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Thread: Methods on pulling the espresso; Double spout vs bottomless vs single spout

  1. #1
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2009

    Methods on pulling the espresso; Double spout vs bottomless vs single spout

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Now, without over-complicating this, what I want to ask is how you all feel on the subject of using double spouted handle vs. bottomless handle pulling an espresso, nothing else.

    Some say that the intensity with a bottomless makes seem like a double ristretto, pulling a 20 - 30 ml espresso. Some say the double spouted gives us the option to cut that in half and hold back on viscosity. Personally, I prefer giving my shots with a bottomless, Im not using the whopping 18gram synesso basket though here, so perhaps this is making the difference.

    Is it the convenience of being able to pull two espresso in one? or is just a matter of whats in the cup, the blend and a whole bunch of other factors with some experimentation. No doubt Ill experiment, but just felt like dropping something down for the day.

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2005

    Re: Methods on pulling the espresso. Double spout vs bottomless

    The bottomless seems to deliver shots with more air. This means that if you extract the same volume with the bottomless and the spouted, the bottomless should taste richer because you are actually extracting a shot that is more towards a ristretto than an espresso. To compare the two, you should extract shots of the same weight in the same time, not shots of the same volume. Greg Kaan pointed out many years ago that failure to account for this might be a confounding factor in many peoples opinions one way or the other.

    Once you account for the above, I tend to prefer shots from spouts, which I think tend to have a smoother mouthfeel. If Im confronted with bottomless shots, I tend to stir them to try to improve them. That said, these days I stir and/or skim most of my espresso. Its an interesting subject; one of many to add to the list of things that Id experiment with if I had more time.


  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2009

    Re: Methods on pulling the espresso. Double spout vs bottomless

    If one is faced with the extraction being aerated by the bottomless (and I completely understand the nature of why), perhaps the answer and the best comparison would be a single spouted handle (with a 14g basket) vs. placeholder.

    Yet I see an increasing trend with espresso being pulled through bottomless, backed by the arguments of flavour alteration when traveling from basket > spout > finally entering the cup on the other handle. Personally I can say that I have always stirred my espresso shots, but only with slight pushes back and forth, trice.

    Its a shame I kept thinking about this from a perspective of volume though, but was mostly fed by the appearance of a shot. Simply, most people notice the three transitions of a shot going from Maroon (Short Ristretto) > Caramel (Ristretto) > Blonde (Espresso), and I see it alot when using the double spout handle attempting to achieve at the very least 25ml volume. Its the blonding that worries me, which usually is factored by..

    • Bean Quality

    • Temperature

    • Particle size & Dosage

    Yet without bringing those into the equation, it falls back to pulling an espresso because its argued that stopping an espresso as a ristretto, is well not an espresso. Ive tasted for myself what that end part of the pour is like, it reminds me of astringent dishwater, is that truly balancing out the ristrettos intensity, flavours and giving it body? If its simply about volume, perhaps 5-10ml of hot water + 20ml espresso.

    (As a between the lines note, Im starting to wonder if referring to ristrettos is a ridiculous concept altogether, we call them espresso machines, espresso is a form of brewing coffee, how does the volume in which we extract that coffee change the grounding--perhaps we should refer to the fourth wave to come as Ristretto Machines)

    At first this was just a simple question, but now its starting to evolve into something else.. Hopefully the right questions have already been asked before, and I just havent bought that book yet. Because I must know. :)

  4. #4
    Senior Member Luke_G's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Northen Rivers

    Re: Methods on pulling the espresso. Double spout vs bottomless

    Then there is the question of a double through a single spout and a single through a double spout.

    Not to mention the temp of the cup and ambient air temps and the list goes on.

    I personally use my naked at home because its easier to clean afterwards and my baskets seem to never want to come out of my spouted handles.
    At work i pull my shots through a double handle..and i prefer them over the naked as i seem to poor a bit short using the naked.

    Each to their own Robstar....let us know if you get any homework done on the matter...same with you also Luca :)

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2009

    Re: Methods on pulling the espresso; Double spout vs bottomless vs single spout

    Hi Robstar,

    Personally, i prefer the double spout over the bottomless because:
    1) I dont have to crane my neck to see the bottomless (barista ergonomics, unless you have a slayer)
    2) The bottomless with our blend comes out too rich and almost harsh (I havent tried adjusting dose, temp etc here...probably should experiment)
    3) I can observe the quality of the shot more easily with the spouted 4) I prefer to serve the espresso from one side of the double spout, in saying this if the sweet spot is not good as an espresso i will serve as a double ristretto.

    Last month i was serving a Colombian Supremo/hulia and it tasted best right into the blonding phase. Does not happen often that beans will taste so damn good with a good amount of blonding, but it does reinforce the fact that we just have to see what works best - bottomless or spouted.

  6. #6
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2007

    Re: Methods on pulling the espresso; Double spout vs bottomless vs single spout

    Im currently using a spoutless portafilter.

    used a hammer on the single spouted portafilter til it budged. that way it drops like a bottomless (extraction diagnosis) but tastes more like a double.

    worth a try i reckons

  7. #7
    Mal Dimal's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Warwick, QLD

    Re: Methods on pulling the espresso; Double spout vs bottomless vs single spout

    Behmor Brazen - $249 - Free Freight
    After experimenting with all of the above, have settled on sticking with the Single Spout GH. Overall it seems to produce the most consistent results in the cup and is way easier to use since we only drink Doubles around here anyway.... :)


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