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Thread: Down-dosing

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    Down-dosing

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Given the aussie habit of loading a triple-basket with grounds until itll only just lock in under the shower screen, then aiming for 30ml/25sec or 60ml/25sec, is anyone else doing the opposite?

    Playing around with down-dosing has let me bring out more fruit/floral notes in blends and reduce channeling but at the expense of ripping through a lot more beans - what has it done for you?

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    Re: Down-dosing

    Ive played with downdosing and up-and-over dosing. Personally, I think that each SO/blend has their own sweet spot or spots, depending on what youre trying to get out of that particular bean.

    Theres something to be said for sticking with one bean for a while and learning its intricacies.

    The advice I give myself is to play with the variables and decide what I like best. 250 grams often is not enough to really get familiar with one bean.

    I will say though, I hate soggy pucks, even if the shot itself is ok.

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    Re: Down-dosing

    Yeah - I think I need 1kg of beans to find the real sweet spot of a blend - maybe 3 months and 30kg. Unfortunately, its rare I can put up with more than a kilo of beans before I get bored of it and want the next try!

    J

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    Re: Down-dosing

    Quote Originally Posted by 4E636269736E737E070 link=1249279421/0#0 date=1249279421
    *Snip

    Playing around with down-dosing has let me bring out more fruit/floral notes in blends and reduce channeling but at the expense of ripping through a lot more beans - what has it done for you?
    Huh how has lower doses mean you use more beans? :-?

    Playing around with doses is fun (and well worth it). With the blend we use at work it tastes bad if you use lower doses. I tried one in my coffee the other day and it was amazing I thought I was taste stale coffee. On the other hand if you use too high a dose you can get a tartness on the back of the palate.

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    Re: Down-dosing

    Quote Originally Posted by 7E5241475A525F6C7E5C5D58564A330 link=1249279421/3#3 date=1249283643
    Quote Originally Posted by 4E636269736E737E070 link=1249279421/0#0 date=1249279421
    *Snip

    Playing around with down-dosing has let me bring out more fruit/floral notes in blends and reduce channeling but at the expense of ripping through a lot more beans - what has it done for you?
    Huh how has lower doses mean you use more beans? :-?

    Playing around with doses is fun (and well worth it). With the blend we use at work it tastes bad if you use lower doses. I tried one in my coffee the other day and it was amazing I thought I was taste stale coffee. On the other hand if you use too high a dose you can get a tartness on the back of the palate.

    I think he ment that he spent some time playing with the dose levels etc and may have ment that a few shots etc just went into the bin ;D

    It could also mean that where he got a great shot... He has found that when he has those beans again, he lowers teh dose and get such a sweet/ great shot... That he has to have a second 8-)

    Like all txt ... Context / Humour / facial expressions can not be read... We communicate more through our body language than many think... Thus many get upset / or miss the point in Forums etc... Due to that missing coms channel - The body ;)

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    Re: Down-dosing

    Interesting, I havent tried a triple basket in years. Normally I dose a double around 16 grams.
    Recently been getting Mecca beans as my wife walks past there to get to work. To be honest Ive been a little slack of late and havent really experimented with the coffee. Am I allowed to say that here?

    Grant

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    Re: Down-dosing

    Quote Originally Posted by 3B2F34333A3802392A383131382F5D0 link=1249279421/5#5 date=1249287492
    Interesting, I havent tried a triple basket in years. Normally I dose a double around 16 grams.
    Recently been getting Mecca beans as my wife walks past there to get to work. To be honest Ive been a little slack of late and havent really experimented with the coffee. Am I allowed to say that here?

    Grant
    Yes... Then the mods see that you being slack and you pay penance ;) :D ;D

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    Re: Down-dosing

    Quote Originally Posted by 4865646F75687578010 link=1249279421/0#0 date=1249279421
    expense of ripping through a lot more beans
    I means that I am binning more shots as I have less knowledge of how to make a great low-dose shot, what the markers are etc. eg. if the top of the puck can be soggy, the shot isnt channeling and my usual dose and distribution techniques are stuffed, it makes it more difficult to get an acceptable result.

