Espresso brewing times

CafeWench

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Feb 20, 2007
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San Marcos, TX
I have been reading a lot of books lately, preparing myself for tagging on the label of professional barista to my name. (taking the iasc test at coffee fest!).

Point: Study book says 18-22 seconds for brewing a single or a double.

Everyone else says 20-30 seconds, some as narrow as 25 seconds and no more.

Does it honestly just depend on where you live or is there a universal brewing time on a double shot of espresso? Mine usually make it within 20-23 seconds. But I use a silvia, not a commercial machine with a stable temperature.


Also, anyone else dream of being in the barista championships? Those guys are amazing.

Some good recommendations for learning latte art? I have been practicing and practicing, but I just can't get anything to be revealed other than a heart. My foam, milk mixture is bubble-less and tastes amazing but still no picture :( .
 

Heidi

New member
Nov 9, 2007
22
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Iceland
I just know that a double shot should not take more then 30 seconds, preferably somewhere around 25-30. I use a La Marsocco at my work place, a machine that''s also used in the WBC.

I''m trying out for the WBC next year, so I hope the best for myself.

When making the milk for latte art, make sure that it''s not thick, but not thin either. The best way, for me at least, is to make sure that you can see the whole milk sprout, but without making bubbles into the milk. I stop frothing when I can''t touch the milk pitcher anymore with my palm.
You need to blend the milk with the espresso before making the art, and the best time to start moving the pitcher around is when the cup is half-full. Here''s some of my work: http://www.ratemyrosetta.com/profile.php?id=2393

Best is to practise, practise, practise! Try to ask other baristas how they do it, I''m getting my advices from a girl that was 6th in the WBC two years ago and a guy that came 4th in the WBC Latte Art competion! Just ask around, try yourself and eventually you''ll get it.
 

NW JAVA

New member
1) NEVER pull a single. Unless that's all you are going to serve: Grinding adjustment issue.

2) Connect with YOUR ROASTER-they are your Friend. And you depend on them to provide the freshest bestest espresso blend/profile you can. In competition it;s a partnership for Success.

3) never let anyone tell you " good Luck" It's all about DRIVE, and Desire; Never Luck.
 

NW JAVA

New member
Is there anyone who can help you use a commercial machine to develop your " barista dance" with? The steaming is way different, and the overall functioning is " different"

BTW I roast, pull shots ect....I live Coffee.
 

CCafe

New member
Aug 11, 2004
1,553
2
Des Moines, Iowa
NW JAVA said:
2) Connect with YOUR ROASTER-they are your Friend. And you depend on them to provide the freshest bestest espresso blend/profile you can. In competition it;s a partnership for Success.

Not trying to be rude when I say this but a roaster is a business. Business operate to make profit. Some business care more about profit then about the customer.

Not trying to say all roasters are crooked. I've only met a few that I would never suggest to anyone. I'm just saying be careful who you make your bed with because at the end of the day your lying in it with them.
 
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CafeWench

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Feb 20, 2007
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San Marcos, TX
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I was just a little confused because of the mixes of information. I myself am beginning to roast on a tiny scale and plan to slowly grow into having some kind of influence in my community. Right now I am doing it for the love of making the perfect cup of coffee. And while I'm still learning new things everyday, I have only been in the biz for five years.

After much experimentation with my favorite blends I have made, 23 seconds seems to be the goal for my extractions. They make a strong, sweet, and very smooth finish tasting shot. Though the rancilio sylvia is no where near the consistent perfection of a commercial esp. machine, it comes really damn close when everything is treated well. I also will be installing a manual machine in my office to do more accurate tests.

I live coffee as well, and the science of it all is still pretty new to me, but I can't help but just eat up all the information I have learned. So much of it is conflicting and two different professional roasters will give you two completely different answers to the same question.

