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Discussions > Espresso > Q and A > Making a proper...  
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AaronHartwell
Senior Member


Joined: 24 Sep 2012
Posts: 3
Location: Duvall, Wa.
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Mon Sep 24, 2012, 10:44pm
Subject: Making a proper cappuccino
 

After having owned my Rancilio Silvia and Rocky combo for almost 10 years I got the bug for a new machine.  After doing tons of research on really nice HX and double broiler machines I decided to stick with my old trusty Silvia but spend some money upgrading her!  I just installed a PID with pre-infusion and brew timer and am now in the process of installing a v3 steam wand and doing the pressure mod to get from the 11 bar I'm running now down to 9 bars.  I bought a handful of other things like new burrs for the Rocky, a calibrated tamper, a bottomless portafilter with a LM double basket.  All the regular Silvia geek stuff.  :)

Ok, enough background on to my question...

Researching machines and mods made me realize how little I know about the drinks I've been making.  I've decided that I want to focus on making a great cappuccino.  Everything I'm reading says that the ratios should be 1/3 espresso, 1/3 milk, 1/3 foam with the average volume for all being around 6 oz.

I found what appears to be a good Youtube video of a barista making cappucinos with the ratios I've been reading about.  Here's a link:

Click Here (www.youtube.com)

When I watch him prepare the shot he seems to be using a double basket filled to the top.  Is that what I should be doing for a 6 oz cappuccino?  I thought a double basket was designed produce two 2 oz shots of espresso?  

Thanks,

Aaron
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NobbyR
Senior Member
NobbyR
Joined: 10 Jul 2011
Posts: 2,045
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 Sep 25, 2012, 1:53am
Subject: Re: Making a proper cappuccino
 

There probably are as many variations in how to make a cappuccino as there are baristas, but the traditional Italian cappuccino recipe is as follows: 1 caffè espresso (25 ml) + 125 ml frothed milk.

 
***
"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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calblacksmith
Moderator
calblacksmith
Joined: 25 Nov 2007
Posts: 7,775
Location: Riverside, Ca, U.S.A.
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: ECM Vene. A1, La Cimbali M32
Grinder: Azkoyen Capriccio, Major
Vac Pot: 40s era Silex
Drip: Msl. Com. brewers
Roaster: gave it a try, decided no
Posted Tue Sep 25, 2012, 6:53am
Subject: Re: Making a proper cappuccino
 

Like Nobby said, lots of ways to skin a cat.
MY cap is 1/3 1/3 1/3, I would call what Nobby said, a Latte YMMV!

Your biggest bang for the buck would have been to sell rocky down the road and get a better grinder. Rocky was great when he was introduced but much better grinders are around and they sell for less than Rocky and they do not have steps, which on Rocky tend to be fairly large.

There is nothing wrong with adding a PID on Sylvia. I did that myself with my travel machine (used to be work but I took her home and now only use it on vacation, in Yosemite in the cabin) If Sylvia still makes what you want, more power to her!

There is a big difference with HX and DB machines tho, if straight shots are what you want, you are OK, if milk drinks are the main menu, a UPgrade may be in order sooner rather than later. Just saying.

 
In real life, my name is
Wayne P.
Anything I post is personal opinion and is only worth as much as anyone else's personal opinion. YMMV!

Feed the newbs, starve the trolls and above all enjoy what you drink!
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caffeinatedjen
Senior Member


Joined: 28 Dec 2004
Posts: 313
Location: michigan
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Bezzera B707
Grinder: Mazzer Mini
Roaster: Behmor
Posted Tue Sep 25, 2012, 11:05am
Subject: Re: Making a proper cappuccino
 

BTW, a double basket is supposed to make 1 2 oz shot of espresso.
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AaronHartwell
Senior Member


Joined: 24 Sep 2012
Posts: 3
Location: Duvall, Wa.
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Tue Sep 25, 2012, 1:48pm
Subject: Re: Making a proper cappuccino
 

Nobby and Calblacksmith - Thanks for the tips guys!  Given all the money I just spent on upgrading the Silvia she's going to be around for at least 5 more years.  The grinder suggestion has me curious to learn more about the advantages of new grinders.  I'm no ginder expert but it seems like it's all about granularity of control and consistency.  I get that the Rocky has steps and therefore has an inherent limitation on fine tuning the grind.  Is it also less consistent than newer grinders?  Or is there more to grinders than I realize?  :)

Caffeinatedjen - Double basket should produce a single 2 oz shot of espresso.  Thanks for the validation!  I just measured and my two shot glasses that I pull into are each 1 oz.  So I've been pulling 2 oz.  

Thanks!