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    Re: Down-dosing

    I am gonna drag this thread back to the top and ask for some help / theories / advice. My thoughts are not exactly "down dosing" more down sizing the basket.

    I am no real snob, i like my coffee but most of the time mine could be compared to just your average coffee shop taste. I normally use a double basket on every machine i have now or owned, mostly because this is what i have read most do and i seem to make a better tasting coffee using one .

    Today i got out the single basket :o, sadly it has a ridge so my tamper does not fit well and made it had to get a good tamp happening. I think i have a single ridge less somewhere but need to find it :-/

    Thing is after a few rough shots i found it very hard to pull any sort of shot that looked any good @ 30ml.

    I reckon my double baskets and pulling a 30-40ml shot (based on blonding) are allowing me to to some part ignore "proper" technique and covers many mistakes i am making.

    I suppose my question is how many pros (at coffee shops) and home users are using singles and getting shots "good" and how many are just using doubles to cover "bad" shots? Not really saying its "wrong" but just thinking about it?

    I know it is often discussed that the shot tastes better cut short in a double, i agree and like those shots but was thinking about the coffee i make and why some shots are better than others etc.

    Looking at the double basket in a 6900 / 6910 they seem HUGE is this to help the newbie to make a better tasting cup? (they are a popular machine so a good example of the "double / triple" effect)

    Cheers

    Leeham

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    Re: Down-dosing

    Quote Originally Posted by 606C656868610D0 link=1249279421/8#8 date=1249857771
    Looking at the double basket in a 6900 / 6910 they seem HUGE is this to help the newbie to make a better tasting cup? (they are a popular machine so a good example of the "double / triple" effect)
    I wonder how much influence Paul Bassett had there?

    At the time the Sunbeam was released, Paul was the updose king- grind coarse and fill the biggest basket you can find and IMHO, nothing wrong with that except that its a lousy retail strategy.

    At the recent Aromafest, we used Pauls coffee on the ECA stand. Paul again asked us to use triples and grind fine, to dose around 3mm below the ridge :o. I have never dosed so low...

    I guess the answer is to find a strategy which works for your style and delivers the results you want in the cup. After all, thats what its all about ;)

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    Re: Down-dosing

    Quote Originally Posted by 57626F685C406C65656666030 link=1249279421/9#9 date=1249858161
    At the time the Sunbeam was released, Paul was the updose king- grind coarse and fill the biggest basket you can find and IMHO, nothing wrong with that except that its a lousy retail strategy.

    Hi Chris *
    could you elaborate on why you think it "lousy",

    My idea is that they thought the "extra" coffee would allow a new user to get a better "tasting" double /shot cup rather than maybe an over extracted bitter thin "single"?
    I would have considered that sunbeam would have wanted the "best" for its customers and this may have been a easy way to help them? Also creates that return customer they really want!!

    Not having a go at you as you would see lots of people (i think) stepping up to better machines and have a vastly better understanding than me about all things coffee.
    Out of interest do you recommend people (your customers) start using a double to help achieve a better coffee till they get there technique sorted? Would this be over all of your range or just some, not at all?

    I agree to do "what works best" for myself as yes thats what its about *:) but was interested in this thread and basket size and others ideas thoughts. Might help me in my "cup" *:)

    Cheers
    Leeham

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    Re: Down-dosing

    Quote Originally Posted by 5F535A57575E320 link=1249279421/10#10 date=1249860324
    Hi Chris, could you elaborate on why you think it "lousy"? *
    Hi Maheel- perhaps I wasnt specific enough there. I was implying that if youre running a cafe, 25g doubles may impact too heavily on the bottom line...Keep in mind that the Sunbeam originally shipped with an effective triple.

    For those at home, I dont think it matters and can provide a little fudge factor. Beginers will often find a double easier and many of us simply dont bother with singles- perferring a doppio ristretto over an espresso.

    Hope thats as clear as mud ;)

    Chris

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    Re: Down-dosing

    Quote Originally Posted by 5E6B66615549656C6C6F6F0A0 link=1249279421/11#11 date=1249872723

    Hi Maheel- perhaps I wasnt specific enough there. I was implying that if youre running a cafe, 25g doubles may impact too heavily on the bottom line...
    Hope thats as clear as mud ;)

    Chris

    Ahhhh yes thats made it clear, i was thinking that the fudge factor of a triple allows sunbeam users a nicer coffee.

