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Italian Style SIngle Shot Espresso
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Discussions > Espresso > Q and A > Italian Style...  
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motleyfirecrue
Senior Member


Joined: 27 Jan 2008
Posts: 13
Location: Australia
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Silvia Rancilio + Auber PID
Grinder: Mazzer Mini
Posted Sun May 13, 2012, 11:15pm
Subject: Italian Style SIngle Shot Espresso
 

Hi All or Salve (for my Paesani)

Having recently returned from Italia and sampling many espresso's, I have created another problem for myself.

The brief version of my story 'til now is...

Rancilio Silvia w/Auber PID matched with Mazzer Mini E. La Marzocchi Double basket (Although i'm still using the standard basket the most and now tried the Single basket that came with the machine). Espro Click Tamp. Beans fresh local roast (Newcastle OZ).

I have developed my methods based on all the 'standard' approaches to espresso. That is the best equipment (limited by $$), double shots made up of 14 grams of fresh roast beans for 60 ml in about 25ish secs. Which gives me good results.

However, I find that a double shots volume is too much for me in terms of an espresso. Sooooooo off I go to Italy and once again fall in love with their single shot size espresso, but this time i am determined to learn their secrets.

I ask the barista HOW? This was the response...

"Usea da singlea basketa for onea espresso(a). Onea clicka froma da grinda anda lighta tampa"

Out comes the golden goodness as promised in a ristretto size, so I says...

"so do you use 7 grams per shot with a tamp pressure of 15 kg with a boiler temperature of 102*C for 20 to 25 ml in 15ish seconds???

His response ...

"Huh, whaddayoutalkinabouta?"

So to get to the point, how do I replicate the Italian Style Ristretto with the gear that I have?  

I have tried with the single basket using the same grind as for the double with the 15kg/30lb tamp and it comes through very washed out. The barista's all seamed to be very light with the tamps and many didn't seam to have the in depth knowledge and thought process that we seam to put into it.

Any assistance in this would be greatly appreciated. Especially if someone has had success and can give me a start to finish method. I have recently learnt that they tend to use a Arabica/Robusto blend which i believe accounts for the rounded flavour.
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NobbyR
Senior Member
NobbyR
Joined: 10 Jul 2011
Posts: 2,023
Location: Germany
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Poccino Opus One, Ariete
Grinder: Eureka Mignon Istantaneo
Vac Pot: N/A
Drip: Melitta Linea Unica de Luxe
Roaster: N/A
Posted Mon May 14, 2012, 4:40am
Subject: Re: Italian Style SIngle Shot Espresso
 

The regular Italian professional barista won't be bothered with weighing the dose, measuring tamping pressure, timing shots with a stop watch or fiddling with brewing temperature, all those little things a lot of us home baristas do in order to get consistently the best possible results. They honed their espresso brewing technique until it's second nature.

Most Italians would simply laugh at the pains some CoffeeGeeks go through. That's why he responded with: "Whaddayatalkinaouta?" He really didn't get your point.

The amazing thing is that their rule of thumb style actually gets great results. I guess it takes years of practice.

Now, back to your problem.

Working with the single basket takes some getting used to. It's harder that using the double. The La Marzocco single baskets are easier to brew with than most other models. Try working with your usual tamping pressure. The importance/influence of tamping has been overrated anyway. With a 7 g dose the basket is usually not full enough. Fill the basket with ground coffee until there's a small heap, so that the basket is full to the rim once you've leveled out that heap before tamping. That is usually a good single dose. You might want to weigh that amount for future reference. Now all you have to do us dial in your grinder until you get the right extraction. The single basket usually needs a different setting than the double. "Onea clicka froma da grinda", that is.

 
***
"This drink of the Satan is so delicious that it would be a shame to leave it to the infidels." (Pope Clement VIII on coffee, when he was urged to ban the beverage)
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aecletec
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Joined: 10 Dec 2010
Posts: 195
Location: Australia
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Presso
Grinder: Faema A6
Drip: Chemex
Posted Mon May 14, 2012, 4:42am
Subject: Re: Italian Style SIngle Shot Espresso
 

NobbyR Said:

The amazing thing is that their rule of thumb style actually gets great results. I guess it takes years of practice.

Posted May 14, 2012 link

The idea of "great results" doesn't mesh with reviews I've heard of Italian espresso from 3rd wave types.
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NobbyR
Senior Member
NobbyR
Joined: 10 Jul 2011
Posts: 2,023
Location: Germany
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Poccino Opus One, Ariete
Grinder: Eureka Mignon Istantaneo
Vac Pot: N/A
Drip: Melitta Linea Unica de Luxe
Roaster: N/A
Posted Mon May 14, 2012, 4:47am
Subject: Re: Italian Style SIngle Shot Espresso
 

aecletec Said:

The idea of "great results" doesn't mesh with reviews I've heard of Italian espresso from 3rd wave types.

Posted May 14, 2012 link

We like to believe that you can drink great espresso at any corner bar in Italy. That's not true, of course. However, you're more likely to get a decent espresso in an average Italian bar than most other places abroad. Also, there are different regional tastes. Northern Italians usually prefere a different kind of espresso than people from the south of Italy.

