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  1. #1
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    How much grounds are used to make espresso?

    What amount of grounds (in teaspoons or tablespoons) are used per shot of espresso?

    I currently make a cup of coffee individually from 4 tablespoons of grounds, and find that a triple espresso has about the same or slightly more effect than one of theses cups, so I want to see how much grounds I would save by getting an espresso maker and making espresso rather than the coffee I currently make.

  2. #2
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    What amount of grounds (in teaspoons or tablespoons) are used per shot of espresso?

    I currently make a cup of coffee individually from 4 tablespoons of grounds, and find that a triple espresso has about the same or slightly more effect than one of theses cups, so I want to see how much grounds I would save by getting an espresso maker and making espresso rather than the coffee I currently make.
    It depends on the size portafiltier your machine has. 58mm is a good size as far as I know quantity wise: you'll get a bigger shot but will need more grounds for it.

    Typically, for those that measure out their doses, mass is used rather than volume. The current standard is: 7 grams/single, 14g/double and I would guess 21g/triple. The mass, I would gather, is not dependant on whether the bean is pre ground.

    I don't know how that translates into tablespoons. You're going to have some espresso purists choking by saying you want to get into espresso to save on grounds. Sure, a double shot doesn't use as much grounds as say a pot of coffee but out of a double you'll get, on average, 2oz of regular espresso. If you want to restrict the shots for a more concentrated flavour, you'll get even less.

    By effect, you mean the effects of caffeine extraction? As far as I'm aware, true espresso extraction averages about 25sec a pull and that isn't enough to extract much caffeine from coffee. Coffee doesn't like to give up caffeine. If you want more caffeine I would think using a higher quantity of grinds and steeping them longer would extract much more than espresso. In addition, high quality arabicas recommended for quality espresso don't contain as much caffeine as say lower quality robusta beans. I do believe a lot of store stocked coffee blends contain robusta as a filler so you'll get more caffeine out of them but they're not usable for good espresso.

    What kind of espresso machine are you thinking of? If the machine is about $50 and is fitted with a screw lid, you're getting a steam machine. It'll brew coffee under a slightly higher pressure than normal atmospheric so the coffee will be stronger than drip but it technically won't be espresso. The quantity of grounds per shot does not apply to steam machines.

    Forgive me if I'm being presumptous but you might be thinking the standards for a true espresso machine also apply to pseudo-espresso machines. If that's the case, don't let the manufacturers fool you.

    True espresso requires a machine that extracts the essence of coffee under high pressure. A pump of some kind is required for this as well as a good boiler, lines and components to ensure temperature/pressure stability and reliability. The ability to froth well is also important and, as a result, a capable and competent espresso machine will cost considerably more than a steam machine but will deliver, according to the quality of its design and components, true espress. Like all good tools though you'll get what you pay for.

    Not only that, IMO the machines that can produce very good espresso also require that their operators have atleast a fair understanding of espresso and espresso making techniques. If you're not a competent basrista you'll learn as you start out with a true machine but in the learning many of your shots could end up being 'sink shots'- that is not ideal for consumption. Sink shots'll deplete your stock of coffee pretty fast especially if you're trying to zero in on the ideal range of your dose, grind and temperature for the first time. As well, although it's tempting to try to save coffee at any turn, using less grinds than ideal for a shot you're pulling in true espresso machines seriously compromises even ruins the shot.

    So, if you're talking true buttery, crema rich, sweet, concentrated coffee nectar that is espresso I'd say shooting for true, high quality shots should be a goal. A good machine, very good grinder and very good quality, fresh roasted beans are essential for this. At the start you probably won't save on grounds if ever.

    If you just want to save on coffee and aren't interested in espresso to the point where you want to make a big investment in equipment and supplies, a steam machine will make smaller quantities of strong coffee and I guess by brewing a couple of small cups at a time as opposed to a 4-12 cup pot of drip coffee you'll end up saving on grinds. There are also moka pots, french pressess, vacuum pots and other manual brewing methods to consider that would allow you to use only the amount of grounds you need and have direct control of all the variables so you can brew to the strength you want and save on grounds that way as well.

    For what it's worth I think that having direct control of essential variables of coffee making would allow anyone to brew a cup of coffee that would shame just about every automatic drip maker out there. A decent grinder, fresh beans, a $20 french press, a kettle, water and some sort of timer can brew for you incredibly good coffee; much better than a standard drip machine.
    Grinder: Macap M4 stepless, Zassenhaus kneemill
    Machine: Quickmill Vetrano, Olympia Cremina '67
    Brewers: Yama 5cup, ibrik, Bodum e Santos, french press, pour over drip
    Roaster: Hottop programmable

  3. #3
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    Wow...that was a great thorogh description of ways to save on grounds. Just depends on what he is looking for in taste and money spent. Setting up and practicing making good shots will take alot of money for a decent espresso machine with fresh roasted beans that will be wasted in the beginning getting the right grind down and programing your espresso machine for a 20 to 25 second shot.

 

 

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