TheGreatKrok Senior Member Joined: 6 Jun 2013 Posts: 9 Location: Vancouver Expertise: I like coffee
Posted Mon Jun 10, 2013, 7:29pm Subject: Re: La Marzocco machine help
@Qualin: I'd like to say I communicate with my team mates about that stuff. But we don't weigh the shots, or even know what is a good weight. Most of them have worked here a year or more, but because there's never really been a solid training program, they just go off what they already know and what they've drilled. I talked to some personnel from head office about training and some other stuff. So I'm going to keep doing what I can to improve the place. Another question here, my espresso if giving me a 24ish second shot, bit about 3 oz of espresso. Is it the grind? I'm on a full auto machine, so I'm not firing it manually. From what I can tell with my limited knowledge, the shot turns blond very fast, but pours to much liquid. I'm not sure what I can do to fix this. I found out what probably was the problem with the short shots though, we deduced that the grinder is probably at fault. So we switched the hopper (there's two grinding heads) and now I've run into the problem above after fiddling with the grinder to get a semi decent shot.
qualin Senior Member Joined: 30 Jun 2012 Posts: 653 Location: Calgary, AB Expertise: I love coffee
Espresso: Izzo Alex Duetto 3 Grinder: Mazzer Mini Elect. Type A Vac Pot: Looking to buy Drip: Manual Roaster: Considering?
Posted Tue Jun 11, 2013, 1:27am Subject: Re: La Marzocco machine help
OK, I'm going to step out seriously here and say that I am not a professional barista. I've never been behind a counter before and I don't feel that I'm qualified enough to give a professional barista advice, even an untrained one. Everything I say below or have said in this thread, please take with a grain of salt. I'm only trying to help. I'm only in this as a hobby, one which I'm taking quite seriously.
I want to emphasize that whatever your shop does, follow their protocols. If you pick up advice here, consult with your team mates and with your manager before you start messing with things. I can't be held liable if you get disciplined or fired because you weren't following company policies or procedures.
The advice I'm giving you, if at all, is from someone who has been in this hobby for about a year and who is still learning himself. I pull about 1-3 shots a day on my machine, whereas any professional barista does hundreds. They get more experience in a day than I would in a month. I'd like to emphasize that considerably.
I'm going to say this again, I'm not an expert and I don't mean to pretend like I'm one. I'm only relaying what I know.
my espresso if giving me a 24ish second shot, bit about 3 oz of espresso. Is it the grind?
On any automatic machine, you can always cut the shot short or resume it. The purpose of volumetric dosing is to allow the machine to measure out a fixed quantity while you go do other things. Do not attempt to program the doses without consulting with your manager and your other team mates first! It was probably set that way for a reason.
the shot turns blond very fast, but pours to much liquid.
When a shot blonds, it means that the coffee has given everything it's got and now it's going to be putting bitter coffee in the cup. That's usually a good indicator as to when to stop the shot. However, in your situation, since you can't measure input and output weight, you should be using volume over time as a quick way to determine whether the shot is good.
There isn't any hard and fast rules that say the shot has to be 2 oz in exactly 25 seconds. You have to use your professional judgement as a barista to determine which shot parameters best suit the beans you are working with.
With your managers permission, take the time to learn what an over-extracted and an under-extracted shot tastes like. The easiest way to do this is to deliberately overdose and to underdose the shot. Aim for a 40 second shot and aim for a 15 second shot and taste the two. An over-extracted shot will have almost a burnt flavor or "Rubber hose" like flavor or taste extremely intense. An under-extracted shot will taste very citrus-like. Kind of hard to explain. When you extract properly, all of the flavors of the coffee will break through the citrus flavor and drown it out without any of that burnt flavor coming through.
In saying that, if everyone is ordering large lattes loaded down with sugar or syrups, it's kind of a moot point. Your most discriminating customer is going to be the one who orders straight shots or orders an Italian-style macchiato.
I'd like to emphasize this again, only adjust grind when you are absolutely 100 percent sure that adjusting dose isn't working to your satisfaction. It is a huge commitment and if you mess with grind in the middle of a shift and there is a lineup of customers behind the counter, you'll only end up serving them under-extracted or over-extracted shots.. that doesn't help anyone.
I'm also pretty sure your other team mates will have your head as well because if they're adjusting their doses to compensate for a slightly coarse or fine grind and you mess with the grind, you'll trip them up as well.
Garbage In, Garbage Out, for every step of the process. From Beans to grinder, grounds to machine, coffee to cup.
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