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Thread: extraction time faster than cafe machineon same grind

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    extraction time faster than cafe machineon same grind

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    I went to the cafe today and spoke to one of the baristas, he timed his extraction which was 23 seconds and he gave me some grinded coffee to take home. When I got home I calibrated my machine so it pours 60mls from 60mls(not grams dont have scales yet) of coffee. I have the same beans and I grinded it to the same courseness, I spent about 40mins getting it as close as possible with my burr grinder. I put in 60mls of coffee, tamped 30lbs (my tamper has a spring) and the problem is I got an extraction time of 11 seconds, the only real variable apart from machine, minor courseness and volume differences is that my coffee was not as fresh, can this really explain being only half the extraction time?? My machine is a new LM GS/3 running at 9 bar.


    The coffee itself is very dark, crema color is the same as at the cafe but obviously not as much crema, coffee blonded at around 9 seconds I would say due to the beans not being as fresh. Also, temp is 94c.

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    Senior Member Dragunov21's Avatar
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    When you say you put in 60mls of coffee, what do you mean?

    When you say you calibrated your machine, what do you mean? Your variables should be grind size, dose weight and tamp pressure. Your machine should have nothing to do with it (the pressure should be ~9bar and shouldn't be fiddled with on a regular basis)

    When you say you ground it to the same coarseness as the coffee grounds you were given, you've gotta understand that you'll never be able to produce the same grind size (or even close enough) by sight or feel. I suspect that's where your problem lies. Get your tamp consistent (already done if you have a calibrated tamper and you're tamping level), then get your dose consistent (relatively easy to weigh or eyeball), then adjust your grind size to get your extraction time within acceptable range.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dragunov21 View Post
    When you say you ground it to the same coarseness as the coffee grounds you were given, you've gotta understand that you'll never be able to produce the same grind size (or even close enough) by sight or feel. I suspect that's where your problem lies.
    The number of variables going on here is large. Have to agree with Dragunov21 here. Don't know what grinder you're using but if you're using a flat burr and your barista is using a conical then you'll get dramatically different results with what looks macroscopically to be the same size grind. This is because the conical burr will produce a much higher proportion of fines (small coffee grounds) that will significantly impede brew flow. This may well be the main explanatory factor for what you are observing, although, once again, there's so much going on here that no one else can isolate the issue with the information provided.

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    Coffee Newbie okitoki's Avatar
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    Probably good idea to go for a class or get someone to show you how to use your machine.

    Or just watch a few youtube videos on how to set your grind and continue to experiment

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    60mls of coffee is 4 tablespoons or what would be the same volume as 60mls of water.

    I am using a mazzer mini.

    I will buy digital scales tomorrow and measure the coffee I was given, the barista told me he uses 9 grams for a single and 18 grams for a double, which I had forgot about. I really can't believe I'm getting such fast extraction times. If I want to emulate their coffee should I pre infuse 10 seconds rather than grind finer? I wanna try that just to see how the coffee will be, Noobventuring.
    Sorry if what I'm saying or doing sounds stupid.

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    Senior Member Dragunov21's Avatar
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    That (60ml of grinds) seems like quite a lot for a double, though I could be wrong.

    I'd suggest you don't immediately try to emulate their coffee but instead get yourself in the ballpark then learn to tweak the coffee to your tastes. Learn to walk before you try to run.

    What is your machine? If it does pre-infusion natively, great (though I'd suggest starting off without if only to simplify things), but whatever you do, pick one way and keep it consistent until you've worked it out and are getting acceptable shots. What did you adjust on it to get your preground pulling at 60ml/25sec? It's important to know you didn't mess with something that might prevent you from getting good shots (like brew pressure).

    Your grinder will be a super jolly OR a mini; they're two different models (not that that really matters).

    Long story short, if you want to experiment, that's cool. If you want to get your fundamental skills down so that you can produce good coffee and then experiment in a way that allows you to make intentional tweaks to the flavours of the coffee you're producing, there is a more efficient way of doing it than what it wounds like you're trying to do.

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    Coffee Newbie okitoki's Avatar
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    Where are you located? Maybe a local CS'er can help out?

