Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Latte, home

It looked right, but this coffee tasted not good. Not good at all. Am I getting something wrong here?
It turns out I am. I really am.
Googling "double espresso shot time" can be dangerous. There's all sorts of people whose level of expertise does not correlate with their motivation to publish things on the web, and espresso is an area teeming with such anonymous amateur experts. I found one guy who insisted 5-7 seconds was the optimal pull time. Eurgh. What I did find helpful, however, was Al's Rule. There's a link to his original post on Usenet (I thank you, Google Groups, for keeping a copy of everything that was ever posted on the now (allegedly) defunct Usenet) on that page, but as you can see I've also linked to it in this sentence. Just in case you missed it, here it is again.
So if I'm using a double basket, it has more holes and can let more liquid through more coffee in the same time? So I should be aiming for 60ml in 30 seconds, rather than 60ml in twice as long as it takes for a single. But what if I only want 30ml? Getting 30ml out of a double basket in 15 seconds probably isn't going to do the trick. Mind you, I enjoyed my ~18 second shot yesterday a lot more than the ~25 one I had today. So what's going on here? Should I aim for 60ml in 30 seconds, and if I only want half of that, split it into two cups and feed one to the Venus Flytrap? If we look at Al's Rule, I should add one second for every 5ml less than 60ml. So I'm aiming for 30ml in, er, 36 seconds now? Yikes. That's a long time.
It might be time to break out that single basket again.

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