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Thread: Measuring espresso yield - what can we learn?

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    Senior Member ArtW's Avatar
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    Measuring espresso yield - what can we learn?

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    I've recently started measuring my espresso yield ratio in order to improve consistency and see what I can learn. After 20 shots I've got some preliminary conclusions:

    1. I was less able to judge flow by sight than I expected - I was surprised at times when doing a shot to shot comparison by extracting greater volume for a shot that looked to my eye to be more of a trickle.

    2. Small adjustments in grind made more difference than expected. A 180 degree twist of the worm gear on my Macap (less than a 2ml rotation of the burr) resulted in a significant change in the volume extracted.

    3. Small differences in dose made less difference than expected. Changes in the dose of .3 to .5 gram made very little difference

    4. My preferred ratio was 75-80% (dry/liquid). Looking at my tasting notes, the shots I likes best were around 75-80%. Based on Andy Schecter's ratios as quoted by Scott Rao, this would be classified as a ristretto rather than as espresso but at the low end.

    Next steps are that I'm going to try it naked. I've always found it difficult to assess naked shots so I think this will help with diagnostics. I'm also wondering if there is any rule of thumb about how much espresso to use. For the same ratio, is it better to have a 30g shot than a 20g? Or will they taste identical?

    I'm interested in any insights, suggestions or rules of thumb for how to use and interpret yields.
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    Senior Member Barry O'Speedwagon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ArtW View Post
    I'm also wondering if there is any rule of thumb about how much espresso to use. For the same ratio, is it better to have a 30g shot than a 20g? Or will they taste identical?

    I'm interested in any insights, suggestions or rules of thumb for how to use and interpret yields.
    How big is the filter basket you are using? Each combination of basket and shower screen height will have a range of dosages that 'work'.

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    A 1:2 ratio is considered a good starting point. Eg. 20g dry coffee, 40g liquid. For darker roasts many people find 1:1.6 (20g in, 32g out is where they end up. Some light roasts go the other way 1:2.5 (20g in, 50g out). What's great about ratios is it gives you a number to reference against what you taste and what you like. Could be anywhere for your bean and your palette.

    I think what Barry is referring to is the first part - the dose. Cramming 30g in to a basket designed for 20g ain't going to work that well. Each basket/machine has a sweet spot for dose - find that, then work ratios from there. Bigger or smaller doses simply give you more or less coffee in the cup for the same ratio.

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    Senior Member LFM60's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ArtW View Post
    ...............Next steps are that I'm going to try it naked...............
    .........
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    Senior Member ArtW's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Barry O'Speedwagon View Post
    How big is the filter basket you are using? Each combination of basket and shower screen height will have a range of dosages that 'work'.
    I've been using a double with almost 20g and I've also got a triple. If I get a 30g espresso shot from 20g in the double and then use the triple and get 45g from 30g in the triple, the ratio is the same. Would the flavour be expected to be identical? It sounds so, in which case I won't bother.

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    Senior Member ArtW's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LFM60 View Post
    .........
    Yes, gotta be careful not to burn yourself when doing it naked ...
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    Senior Member LeroyC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ArtW View Post
    I've been using a double with almost 20g and I've also got a triple. If I get a 30g espresso shot from 20g in the double and then use the triple and get 45g from 30g in the triple, the ratio is the same. Would the flavour be expected to be identical? It sounds so, in which case I won't bother.
    It might be, but I doubt it. Even if everything else is the same you've got one variable that is different - bed depth. I'm guessing it would make a difference.



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