I believe that you just have to become friends with your roaster, have a beer or two and talk nothing but coffee for the whole entire conversation. He/she will give you advice on syrups, teas, cups, lids, sugars, advertising, tamps, pitchers, and upkeep on your espresso machine. This is the life they live, day to day constantly thinking about all of these things, they can be your best friend if you ask the questions you need answering. In setting a new shop or ordering a new coffee, there is no such thing as a stupid question when it leads someone down the right coffee path.
 

CCafe

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Aug 11, 2004
1,553
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Des Moines, Iowa
Well I guess the point I'm trying to make is that a lot of people think you can get rich fast by opening a coffee house. So even though they know nothing about it and don't even like coffee they just jump in head first.

Well now I'm starting to see that my be changing. People are seeing tons of coffee joints opening and now their thinking by opening a roaster they can make tons of cash by selling to all of those new coffee shops. Problem is they don't have a clue but they have no problem dispensing information like they have been in the business for 30 years.

Dumbest thing I've heard a roast straight up and tell the client in my presence "Go ahead and put your espresso in the freezer. Just make sure you get the beans back in the freezer before they thaw."

I won't nitpick the roaster but they had given the client a ton of misinformation. Mostly due to lack of experience.

Be weary, choose a respected and seasoned roaster.
 
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CafeWench

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Feb 20, 2007
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San Marcos, TX
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Agree on lack of experience

I think you would get that kind of misjudgement from anyone who is inexperienced in dealing with coffee.

Believe it or not, the industry almost thrives on these people who know absolutely nothing about coffee. There is a surge of a knowledgeable consumer, but most wouldn't know if you're lying or not. It's up to those of us who do know, who do read about this stuff constantly, to inform the base consumer so they can challenge the people who straight up lie to them.

I've been told the wrong things by many sources, and it is seriously difficult to know who's lying or not until you do the reading yourself.

I suggest industry magazines and information books as a start to some base knowledge if someone wants to know about their coffee. Then they would have a more in depth conversation with the roaster.

Sometimes, even the most experienced of us will disagree on the most basic of things. Personal experience seems to be the best for me.


Either way, it just all comes down to experience and personal knowledge expansion and hands on interaction to truly have an insight. That's what makes it fun. :p
 
Yeah I hate to say it, but in the really mature markets there is a mixture of sublime excellence (knowledge, integrity, experience and a willingness to share), often off-set by a group of operators that make the old brunts of integrity jokes (car salesmen, lawyers, Texas republicans...ooops, just kidding on the last one) look positively rosy. However I guess it is probably that way in any business sector. I would say that the group of posters on this forum have itime on board always provided a great example and sounding board to anyone trying to learn aspects of the business. Cafewench is however correct in saying that even the mos experienced guys and girls out there do often disagree on things such as the timing to extract the perfect shot. On the whole I think this is a great thing, as innovation and improvement comes from debate and trialling new approaches to things.
 

CCafe

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Aug 11, 2004
1,553
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Des Moines, Iowa
I tell most people 20 - 30 seconds. But the ones who are usually the most interested and try the hardest are the ones I tell to use your best judgment. If you think the best shot you have ever had was extracted in 45 seconds then so be it, 45 seconds is you magic number.

The best espresso I ever had came out of a broken Pavoni. Someone had dropped the machine and the boiler was only held in place by the pipes connected to it. It twisted due the fall and the left end was angled down about 30 degrees. That made the heat exchanger completely submerged. I tell you that left group almost made every shot taste like dark chocolate. After we showed him the results he refused to fix it either. He had a great 2 group but now it makes a perfect single group. I begged the person who brought it in to be repaired to let me purchase it.
 

shadow745

Active member
Aug 15, 2005
1,605
9
Central North Carolina
Personally I never time my shots. I simply go by the color, texture and pour pattern. Right at the point of blonding I stop. I think the timing/volume thing is way overrated. There are just too many variables involved to worry about seconds or ounces because you'll never have 2 shots that are exactly the same. Later!
 
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