What is true is that the regular Italian bar blend contains up to 50% of robusta. It has nothing to do with the ultra fresh, usually 100% arabica beans (maybe even single origin) coming from local roasters that most of us use. It's a different kind of espresso.

 
***
"This drink of the Satan is so delicious that it would be a shame to leave it to the infidels." (Pope Clement VIII on coffee, when he was urged to ban the beverage)
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samuellaw178
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samuellaw178
Joined: 22 Jan 2011
Posts: 382
Location: KL,Malaysia
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Arrarex Caravel
Grinder: Rosco Mini
Drip: French Press, Aeropress,...
Roaster: DIY Copper drum roaster
Posted Mon May 14, 2012, 4:58am
Subject: Re: Italian Style SIngle Shot Espresso
 

Maybe get a lever machine that has not the 58mm basketa?58mm commercial machine tends to make huge volume shots. Arrarex Caravel, Ponte Vecchio etc can make pretty small volume shots that still taste good. Even Olympia Cremina's single basket is pretty good too.

Also, you can try getting some Italian coffee beans to start with. Most of the 3rd wave coffee beans are on the bright/fruity side which is different from the Italian-style you want.
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NobbyR
Senior Member
NobbyR
Joined: 10 Jul 2011
Posts: 2,023
Location: Germany
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Poccino Opus One, Ariete
Grinder: Eureka Mignon Istantaneo
Vac Pot: N/A
Drip: Melitta Linea Unica de Luxe
Roaster: N/A
Posted Mon May 14, 2012, 5:01am
Subject: Re: Italian Style SIngle Shot Espresso
 

samuellaw178 Said:

..., you can try getting some Italian coffee beans to start with. Most of the 3rd wave coffee beans are on the bright/fruity side which is different from the Italian-style you want.

Posted May 14, 2012 link

That might help, too, if you can get them fresh.

 
***
"This drink of the Satan is so delicious that it would be a shame to leave it to the infidels." (Pope Clement VIII on coffee, when he was urged to ban the beverage)
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CraigA
Moderator
CraigA
Joined: 19 Dec 2001
Posts: 11,208
Location: Rexdale, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: PID/PressureMod 2001...
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Posted Mon May 14, 2012, 7:21am
Subject: Re: Italian Style SIngle Shot Espresso
 

Mod note: Thread moved to Espresso: Questions and Answers.

 
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emradguy
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emradguy
Joined: 31 Mar 2011
Posts: 2,966
Location: Houston
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Duetto II; Twist v2
Grinder: M Major, Macap M4 x2, VDD...
Drip: Espro presses; Aeropress
Roaster: H-B "List of Favorites"
Posted Mon May 14, 2012, 4:41pm
Subject: Re: Italian Style SIngle Shot Espresso
 

NobbyR Said:

We like to believe that you can drink great espresso at any corner bar in Italy. That's not true, of course. However, you're more likely to get a decent espresso in an average Italian bar than most other places abroad. Also, there are different regional tastes. Northern Italians usually prefere a different kind of espresso than people from the south of Italy.

What is true is that the regular Italian bar blend contains up to 50% of robusta. It has nothing to do with the ultra fresh, usually 100% arabica beans (maybe even single origin) coming from local roasters that most of us use. It's a different kind of espresso.

Posted May 14, 2012 link

When I was in Italy, the espresso based drinks were, on average, superb everywhere.  I'm talking about cafes, restaurants, even the gas stations along the highways.  We visited Milan, Lake Cuomo, Verona, Venice, Florence, Lucca, Sienna, and the Piedmont (basically a trek across Northern Italy).

 
.
Always remember the most important thing is what ends up in your cup!
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Sashas
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Joined: 2 Nov 2011
Posts: 23
Location: Vancouver, BC
Expertise: I live coffee

Posted Tue May 15, 2012, 12:32am
Subject: Re: Italian Style SIngle Shot Espresso
 

+1 for great coffee in N italy including gas stations on highways. I had most of my shots in Trieste, home of Illy and zillion of great small roasters. Their beans are way lighter roasted than the rest of Italy and 100% arabica is quite common. Had some solid shots in Ticino, Swttzerland too.
Btw still struggling with single shot consistency at home. Guess I should try another basket...
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NobbyR
Senior Member
NobbyR
Joined: 10 Jul 2011
Posts: 2,023
Location: Germany
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Poccino Opus One, Ariete
Grinder: Eureka Mignon Istantaneo
Vac Pot: N/A
Drip: Melitta Linea Unica de Luxe
Roaster: N/A
Posted Tue May 15, 2012, 12:50am
Subject: Re: Italian Style SIngle Shot Espresso
 

Sashas Said:

... still struggling with single shot consistency at home. Guess I should try another basket...

Posted May 15, 2012 link

Like I said, the La Marzocco single shot baskets are easier to handle than any other I know.

 
***
"This drink of the Satan is so delicious that it would be a shame to leave it to the infidels." (Pope Clement VIII on coffee, when he was urged to ban the beverage)
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