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The 3x Basket & The Elusive God Shot by Guest Author
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fookoonetwork
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fookoonetwork
Joined: 19 Dec 2001
Posts: 229
Location: Los Angeles
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Pasquini Livia 90
Grinder: Pasquini Moka 90, Anfim...
Vac Pot: Royal Balance Brewer
Drip: none
Roaster: Behmor 1600
Posted Sun Aug 4, 2002, 10:49pm
Subject: Re: Vivace
 

It depends on what you are looking for.  With that technique, unless the 3X basket is considerably larger, he will not get 24 grams of grind into it.  If you read his book, you will note that he suggested the use of a backflush between shots which he no longer does or at least I didn't see it when there.  The 3X basket isn't as simple as you seem to think.  Try it some time with the straight Schomer technique then try out what I have described.  There is a difference and it isn't subtle.
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olympicsteve
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Joined: 6 Jun 2003
Posts: 27
Location: bremerton
Expertise: Professional

Espresso: LaMar FB70 3gr
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Posted Sat Aug 30, 2003, 11:01am
Subject: Re: The 3x Basket & The Elusive God Shot by Guest Author
 

This column,is a joke-right?? Please tell me the punch line!! If, indeed, your serious, this article blows my mind...

While I, don't mean to offend you in any way, if you were serious, you still have many things to learn.

Point 1) You define a "god shot", as having a somewhat bitter taste. No good shot of espresso, should ever have any bitterness, period.
      'kind of reminds me of a Consumer Reports, article from ten odd years back, in which they defined the perfect cup of coffee, then tried twenty brands out, and couldn't find one coffee, that met their criteria!

Point 2) Have you ever, really, tasted a real-one in a thousand,shot?? I, doubt it..especially if your using the equipment you have listed. It's really incapable, of doing it, for many reasons.

Point 3) The real reason, for using triple baskets,is the fact that one can put 17.5 to 18 grams of coffee in the basket, while still maintaining room for the coffee to swell, and expand during the infusion process. Ones coffee should never ever, come in contact with the screen, otherwise your going to get improper infusion every time.

Point 4) I, will grant you, that there is a difference between double, and triple baskets, insofar as the triple basket will amplify any dosing/tamping mistakes one may have. Please throw your flat tamper away, that would be a start...

That's all for now, please accept my apologies if I've offended anyone. My intent is to have everyone through this website gleen a better understanding, in what techniques the pros use, to get a better cup.
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fookoonetwork
Senior Member
fookoonetwork
Joined: 19 Dec 2001
Posts: 229
Location: Los Angeles
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Pasquini Livia 90
Grinder: Pasquini Moka 90, Anfim...
Vac Pot: Royal Balance Brewer
Drip: none
Roaster: Behmor 1600
Posted Sun Mar 20, 2005, 10:50pm
Subject: Re: The 3x Basket & The Elusive God Shot by Guest Author
 

Well, it is almost three years later and with the coming of the naked portafilter, it seems possible to predictably pull the god shot.  I can only write about my own set up which is a Livia 90.  Get the naked portafilter with the 3X La Marzocco basket because it holds more grind.   Assuming a ristretto from 25 grams of Malabar Gold grind that has been ground a notch finer than the standard pour times of around 25 seconds, then the tricky part is how to tamp so that the pour does not channel.  To get 25 grams into the basket, you will probably have to prepack to allow enough space so that 25 grams will go into the basket.  I have three tampers: a 58 mm flat, a 53 mm flat, and a 58 mm convex.  You can probably get by with just two and one of them has to be the 53 mm.  Take the 58 mm tamper and do a north-south, east-west tamp, then a NE-SW  tamp, and finally a NW-SE tamp - in other words 8 points on the compass sort of like how you would put the bolts into a tire when changing out a flat tire.  This tamp is done with minimal pressure, probably around 5 kg. Then take the 53 mm tamper and start going around the circumference of the puck with something like 10 tamps with a force of 20 kg+.  Check to see if the puck appears to be level relative to the floor.  If not, I correct it with the 58 mm flat tamper.  Finally take the 58 mm convex tamper and first do a polishing motion to smooth off the surface and then do a very heavy tamp at somewhere around the 40 kg mark, plus or minus.  It is important that this tamp is much heavier than the 53 mm tamping.  Check to see that the surface is smooth, if not go back and give it a light polish.  Lock and load.  Temperature surf.  Wait for the needle to reach about 75% of the way into the green area of the gauge (which is adjustable).   If you have tamped properly, which isn't easy, the pour will be very even with droplets of espresso emerging around the 5 to 7 second mark around the circumference of the basket.  Then very slowly, a very viscous extraction proceeds with no blonding and an eventual coalescence of multiple streams into a much smaller stream when compared against the normal non-ristretto shot.  The total shot times can vary considerably and seems to be more a function of how long the beans have been sitting in the hopper.  The longer it sits as in hours, the shorter the pour time before blonding.  That said, early on in the espresso session you may see total pour times between 60 to 90 seconds before there is blonding.  This results in about one half to three quarters of the La Marzocco espresso cup filling up.   These remarks are strictly for the record and hopefully complete what I originally set out to do.  3/20/2005

