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Date: 06 Feb 2007 07:05:53
From: jim schulman
Subject: Over and Under-Extraction in Espresso
I mentioned this paper in another thread.

>http://users.ameritech.net/jim_schulman/aspects_of_espresso_extraction.htm

It's now completely revised, more readable, I think; and the reasoning
somewhat improved.

The heart of it is the first section, an analysis of over and
underextraction in espresso, based on Ted Lingle's flavor wheel.

I'd appreciate any comments on whether it makes sense and accords with
your experience. Also, if you want to experiment for yourself, the
second section gives some how tos. Should you try it, I'd appreciate
hearing if your results in anyway jibe with mine.

And if you think I'm full of it; I hope I;ve at least provided you
with some amusement.

Jim




 
Date: 13 Feb 2007 18:57:32
From: Felix
Subject: Re: Over and Under-Extraction in Espresso
Ken Fox writes:
> I think it is odd that you consider my comments
> to be dismissive of Jim or his work.

I suppose I'm being "nitpicky" when I remind you that when I wrote:
"it's odd that you'd post anything that might be interpreted as
dismissive of Jim's idea," I didn't refer to Jim or my interpretation
of your response.

> I have merely indicated that I felt his conclusions
> (in the conclusions section) were a leap given the
> fact that the research reported was in fact not
> taste research but was some conclusions based
> on physical measurements.

After rereading your contribution to this thread, I think I'm
correctly concluding that your response didn't focus on this point.
You wrote a lot, and most of what you wrote wasn't supportive. Perhaps
you were as nitpicky and unfocused as I was :-)


Felix



 
Date: 12 Feb 2007 18:56:44
From: Felix
Subject: Re: Over and Under-Extraction in Espresso
Ken Fox responds:
> I DO think that unless your only interest is coffee
> and espresso it is a daunting task to try to figure
> out which SOs are worth using for espresso, at
> what basket weights, at what temperatures, etc.

It's daunting if you've decided to do the work, but if other alties do
so instead, you'll benefit from their experience, and that's more
likely to happen if you aren't openly pessimistic about the effort.

> I barely have enough time as it is to roast my own
> beans and make (hopefully) passable espresso out
> of it without varying too many things, while trying to
> stay up on my other hobbies, interests, and activities.
> That's a real issue. I really like coffee. I also really
> like a whole lot of other things and sometimes you
> have to be satisfied with hitting 90% of what you
> might hit with more effort, in order to have time for
> other things.

We (all) pick our battles, but I don't pick yours and vice versa. It's
odd that you'd post anything that might be interpreted as dismissive
of Jim's idea. No posting here specifically asked *you* to contribute
to this effort.

It's not just a matter of time either. I opened my last pound of my
latest Afro-Indo-American blend a few days ago. I'm very pleased with
this blend, and could easily produce another batch, but ... Even
though it takes me about a month to get through a pound, I started
thinking about what would come next.

Peru is one of the regions listed by Intelligentsia and Metropolis,
and I look for opportunities to compare the dominant local sources.
I've never liked Peruvian coffee (NB: Barry doesn't list any). Do I
look forward to buying two pounds of it? No, but I really like coffee!


Felix



  
Date: 12 Feb 2007 21:10:50
From: Ken Fox
Subject: Re: Over and Under-Extraction in Espresso
"Felix" <felixyen@hotmail.com > wrote in message
news:1171335404.348521.309560@j27g2000cwj.googlegroups.com...
> Ken Fox responds:
>> I DO think that unless your only interest is coffee
>> and espresso it is a daunting task to try to figure
>> out which SOs are worth using for espresso, at
>> what basket weights, at what temperatures, etc.
>
> It's daunting if you've decided to do the work, but if other alties do
> so instead, you'll benefit from their experience, and that's more
> likely to happen if you aren't openly pessimistic about the effort.
>
> Felix
>

and I think it is odd that you consider my comments to be dismissive of Jim
or his work. I have merely indicated that I felt his conclusions (in the
conclusions section) were a leap given the fact that the research reported
was in fact not taste research but was some conclusions based on physical
measurements. If you can't follow that line of reasoning and continue to
consider it being "dismissive," then I can't help you with that, at all.

ken




 
Date: 11 Feb 2007 17:00:55
From: Felix
Subject: Re: Over and Under-Extraction in Espresso
Ken Fox writes:
> I find your post and your questions nitpicky, unfocused, and
> hard to follow.

I have been feeling a bit undercaffeinated lately; let me try
again ...

My two main points are: (1) you don't have to view Jim's thesis as a
challenge to your beliefs about espresso. Just as you enjoy several
varieties of coffee, wine, etc. you might also enjoy using more than
one set of techniques to prepare espresso. (2) It's not fair to
request blind tasting and other demanding investigative techniques now
unless you did so before adopting your current beliefs about espresso.
I know that some people have researched certain aspects of espresso
making with a great deal of care, but believe that prevailing practice
among alties in the USA owes a lot to relatively informal trials.

D'accordo?


Felix



  
Date: 11 Feb 2007 21:39:11
From: Ken Fox
Subject: Re: Over and Under-Extraction in Espresso
"Felix" <felixyen@hotmail.com > wrote in message
news:1171242055.046704.97070@q2g2000cwa.googlegroups.com...
> Ken Fox writes:
>> I find your post and your questions nitpicky, unfocused, and
>> hard to follow.
>
> I have been feeling a bit undercaffeinated lately; let me try
> again ...
>
> My two main points are: (1) you don't have to view Jim's thesis as a
> challenge to your beliefs about espresso. Just as you enjoy several
> varieties of coffee, wine, etc. you might also enjoy using more than
> one set of techniques to prepare espresso. (2) It's not fair to
> request blind tasting and other demanding investigative techniques now
> unless you did so before adopting your current beliefs about espresso.
> I know that some people have researched certain aspects of espresso
> making with a great deal of care, but believe that prevailing practice
> among alties in the USA owes a lot to relatively informal trials.
>
> D'accordo?
>
>
> Felix
>

Felix,

I don't view Jim's thesis as a challenge to my own beliefs. He was planning
to visit me the end of the month and was going to demonstrate his
techniques; that trip has been put off until the summer, but we will
undoubtedly play around with it then.

