recommended dose - espresso blends

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recommended dose - espresso blends

Postby dsc » Mon Aug 10, 2009 12:28 pm

Hi guys,

most of you are probably aware that SQM normally recommends a dose and temperature for their blends/coffees. It might not be THE only thing to use, but at least gives you some info on how the blend was designed or what works best in their Synesso. Now if you really paid attention (which isn't hard:)) you will see that most doses are quite high, somewhere in the 19-20g area. This isn't really a surprise, most blends do well updosed and I haven't seen many (any to be honest) that had a recommended dose of 14-15g.

So the question is, when using blends that have a recommended dose/temperature do you still try to downdose them and pull them at 14-15g or simply stick to what the roaster put on their website/bag? I'm curious because with the recent downdosing everyone seems to be shouting 'Pack less coffee in the basket!!' and praising 14-15g shots.

Just as a side note this topic was triggered mostly by my recent problems with Hasbean Premium espresso blend which I'm currently pulling at 14.5g. It's not bad, but I think it can be better, so I'm planning to pull out my triple Synesso (thanks again James) and try to pull some overdosed doubles.

Steve, care to comment what the Premium blend was designed for or what works best for you on your Synesso?

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Re: recommended dose - espresso blends

Postby robpow » Tue Aug 11, 2009 8:40 pm

Getting great results with the SqM summer espresso here at 17.5 grammes in the Silvia ground at 10 on the Rocky.

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RE: Re: recommended dose - espresso blends

Postby kingseven » Tue Aug 11, 2009 10:06 pm

I could probably write several thousand words on this subject, but I will keep it very short for now.

We do experiment with lower doses and, as importantly, extracting across a range of volumes (aiming for the same level of extraction for each shot, just varying levels of concentration).

Machine, basket, dose, shower screen, temp profile and a host of other factors do make a very specific brew recipe tricky - which is why we qualify our as much as possible as one's mileage may (and probably will) vary.

I'll never own too many items with which to enjoy coffee.
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RE: Re: recommended dose - espresso blends

Postby Carl » Wed Aug 12, 2009 11:43 am

I (try to) ignore the well intentioned suggestions as much as possible unless I'm really struggling. I tend to stick to about 16/17g in the double (dosing beans with a single basket filled to level!) I find there are enough other parameters to play with before I reach the bottom of the bag - even with a 350g bag :wink:. (And yes, the sqm blend is giving beautiful, clean tasting shots - great when cooled.)
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RE: Re: recommended dose - espresso blends

Postby bruceb » Wed Aug 12, 2009 5:52 pm

Coffee is not science. It is something to be enjoyed by the senses, my senses, your senses. Every variable of making coffee can be changed and the results observed. If there really is anything scientific about making coffee it is the concept of experimentation. You try 16 grams and if it seems too thin you try 18 grams. That's the beauty of it all, you try things until you find what you like, and there is no right or wrong.

Another thing to remember is that dose in the basket has a dramatic effect on extraction time and water throughput. I am not convinced that dose is a particularly useful variable. It changes too many things and makes it difficult to draw clear conclusions.
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RE: Re: recommended dose - espresso blends

Postby triptogenetica » Wed Aug 12, 2009 6:18 pm

Hmm, glad someone else is picking up on this - i'm finding, as I improve, i get some good results at lower doses.

I wouldn't say "down-dosing" - it's still in Carl's 16-17g ballpark, not really 14-15g territory, but I find that on my setup, 20g is hard work to get right. (And the puck afterwards will be swollen, with a neat screw impression).

When it is right, it's a sweet, syrupy coffee treat, but go too far and the ristretto becomes a few oily drops at the bottom of the cup. I stick mostly to a ~constant dose, like bruce, at least during the week.
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