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counting
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Joined: 8 May 2005
Posts: 823
Location: Baltimore, MD
Posted Mon May 9, 2005, 1:31am
Subject: timing
 

Pour time in your new post is 60-90 seconds compared to 18-22 seconds in your original essay. Do you think the difference is explained by the time-in-hopper factor, the "heavier" final tamp, or something else?

Also, in the new post, the pour time is longer but the time of initial appearance is shorter than in the original article. Is this a contradiction, or merely a negligible minor detail when it comes to understanding what is happening?
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fookoonetwork
Senior Member
fookoonetwork
Joined: 19 Dec 2001
Posts: 229
Location: Los Angeles
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Pasquini Livia 90
Grinder: Pasquini Moka 90, Anfim...
Vac Pot: Royal Balance Brewer
Drip: none
Roaster: Behmor 1600
Posted Wed May 11, 2005, 10:47am
Subject: Re: timing
 

counting Said:

Pour time in your new post is 60-90 seconds compared to 18-22 seconds in your original essay. Do you think the difference is explained by the time-in-hopper factor, the "heavier" final tamp, or something else?

Also, in the new post, the pour time is longer but the time of initial appearance is shorter than in the original article. Is this a contradiction, or merely a negligible minor detail when it comes to understanding what is happening?

Posted May 9, 2005 link

Very fair questions.

The original article was written some years ago, before the coming of the naked portafilter.  In that article, what you see is a 3X basket from Pasquini - kindly photographed by Mark Prince.  My pours are usually using Josuma's Malabar Gold and that blend has beans that are significantly less dense than most other espresso beans.  This directly affects how much grind one can get into the basket.  For the initial article it was probably 23 grams which had to be prepacked.  Just filling up the Pasquini 3X basket from the doser would have resulted in about 18 or 19 grams into the basket with the standard straight edge leveling.  With the 3X La Marzocco 58 mm basket, it is easily possible to get 25 grams into it, if one prepacks it.  Prepack means having to compress the grind lightly into the basket thus creating enough space to get in the rest of the grind whether it be for 23 grams or 25 grams.   As you can see, I always weigh out the grind so at least this factor is the same in pour to pour.   One reason for the discrepancy in timing is the amount of grind in the basket.  Timing is one thing, but if the shot is bitter, than it makes no difference if the timing was 18-20 seconds or the 60+ seconds of the naked portafilter.   That 60 seconds is not written in stone.  One just has to look at the pour and terminate it before the blonding becomes significant.  That point is up to the one doing the shots.  It could easily be that the Livia 90 lacks tight enough specs to continually get the same pour times from shot to shot, especially with the 3X La Marzocco 58 mm basket.  The progression of tamping is to go from light to heavier so that the final tamp is much heavier than the other tamps, thus resulting in more even distribution of the grind in the basket.  This tamping thing is something that is continually evolving.  The initial tamp is done with a 58 mm flat Reg Barber and amounts to a compass tamp followed by a Scoresby tamp (a rolling motion around the edge of the puck).  The object of this initial tamp is to flatten out the edges and level the puck.  What comes next is using a flat 53 mm tamper to specifically compress the puck as it meets the side of the basket.  This tamp, for now, is around 30 lbs or 13 Kg force around the entire circumference.  Check that the puck is level and correct if necessary.  Then I use a 58mm convex tamper, another Reg Barber, for a very heavy tamp of over 40 kg.  The hope of this tamp is to compress the puck and seal up the edges.  The edges are where one will see the first dribblings out of the naked PF - if one has decided to do a ristretto which is what this 25 gram pour is - grind finer.  Grinding finer allows more grind into the basket, but there is a limit to both how much one can get into the basket and still be able to bayonet the PF to place.   From what I have experienced, the normal PF has a huge drawback because the extraction has to flow across internal metal surfaces within the PF.  There is a point at which the residue and oil will affect the taste of the espresso and I found that it didn't take long.  So that the best pour might be the second or third one, after the initial seasoning shot.  The clear advantage of the naked PF is that it is simply a straight shot into the cup in which the only metal that is contacted are the sides and bottom of the basket.  With fresh beans, it is a much cleaner taste. in my opinion.  The major problem in most espresso shops, assuming adequate technique and that is not a given, is that the beans are already weeks stale so it makes no difference to let the beans sit in the hopper for hours or even into the next day.  Without fresh beans, I think that it is difficult to get much crema, if any, which is the reason that so many commercially acceptable shots have almost none that exceeds a very thin coating over the shot versus the density that one sees with properly rested, freshly roasted beans.  As a side note, I have tamped all over the place.  Starting with lighter tamps, to medium tamps, to heavy tamps, back to medium tamps, and now back to a final heavy tamp.  I think that the heavy tamp better seals the edge of the puck up against the side of the basket - and I don't tap the basket.   Whatever technique one decides upon, it has to be something that one can do on a consistent basis.  