I DO think that unless your only interest is coffee and espresso it is a
daunting task to try to figure out which SOs are worth using for espresso,
at what basket weights, at what temperatures, etc. etc. etc. I barely have
enough time as it is to roast my own beans and make (hopefully) passable
espresso out of it without varying too many things, while trying to stay up
on my other hobbies, interests, and activities. That's a real issue. I
really like coffee. I also really like a whole lot of other things and
sometimes you have to be satisfied with hitting 90% of what you might hit
with more effort, in order to have time for other things.

As to blind tasting, I don't know that you would necessarily have to do this
formally but you would really want to play around with it yourself before
changing a whole routine. One of the reasons that I don't throw a whole lot
of shots down the drain anymore is that I have standardized my technique.
THE most powerful variable in espressomaking is the "dose" of espresso you
use in the basket; it overpowers by a huge gin such other factors as
grind and tamping. If you are going to go from XX grams (18 in my case) to
something very much different like 16, or 14, or 12 (yes, 16 is VERY
different from the standpoint of how your shot is going to pour) and if you
are going to do it enough to actually be able to form an opinion about the
exercise, we are talking about experimenting with many POUNDS of coffee, a
huge investment of time, and you are going to pour a helluva lot of shots
down the drain. And then, you've reached an opinion on one coffee you
roasted at one roast level, not exactly something that you could generalize.

Speaking only for myself, I've got something that works pretty well for me.
Do I feel like spending hours roasting up a bunch of beans and spending a
number of hours playing around with this right now when I'm already very
busy and have more things I want to do than I have time for? NO I don't.
That doesn't mean that some rainy days might come along at some point and I
might not feel motivated to do it. But right now, no, I don't. And I'm not
interested in just pulling a few shots to see what I think because I don't
think that very limited experience such as that will demonstrate much of
anything.

Waiting for a rainy day.

ken




   
Date: 12 Feb 2007 12:28:49
From: I->Ian
Subject: Re: Over and Under-Extraction in Espresso
On Sun, 11 Feb 2007 21:39:11 -0700, "Ken Fox"
<morceaudemerdeThisMerdeGoes@hotmail.com > wrote:

>One of the reasons that I don't throw a whole lot
>of shots down the drain anymore is that I have standardized my technique.
>THE most powerful variable in espressomaking is the "dose" of espresso you
>use in the basket; it overpowers by a huge gin such other factors as
>grind and tamping.
Agreed.

>If you are going to go from XX grams (18 in my case) to
>something very much different like 16, or 14, or 12 (yes, 16 is VERY
>different from the standpoint of how your shot is going to pour) and if you
>are going to do it enough to actually be able to form an opinion about the
>exercise, we are talking about experimenting with many POUNDS of coffee, a
>huge investment of time, and you are going to pour a helluva lot of shots
>down the drain. And then, you've reached an opinion on one coffee you
>roasted at one roast level, not exactly something that you could generalize.

Suppose the extraction is on the razor's edge at higher volumes and
coarser grinds and the sweet spot expands considerably at lower doses
and finer grinds, then one should be able to zero in after only a few
shots and very few sinkers.

This past weekend I assisted an espressionist with a recalcitrant
Expobar Lever:
- lower boiler pressure .1bar
- 2 notches finer on his Rocky
- reduce dose with Rocky lid after WDT.
- hold tamper for level and very light tamp

"The shots I pulled this morning were good ones, so progress was
definitely made!" contrasts favorably to "(If I don't start producing
ambrosia from this thing soon I fear my wife will throw me out of the
house!)" in his original plea.

This fellow has had his machine all of three weeks and found no
trouble at all zeroing in at lower doses and finer grinds.



    
Date: 12 Feb 2007 16:24:52
From: Ken Fox
Subject: Re: Over and Under-Extraction in Espresso
"I- >Ian" <someone@nowhere.com> wrote in message
news:hrf1t2lmfgs6ssidr3cvje7rr1hhi70lnf@4ax.com...
> >
> This past weekend I assisted an espressionist with a recalcitrant
> Expobar Lever:
> - lower boiler pressure .1bar
> - 2 notches finer on his Rocky
> - reduce dose with Rocky lid after WDT.
> - hold tamper for level and very light tamp
>
> "The shots I pulled this morning were good ones, so progress was
> definitely made!" contrasts favorably to "(If I don't start producing
> ambrosia from this thing soon I fear my wife will throw me out of the
> house!)" in his original plea.
>
> This fellow has had his machine all of three weeks and found no
> trouble at all zeroing in at lower doses and finer grinds.
>

It's not hard to go from bad or mediocre to good, in a few tries, assuming
you know what you doing, have decent coffee, and decent equipment. But if
you have already attained a fairly high level of quality in home roasting
and shot making, if have already figured out how to more or less maximize
your results with the approach you are using, then to go from that point to
different but equal or different but better is an order of magnitude more
difficult than from mediocre to good in the example that you cite.

ken




     
Date: 12 Feb 2007 17:29:15
From: I->Ian
Subject: Re: Over and Under-Extraction in Espresso
On Mon, 12 Feb 2007 16:24:52 -0700, "Ken Fox"
<morceaudemerdeThisMerdeGoes@hotmail.com > wrote:

>"I->Ian" <someone@nowhere.com> wrote in message
>news:hrf1t2lmfgs6ssidr3cvje7rr1hhi70lnf@4ax.com...
>> >
>> This past weekend I assisted an espressionist with a recalcitrant
>> Expobar Lever:
>> - lower boiler pressure .1bar
>> - 2 notches finer on his Rocky
>> - reduce dose with Rocky lid after WDT.
>> - hold tamper for level and very light tamp
>>
>> "The shots I pulled this morning were good ones, so progress was
>> definitely made!" contrasts favorably to "(If I don't start producing
>> ambrosia from this thing soon I fear my wife will throw me out of the
>> house!)" in his original plea.
>>
>> This fellow has had his machine all of three weeks and found no
>> trouble at all zeroing in at lower doses and finer grinds.
>>
>
>It's not hard to go from bad or mediocre to good, in a few tries, assuming
>you know what you doing, have decent coffee, and decent equipment. But if
>you have already attained a fairly high level of quality in home roasting
>and shot making, if have already figured out how to more or less maximize
>your results with the approach you are using, then to go from that point to
>different but equal or different but better is an order of magnitude more
>difficult than from mediocre to good in the example that you cite.
>
>ken
>

1 - One doesn't know if one has maximized their results unless one has
tried alternate methods. One has simply attained their best possible
for a method, however difficult and arbitrary it may be.
.
2 - On what basis is the claim made that it is an order of magnitude
more difficult? Presumably, if one has a fairly high level of skill,
it should be a doddle to attain different and equal or better if the
current method is limited to an extremely skilled practitioner.

