Question about the actual "size" of an espresso shot

DjPiLL

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Apr 5, 2007
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I just bought an Incanto Sirius to start making my own iced lattes that I typically got from starbucks. I am still new to the game.

Well I used to drink Venti Iced Lattes at Starbucks. Three "shots" according to starbucks go into an Iced Venti Latte.

I am curious as to how big of a shot they use for this. I originally thought a shot was 1oz of espresso. But now I am reading that the typical shot size is 1.5oz. Which one is correct?

I guess I am a little confused because while I was in starbucks... I bought two measuring shot glasses. The shot glasses look like a typical liquor shot glass... except there is a line across the stop that measures out 1oz. So I figured this was their shot... so I programmed my "small coffee button" on my Sirius to dispense 1oz of espresso.


Does Starbucks use 1oz of espresso or 1.5oz of espresso when they say you are getting three shots? If they use 1.5oz of espresso... then I have been measuring my lattes incorrectly.


Thanks in advance.
 
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DjPiLL

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CCafe said:
1 ounce is the norm. After that you can start pulling the more undesirable taste from the espresso.


Thanks for clarifying this. I wonder why so many people are saying its 1.5oz then? :?
 

CCafe

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Many people have different standards.

Most machines I set as

Single 1oz
Double 2oz
Triple 3oz

but I have requests for

Single 1.25oz
Double 2.5oz
Triple 4oz

It happens. But you need to make espresso shots to your taste. So if 1.25oz taste better then 1oz go for it. I personally like ristretto's which normally run about 3/4 of an ounce for a single. Then again I like Guinness and just about anything stout!
 
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DjPiLL

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So I take it when I make my venti lattes... I should do three separate 1oz coffees?

Grind... pour... dispose.... grind... pour... dispose... grind... pour... dispose???
 

CafeBlue

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Toronto
Yes, or a double and a single. A double is equivalent to 2 singles. Originally espresso brewing was freshly ground and brewed one demitasse cup at a time, then an enterprising operator doubled the filter size and capacity in the portafilter and added two spouts to the portafilter bottom in order to brew two cups simultaneously. Of course it was later that same morning when the customers began ordering double shots for their single demitasse.
When brewing espresso and constructing beverages, follow the rule that less is better. Err on the short side for brew levels. If your coffee/brewer/barista makes their best shot at 1.25 oz, then 1.0 oz still tastes great, and will make a decent "latte" even if the liquid proportion is off. However a 2 oz shot will over-extract and taste bitter, harsh and watered out (all at once) while disrupting "latte" liquid ratios.
For best practices and shot pulling guidelines check out the barista competition standards for the World Barista Championships.
 

steveng

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Nov 18, 2015
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Huntington Woods, MI
Starbucks shot is not 1 ounce

I realize this thread is very, very old -- and, in a perfect (or even "good") world, it should stay that way. However, the "correct" answer, at least as far as Starbucks is concerned, is 1 shot = 0.8 ounces. They say that this is to produce a "darker, richer, more intensely flavored" beverage.

I semi-regularly order a quad shot, and it comes in right around 3 ounces (sometimes a little less).
 
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CCafe

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I realize this thread is very, very old -- and, in a perfect (or even "good") world, it should stay that way. However, the "correct" answer, at least as far as Starbucks is concerned, is 1 shot = 0.8 ounces. They say that this is to produce a "darker, richer, more intensely flavored" beverage.

I semi-regularly order a quad shot, and it comes in right around 3 ounces (sometimes a little less).

You're right this is an old post and you should have left it be. You should have quoted this thread and start a new post.

However you are wrong in your answer. Starbucks uses the industry standard. If you don't believe me then look here and see what the shot sizes are. Espresso | Starbucks Coffee Company

I think what you are referring to is a ristretto. A ristretto is a short pull with the same amount of espresso that you normally make for a single or a double. I believe the wiki says you are suppose to pull half the amount of water that you would pull for a double if you are making a double ristretto which would still put you at 1 ounce. I tend to think that is a little overbearing and prefer my ristretto to be ran by time and to be pulled out roughly 3/4 of the way through the shot cycle. So if you're pulling a 20 second shot pull it out around 15 seconds.

If you would have read the article entirely you would have seen that I said that 1 ounce is not necessarily the standard at each establishment. It can vary up or down in shot size.
 

steveng

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Nov 18, 2015
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However you are wrong in your answer. Starbucks uses the industry standard. If you don't believe me then look here and see what the shot sizes are.

My answer is based on:

  1. Empirical testing. Visit Starbucks and order an espresso (or a doppio, triple, or quad). Then measure it.
  2. Statements from Starbucks management. They no longer supply one ounce per shot, as a matter of policy. The web page you cite is simply bad info, i.e. false advertising.

If you're expecting one ounce per shot at Starbucks, you'll be disappointed.

I agree that what Starbucks serves should be sold as "ristretto," but they don't do that.

I also agree with your statement about "variance" from one shop to the next... but less than one ounce per shot? I think not!
 
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steveng

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Huntington Woods, MI
It would appear that a "standard" espresso is a little longer in the USA at 1fl oz than it is in Europe...

And, btw, would a serving of espresso in Europe be referred to as a "shot?" I think the term "shot" has its origins in the world of alcoholic beverages but, in any case, would never mean less than an ounce.
 

Coffeefix

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Dec 17, 2014
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United Kingdom
Hi Steveng,
I can't speak for the rest of Europe but to us in the UK a shot is simply "a dose" and readily applied to many things... You might get your "shots" from the doctor before a foreign holiday for instance!
I can understand the link to alcohol but wouldn't simply mean 1fl oz. Asking a barman for a shot of whiskey would probably prompt him to ask "large or small?"
 

PinkRose

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Feb 28, 2008
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Near Philadelphia, PA
Why is that?

Sometimes people dig up very old threads, and then people start responding to some of the posts that are within the thread. Sometimes, the threads are so old that the people who posted so long ago are not here anymore. If someone responds to their post or asks them a question, they won't get a response.

So, it is important to pay attention to the date of the original post to a thread. When you see that the original post is very old, then it is usually better to start a new thread and ask your questions or make a comments there. However, if the thread is old and you see that it is recently active, then feel free to post whatever you want.

I hope this makes sense now.

Rose
 

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