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    It's a mini, the manual confused me cause it's for both.
    My machine is a gs3 and it does pre infusion natively. I could get it to do 25 seconds by finely tweaking the grind but then it would be like every other cafe that uses these beans, the place I go to does something different, the coffee tastes like unsweetened dark chocolate and it has a very strong non jittery kick that will keep you awake.

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    Coffee Newbie okitoki's Avatar
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    Well if your extraction is too quick then it won't have that thick chocolaty taste.

    Have you tried to grind finer?

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    I will see tomorrow now that I've calibrated the amount of water and will know how much coffee to put in with scales, since I've got this machine I haven't got much sleep and I've had caffeine headaches, I need to learn to spit the coffee back out.

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    Senior Member Dragunov21's Avatar
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    Oh snap; that's a lot of gear. Very nice

    If the beans, and extraction time are the same, the difference could be down to:
    - Dosage (which you can imitate when you have scales)
    - Tamp/Grind (ie they might use a finer grind and softer tamp or coarser grind and harder tamp)
    - The grinder used (different grind distributions will significantly affect the taste, as kwantfm said)
    - The machines themselves (different preinfusion methods/times might have a significant effect)
    - Brew pressure or pressure profiling, if they do that.
    - Basket (different baskets can have an effect on flavour, IME)
    - The little things that baristas do differently when dosing/distributing that you can't really quantify. Like it or not it's a skill and not one you can pick up just by having the right gear and the measurable parameters available to you. Practise really does make perfect, here.

    *EDIT* Ah, I see; you calibrated the volumetric delivery to give 60ml of espresso? That could be part of the issue. I'm not sure, but I suspect volumetric delivery should be calibrated to give a certain quantity (40mls?) of water, not espresso. My reasoning is that for a given quantity of water, the amount of espresso produced will depend on the extraction ratio and the quantity of crema. If you're using preground beans and calibrating to 60ml of espresso (which would be a standard double with fresh, just-ground beans producing a greater amount of crema) then it's possible you've calibrated the machine to deliver more water than desirable.

    Might I suggest controlling the pour manually and stopping the shots shorter?

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    If I grind finer I can get 25seconds but that isnt gonna help me get my coffee like at the cafe, that is what I am aiming for, I have made a coffee on the machine better than a lot of cafes that have the bean but to get it like the cafe I go to is another challenge and thats what I am aiming at, I was given the grinded coffee they use, the barista asked me what pressure my machine runs at and I told him 9bar and he didnt mention them using a different pressure so by using deductive reasoning based on everything in this thread it has to be the freshness of the coffee which is causing the fast extraction.

    Tomorrow I will get scales, weigh up 9 grams of the coffee I was given, tamp 30lbs and run 30mls through it.

    Then I will open a new bag grind it and do the same. I am guessing the coffee I was given being now stale will extract in 10 seconds and the new coffee will extract in 18-25

    Quote Originally Posted by okitoki View Post
    Where are you located? Maybe a local CS'er can help out?
    I am in Sydney but I wouldnt feel right having someone help me in person without atleast me doing a proper Barista course 1st.

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    Senior Member Dragunov21's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MaFi0s0 View Post
    If I grind finer I can get 25seconds but that isnt gonna help me get my coffee like at the cafe, that is what I am aiming for, I have made a coffee on the machine better than a lot of cafes that have the bean but to get it like the cafe I go to is another challenge and thats what I am aiming at, I was given the grinded coffee they use, the barista asked me what pressure my machine runs at and I told him 9bar and he didnt mention them using a different pressure so by using deductive reasoning based on everything in this thread it has to be the freshness of the coffee which is causing the fast extraction.

    Then I will open a new bag grind it and do the same. I am guessing the coffee I was given being now stale will extract in 10 seconds and the new coffee will extract in 18-25
    A dodgy tamp can easily result in a 15sec gusher or a 35+ second choke. Unless you have the you element sorted, there's no point in going to the nth degree trying to figure out their variables in an attempt to replicate it.

    Quote Originally Posted by MaFi0s0 View Post
    deductive reasoning
    Is all well and good, but you've set a target for yourself and are trying to hit it with a blindfold on. It's not the freshness of your coffee if you're grinding it fresh, and from experience it very likely is the fact (I'm assuming you're new to this; correct me if I'm wrong) that you just don't have the skill or experience to do what you're trying to do, yet.