    The cost to the home user in extra coffee would be low, compared to the effect on the margins for a retailer (cafe).

    But the fudge factor is a benefit to sunbeam as more people "might" have a better experience than if it was shipped with a single and sell more machines. Thats what i as thinking and thought "good strategy"

    I got to find that ridgeless basket and have a play....... A single looks so small with not enough coffee in it to me......

    thanks for explaining

    Leeham

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    Re: Down-dosing

    [QUOTE=34010C0B3F230F06060505600 link=1249279421/9#9 date=1249858161]
    Quote Originally Posted by 606C656868610D0 link=1249279421/8#8 date=1249857771
    At the recent Aromafest, we used Pauls coffee on the ECA stand. Paul again asked us to use triples and grind fine, to dose around 3mm below the ridge :o. I have never dosed so low...

    I guess the answer is to find a strategy which works for your style and delivers the results you want in the cup. After all, thats what its all about ;)
    a couple of years back i remember meeting paul at a coffee expo held by a big electrical store. i was on the sunbeam stand demonstrating the 6910 and he was on the main stage as a guest speaker.

    over the weekend i remember paul and myself experimenting a lot with dosing on the 6910.

    different baskets, changing the dosage, grind etc. at one stage we were dosing that low the basket was only around half full.

    the whole time i was giving him heaps about his up-dosing on the dvds. ;D

    what an interesting weekend.

    luke

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    Re: Down-dosing

    Imo single baskets are a compromised design and dont give great results regardless of the baristas talent. Really good coffee shops tend not to use them at all and will instead just waste a shot.

    I play around a bit with different sized doubles, I have a coffeeparts rigeless which holds upto about 20gm and the OEM silvia basket which holds 15 or 16gm,

    Generally I use the larger basket to extend blonding closer to the 25 second mark.

    Times I use the smaller basket include when the coffee is fresher then ideal, or when its just a bit flat tasting, It tends to bring out a bit more complexity/acidity.

  16. #16
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    Re: Down-dosing

    I go through phases of down-dosing. I got kind of bored with espresso for a while, and so probably got a bit apathetic to playing with variables. However, some really sweet beans have cured that for me, and Ive been hanging out with my Giotto a bit lately.

    Observation just from the Colombian Im using today. Higher dose seems more balanced, quite sweet, heaps of vanilla and a creamy/juicy body. Lower dose seems to have less body, more acidity, same sweetness and loads more fruit (peaches). I like both, but I think I will tend to favour the lower dose.

    I think Im inclined to agree that in the very limited experimentation Ive done, the florals/fruit seem far more pronounced in a lower dose. And I like florals and fruit! ;D

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    Re: Down-dosing

    Quote Originally Posted by 5F535A57575E320 link=1249279421/8#8 date=1249857771
    I reckon my double baskets andpulling a 30-40ml shot (based on blonding) are allowing me to to some part ignore "proper" technique and covers many mistakes i am making.
    I think this is more down to the lack of gicleur in the HX path, or any kind of flow restrictor /needle expansion valve - the puck is getting hit pretty hard on your machine. I think you need to establish a baseline brew temp / pressure profile that works for you, and go from there.

    Quote Originally Posted by 66535E596D715D54545757320 link=1249279421/9#9 date=1249858161
    its a lousy retail strategy.
    not if youre the guy selling the coffee :D

    on another note, thats the only time Ive ever seen Scottie without dosing tools in hand.

    Quote Originally Posted by 5F47424257466D5F535C0405320 link=1249279421/14#14 date=1250171926
    Imo single baskets are a compromised design and dont give great results regardless of the baristas talent. Really good coffee shops tend not to use them at all and will instead just waste a shot.
    Why are synesso-style straight-walled baskets a compromised design? Im not such a fan of some other single baskets, and wouldnt ever try to updose in them, but I know much better shot-makers than me can use them without ever having problems. IMO baristas would prefer whatever option is least hassle in a busy commercial environment as long as it doesnt affect "whats in the cup".