Suppose one has to cross a chasm 20 feet wide .
There are no trees on either side and there is a 25 foot 4 x 4 and 30
feet of 1/2inch line available. NO other method permitted to cross.

It maybe possible for a skilled climber to knot the rope, find a
crevice, wedge the knotted end, climb down the rope, swing across and
climb the opposite face.

Another might maneuver the 4 x 4 and walk across.

Of course a skilled climber would protest "I couldn't just walk
across!"


      
Date: 12 Feb 2007 21:07:17
From: Ken Fox
Subject: Re: Over and Under-Extraction in Espresso
"I- >Ian" <someone@nowhere.com> wrote in message
news:dh02t29ospiidvdbkaj06ii39k35derhov@4ax.com...
> >
> 1 - One doesn't know if one has maximized their results unless one has
> tried alternate methods. One has simply attained their best possible
> for a method, however difficult and arbitrary it may be.

where did I say THAT? What I said was in reference to whether one had
maximazed the results they were getting FOR THEIR TECHNIQUE. That is not
however a trivial issue, it is something that might take years to
accomplish. Could some other approach produce better results? Maybe. How
long would it take to get proficient at, and highly repeatable (good)
results with that other technique? A while. What if the conclusion was
based on one bean or another at one or other roast level. Would the
"results" be transferable to other beans at other roast levels at other brew
temperatures? I doubt it.

> .
> 2 - On what basis is the claim made that it is an order of magnitude
> more difficult? Presumably, if one has a fairly high level of skill,
> it should be a doddle to attain different and equal or better if the
> current method is limited to an extremely skilled practitioner.

I never said I had a high level of skill. I said I was good at doing things
the way I've been doing things, because with even the limited output I have
(say 2-5 double shots per day) enough time has elapsed to perfect the
particular technique I am using on my particular equipment with my
particular (small) range of coffees.

I don't know about your particular espresso preparation routine, but I do
know about mine. Most of the shots get made when I am rushed, like first
thing in the morning. I can't even function until I've had my first
espresso/cappucino. Generally, I am rushing off to do something right after
I have the first one or couple of beverages. I have 1 or 2 beverages later
that I can devote some time to making. For me, repeatability at a high
level of quality trumps small differences in quality, and for that matter,
given that about half of what I drink has milk around it, the small
differences in quality are even less important.

>
> Suppose one has to cross a chasm 20 feet wide .
> There are no trees on either side and there is a 25 foot 4 x 4 and 30
> feet of 1/2inch line available. NO other method permitted to cross.
>
> It maybe possible for a skilled climber to knot the rope, find a
> crevice, wedge the knotted end, climb down the rope, swing across and
> climb the opposite face.
>
> Another might maneuver the 4 x 4 and walk across.
>
> Of course a skilled climber would protest "I couldn't just walk
> across!"

I'm not a skilled climber so this doesn't apply to me:-)

ken




     
Date: 13 Feb 2007 00:47:06
From: Robert Harmon
Subject: Re: Over and Under-Extraction in Espresso
Howdy Ken!
Boy, you nailed it. For ages (4 decades+) I've enjoyed making espresso on
the various machines I've owned. The coffee was as good as anything
available from the chain coffee shops in the U.S. & almost as good as the
best I'd get in Europe. Then after retiring I started futzing around with
coffee & began getting serious about it. Pretty soon I was in it up to my
ears & it began to dawn on me that there might be a lot more to this coffee
thing than I'd ever imagined.

I'd always figured that as soon as I found the 'right' machine my results
would immediately start to improve. Wrong! The more I got into this hobby
the more I realized that the machine was probably the least important part
of the equation. Here's what I've been telling friends about how to make
espresso.

For quality espresso you'll need four things;
1) Good beans (No more than two weeks out of the roaster.)
2) Good grinder (An MDF or Rocky is fine.)
3) Good technique (Set at a table with a half pound of beans, your grinder,
the espresso machine & the necessary accessories. Making SMALL changes try
different grinds & tamps until you get 1 - 1.5 ounces that you like in the
cup in 25 - 30 seconds.)
4) Good machine (Gaggia Espresso at a minimum.)

The one variable that I find most difficult to control is #3, technique.
Different beans require different grinds, dosing, & tamp. Since I home roast
I'm usually dealing with fairly small batches of a particular roast so I'm
always having to tweak something. Each new roast results in starting pretty
much from scratch but I'm getting faster at 'dialing in' the technique
needed to produce quality shots. One day maybe I'll be able to produce God
shot after God shot with boring regularity. For now I get excited about
having a nice, clean tasting shot result from my efforts.
--
Robert (Coffee's good, good coffee's even gooder!) Harmon
http://tinyurl.com/pou2y
http://tinyurl.com/psfob
http://tinyurl.com/fkd6r

"Ken Fox" <morceaudemerdeThisMerdeGoes@hotmail.com > wrote in message
news:53cb9rF1qr8s6U1@mid.individual.net...
>
> It's not hard to go from bad or mediocre to good, in a few tries, assuming
> you know what you doing, have decent coffee, and decent equipment. But if
> you have already attained a fairly high level of quality in home roasting
> and shot making, if have already figured out how to more or less maximize
> your results with the approach you are using, then to go from that point
> to different but equal or different but better is an order of magnitude
> more difficult than from mediocre to good in the example that you cite.
>
> ken
>
>




 
Date: 10 Feb 2007 18:06:20
From: Felix
Subject: Re: Over and Under-Extraction in Espresso
Ken Fox responds:
> What can be challenged is the way that the discussion portion
> is written, which infers facts that are honestly "not in evidence."
> I think he could have written this better by proposing those things
> as hypotheses needing testing. Perhaps he did and I misread
> the intent. Instead, I saw those as conclusions not supported
> by the evidence presented.

I was/am confused by your response. If your only challenge is directed
at the way part of the paper is written, why did you say it's "well
written"? Perhaps it's merely very interesting :-)

> All of this stuff is worth testing, and undoubtedly people will
> arrive at different conclusions based upon their own tastes.

And their ability/willingness to maintain beliefs that others find
contradictory.

