10 second rule?

3ternal

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Mar 22, 2007
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Seattle, WA
At Starbucks, we were trained in that shots expire after 10 seconds and are to be tossed. I've noticed no one else follows these rules (Latte artists, other coffee houses, etc). So my question to you is does the 10 second rule even mean anything? Or is it just a way for them to try and make us work faster?
 

ElPugDiablo

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Jul 16, 2004
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Hartford and New Haven, CT
latinboy1976 said:
Yes we are allowed to adjust the supers. The shots should pour out between 13-17 seconds. I myself try to go closer to the 17 mark.
Did you work on Marzocco before Starbucks switched? Was the shot time 13 - 17 seconds as well? How do the shots compared?
 

psycho supreme

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Jan 6, 2007
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ElPugDiablo said:
latinboy1976 said:
Yes we are allowed to adjust the supers. The shots should pour out between 13-17 seconds. I myself try to go closer to the 17 mark.
Did you work on Marzocco before Starbucks switched? Was the shot time 13 - 17 seconds as well? How do the shots compared?


im super curious as well
 

Pacificocoffee

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Feb 24, 2007
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San Jose Ca.
10 second rule

13 seconds? Are you kidding? Even 17 seconds is quick. I try to keep it close to 21-22 seconds. I do agree that the "Latte Artists" take too long before they add the milk. That is the trade off, you can get a "pretty latte" or a latte that tastes good. :?
 
I think the first poster is saying that once the shot is pulled, it needs to go out to the customer within 10 secnds of completion of the shot, or be thrown out. Makes more sense than a 10 second shot :grin: In Italy where espresso is served at the bar, espresso takes about 5-10 seconds max to get from the barista to the customer. Rarely is it being run out to tables.
 
OP
3ternal

3ternal

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I meant after the shot is pulled, it supposedly expires after 10 seconds.

We can adjust our machines to either pull faster or slower, and 13 seconds is way too soon, a perfect shot on our machines is 16-17 seconds to pull a double. Alun seems to be the only one who understood my question.

Also Pacificocoffee, keep in mind different machines need range in how long they pull shots, Starbucks is naturaly going to try and have their machines pull shots asap.
 

CafeBlue

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Dec 8, 2006
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Toronto
espresso time

Correct: the "10 second rule" refers to time between the espresso finished brewing and serving to customer. This is to ensure the cup quality is delivered to the customer. Letting the cup sit around, negatively affects the aroma, crema and taste.
The leading authority on espresso quality may be the WBC. World Barista Championship standards for brew time are 20-30 seconds for a 1 ounce espresso shot.
Short extraction times llike 13-17 seconds usually result in a weaker, under-extracted shot with less crema. The crema is also usually made up of larger bubbles compared to the tiny bubbled, micro-foam, denser, more viscous crema found on a well brewed espresso. Frequently the short-time shot is also plagued with 'blonding' problems and a sour or salty taste. A 'short-time' shot is not a ristretto, which is a properly prepared shot run less than standard fill level - in slightly less brew-time than standard.
Although different machines, baristi, coffees will all behave slightly differently, a 13 second shot is not destined to win a taste quality comparison with a properly prepared espresso. Super-automatic machines and chain operators are frequently calibrating to a compromise between quality and machine reliability. They are also frequently operating within the design compromises involved with grinders/brew chamber dimensions/tamping mechanisms/multiple dose ranges/multiple brew levels/maintenance/service costs - just to name the key factors. They often settle on standards that are less than ideal for cup quality - in favor of other factors. Usually the super-automatic operators only allow the staff to adjust the grind settings - not the other brew parameters such as tamp, pre-infuse, water temp, water flow, grind dose time.
Enough prattle - time for an espresso!
By the way, love to hear your opinions regarding both La Marzocco and Super-auto shots and milk foaming.
 
OP
3ternal

3ternal

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Re: espresso time

CafeBlue said:
Correct: the "10 second rule" refers to time between the espresso finished brewing and serving to customer. This is to ensure the cup quality is delivered to the customer. Letting the cup sit around, negatively affects the aroma, crema and taste.
The leading authority on espresso quality may be the WBC. World Barista Championship standards for brew time are 20-30 seconds for a 1 ounce espresso shot.
Short extraction times llike 13-17 seconds usually result in a weaker, under-extracted shot with less crema. The crema is also usually made up of larger bubbles compared to the tiny bubbled, micro-foam, denser, more viscous crema found on a well brewed espresso. Frequently the short-time shot is also plagued with 'blonding' problems and a sour or salty taste. A 'short-time' shot is not a ristretto, which is a properly prepared shot run less than standard fill level - in slightly less brew-time than standard.
Although different machines, baristi, coffees will all behave slightly differently, a 13 second shot is not destined to win a taste quality comparison with a properly prepared espresso. Super-automatic machines and chain operators are frequently calibrating to a compromise between quality and machine reliability. They are also frequently operating within the design compromises involved with grinders/brew chamber dimensions/tamping mechanisms/multiple dose ranges/multiple brew levels/maintenance/service costs - just to name the key factors. They often settle on standards that are less than ideal for cup quality - in favor of other factors. Usually the super-automatic operators only allow the staff to adjust the grind settings - not the other brew parameters such as tamp, pre-infuse, water temp, water flow, grind dose time.
Enough prattle - time for an espresso!
By the way, love to hear your opinions regarding both La Marzocco and Super-auto shots and milk foaming.

So your saying the esspresso shot itself does expire after 10 seconds?

Never used a Marzocco, but it seems like it would require more skill to make a great latte/cappacinno with then it would with a super-auto like we use in Starbucks. Shots would probably taste better though.
 

shadegrown

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Apr 13, 2007
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I work at Starbucks and don''t really like our espresso or any of the coffee, but personally I feel that true baristas should prepare their own espresso blends to accomodate the specific drink they are making. i''m not sure, but i''m sure at least SOME of the participants in the World Barista Competition are somewhat aware of the various qualities of the various coffees and roast levels that go into their shots.

I don''t know if they do though, they might just use the blend that they normally use at whatever cafes and restaurants they work at.

though I think it would be interesting to see people use different espresso blends and roast levels (since espressos don''t necessariy need to be a dark roast) to accomodate whatever drink they are preparing, much like accomodating different meals with different drinks, the coffee that goes into espresso should be more variant.

that aside, I can''t say what time is best for shots to be pulled. personally I think the automated Verisimo has too much variation in how the shots pull. I''m gonna ask my manager how to adjust the time the Verisimo pulls shots.

There''s always one machine that seems to pull faster than the other at every Starbucks I visit it seems.
 
OP
3ternal

3ternal

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Personally I used an Italian blend, ground just a little finer than espresso grind (more crema).

That's besides the point though, no1 has answered my ? yet :(
 

CCCRoaster

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Apr 16, 2007
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Crystal Lake, Illinois
Re: 10 second rule

Pacificocoffee said:
13 seconds? Are you kidding? Even 17 seconds is quick. I try to keep it close to 21-22 seconds. I do agree that the "Latte Artists" take too long before they add the milk. That is the trade off, you can get a "pretty latte" or a latte that tastes good. :?

We do Latte art on every cup we serve. There is no reason that if workflow is correct that a shot would sit too long before the milk is started to pour.

Shot time is a guide, it just so happens that a correctly pulled shot should come out between 20-30 sec. but a 20-30 sec shot is not necessarily a correctly pulled shot.
 
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