    Quote Originally Posted by 5F45534646320 link=1249279421/15#15 date=1250209564
    I think Im inclined to agree that in the very limited experimentation Ive done, the florals/fruit seem far more pronounced in a lower dose. And I like florals and fruit!
    mmmm...........yes! the only problem is when you run into something like the Blackburn Estate AA and cant decide whether its pulling imperfectly because youre dosing wrong or something else, start updosing, change your grind, and then find you have no exprensive coffee left. Likewise I love florals and fruit, and today is Colombian El Cafetero day! whoo. down-dosing this for PEACHES!

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    Re: Down-dosing

    today is Colombian El Cafetero day!
    From Hazel?

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    Re: Down-dosing

    Quote Originally Posted by 0825242F35283538410 link=1249279421/16#16 date=1250214340
    Quote Originally Posted by 5F535A57575E320 link=1249279421/8#8 date=1249857771
    I reckon my double baskets andpulling a 30-40ml shot (based on blonding) are allowing me to to some part ignore "proper" technique and covers many mistakes i am making.

    I think this is more down to the lack of gicleur in the HX path, or any kind of flow restrictor /needle expansion valve - the puck is getting hit pretty hard on your machine. I think you need to establish a baseline brew temp / pressure profile that works for you, and go from there.
    yeah well now i know that :), but the discussion about single baskets was / is interesting.

    new shopping list for install
    1. flow restrictor
    2. water filter
    3. knock box
    3. New Grinder (when wife is not looking) :)
    4. more coffee beans for coffeehorse to come play :)

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    Re: Down-dosing

    Quote Originally Posted by 725F5E554F524F423B0 link=1249279421/16#16 date=1250214340
    Why are synesso-style straight-walled baskets a compromised design? Im not such a fan of some other single baskets, and wouldnt ever try to updose in them, but I know much better shot-makers than me can use them without ever having problems. IMO baristas would prefer whatever option is least hassle in a busy commercial environment as long as it doesnt affect "whats in the cup".
    I was thinking of cone shaped singles when I made the above post, The reason they are cone shaped is to allow you to use the same grind setting for less coffee, The issue with a cone shape is that it wont extract all the coffe in the basket evenly.

    I havnt ever used the synesso baskets so take my comments with a grain of salt. However I predict that to get the same pour times as with a double basket you would need to grind finer. This might create a couple of issues in a commercial environment,

    a) you will need to have a second grinder just for doing singles or you will need to constantly adjust your grinder which isnt ideal when your aiming for consistency.

    b) The espresso will almost certainly taste different to the espresso from the doubles as the parameters used to achieve your pour are all different.

    My imagination leads me to thinking that the result would be something like an extremly low dosed double ristretto. The benefit of the smaller basket meaning less channeling and dry pucks. :)
    By all means it might taste great, but if your a cafe trying to produce a consistent product then it would be less then Ideal.

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    Re: Down-dosing

    Quote Originally Posted by 53666B6C58446861616262070 link=1249279421/11#11 date=1249872723
    if youre running a cafe, 25g doubles may impact too heavily on the bottom line

    Oh I completely disagree. If a cafe uses as much coffee as is needed to run a successful bussiness then the slightly higher cost of 25gm (for eg) Vs 18gm is completely justified. The extra 2% or so in cost of good would only have to return less than 0.6% sales increase to be worthwhile.

    A customer of mine uses 14gm baskets for a double ristretto in every cup. they chew through 120Kg on a slow week. Lets say they used 18gm baskets for 2 espressos. The Kg per week difference would be 40Kg less at a cost of around $800. That $800 pays for itsself in 250 cups, which is 1.4% of weekly sales(excluding maintanance of equipment costs). Now the question is does the double ristretto set them apart from all others in the area and is it worth doing???

    Back on topic, we have recently replaced the GB5 at the roastery with a Synesso Cyncra. The Synesso does not like updosing. In fact we found that 21gm baskets dosed to 19.5 grams is perfect for most of our stuff. Although updosing can add complexity, you have to balance that with mouthfeel gained from finer grind. It completely depends on equipment and beans.