> I'm just not prepared to toss the experience I've gained over
> a number of years as if it was headed in the wrong direction
> all the time.

Neither am I. Last month, I was staring at a bottle of maple syrup at
the store. They didn't have the diswasher detergent I wanted, so I had
an opportunity to buy a few things I didn't really need. I like maple
syrup now and then, but I can live without it. I prefer honey. I know
they aren't interchangeable, but they're both sweet and honey offers
more variety ... At the store, I realized that buying and eating syrup
didn't have much effect on my relationship with honey. I'm about to
drizzle honey on buttered toast, and I enjoy maple syrup every week.

> I don't accept a series of physical observations without detailed
> and repeatable blind tasting as being a reason to abandon
> practices that I find very good to start with.

Everyone loves the scientific method when it produces agreeable
results. Did you adopt your current practices because of "detailed and
repeatable blind tasting," or did you just muddle along like the rest
of us? Not rhetorical ...


Felix



  
Date: 10 Feb 2007 22:08:53
From: Ken Fox
Subject: Re: Over and Under-Extraction in Espresso

"Felix" <felixyen@hotmail.com > wrote in message
news:1171159580.261153.94450@v45g2000cwv.googlegroups.com...
> Ken Fox responds:
>> What can be challenged is the way that the discussion portion
>> is written, which infers facts that are honestly "not in evidence."
>> I think he could have written this better by proposing those things
>> as hypotheses needing testing. Perhaps he did and I misread
>> the intent. Instead, I saw those as conclusions not supported
>> by the evidence presented.
>
> I was/am confused by your response. If your only challenge is directed
> at the way part of the paper is written, why did you say it's "well
> written"? Perhaps it's merely very interesting :-)
>
>> All of this stuff is worth testing, and undoubtedly people will
>> arrive at different conclusions based upon their own tastes.
>
> And their ability/willingness to maintain beliefs that others find
> contradictory.
>
>> I'm just not prepared to toss the experience I've gained over
>> a number of years as if it was headed in the wrong direction
>> all the time.
>
> Neither am I. Last month, I was staring at a bottle of maple syrup at
> the store. They didn't have the diswasher detergent I wanted, so I had
> an opportunity to buy a few things I didn't really need. I like maple
> syrup now and then, but I can live without it. I prefer honey. I know
> they aren't interchangeable, but they're both sweet and honey offers
> more variety ... At the store, I realized that buying and eating syrup
> didn't have much effect on my relationship with honey. I'm about to
> drizzle honey on buttered toast, and I enjoy maple syrup every week.
>
>> I don't accept a series of physical observations without detailed
>> and repeatable blind tasting as being a reason to abandon
>> practices that I find very good to start with.
>
> Everyone loves the scientific method when it produces agreeable
> results. Did you adopt your current practices because of "detailed and
> repeatable blind tasting," or did you just muddle along like the rest
> of us? Not rhetorical ...
>
>
> Felix
>

you will excuse me, Felix. I find your post and your questions nitpicky,
unfocused, and hard to follow. As such I am at a loss to respond to them.

ken




 
Date: 10 Feb 2007 16:14:01
From: jim schulman
Subject: Re: Over and Under-Extraction in Espresso
On Tue, 06 Feb 2007 07:05:53 -0600, jim schulman
<jim_schulman@ameritech.net > wrote:

>I mentioned this paper in another thread.
>
>>http://users.ameritech.net/jim_schulman/aspects_of_espresso_extraction.htm
>
>It's now completely revised, more readable, I think; and the reasoning
>somewhat improved.
>

The final draft is up; contents mostly unchanged, but there's notes
and spiffed up html.


 
Date: 10 Feb 2007 09:18:23
From: Omniryx@gmail.com
Subject: Re: Over and Under-Extraction in Espresso
On Feb 9, 10:17 pm, "Ken Fox" <morceaudemerdeSnipT...@hotmail.com >
wrote:

> I've had quite a few espressos in Italian cafes. The average was quite good
> but not anything that was memorable 2 minutes after I walked outside of the
> cafe. On the other hand I've had a number of espressos in fine N. American
> cafes that I thought about hours later and that I remember fondly to this
> day.

You are so right, Ken. When I listen to the extravagant praises
heaped upon espresso in Italy, I wonder if it is the same Italy that I
visit. I've drunk espresso all over Italy and my experience has
generally been a lukewarm cup that was decent-to-good but never
memorable. To make matters worse, one is nearly always expected to
stand cheek-by-jowl with a bunch of other folks, gulp down the brew in
one big swallow and get the hell out of the way.

I'm sure others will think this rankest heresy but I would argue that
the best espresso in the US completely blows away the best that one
can find in Italy.




 
Date: 10 Feb 2007 08:52:50
From: cpaullie
Subject: Re: Over and Under-Extraction in Espresso
On Feb 9, 3:23 pm, jim schulman <jim_schul...@ameritech.net > wrote:
> On Fri, 09 Feb 2007 18:03:44 +0000, Danny
>
> <d...@nospam.gaggia-espresso.com> wrote:
>
> >And there lies one of the problems - the ultimate goal, which appears
> >to be very different in the two continents.
>
> I'm not sure about that. For instance, in Italy, a shot of espresso is
> a "cafe," a substitute for the quick regular cup of coffee of most
> other places.
>
> I'm more and more convinced that it's all coffee, and that the same
> rules apply no matter how it is processed, roasted or brewed. In the
> end, the aromas and flavors are either good or bad, the tastes
> balanced or not, and the rest is just presentation.
>
> I don't much care if that double has 11 grams (Illy's minimum) or 21
> grams (the Seattle max), whether it's brewed at 88C or 96C, extracted
> at no bar or 11 bar, brewed with 25mL or 150mL. The main thing is that
> it tastes great.
>
> My obsession is always been the same: diagnostics. If it doesn't taste
> great, what does one do? Alter the roast, the grind, the dose, the
> amount of water, the temperature, the pressure? The reason I think
> it's all just coffee is because of this obsession: I believe the same
> system of diagnostics applies to all coffees, roasts, and brews.



Amen!



 
Date: 08 Feb 2007 19:33:02
From: Felix
Subject: Re: Over and Under-Extraction in Espresso
Ken Fox writes:
> in the end it is going to come down to personal preference and
> then the labels will follow.

We've barely started down the path, yet you claim to know where it
ends.