    Quote Originally Posted by MaFi0s0 View Post
    I am in Sydney but I wouldnt feel right having someone help me in person without at least me doing a proper Barista course 1st.
    I think you'd find a few people who wouldn't mind, but yes, that would be a great idea (a course).

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    Quote Originally Posted by MaFi0s0 View Post
    the place I go to does something different, the coffee tastes like unsweetened dark chocolate and it has a very strong non jittery kick that will keep you awake.
    What is the cafe you go to? What machine is on the counter?

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    Senior Member Dragunov21's Avatar
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    I've just realised you're the guy from that other thread.

    What did the coffee taste like when the distributor made one for you? Chances are he knows how top make a coffee, so that should be your target, initially.

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    Save yourself a lot of time and banging your head against a brick wall trying to describe your problem here and getting snippets of sometimes irrelevant info. You need to learn the basics, so go and watch a few reputable videos (the Scottie Callaghan ones for example) or pay for some training if learning yourself is too much hassle. The basics are pretty straight forward, well documented and once learnt allows you to diagnose most issues pretty quickly. You've got good gear so get the info to match.

    Pete
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    I must say that I am beginning to think this is a troll...

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    Quote Originally Posted by MrJack View Post
    I must say that I am beginning to think this is a troll...
    I'm wondering what the point would be?

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    Do Trolls ever need a point?

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    Senior Member Dragunov21's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MrJack View Post
    Do Trolls ever need a point?
    Anyone *could* be trolling; if you're not confident that sometimes genuine enough to warrant a response then you can just choose not reply.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dragunov21 View Post
    Anyone *could* be trolling; if you're not confident that sometimes genuine enough to warrant a response then you can just choose not reply.
    I agree...accusing someone of trolling just because you don't like or agree with their question/response is a bit harsh. If you don't like what he posts don't open the thread.

    Having said that I think the OP needs to listen to some of the advice and give up on trying to "copy" or "replicate" what they are getting from their local cafe and focus on learning and getting a bit of an understanding of espresso basics. Once you get the basics down you can then experiment and play around with the variables to get the espresso tasting how you like it.

    Even if you nailed it and got your coffee tasting like the cafe you are trying to emulate, if you don't understand the basics then how would you know what to do when you try a different bean or even the same bean but different roast, or as the beans age or even a change in humidity. You need to know the basics so you can adjust to compensate for all these variables and you won't learn that just by copying what someone else does.

    Cheers

    Dave

    P.S I'd be more than glad to have a play around on your GS3...if you need some help that is

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sully View Post
    P.S I'd be more than glad to have a play around on your GS3...if you need some help that is
    Dam straight, Id guess there would be plenty of Csnobs who know how to make consistently above average espresso chomping at the bit to " help out "

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dragunov21 View Post
    I've just realised you're the guy from that other thread.

    What did the coffee taste like when the distributor made one for you? Chances are he knows how top make a coffee, so that should be your target, initially.
    It tasted average but had a lot of kick which I find more important for me.

    Quote Originally Posted by kwantfm View Post
    What is the cafe you go to? What machine is on the counter?
    Bar Italia in Leichardt, its a FAEMA not sure and I cant find it on their website but I imagine its this one: http://img837.imageshack.us/img837/833/ai0v.jpg
    Ive only seen it from behind though but the back would match that front pretty well.

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    I used my scales and made the grind the same as at the cafe and got a quick extraction, I am still unsure why, the coffee didnt taste that great either.

    I adjusted the grind and got a 21second extraction(18grams coffee, 60mls water) and the coffee tasted better than most cafes that use the bean, it actually tasted pretty good and had a decent amount of crema and the right color.
    I tightened the grind by about a mm put in 9 grams and did a 30ml shot and its extraction time was only 7 seconds which I dont understand, I made sure my tamp was level both times adjusting if neccesary.


    If anyone thinks I am a troll I can post pics.

  25. #25
    Senior Member Barry O'Speedwagon's Avatar
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    when are you starting the measurement of your extraction time? the 25-30 seconds 'standard' refers to the time from when you 'hit the button'/'pull the lever'....not from when coffee starts to drip from the spout.

