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high or low volume shots for milk based drinks
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gophishin
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Posted Fri May 17, 2013, 9:03am
Subject: high or low volume shots for milk based drinks
 

In making a typical latte, what is the general consensus on shot volume to get good flavor to stand up to the milk?  I realize there are a lot of variables in play here, but curious if there is a rule of thumb of pulling a more concentrated syrupy ristretto or an updosed higher volume shot for a typical latte.  

My shots by themselves taste good to me, drawing about 1.75 ounces in 29 seconds from 17.3grams.  The beans are fresh from a local roaster and I've had shots and lattes at the roaster's location to taste how they think it should come out and liked them.  My concern comes from making milk drinks at home.  When I make (what I think is) a typical latte using ~5oz of 2% milk and steaming to 145-150*, I sometimes find I wish the coffee took a more predominant role in the taste of the drink.  I know the easy fix would be to just use less milk, but where I'm perplexed is how cafes can make the super large 16-20oz lattes using a double shot and still not loose the flavor of the coffee in all that milk.
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CMIN
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Posted Fri May 17, 2013, 12:17pm
Subject: Re: high or low volume shots for milk based drinks
 

I've noticed at quite a few places that the shots they pull straight vs shots for milk are different.  Meaning I've seen places dose more and extract longer for milk drinks. One by me has one grinder for straight shots, then another adjusted for larger dose shots for milk drinks to help punch through milk. Even some well known places people have said on here and HB to overextract their milk drink shots to bring that stronger taste out through milk.
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D4F
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Posted Fri May 17, 2013, 1:55pm
Subject: Re: high or low volume shots for milk based drinks
 

gophishin Said:

 I sometimes find I wish the coffee took a more predominant role in the taste of the drink.

Posted May 17, 2013 link

I think that many of the milk drink places use Char$ type roast/overroast.  Hard to kill charcoal flavor  :)

 
D4F also at
http://www.gaggiausersgroup.com/
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qualin
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qualin
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Posted Sat May 18, 2013, 1:44am
Subject: Re: high or low volume shots for milk based drinks
 

If the coffee beans you buy are quite oily/greasy, it typically means that they're over-roasted.

It also means that the only thing you can really use them for is in conventional lattes or cappuccinos, otherwise
the taste is really too bold. You can't drink straight shots with beans like that because it's just unbearable. (Well,
at least IMHO.)

I agree with CMN, a deliberate over-extraction will help allow the beans to punch through the milk, with the understanding
that it can also dramatically change the coffee flavor going into the drink.

 
Garbage In, Garbage Out, for every step of the process. From Beans to grinder, grounds to machine, coffee to cup.
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fwtechwiz
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Posted Sat May 18, 2013, 5:26am
Subject: Re: high or low volume shots for milk based drinks
 

I pull straight shots using Redbird and it comes through in the milk just fine.  Have tried some other blends from local roasters and found that the bean makes or breaks the latte.  Higher acidiity, fruity espresso seems to disappear in the milk, whille nutty chocolate taste profiles punch through.  Ristretto pulls, updosing to 20g. or more in a triple, combined with the nutty chocolate blends are the bomb!
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gophishin
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Posted Mon May 20, 2013, 8:03am
Subject: Re: high or low volume shots for milk based drinks
 

Thanks for the input.  I buy fresh, locally roasted beans that are not overly dark or oily, as I do want something that is enjoyable to drink straight shots of too.  I will try updosing and maybe grinding a little finer to get it a more ristretto and over extracted pull to kick it up a notch.
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emradguy
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emradguy
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Posted Mon May 20, 2013, 9:05am
Subject: Re: high or low volume shots for milk based drinks
 

I pull my shots the same regardless.  If the milk is overpowering the espresso, then perhaps less milk would be in order.  Otherwise, I'd use a different bean/blend.  Of course, you're welcome to prepare your drinks however you see fit.

 
.
Always remember the most important thing is what ends up in your cup!
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qualin
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qualin
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Posted Mon May 20, 2013, 8:06pm
Subject: Re: high or low volume shots for milk based drinks
 

I just thought I'd add in something quick here..

I was working through a batch of Ethiopian Yergacheffe about 2 months ago, didn't matter what I did, the beans really punched through the milk and give it a really nutty flavor I really enjoyed.

I'd say that type of single origin coffee is almost designed to cut through milk...

 
Garbage In, Garbage Out, for every step of the process. From Beans to grinder, grounds to machine, coffee to cup.
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gophishin
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Posted Tue May 21, 2013, 7:45am
Subject: Re: high or low volume shots for milk based drinks
 

Thanks for the input!  I tried grinding finer and updosing to get a more concentrated extraction, and it seems to have helped some.  In the future, I'll also try experimenting with different beans for lattes.

I think besides the direct application to my drinks, I am more baffled as to how any coffee flavors can be picked up in the 16-20+ oz milk drinks often served in the US.  It sounds like you guys are attributing that to the super oily charred beans they often use for these drinks, which probably doesn't matter because a place like starbucks is rarely if ever serving straight shots.
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emradguy
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emradguy
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Posted Tue May 21, 2013, 11:57am
Subject: Re: high or low volume shots for milk based drinks
 

Many of the artisan roasters include a comment in their descriptions of beans/blends that they perform well with milk, if it happens to be true.  I personally have not really like many single origin beans in milk drinks, and though I love Yirg, I have to say, I've only used it in a press pot.  The flavor there is fantastic and intricate, but to me, it seems like many of the things I perceive are subtle...so I've never thought to put it in milk.

At risk of sounding pretentious or snobby...I personally find that no matter what is added to the charred, ash flavored espresso made by a very, very popular international coffee chain, it is undrinkable.  I didn't feel that way several years ago, but the last few times I tried a caramel macchiato or mocha from the evil mermaid, it ended up in the garbage after only a few sips.  As you can imagine, I no longer am willing to enter one of their establishments. This is where my earlier comments about using a "normal" shot come from.  Why would anyone knowingly use a sink shot to make a drink they want to enjoy?  It simply doesn't make any sense to me at all.  So, again...yeah, a bit redundant...I use "normal" shots to make my milk based drinks, and adjust the proportions accordingly.  If I want a bigger drink, it gets an additional shot and more milk...but hey, that's me...as Wayne (calblacksmith) says...YMMV!

 
.
Always remember the most important thing is what ends up in your cup!
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