> All of this flies a bit in the face of the experience many of us
> have had with empirical dosing on our own machines.

That body of evidence would weigh more if it came from independent
sources. It's clear that the current contributors often influence each
other. I knew an art history professor who'd jokingly remind me that
"repetition makes it so," i.e. that ideas become dogma if they're
recited often enough.

> Granted, I'm sure you have a little bit of experience trying this
> out on other equipment (such as at Barry's) but a few shots
> on other equipment does not substitute for day in day out use
> of the same gear, over and over, which tends to show real
> patterns as opposed to limited observations which might not
> be repeatable on a longer term basis.

Repeatability has several dimensions. A brief demonstration for a
relatively large audience might be worth as much as a longer trial in
a typical household.

Frankly, nobody tells the truth. Jim didn't present the technique to
Barry and me, as Barry reported. He presented it to Barry while I
tried to stay out of the way. On the other hand, Maddie didn't
adroitly steer everyone's attention to her pirate ship. She almost ran
into me on several occasions, blessed me with a kiss before we left,
and we talked about various things, but the pirate ship never came up.

The way I remember it: Jim and Barry had a brief conversation,
possibly augmented by secret hand signals, that abruptly ended when
Barry emptied a Mazzer hopper and then charged it with beans from a
bin labeled "Yrg." I didn't hear a word, and was astonished when Jim
started adjusting the grinder and dosing. The LM choked two or three
times before Jim found a setting that held up for the rest of the
night. It happened so fast ...

I'm not an espresso drinker, so I didn't taste until the 3rd or 4th
shot. Barry politely offered many of his guests an opportunity to try
the new brew. The first charge of "Yrg" vanished, so they reloaded. I
guess you had to be there ...

Ken, you are so wrong here. The espresso makers are biasing each
other, and influencing the blenders, so the dominant theory is
reinforced. Repetition makes it so ... If this "underdosing" technique
produces tasty espresso from a "Yrg," what might happen if people
start designing blends with this technique in mind? Instead of being a
polite naysayer, why not support the effort, or sit quietly on the
fence as it were??

Barry often reminds us to taste before deciding. I agree.


Felix



  
Date: 09 Feb 2007 10:18:59
From: Ken Fox
Subject: Re: Over and Under-Extraction in Espresso
"Felix" <felixyen@hotmail.com > wrote in message
news:1170991982.610085.41550@v45g2000cwv.googlegroups.com...
>>
> Ken, you are so wrong here. The espresso makers are biasing each
> other, and influencing the blenders, so the dominant theory is
> reinforced. Repetition makes it so ... If this "underdosing" technique
> produces tasty espresso from a "Yrg," what might happen if people
> start designing blends with this technique in mind? Instead of being a
> polite naysayer, why not support the effort, or sit quietly on the
> fence as it were??
>
> Barry often reminds us to taste before deciding. I agree.
>
>
> Felix
>

But I haven't "decided" on this or very many other things as regards
espresso. My post had two reasons in its origination:

(1) Like most serious and novel posts getting below the surface, Jim's post
had basically no responses since it wasn't a post about what's better, a
cheap HX machine or a Silvia, or somesuch. So I responded in a manner
expressing my own reservations and also hoping to start some discussion.

(2) The measurement points of Jim's post are irrefutable. It is the
conclusions I have problems with. The major part of the "experiment" deals
with process and physical observations. These cannot be challenged. What
can be challenged is the way that the discussion portion is written, which
infers facts that are honestly "not in evidence." I think he could have
written this better by proposing those things as hypotheses needing testing.
Perhaps he did and I misread the intent. Instead, I saw those as
conclusions not supported by the evidence presented.

All of this stuff is worth testing, and undoubtedly people will arrive at
different conclusions based upon their own tastes. I'm just not prepared to
toss the experience I've gained over a number of years as if it was headed
in the wrong direction all the time. We don't do much regarding espresso
here (N. America and the greater online enthusiast community) the same as in
Italy. There are reasons for that and although the way they do things in
Italy deserves further study, I don't accept a series of physical
observations without detailed and repeatable blind tasting as being a reason
to abandon practices that I find very good to start with.

ken




   
Date: 09 Feb 2007 18:03:44
From: Danny
Subject: Re: Over and Under-Extraction in Espresso
Ken Fox wrote:
-snip-
> We don't do much regarding espresso
> here (N. America and the greater online enthusiast community) the same as in
> Italy. -snip-

And there lies one of the problems - the ultimate goal, which appears
to be very different in the two continents.

I've never been a fan of using ever bigger baskets and cramming ever
more coffee in, whilst tamping with herculean force, to get that
perfect double (or ristretto, as it appears to be heading). I (rather
naively) supposed that Italian manufacturers over the years decided on
a 14-16 gramme basket for good reason, and that wasn't purely business
economics. The same way grinder dosers are adjustable between 6-8
grammes on most grinders. Something there must work right, and if
it's repeatable then the product is.

We had a similar discussion years ago and at the time I compared it in
a way to re-naming a food dish - say Steak Diane. If you follow the
recipe, you get steak Diane. If you choose to alter the ingredients
ratio, or add you own through preference, or alter the method, then
you don't have steak Diane any more. You can call it steak
something-else, but it isn't Diane.

--
Regards, Danny

http://www.gaggia-espresso.com (a purely hobby site)
http://www.malabargold.co.uk (UK/EU ordering for Malabar Gold blend)



    
Date: 09 Feb 2007 20:17:24
From: Ken Fox
Subject: Re: Over and Under-Extraction in Espresso
"Danny" <danny@nospam.gaggia-espresso.com > wrote in message
news:533ra7F1q7lk9U1@mid.individual.net...
> Ken Fox wrote:
> -snip-
> > We don't do much regarding espresso
>> here (N. America and the greater online enthusiast community) the same as
>> in Italy. -snip-
>
> And there lies one of the problems - the ultimate goal, which appears to
> be very different in the two continents.
>
> I've never been a fan of using ever bigger baskets and cramming ever more
> coffee in, whilst tamping with herculean force, to get that perfect double
> (or ristretto, as it appears to be heading). I (rather naively) supposed
> that Italian manufacturers over the years decided on a 14-16 gramme basket
> for good reason, and that wasn't purely business economics. The same way
> grinder dosers are adjustable between 6-8 grammes on most grinders.
> Something there must work right, and if it's repeatable then the product
> is.
>
> We had a similar discussion years ago and at the time I compared it in a
> way to re-naming a food dish - say Steak Diane. If you follow the recipe,
> you get steak Diane. If you choose to alter the ingredients ratio, or add
> you own through preference, or alter the method, then you don't have steak
> Diane any more. You can call it steak something-else, but it isn't Diane.
>
> --
> Regards, Danny
>
> http://www.gaggia-espresso.com (a purely hobby site)
> http://www.malabargold.co.uk (UK/EU ordering for Malabar Gold blend)

this is where we part company, Danny.

