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Meet the New Drink: The Traditional Double by Mark Prince
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blkeagl
Senior Member
blkeagl
Joined: 11 Mar 2002
Posts: 306
Location: Santa Cruz, CA
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Isomac Tea
Grinder: Mazzer Mini, Solis Maestro
Vac Pot: Bodum eSantos, Silex
Drip: Whassat?
Roaster: Hottop Bean Roaster, HW...
Posted Tue Jun 17, 2003, 10:37am
Subject: Blond is the marker..
 

I've played with making ristretto's and timing my shots to perfection, but found that for my personal use and taste, it was much simpler to aim for good crema (good flow) and to stop the shot when the blondness appears regardless of volume and time duration.

Interestingly, I've had occasion to make singles for guests from time to time and find that to work a little differently as well.

I still time my pulls, but now I don't look at it as a must to stop my shots early if the flow still looks good.

I've noticed that my best shots are very consistent in how they pour and the pressure that the group is under when they start pouring (I have the Tea so I can watch that).

Tarik
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blkeagl
Senior Member
blkeagl
Joined: 11 Mar 2002
Posts: 306
Location: Santa Cruz, CA
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Isomac Tea
Grinder: Mazzer Mini, Solis Maestro
Vac Pot: Bodum eSantos, Silex
Drip: Whassat?
Roaster: Hottop Bean Roaster, HW...
Posted Tue Jun 17, 2003, 10:39am
Subject: What I mean to say is...
 

... that I'm not pulling shots by volume.. sometimes they are full doubles, sometimes they are shorter (usually?).
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tonx
Senior Member
tonx
Joined: 23 Apr 2003
Posts: 62
Location: los angeles
Expertise: Professional
Posted Wed Jun 18, 2003, 11:19am
Subject: Re: Meet the New Drink: The Traditional Double by Mark Prince
 

as a professional barista with enviable access to the best equipment and hands-on training, I continue to find it almost cringe-inducing the degree to which the emerging webgeek home espresso culture is mired in notions of exact timings, volumes, and fixed characteristics (which will vary wildly by bean).  I've coached some folks that bought a Sylvia and self-taught using the information on coffeegeek and other forums and found alot of their expectations rigid and backwards.

My simplest bit of advice (without going into a rant of sorts) would be to begin with a bean you like, prefereably one whose characteristics you have viewed and tasted in a professional environment (tall order - I know).  Stick with a double portafilter regardless of the drink you want to make as switching between baskets will screw up too many variables to be worthwhile.  Do not be afraid to waste beans. Trust your eyes, nose, and tongue more than any stopwatch.  Invite cute baristas into your home for private lessons...
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MarkPrince
Moderator


Joined: 19 Dec 2001
Posts: 5,618
Location: Vancouver, BC
Expertise: Professional

Espresso: KvdW Speedster
Grinder: Versalab M3 Grinder
Vac Pot: A bit too many
Drip: Bonavita
Roaster: Hario Glass Retro Roaster
Posted Wed Jun 18, 2003, 7:02pm
Subject: Response to Tonx.
 

Tonx, I think the first thing that caught my eye in your posting was "begin with a bean you like...". Everyone I know in espresso, from the most advanced amateurs to the most seasoned professionals, know that espresso is made from blended beans, not single origins. The reason? Espresso is a harsh brewing method, and will overemphasise high notes and seriously expose bad notes in single origin beans... blends play strengths and weaknesses off each other, and deliver a more complex, more rounded, and more satisfying drink. There's only two single origins i've ever had that "cut it" as an espresso - Yemen Mocha (though that's going away because the Yemeni are discovering proper sorting methods) and an amazing, and gone Haitian Jacmel, which at one time had very poor sorting which delivered a wide range of bean styles in the same bag.

Second issue? Yes, some people go way too far in their home experimentation. But that is not their fault or something to criticise. If a newbie comes to this site, and tries to jump into the advanced stuff right away, who's fault is that? There are plenty of beginner perspectives, articles and forum comments within CG that will get them started without concerning them about PID controllers or bathroom scales.