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    I know and my machine automatically times each extraction from when the pump starts until the last drop, I dunno how it knows but it just does.

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    Coffee Newbie okitoki's Avatar
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    silly question here, but did you change the filter basket to the single when you changed to 9g of beans?
    Also, I find that when I go to a smaller basket, I do need to grind the coffee a lot finer (from my 20g basket to a 16g basket) but then I always do a double shots for all my coffees, so I never used the small single basket...

  28. #28
    Senior Member Barry O'Speedwagon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MaFi0s0 View Post
    I know and my machine automatically times each extraction from when the pump starts until the last drop, I dunno how it knows but it just does.
    How did you manage a 7 second extraction then? I mean that does seem a bit strange mate. Did you put 9g in a double basket?

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    Okay so I guess its normal, Im just gonna do double shots then, my machine came with 3 basket sizes and I am using the middle one now which I assume is the double.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Barry O'Speedwagon View Post
    How did you manage a 7 second extraction then? I mean that does seem a bit strange mate. Did you put 9g in a double basket?
    I tested it again, I did 9grams 30ml shot 8 seconds
    18grams 60ml(turned out to be only about 45mls though) 22 seconds.

  31. #31
    Senior Member Barry O'Speedwagon's Avatar
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    For many machines, a standard double basket (nominally 14-15g) will comfortably take 19g+ and not be over-dosed (my Diadema actually takes around 21g in a Synesso basket that nominally takes 15g). This varies with the height of your shower screen. I reckon you'll save yourself a lot of grief if you spend a few $$ on a touch of training. Will pay back pretty quickly when you consider the cost of sink shots.

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    you should really decide if you're going to be making singles or doubles before you start fine tuning taste...

    you can't just go from 18g in a double to 9g in a single basket with the same grinds and expect a similar extraction time/taste.

    actually i believe there's a formula posted on home barista for perfecting a single shot coming from a double.

    also, there are way too many permutations for you to consider in order to reproduce the same taste even if extraction time and the fineness of the grind were constant.

    machine, water temp, pressure of tamp (you did the standard 30lbs but whose to say thee barista did the same?) are some of the few variables that can easily render the constant ones ineffective...

    imo, you could spend money on training but I reckon it's just a matter of spending a little more time playing with your machine and tweaking variables till you get close enough...

  33. #33
    Coffee Newbie okitoki's Avatar
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    I found this video very easy to follow and informative... hope it helps



    same principle if you measure your beans....

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    Getting back to the fundamentals as many posts on this thread have done prior... you have one of the greatest single group machines on the planet and a truly excellent grinder (I for one think that the Mazzer Mini is all time). I'd do a barista course at home... site sponsor Jetblack Espresso offer these. They'll send someone out and you'll be able to be very specific for your equipment. Best of luck... this is the ultimate first world problem.
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  35. #35
    Senior Member Dragunov21's Avatar
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    Beaten by kwantfm. Get some training under your belt so you'll at least learn the fundamentals and start realising what youdon't ​know but need to.

    Also, just work with doubles to start off with; singles are teh lame.

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    Quote Originally Posted by okitoki View Post
    I found this video very easy to follow and informative... hope it helps
    Thanks it did, I think I will use that way of measuring my dose.


    Good news I found out what gives the coffee this kick.

    I thought perhaps I was destroying some oils in the extraction so I tried lowering the temp of the coffee but that did not help, so I actually raised it above 94c and its making coffee with a strong kick and decent taste.
    Very very happy with it, its on the same tier as the Cafe I go to now.

    The taste is not up to par though I need to practice my tamp then get the grind right and learn to froth milk.
    Last edited by MaFi0s0; 5th October 2013 at 12:15 AM.

  37. #37
    Coffee Newbie okitoki's Avatar
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    Behmor Brazen - $249 - Free Freight
    I'm guessing the "stronger" taste is bitter due to the higher temp you have set it to.
    But as long as you enjoyed the taste its up to you how to set your machine.

    But most important is to keep what you do consistent. So you can repeat the process and get the same result. And if you make any changes, keep it to a minimal so you can tell the difference by the single change you have made.
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