You forgot the cheese option
You forgot the cheese option
years of being a forward hand on a 14ft skiff (and a variety of other sailing boats) and counting down the start for my skipper means I am pretty good at counting evenly in my head.
Although, I have to say that I really only use time as a guide, and tend to go much more by sight and taste. Im not going to toss a good tasting/looking shot just because it doesnt start to pour within 3-5 seconds, or something.
I think its sometimes possible to get bogged down in the technical aspects of espresso, worrying about shot timing, brew temperatures and the like, when, as you say yourself luca, its what in the cup that counts
I have never used a timer- except when training at WA- and even then I take them and shot glasses away from those in my classes very early in the session.
Instinct and the quality of the pour tell me a heap more than elapsed time. Its much better to know what a great pour should look like, be able to analyse a coffee puck if required and to be able to identify the onset of blonding than to accurately count to 25....
Many a shocking shot can be produced in perfect textbook time...I reckon its good to develop and then employ the seatofthepantsometer...and the sooner the better ;)
Luca, you forgot one: "I use it to surf my Silvia"
Totally agree...just let it flow, I say! :DOriginally Posted by hazchem link=1195129149/0#2 date=1195162134
I dont have anything I can time with....I gave up counting in seconds a long time ago!
Thanks to everyone who voted in this poll.
It looks like the complete seat of the pantsers make up about a third and the majority times their shots in some capacity. That said, as with the republic referendum, its really all in the question. I think that the way that I phrased the options didnt distinguish between the two different ideas of taking note of shot time and dialling in your shots to a particular volume/time ratio.
I think that thats pretty much quote of the millennium, and it certainly reflects how I have been feeling of late. There have been heaps of discussions on minutii like the potential for grinders to heat up the coffee grounds in the home environment, and the importance of tamping exactly X times in X different places ... I have to confess that I have probably mucked around with most of what I have read at one time or another, but at the moment I am just focussing on the things that make a big difference. Getting better beans and dosing them consistently, for example, will always outflank the more obsessive preparation techniques you read about.Originally Posted by hazchem link=1195129149/0#2 date=1195162134
My $0.02 on the timer subject goes back to what I said about the question. I keep a stopwatch running on top of my espresso machine, so it takes no extra effort for me to work out what my shot times are. That said, I tend to dial my shots in based on taste and colour rather than time. Knowing the shot volume/time helps me to work out what size grind adjustment to make. Sometimes I find that I let my shot times drift and the stopwatch helps me pick up on it; ltwo seconds difference between shots is nothing, but after three shots, all of a sudden its a six second difference and me wondering what Im doing wrong!
Well said Luca and others. As a newbe though, i reckon all those technical aspects; timing, volume etc etc are a part of the learning curve (well, they are for me) but then you learn how/when to break the rules as you progress. Its all a journey as someones (i cant remember which coffeesnob) signature thing says.
I would still like a Cronos keypad... dont know where I can get one?
I like to know how long it takes for my shots to emerge from the spouts and overall time. I find knowing the parameters of a great shot makes it easier to reproduce said shot.
It all depends on how anal you are. I time every now and then to just make sure I am on the ball, but I do not go too overboard with the grind, tamp etc etc.
Id rather be drinking coffee.
Of course, Luca missed one option in the poll: I have a timer built into my machine ;)
I have to really have a chuckle at all the "technical aspects"...and I always do.
Especially so recently, when I attended a workshop and a comment was made on how hormones really come into play with the production of certain aspects of coffee. And that is just so true. So when you guys with all your testosterone are flat out trying to get your perfect shot and microfoam to get the best rosetta, just remember us chicks, who arent driven in that regard, will just stand there and get it right first go and IT WILL DRIVE YOU NUTS! ;D ;D
And guess what. Im not going to tell you why we can do it without having to be like that. :P Some of the guys get it all ready. Maybe theyre more in touch with their feminine side, I dont know. But to the majority of you "by the book" kinda blokes, I say..RELAX!! 8-) ;) Thats my best advice in this regard at least.
I eyeball it everytime. But recently Ive been taking notes when I dial in to see what parameters some particular bean/blend comes up with when I like the shot.
"Use the force Luke".