That said, there's a reason why 85% or more of the cafes out there produce a product that is, to be brutally frank, far inferior to what a typically advanced CoffeeGeek member can produce at the home: attention to details :)
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MarkPrince
Moderator


Joined: 19 Dec 2001
Posts: 5,618
Location: Vancouver, BC
Expertise: Professional

Espresso: KvdW Speedster
Grinder: Versalab M3 Grinder
Vac Pot: A bit too many
Drip: Bonavita
Roaster: Hario Glass Retro Roaster
Posted Thu Jun 19, 2003, 3:33am
Subject: Followup to the previous comment
 

I want to apologize for the tone of the previous comment. I didn't mean to challenge Tonx or belittle anything he (she?) wrote - but upon review, I can see how it can easily be interpreted that way. I just wanted to present the argument that attention to detail was a good thing, and point out that espresso is usually 'beans" as in "different origins", not a single origin.

Sorry!
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Notaddicted
Senior Member
Notaddicted
Joined: 2 Jul 2003
Posts: 206
Location: Vancouver
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Brasilia
Grinder: Faema Commercial beast
Vac Pot: bodum santos
Drip: braun old thing
Posted Tue Jul 8, 2003, 3:08am
Subject: Concurr
 

Although I never went over to the " dark side"  ( ristrettos), this was the first article I read on my way back from coffee siberia.  

I had gone off coffees for a few years, and I totally concurr with what you said about " I know a heckuva lot more about the espresso brewing mechanics today than I did five years ago."

I only stopped pulling shots for about 3 years tops, and had run my machine for 10 years before that.  Yet in the few WEEKS i've spent online in this forum,  I've learned more about shot making and latte' art  than my entire coffee lifetime prior..  ( although it's been 2 weeks and I STILL haven't been able to get decent enough microphone to pour a decent rosetta!!!)

My equipment has been the same since 1990.. but my knowledge and expecations have increased..  Yes, we have gone to another level..
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heatgunroast
Senior Member
heatgunroast
Joined: 10 Feb 2003
Posts: 361
Location: Santa Fe
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Dalla Corte
Grinder: Mazzer Mini; Zass, Baratza...
Vac Pot: Royal Balance Brewer (wanna...
Drip: Various press and pour-overs
Roaster: Heatgun, Dogbowl
Posted Wed Jul 16, 2003, 10:29pm
Subject: Worth Reading and Repeating
 

Mark,
This may be a case of more here than met your eye when you wrote it, and some of the reader comments bear that out.  I hope you will return to this topic after it has settled but before the crema is gone.   I'm much impressed with this comment snipped here:

Espresso is a harsh brewing method, and will overemphasise high notes and seriously expose bad notes in single origin beans... blends play strengths and weaknesses off each other, and deliver a more complex, more rounded, and more satisfying drink.

I knew that.  But even in longer pieces on blending, I've never  I've never seen it stated that that clearly and directly.  
Nicely done.
Martin
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espressoDOM
Senior Member
espressoDOM
Joined: 1 May 2003
Posts: 2,188
Location: Bay Area
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: WEGA Lyra (vibe)
Grinder: Mazzer Mini
Vac Pot: (no more coffee equipment)
Drip: French Press
Roaster: Hot Top Roaster; Fresh Roast...
Posted Tue Mar 29, 2005, 3:35pm
Subject: Re: Meet the New Drink: The Traditional Double by Mark Prince
 

so the 2005 USBC has come and gone and the World title is on the line....
but due to some interesting discussion over on the USBC 2005 thread I went back to doubles to refine my technique...
WHY

well after some brief soul searching...traveling made me lose my mojo.....(pun intended)

it really came down to the arguments over semantics of using triple versus double... I like triple ALOT....
but double I use less coffee....and well I pull better shots...

WHY

well basically because since getting the CLICK TAMPER from espressoparts
I realized I tamp too hard...which means my grind is off which means I am not getting the best from each shot...
so I went back to the drawing board and have rediscovered my mojo...the mousetail has returned to my pours....

not the heavy flow that looks awesome when John pours them.. but the simple tiger infuzed mousetail.... SWEET

very happy with the results and I have in fact rediscovered the double in my household....

 
DOM...evil genius ...Up to no good in espresso at all times... VIVA la parts de Espresso
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