latte should have 1 fifth espresso, 3 fifths milk and 1 fifth foam.  Well, my latte glasses are 250mL, so 50mL should be espresso right? Should I put in 2 shots or should I let the machine run longer with 1 shot?

                Forgive my naivety, I am a lowly newbie.  Nowhere near snob yet!  Maybe one day

                Thanks!
                All good questions, Boof.

                The volume in the shot glass, e.g., 30 mls or 60 ml, should include crema AFTER it has settled. Otherwise, with a good techinque and fresh beams youll have 50 mls of crema and 10 mls of actual coffee within seconds.....

                Espresso volumes in lattes are best left to taste. Mrs Robusto and most of our friends and relatives prefer 30 mls, and the glass filled with steamed milk to the brim, which includes about 12 mls of froth settling on top. I find that 60 mls of espresso is too much: overwhelms the taste.

                I see no good reason to discard any portion of a properly pulled coffee. My policy is drink the lot, or sink the lot.

                Allowing the machine to run longer with a single basket is not a good idea. Youll have over-extracted coffee which tastes bad. If you want more volume, you need more coffee in the basket.

                Experiment to taste and see what you like.

                --Robusto


                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Newbie questions.  Crema? prebrew?

                  Just wanted to say thanks to everyone for taking the time to answer all my questions. Really appreciate it.

                  Comment

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