StereoHeathen Senior Member Joined: 11 Sep 2011 Posts: 59 Location: New York City Expertise: Pro Barista
Grinder: Baratza Maestro Drip: Bee House, Clever Roaster: Hottop B
Posted Fri Apr 27, 2012, 9:46pm Subject: Re: VST strength of some *$s drinks
But aren't these ratios true of any espresso drink? I've always found it to be the case, at least, that 1 shot of espresso can generally take 3oz of milk (and not much more) and still stand out. That is to say, I consider the standard double-tall latte fairly weak... is this not the normal feeling among coffee nerds (geeks)?
Posted Sat Apr 28, 2012, 5:33am Subject: Re: VST strength of some *$s drinks
I don't know why, but their americanos were always weak. I used to get them regularly. I haven't had one in a long time.
I would usually order a triple (or quad!) tall americano, but I discovered they charge less for a grande (or venti!) americano "in a tall cup". The less intelligent baristas would argue that it won't fit, but I'd tell them how to do their jobs and they'd have that lightbulb moment (just add less water) and then they'd look at me like I was crazy. Or awesome.
Posted Sun Apr 29, 2012, 6:33pm Subject: Re: VST strength of some *$s drinks
Oops, just read your later post. Did not realize they actually use a double for the Americano.
So a Tall Americano has two shots ? Last time I asked about shots in a Tall Latte, they said it was only a single. Maybe the Americano really only had a single ? That was an advantage before the Super Autos. They pulled doubles by default and you could get the extra shot free if no one else was waiting.
So, been playing with the VST. Latest checks were very interesting.
I was in a hurry away from home, so ordered an "Americano" because all they had brewed up was some ungodly dark roast (like Verona or something like that). What I received is pretty darn weak approximation of a coffee. It came in a 12oz "tall", and I asked to find out that a Tall Cafe Americano contains TWO WHOLE SHOTS of espresso.
A few days later, I stopped by and grabbed a couple of separate shots of espresso, a tall Americano, and some of the brewed Pike Place.
Pike Place was 1.45% TDS. Surprisingly strong.
The shots of espresso were both right around 30g, and both 5.1-5.3% strength (used some of the VST filters) with a fair amount of silt or micro mud.
The surprising thing was the CRAPPY WEAK Americano - averaging right around 0.80-0.83% strength - no WONDER it was so damned weak. The coffee amount in the Americano was supposedly two shots of espresso, and the total beverage was around 335g.
I've taken this data and found that a doppio is about $1.75 - get it in a short cup and have them top it off with water. BINGO - That beverage averages around 1.2-1.3% strength, and surprisingly tastes pretty good, even if you are only getting around 230g of it.
If you're in a pinch, have to get your caffeine fix at *$s, and want a bit more, then order a Grande Americano, but have them put it into a Tall cup topped off with water. If you want it a bit stronger, ask for room for cream. You'll end up getting an Americano at a normal strength. (don't order a Tall Americano and add a shot - for some reason that's more expensive).
On average, this means that each shot of espresso at my local Starbucks is around 5% strength, or 1.5g of TDS.
To get the beverages at the normal coffee strength 1.25%: Short (8oz) or 240ml needs two 30g shots Tall (12oz) or ~360ml needs three 30g shots Grande (16oz) or ~480ml needs four 30g shots Venti (20oz) or ~600ml needs FIVE 30g shots.
If you're not into EVEAH getting Starbucks, pass on the thread... move along... nothing to see here. :D
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