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    Re: Down-dosing

    Quote Originally Posted by 447D7B7A7171664B467B7567607166140 link=1249279421/20#20 date=1250384191
    Quote Originally Posted by 53666B6C58446861616262070 link=1249279421/11#11 date=1249872723
    if youre running a cafe, 25g doubles may impact too heavily on the bottom line

    Oh I completely disagree. If a cafe uses as much coffee as is needed to run a successful bussiness then the slightly higher cost of 25gm (for eg) Vs 18gm is completely justified. The extra 2% or so in cost of good would only have to return less than 0.6% sales increase to be worthwhile.

    A customer of mine uses 14gm baskets for a double ristretto in every cup. they chew through 120Kg on a slow week. Lets say they used 18gm baskets for 2 espressos. The Kg per week difference would be 40Kg less at a cost of around $800. That $800 pays for itsself in 250 cups, which is 1.4% of weekly sales(excluding maintanance of equipment costs). Now the question is does the double ristretto set them apart from all others in the area and is it worth doing???

    Back on topic, we have recently replaced the GB5 at the roastery with a Synesso Cyncra. The Synesso does not like updosing. In fact we found that 21gm baskets dosed to 19.5 grams is perfect for most of our stuff. Although updosing can add complexity, you have to balance that with mouthfeel gained from finer grind. It completely depends on equipment and beans.
    It all depends on your clients...

    I found a few good coffee places a while ago... They changed hands and you can see the $$$ being the main factor... Smaller baskets, light on in real double shots in a large take away (Singles in many cases).. Their so called super tipple shot was just a large 21 / 22g basket.. I huess their singles may have been around 7 ???

    Ran in to one of teh workers... Yes their overall through put dropped, over a few months.. But owner was still OK... Same money, not so busy..... I asked why he left... When it comes to watering down milk (the other expensive item) he implied he could not do it or work with it... It was just too much...

    Conclusion: Is the issue Quality or Quantity (I guess it is about the $$$ for most people).


    I also think the term down dosing is being confused..

    1: One is the process of not filling the basket as full as you might expect...

    2: The other is about using a smaller PF basket, again down dosing but is about the over all volume of coffee rather that an issue of packing levels..

    Just my $0.02 worth...





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    Re: Down-dosing

    Quote Originally Posted by 4A5257574253784A46491110270 link=1249279421/19#19 date=1250331844
    I was thinking of cone shaped singles when I made the above post, The reason they are cone shaped is to allow you to use the same grind setting for less coffee, The issue with a cone shape is that it wont extract all the coffe in the basket evenly.

    I havnt ever used the synesso baskets so take my comments with a grain of salt. However I predict that to get the same pour times as with a double basket you would need to grind finer. This might create a couple of issues in a commercial environment,

    a) you will need to have a second grinder just for doing singles or you will need to constantly adjust your grinder which isnt ideal when your aiming for consistency.

    b) The espresso will almost certainly taste different to the espresso from the doubles as the parameters used to achieve your pour are all different.

    My imagination leads me to thinking that the result would be something like an extremly low dosed double ristretto. The benefit of the smaller basket meaning less channeling and dry pucks. Smiley
    By all means it might taste great, but if your a cafe trying to produce a consistent product then it would be less then Ideal.
    i would have to disagree.

    some of the best tasting espresso ive had came from a single basket. you wouldnt think think so as the the tapered sides would give the impression of an uneven extraction.

    take out the naked, put the single basket in check it out. the espresso still comes out great.

    have you done a taste comparison?

    the only thing with singles is that you cant dose as much into a single as you would a double. thats it.

    talk about a second grinder is ridiculous. you can use the same grind for both, you just know how to use a double and single properly
    ive found that its best to adjust to grind to suit the doubles and reduce the dosage for the singles not the other way round.

    yes, the paramaters are different. single baskets dont split the shot into two so you know you are getting the full spectrum in the cup.

    have you ever tasted both shots out of a double and seen if they are exactly the same?

    personally, i hate the spout designs on todays group handles.
    you will never get a perfect split in the shot. one side will always flow first, liquid will always find the quickest path downwards and todays spouts arent the greatest at getting an even split.

    if you can, instead of imagining, go out and experiment. thats half the fun of being a barista. ;D

    this has been my experience through countless hours and kgs of trial and error, what works good versus what can work better.

    keep this thread going guys, theres been some great thoughts and opinions. ;D

    luke




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    Re: Down-dosing

    Yesterday my wife asked for a short black (rare occurrence).
    Unfortunately I was almost out of beans so grabbed the single basket out of storage and made the grind a little finer on the Macap.