Firstly, you give a caricature of espresso production that is probably true
in some cafes but certainly not what I do. My minimalist tamps are not much
more than the Italian barista gives with his grinder mounted tamper.

But I do put more coffee in the basket, which obviously means I need to
grind somewhat more coarsely than one would grind for a smaller quantity. I
don't think the Italians figured this out once and for all. I think they
simply found something that worked for them on a repeatable basis and it
became the standard for their type of preparation.

I've had quite a few espressos in Italian cafes. The average was quite good
but not anything that was memorable 2 minutes after I walked outside of the
cafe. On the other hand I've had a number of espressos in fine N. American
cafes that I thought about hours later and that I remember fondly to this
day.

It is the same beverage and the two sorts have much more in common than they
differ.

ken

>




     
Date: 10 Feb 2007 08:51:20
From: Danny
Subject: Re: Over and Under-Extraction in Espresso
Ken Fox wrote:

> this is where we part company, Danny.
>
> Firstly, you give a caricature of espresso production that is probably true
> in some cafes but certainly not what I do. My minimalist tamps are not much
> more than the Italian barista gives with his grinder mounted tamper.

I'm not talking about cafes. I'm talking about the ever changing
alt.coffee mantra detailing what steps may or may not be needed to
make a good espresso, tamping pressure being one of them. You know
I've experimented with anything from zero to handstand and that I have
always preferred a lighter tamp and polish.

>
> But I do put more coffee in the basket, which obviously means I need to
> grind somewhat more coarsely than one would grind for a smaller quantity. I
> don't think the Italians figured this out once and for all. I think they
> simply found something that worked for them on a repeatable basis and it
> became the standard for their type of preparation.
>
> I've had quite a few espressos in Italian cafes. The average was quite good
> but not anything that was memorable 2 minutes after I walked outside of the
> cafe. On the other hand I've had a number of espressos in fine N. American
> cafes that I thought about hours later and that I remember fondly to this
> day.
>
> It is the same beverage and the two sorts have much more in common than they
> differ.
>
> ken
>
>
>
>


--
Regards, Danny

http://www.gaggia-espresso.com (a purely hobby site)
http://www.malabargold.co.uk (UK/EU ordering for Malabar Gold blend)



      
Date: 10 Feb 2007 09:45:56
From: Ken Fox
Subject: Re: Over and Under-Extraction in Espresso

Danny" <danny@nospam.gaggia-espresso.com > wrote in message
news:535fafF1qnf93U1@mid.individual.net...
> >
> I'm not talking about cafes. I'm talking about the ever changing
> alt.coffee mantra detailing what steps may or may not be needed to make a
> good espresso, tamping pressure being one of them. You know I've
> experimented with anything from zero to handstand and that I have always
> preferred a lighter tamp and polish.
>
> Regards, Danny
>
> http://www.gaggia-espresso.com (a purely hobby site)
> http://www.malabargold.co.uk (UK/EU ordering for Malabar Gold blend)
>

It's the a.c. analogy to what happens on the first day of medical school,
where the dean gets up in front of the new class and says,

"Only 50% of what you learn here will prove to be correct. The problem is
that we don't know which 50%"

ken
;-)




    
Date: 09 Feb 2007 16:23:54
From: jim schulman
Subject: Re: Over and Under-Extraction in Espresso
On Fri, 09 Feb 2007 18:03:44 +0000, Danny
<danny@nospam.gaggia-espresso.com > wrote:

>
>And there lies one of the problems - the ultimate goal, which appears
>to be very different in the two continents.

I'm not sure about that. For instance, in Italy, a shot of espresso is
a "cafe," a substitute for the quick regular cup of coffee of most
other places.

I'm more and more convinced that it's all coffee, and that the same
rules apply no matter how it is processed, roasted or brewed. In the
end, the aromas and flavors are either good or bad, the tastes
balanced or not, and the rest is just presentation.

I don't much care if that double has 11 grams (Illy's minimum) or 21
grams (the Seattle max), whether it's brewed at 88C or 96C, extracted
at no bar or 11 bar, brewed with 25mL or 150mL. The main thing is that
it tastes great.

My obsession is always been the same: diagnostics. If it doesn't taste
great, what does one do? Alter the roast, the grind, the dose, the
amount of water, the temperature, the pressure? The reason I think
it's all just coffee is because of this obsession: I believe the same
system of diagnostics applies to all coffees, roasts, and brews.


     
Date: 10 Feb 2007 18:49:56
From: Jeffrey Pawlan
Subject: Re: Over and Under-Extraction in Espresso
jim schulman wrote:

The main thing is that it tastes great.
>
> My obsession is always been the same: diagnostics. If it doesn't taste
> great, what does one do?

------------

RIGHT-ON Jim!!!!! This is also my goal and obscession! It is the
reason-de-etre for my design of the computer controlled roaster system
and for far more complete control of my espresso machine, which is still
not anywhere as good as I would ultimately like to have.

Whether people wish to come to a specific conclusion that a particular
basket size and amount of grinds is best, is actually not the point. It
is really that we are beginning to question historical methods and
preparation procedures. At least I think anyone with a reasonable
ability to taste coffee will agree that ALL the factors mentioned do
indeed have a very noticable effect of the resulting taste. Just as in
wine and food, some will prefer one over another. There is no absolute
right and wrong. I have learned to accept that my best espresso shots
are dreadful to some of my friends who simply don't like espresso.


Regards,

Jeffrey Pawlan


    
Date: 09 Feb 2007 18:45:17
From: Paul Monaghan
Subject: Re: Over and Under-Extraction in Espresso
On Fri, 09 Feb 2007 18:03:44 +0000, Danny
<danny@nospam.gaggia-espresso.com > wrote:

>We had a similar discussion years ago and at the time I compared it in
>a way to re-naming a food dish - say Steak Diane. If you follow the
>recipe, you get steak Diane. If you choose to alter the ingredients
>ratio, or add you own through preference, or alter the method, then
>you don't have steak Diane any more. You can call it steak
>something-else, but it isn't Diane.

