One final plea

This is one last humble request on a topic I know I’ve ranted on about before.

It would be really good, when talking about how we are brewing espresso amongst professionals, to start by talking about the weight of the espresso.  We need to stop using volume.  It is useless. Utterly useless.  Saying 1.5oz is like saying “about a basket full of coffee”.  It gets me in the vague ballpark, but it doesn’t really help if I am trying to dial a coffee in.

I’ve been really enjoying the reviews of various blends over on Home Barista, but I’d have really loved to know how much people’s great/amazings shots weighed (especially with Vivace’s Dolce where unusual crema volume is reported) – it would have made the reviews a lot more interesting and transparent.  I am sure it would also have been useful for people following along with those coffees and similar machines at home.

I know Andy Schecter posted about this on Portafilter less than two months ago – and now I just sound like a broken, whining, complaining record.  But weighing espresso is just so useful.

Alright.  That was it, no more posts about it.  This was the last (hopeful!) try.  We shall now return to normal service….

UPDATE: It was in error that I used the Home Barista thread as an example as some of the reviewers were indeed using both mass and brew ratios.  Apologies!

Espresso Poll: Results and Analysis

First off a big thank you to everyone who contributed to the espresso poll.  It closed out at just under 100 people giving their data.  Out of this some data had to be ignored as it was clearly entered in error, leaving just over 90 espressos worth of information.

I am not a massive statistics expert – and I am grateful to Vince Fedele for taking the data and cleaning it up and doing some analysis on it.

To start with the easy stuff:

Continue reading “Espresso Poll: Results and Analysis”

A quick espresso survey


Brew recipes have been on my mind again recently, so I thought I’d post up this quick poll.  I’d love if it people could give me some data on this.  If enough people respond then I will post up the results, and any trends that occur.

A few quick things.  Please dial your espresso in to the point that you are happy.  It doesn’t need to be godshot territory, but something you’d serve to a customer or friend who you liked.

Secondly – please weigh things properly.  A lot of people speculate the weight of ground coffee they use, and very few people are accurate with it.  The more accurate the measurement the better.

Just to emphasize this because it is important – I need the weight of your shot not the volume.

Once you’ve weighed the shot feel free to drink it, to make sure it tasted good.

Here’s the poll:

Continue reading “A quick espresso survey”

My increasing reliance on scales

These days I drink relatively little espresso (compared to my total coffee intake). Most of the time it is the Chemex or the press.

I am pretty much a 60g/l kind of person when it comes to brewing and, after I was rightly schooled by Kyle Glanville whilst in LA, my grind for the Chemex is pretty coarse. However I just can’t let go of the obsessive chasing of detail. The moment’s where things just come together by mistake are few and far between for me, so I obsess. I tend to use a larger Chemex so when I only want a large cup it bothered me that I didn’t know visually exactly how much water to add, or when I had added enough without guesswork. And guesswork just won’t do. So now I tend to put the chemex or press with the coffee in on a scale, tare it off and then pour the correct weight of water. I dislike transferring water from kettle to measuring jug to brewer so this seems the only sensible way.

Weighing a chemex

It seems so obvious – and whilst no one told me to do it like this surely I am not the only one? Is this too geeky?