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Timing of extraction, from time pump is turned on, or timed from 1st drip???
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Discussions > Espresso > Q and A > Timing of...  
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NobbyR
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Posted Thu Oct 18, 2012, 9:16am
Subject: Re: Timing of extraction, from time pump is turned on, or timed from 1st drip???
 

frcn Said:

Not to be rude, but who cares? Just:
- Develop a consistent and repeatable routine
- Watch the espresso stream
- Stop when or just before the flow lacks viscosity and turns watery
- Taste the espresso
- Adjust accordingly as required to match your personal taste.
- Use the clock to make sure you aren't late for work   ;-)

Posted October 17, 2012 link

I basically agree. It's just that for a newbie it's easier and more practicable to time shots than to recognize blonding. Maybe one should differentiate between extraction time and percolation time, what do you think?

 
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calblacksmith
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Posted Thu Oct 18, 2012, 10:40am
Subject: Re: Timing of extraction, from time pump is turned on, or timed from 1st drip???
 

D4F Said:

Interesting note on the Redbird site, that both Redbird Espresso and Blue Jaguar are suggested 25 - 30 second shot from the first drip.  Of course YMMV, especially on other coffees.

Posted October 17, 2012 link

It will vary indeed.
For the record, depending on WHICH coffee I am brewing, I go from 20 to 40 seconds from the first sign of coffee flowing through the basket when using my naked PF.

As that really isn't all that helpful to someone just starting out, the above advice to just do the same thing every time and adjust from there is the best way to go. Stock formula, 14g coffee, 25 seconds from the first flow, 195 to 205 F at 9 bar. I tend to go heavier at 18 to 19g at 20 to 40 seconds depending on coffee so in truth, YMMV!

 
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emradguy
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Posted Thu Oct 18, 2012, 3:30pm
Subject: Re: Timing of extraction, from time pump is turned on, or timed from 1st drip???
 

NobbyR Said:

...It's just that for a newbie it's easier and more practicable to time shots than to recognize blonding...

Posted October 18, 2012 link

This is a good point.  This is also why I recommend tasting the stream through the extraction (as a teaching tool for newbies).  When it starts tasting horrible, that's when it's done.  After a newbie does this a couple of times, he/she will have no trouble recognizing the matching visual cues.

 
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frcn
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Posted Thu Oct 18, 2012, 8:32pm
Subject: Re: Timing of extraction, from time pump is turned on, or timed from 1st drip???
 

emradguy Said:

This is a good point.  This is also why I recommend tasting the stream through the extraction (as a teaching tool for newbies).  When it starts tasting horrible, that's when it's done.

Posted October 18, 2012 link

I would theorize that, particularly for newbies, the opposite might be more true. The beginning and early portion  of the stream is so concentrated that, to the palate unfamiliar with the taste of espresso, it could be overwhelming. The later stream, more dilute, could very well be more pleasant. A more experienced palate would recognize the difference in the concentration and be able to discern the taste separately from the viscosity and concentration. The later flow, while lacking in body, doesn't necessarily taste bad, it just lacks depth of taste.

Visually, the change from the appearance of warm honey to that of water is fairly easy to identify. Once that is learned it can be visually associated to the color change to allow prediction of that viscosity change. Now, if we relate all this to the original question, these changes I have mentioned here are a lot easier to see if the barista is not glancing at the clock every three or four seconds.

So just as we have learned that we don't need to look at a scale to judge tamp, we also do not need to worry about the number of seconds. A ten second double is probably a gusher, and a 45 second single is used Valvoline. Somewhere between the extremes we have good espresso. A clock is not necessary to find that. A palate is a much better tool. Paying close visual attention to the stream is an excellent diagnostic tool. It is the greatest reason we cut the bottoms off our portafilters; to watch the espresso and to learn.

I believe that it was Yoda who said, "Clock put away, you will. Taste the force."

 
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emradguy
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Posted Thu Oct 18, 2012, 8:51pm
Subject: Re: Timing of extraction, from time pump is turned on, or timed from 1st drip???
 

frcn Said:

I would theorize that, particularly for newbies, the opposite might be more true.

Posted October 18, 2012 link

Randy, you know I think very highly of your advice and opinions, but I have to disagree with that thought - based on my own experience. When I went through this stream tasting exercise in my one day course, I thought it was pretty darn horrible tasting when it got watery.  Heather had us wait until mid-shot to start tasting, but it was crystal clear in the mouth when the shot was done...and I learned then that the visual cues I'd been using were correct...but I never really knew that.  Now, you might argue I wasn't a brand spankin' newbie when I took that course, and I'd have to admit it's true, but I didn't really know what I was doing.  I just had an idea based on reading snipets of info.

frcn Said:

I believe that it was Yoda who said, "Clock put away, you will. Taste the force."

Posted October 18, 2012 link

Love the Yoda!

 
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