Unless, of course, your name is Diane.

;-)


  
Date: 08 Feb 2007 22:46:47
From: jim schulman
Subject: Re: Over and Under-Extraction in Espresso
On 8 Feb 2007 19:33:02 -0800, "Felix" <felixyen@hotmail.com > wrote:

>On the other hand, Maddie didn't
>adroitly steer everyone's attention to her pirate ship. She almost ran
>into me on several occasions, blessed me with a kiss before we left,
>and we talked about various things, but the pirate ship never came up.

I guess she has more tracks in her mind than I do.


 
Date: 07 Feb 2007 04:10:24
From: James Hoffmann
Subject: Re: Over and Under-Extraction in Espresso
A sidenote really - is anywhere selling dosing tools online yet?

On Feb 7, 11:34 am, "DavidMLewis" <DavidMLe...@mac.com > wrote:
> On Feb 7, 3:24 pm, "Ken Fox" <morceaudemerdeSnipT...@hotmail.com>
> wrote:> So, I think you have some very interesting observations that will likely
> > explain why a given person might prefer a given dosing (which might vary by
> > coffee and roast level and equipment) but which do not support the
> > conclusions you seem to have made, e.g. that the Italians figured out long
> > ago how to dose properly and we need to get back to the basics that they
> > discovered long ago. And some others, some noted baristas, have come to
> > this same conclusion so gosh, they must be onto something and we've all been
> > doing it wrong the last so many years.
>
> Hi Ken,
>
> I think you may have somewhat missed Jim's point, at least as I
> understood it. My reading of it is that this may provide another
> useful tool in ones kit that would allow brewing SO shots that taste
> both good and with good varietal flavor from beans and roast levels
> other than those to which we are now limited. Not that it would or
> should replace current techniques, but augment them. I'll be trying to
> replicate some of his results when I get back into town next week.
>
> Best,
> David




  
Date: 07 Feb 2007 07:49:37
From: jim schulman
Subject: Re: Over and Under-Extraction in Espresso
On 7 Feb 2007 04:10:24 -0800, "James Hoffmann" <kingseven@gmail.com >
wrote:

>A sidenote really - is anywhere selling dosing tools online yet?

Ah, a practical question. I've asked Luca for pics to post with a "why
and how to underdose" article I'm doing for HB. Maybe someone will
make some sets.


 
Date: 07 Feb 2007 03:34:33
From: DavidMLewis
Subject: Re: Over and Under-Extraction in Espresso
On Feb 7, 3:24 pm, "Ken Fox" <morceaudemerdeSnipT...@hotmail.com >
wrote:
> So, I think you have some very interesting observations that will likely
> explain why a given person might prefer a given dosing (which might vary by
> coffee and roast level and equipment) but which do not support the
> conclusions you seem to have made, e.g. that the Italians figured out long
> ago how to dose properly and we need to get back to the basics that they
> discovered long ago. And some others, some noted baristas, have come to
> this same conclusion so gosh, they must be onto something and we've all been
> doing it wrong the last so many years.
>
Hi Ken,

I think you may have somewhat missed Jim's point, at least as I
understood it. My reading of it is that this may provide another
useful tool in ones kit that would allow brewing SO shots that taste
both good and with good varietal flavor from beans and roast levels
other than those to which we are now limited. Not that it would or
should replace current techniques, but augment them. I'll be trying to
replicate some of his results when I get back into town next week.

Best,
David



  
Date: 07 Feb 2007 08:18:35
From: Ken Fox
Subject: Re: Over and Under-Extraction in Espresso
"DavidMLewis" <DavidMLewis@mac.com > wrote in message
news:1170848073.912134.124500@v33g2000cwv.googlegroups.com...
> >>
> Hi Ken,
>
> I think you may have somewhat missed Jim's point, at least as I
> understood it. My reading of it is that this may provide another
> useful tool in ones kit that would allow brewing SO shots that taste
> both good and with good varietal flavor from beans and roast levels
> other than those to which we are now limited. Not that it would or
> should replace current techniques, but augment them. I'll be trying to
> replicate some of his results when I get back into town next week.
>
> Best,
> David
>

Hi David,

Actually, no I haven't. The paper is a melange of process observations
which I'm sure are valid (e.g. vary the amount of coffee in the basket and
possibly some other factors, and you find repeatable variations in things
you can objectively measure) and conclusions about the impact this has on
taste. Of course the conclusions of the effect on taste are qualified but
represent the opinions of one person plus perhaps a few others. The entire
conclusions section has one sentence in it that I think is inarguable, e.g.
"the taste of espresso varies by the level of extraction, and that level can
be controlled." I would personally have been surprised had that NOT been
observed. And I do salute Jim and Andy for studying this.

The rest of the conclusions section I regard as opinions and fodder for
controlled experimentation, and I'd take none of it as gospel truth
regardless of who said it. Unfortunately, the stuff before the conclusions
section is sufficiently complex that most people will skim it and go on to
the conclusions about taste, assuming they must be supported in some sort of
scientific way. That would be a mistake.

In reaction to my response, Jim said this: "So you've never done anything
wrong with coffee for many years? There were hundreds of great brewing
coffees this year. Maybe a half
dozen great SOs when using current technique. That's the prima facia case
for suspecting that espresso making technique needs a very large kick in the
butt."

I don't limit my errors to any particular timeframe; I've been doing
different things wrong as long as since birth, so I can't dispute the first
sentence. I have no doubts that varying these parameters will have impacts
on the taste of espresso, and it may well be that a much larger number of
good choices in SOs (for espresso) will emerge with this sort of testing.
I'd be surprised if this did not occur and that is a real contribution.

At the same time, this is one of those few instances where I think you can
make an allusion to what is often said of wine, of young wines, wines bought
for aging with later consumption after the tanins and other rough spots have
resolved.