As to the second question, the original pours had to traverse a bunch of metal before it eventually dribbled down the spouts and that takes time.  The naked PF does not have this obstacle.
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Coffee_Nazi
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Coffee_Nazi
Joined: 7 Sep 2007
Posts: 37
Location: Seattle WA
Expertise: I love coffee
Posted Sun Sep 16, 2007, 5:13pm
Subject: Re: The 3x Basket & The Elusive God Shot by Guest Author
 

I may be a bit of a newb, but I have a question or two. I've been a barista for about 5 years(and admittedly have more to learn), and have only just used my first triple basket, but I also have the triple spout PF to go with it. When you speak of your PF are they double or triple spouted? In the few short weeks that I have had this wonderful piece of equipment I've gotten to play with grinds and tamping and have yet to truly master it's function, but I've noticed the nearly consistent following stages : pours are anywhere from 35 to 55 seconds(with an avg. of 48), start with a thick oil like consistency dripping, before they start to truly flow into a gorgeous dark chocolate colored coffeefall. It proceeds into a dark tan fluffy stream of yummyness and a bit of blonding before I flip it's switch. Does this sound acceptable? They smell and taste absolutely wonderful, so I guess I'm doing ok. As far as equipment, I'm not a buff. I work with a La San Marco 3 group machine, and a La Cimballi grinder and an Espo tamper. I say work because that's what I do. But I use about 60 lbs ps, and only tamp twice. The first is to level it and the second is to really compress it. After the shot is  done, it knocks out into a nice little puck about 1/3 bigger than the 2x baskets. I would say that the volume of the shots is a touch less than an fluid ounce.  how does this sound to you guys, I need the input ...
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TonyVan
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Joined: 24 May 2010
Posts: 276
Location: Pacific Northwest
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: GS/3, La Pavoni
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Drip: Kone
Posted Sat Sep 18, 2010, 12:09pm
Subject: Re: The 3x Basket & The Elusive God Shot by Guest Author
 

I have some great wines in my cellar, but I don't pull them out for casual afternoons or picnics.  There's plenty of wine made with lesser grapes and less care that may be only 80% as good (at 20% of the price) but when it's not an occasion to pay that much attention to the fine points of what you're drinking, those differences don't really matter.  

But of course the reason that even ordinary wine today got to such a high standard is its adoption of best practices gained from hard-won knowledge.  So not a lot of wine gets poured down the sink anymore.      

Similarly, the meticulous care and understanding to manage the miriad of espresso variables to make the VERY BEST SHOT YOU CAN inevitably informs even the most quick/casual process.  Ok, so maybe you make do with a single tamper and an approximate process, but it takes no longer to grind the beans correctly or use the right size PF (or omit knocking).  Meanwhile even this not-so-obsessive process will yield a far satisfying result.  And when you have the time and inclination to be the best that you can be, you can go for it with a better background and a much greater chance at success.

At St. Eustache, decades of this same kind of trial, error and practice - while paying attention - yields perhaps 90% of ideal in the "BAM" time allowed to service the long queue of patrons.  But every time I've been there, I think I was the only customer paying a whole lot of attention to what was in the bottom of those lovely yellow cups.    

So thanks, Carl.  When people such as you and Prince and Schomer write this down, it takes years off the time it would take for us to understand and formulate these techniques on our own.  The wine guys have been refining their act for thousands of years, so in a sense we're all newbies here: and every new idea that works - or doesn't - moves us forward.
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