Aaron
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calblacksmith
Moderator
calblacksmith
Joined: 25 Nov 2007
Posts: 7,775
Location: Riverside, Ca, U.S.A.
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: ECM Vene. A1, La Cimbali M32
Grinder: Azkoyen Capriccio, Major
Vac Pot: 40s era Silex
Drip: Msl. Com. brewers
Roaster: gave it a try, decided no
Posted Wed Sep 26, 2012, 6:22am
Subject: Re: Making a proper cappuccino
 

It isn't that Rocky is bad, mostly, it is the LARGE steps rather than fine steps that many grinders have. That and the fact that there are more and more good to very good grinders coming to market at the same or less cost. So when you look at cost VS results, there are better choices out there.

The Vario is much vaunted here and with good reason. It is much more adjustable and has a great grind quality and the price is an exceptional value against performance.

There is a whole science to grinding for espresso and in general terms, grinders that are for espresso produce a different grind than general use grinders and thus cost more due to the ridged nature of construction mandated by the very close tolerances need for espresso.

Double baskets, well there are double baskets and double baskets. They are larger and smaller and can be able to handle different volumes of grounds, by the time you get to about 20+g, they are starting to be called tripple baskets but that is not to say that they are good for THREE shots, rather they are more often used to produce 2 oz of espresso that is richer in consistency typically found in restricted shots of about 1.5 oz for a double shot.

The "standard" though is
7g of coffee for a single (one oz) shot
14g of coffee for a double shot

My doubles tend to be in the 18g range as I prefer the flavor at that dose of coffee to yield 2 oz double shot.

 
In real life, my name is
Wayne P.
Anything I post is personal opinion and is only worth as much as anyone else's personal opinion. YMMV!

Feed the newbs, starve the trolls and above all enjoy what you drink!
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iroast
Senior Member


Joined: 3 Nov 2011
Posts: 75
Location: NJ
Expertise: I live coffee

Posted Wed Sep 26, 2012, 6:46am
Subject: Re: Making a proper cappuccino
 

I upgraded from a Rancilio S+R combo to a double boiler espresso machine and a Compak K6.

Pros:
  • My cappuccinos are more consistent and tasty.
  • No more temperature surfing
  • Adjust temperature and pressure for a better extraction. The taste difference from pulling Redbird Espresso blend shot from my new setup and old one is noticeable.
  • Making multiple cappuccinos for parties is no longer a hassle
  • I can plumb my DB later down the road
  • Quieter operation from DB and grinder
  • Looks great on counter


Cons:
  • $$$

Warming up my DB doesn't take that much longer than the Silvia. Routine is: wake up, fill water tank, turn on DB, get ready for work, take care of dog, make cappuccino, clean up and take off.

If you're curious about what DB I have, the hint is the last 2 words :-)
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AaronHartwell
Senior Member


Joined: 24 Sep 2012
Posts: 3
Location: Duvall, Wa.
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Wed Sep 26, 2012, 8:08am
Subject: Re: Making a proper cappuccino
 

Calblack - Yeah, the large steps limitation makes sense.  I frequently find myself wanting a setting between two on the Rocky.  I looked at the Vario just now.  It looks sweet.  Maybe next year.

Iroast - Congrats on the DB machine.  I was pretty close to upgrading.  The PID upgrade I did rids me of temperature surfing and lets me dial in very specific brew temps.  I like that.  I'm adding a gauage and an adjustable OPV so that I can dial in pressure as well.  Entertaining is a pain with a single boiler but we don't do a lot of that so it's OK.  Nicest single upgrade I ever bought was a digital timer that turns Silvia on about an hour before we get up.  She's nice and hot when I'm ready to make my cappuccinos.  

Thanks guys,

Aaron
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iroast
Senior Member


Joined: 3 Nov 2011
Posts: 75
Location: NJ
Expertise: I live coffee

Posted Wed Sep 26, 2012, 8:36am
Subject: Re: Making a proper cappuccino
 

AaronHartwell Said:

Calblack - Yeah, the large steps limitation makes sense.  I frequently find myself wanting a setting between two on the Rocky.  I looked at the Vario just now.  It looks sweet.  Maybe next year.

Iroast - Congrats on the DB machine.  I was pretty close to upgrading.  The PID upgrade I did rids me of temperature surfing and lets me dial in very specific brew temps.  I like that.  I'm adding a gauage and an adjustable OPV so that I can dial in pressure as well.  Entertaining is a pain with a single boiler but we don't do a lot of that so it's OK.  Nicest single upgrade I ever bought was a digital timer that turns Silvia on about an hour before we get up.  She's nice and hot when I'm ready to make my cappuccinos.  

Thanks guys,

Aaron

Posted September 26, 2012 link

Thanks, Aaron.

Good job on modding your Silvia. Pics? The recommendation to upgrade your Rocky is a good one. A stepless one is nice.
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