    Sure enough, I didnt have enough to load the basket with as much as I would normally but I was hoping the grind would be fine enough to compensate, even though the single tends to need a courser grind, I knew beforehand it would be way under dosed.

    I only had one shot at it (pun intended).

    Well in the end the grind was still not fine enough and her opinion was that it tasted "a bit thin".

    Mind you, it still came out with a decent amount of crema, but I was expecting that sort of feedback.

    Overall though it was an interesting exercise.

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    Re: Down-dosing

    Behmor Brazen - $249 - Free Freight
    Quote Originally Posted by 1C272623232621284F0 link=1249279421/22#22 date=1250397094
    Quote Originally Posted by 4A5257574253784A46491110270 link=1249279421/19#19 date=1250331844
    I was thinking of cone shaped singles when I made the above post, The reason they are cone shaped is to allow you to use the same grind setting for less coffee, The issue with a cone shape is that it wont extract all the coffe in the basket evenly.

    I havnt ever used the synesso baskets so take my comments with a grain of salt. However I predict that to get the same pour times as with a double basket you would need to grind finer. This might create a couple of issues in a commercial environment,

    a) you will need to have a second grinder just for doing singles or you will need to constantly adjust your grinder which isnt ideal when your aiming for consistency.

    b) The espresso will almost certainly taste different to the espresso from the doubles as the parameters used to achieve your pour are all different.

    My imagination leads me to thinking that the result would be something like an extremly low dosed double ristretto. The benefit of the smaller basket meaning less channeling and dry pucks. Smiley
    By all means it might taste great, but if your a cafe trying to produce a consistent product then it would be less then Ideal. *
    i would have to disagree.

    some of the best tasting espresso ive had came from a single basket. you wouldnt think think so as the the tapered sides would give the impression of an uneven extraction.

    take out the naked, put the single basket in check it out. the espresso still comes out great.

    have you done a taste comparison?

    the only thing with singles is that you cant dose as much into a single as you would a double. thats it.

    talk about a second grinder is ridiculous. you can use the same grind for both, you just know how to use a double and single properly
    ive found that its best to adjust to grind to suit the doubles and reduce the dosage for the singles not the other way round.

    yes, the paramaters are different. single baskets dont split the shot into two so you know you are getting the full spectrum in the cup.

    have you ever tasted both shots out of a double and seen if they are exactly the same?

    personally, i hate the spout designs on todays group handles.
    you will never get a perfect split in the shot. one side will always flow first, liquid will always find the quickest path downwards and todays spouts arent the greatest at getting an even split.

    if you can, instead of imagining, go out and experiment. thats half the fun of being a barista. ;D

    this has been my experience through countless hours and kgs of trial and error, what works good versus what can work better.

    keep this thread going guys, theres been some great thoughts and opinions. ;D

    luke


    Sorry if my above post is a bit confusing, I have used cone shaped baskets heaps, both professionally and in the home environment. They dont necessarily give a bad shot taste is subjective. The singles I have used that make a nice coffee take about 12gm of coffee making for a more ristretto like pour.

    Objectively they cant extract with the same eveness, the design prohibits it. This may very well lead to a greater spectrum of flavour or more complex espresso. In my experience they are also more prone to channeling, I accept that this can be overcome with good technique.

    I was speculating about the "synesso single baskets" which are apparantly the same shape as a double just very
    shallow. Maybe I should get my hands on one and have a play. Hopefully someone who has used them can add to this discussion.

    On spout design, I have found some to split better then others, Ive never really been happy with the adjustable ones, I always found I spent too much time trying to readjust them :P, The OEM spouts that came with my Silvia were absolutely atrocious, I swapped it for a LM style from coffeeparts and have been pretty happy with it since, They are sensitive to un-level benches and can play up when espresso dries in them, Flushing some hot water through them is usually all thats required. I often drink both shots separately and never noticed a difference in taste, Ill be paying more attention in the future. :)



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