That wine related saying (one of the few I've ever found to have much
validity) is that a young wine that does not taste good will never taste
good when it is aged. Extending this to coffee, I think it would be logical
to say that there are some SOs that taste "OK" but not phenomenal as SOs,
and which might be made to taste very good or better by varying the roast
and extraction levels by such things as roast technique and dosing. If the
SO is very unappealing as an SO, I doubt that changing these factors will do
enough to reward the efforts.

ken






   
Date: 07 Feb 2007 10:32:27
From: jim schulman
Subject: Re: Over and Under-Extraction in Espresso
On Wed, 7 Feb 2007 08:18:35 -0700, "Ken Fox"
<morceaudemerdeThisMerdeGoes@hotmail.com > wrote:

>Extending this to coffee, I think it would be logical
>to say that there are some SOs that taste "OK" but not phenomenal as SOs,
>and which might be made to taste very good or better by varying the roast
>and extraction levels by such things as roast technique and dosing. If the
>SO is very unappealing as an SO, I doubt that changing these factors will do
>enough to reward the efforts.

There are many coffees that taste wonderful when brewed -- sweet,
heavy, snappy, fruity, etc. -- having all the qualities one wants in a
shot. The one pulls them at the light roast one brewed, and it's sour
and sharp, undrinkable. Roast it darker, and all the good stuff is a
memory, and dull stuff takes over.

So here's the mental experiment: take the great brewed cup and the
lousy espresso and find out the proportion to one another of all the
flavoring chemicals. If the proportions in cup and shot are roughly
the same, then my idea fails -- the sheer concentration of espresso,
rather than some distortion in the brewing process, is causing the bad
taste. But if the relative proportions of the flavors in espresso are
different, then the brewing process for espresso is skewed in some way
that produces boom-box rather than hi-fi tastes.

This is the mantra of all the people producing flat line temperature
and pressure espresso machines. But once they are produced and out
there, one finds out that the improvements (or changes) are at the
gins. The basic limits of the process remain.

After a while, people convince themselves and redfine espresso. "It's
a separate category and drink." "There's no comparison to brewed
coffee; it needs to have its own standards of what is a good bean and
what isn't" etc. etc. I'm sure if I looked through my own posts, I'll
see that I expressed these thoughts on occasion.

But what if espresso is simply a better way to brew coffee? One that
still has a few kinks to get out of its system to do justice to the
great ones? People go through excruciating contortions to squeeze an
extra drop of performance out of their setups. Should this all be to
squeeze an extra dollop of taste out of some 4th rate Brasil otherwsie
destined for the Folger's plant; while the great coffees are still
off-limits?

I may not get there, but at least there's real gold at the end of my
quest.


 
Date: 06 Feb 2007 23:24:11
From: Ken Fox
Subject: Re: Over and Under-Extraction in Espresso
"jim schulman" <jim_schulman@ameritech.net > wrote in message
news:0uugs2dvq84sd1ubjfsoc2pukt9npamg3e@4ax.com...
>I mentioned this paper in another thread.
>
>>http://users.ameritech.net/jim_schulman/aspects_of_espresso_extraction.htm
>
> It's now completely revised, more readable, I think; and the reasoning
> somewhat improved.
>
> The heart of it is the first section, an analysis of over and
> underextraction in espresso, based on Ted Lingle's flavor wheel.
>
> I'd appreciate any comments on whether it makes sense and accords with
> your experience. Also, if you want to experiment for yourself, the
> second section gives some how tos. Should you try it, I'd appreciate
> hearing if your results in anyway jibe with mine.
>
> And if you think I'm full of it; I hope I;ve at least provided you
> with some amusement.
>
> Jim

Jim,

This is very interesting and well written.

I wanted to comment on it because it is rightly said that the serious posts
here on a.c. seldom get very many comments and it is just the, "how do I fix
the group gasket in my Silvia" type posts that get much of a response. And
this is serious work. You and Andy are to be commended.

The achilles heel of this is that you go from personal observations to
conclusions. It is sort of like a journal article on an experiment going
from the "introduction" to the "methodology" but then skipping directly to
the conclusions without having had to bother with the "results" section.
Sure, you have physical "results," if we are talking about things that can
be weighed or otherwise measured objectively, but no blind tasting results.
Of course, you note that.

And a serious problem in trying to blind taste this is that (I fear) the
tastes in a double shot of espresso brewed from 12g or 14g or 16g or 18g is
going to be pretty damn obvious and after a little bit of experience with
the technique it is going to come down to whether you prefer the 12g or 14g
or 16g or 18g shot. These shots could be labelled as "more intense" or
"unbalanced" or "nuanced" or whatever, but in the end it is going to come
down to personal preference and then the labels will follow.

So, I think you have some very interesting observations that will likely
explain why a given person might prefer a given dosing (which might vary by
coffee and roast level and equipment) but which do not support the
conclusions you seem to have made, e.g. that the Italians figured out long
ago how to dose properly and we need to get back to the basics that they
discovered long ago. And some others, some noted baristas, have come to
this same conclusion so gosh, they must be onto something and we've all been
doing it wrong the last so many years.

I think the Italians do what they do because they have done so for a long
time and don't give it much thought, plus of course, it is cheaper in a high
volume setting to put 12g of coffee in the basket than it is to put 18g in
there. And the (Italian bar) customers are used to 6.5g singles so why
upset them and it's cheaper anyway, so just continue as before. Whether 12g
(or 13 or 14g) tastes "better" than whatever other quantity is still, in my
opinion, going to go to personal preference and it can be labelled whatever
it is labelled but in the end all that matters is what tastes best to the
given person. And maybe we really are all wrong and should start doing
this.

All of this flies a bit in the face of the experience many of us have had
with empirical dosing on our own machines. I'm sure I'm not alone in saying
that I have varied the doses I've used over time and have settled on
something that seems to work well with the equipment I use. I dose about
18g into a double basket with my Cimbalis, having used about 15-16 before,
and after having tried 21g or so in triples for a week or two and going back
to 18g in the doubles.

You have previously indicated that your Electra is a bit of an odd duck of a
machine that makes better singles than doubles, etc., etc. etc. You also
have that Versalab grinder with all its peculiarities that I'm assuming is
still in (at least limited) use. I am wondering if your taste has been
influenced by the somewhat atypical equipment you've been using lately and
if these observations, even the informal taste observations, would be
repeatable on other equipment than what you own. Granted, I'm sure you have
a little bit of experience trying this out on other equipment (such as at
Barry's) but a few shots on other equipment does not substitute for day in
day out use of the same gear, over and over, which tends to show real
patterns as opposed to limited observations which might not be repeatable on
a longer term basis.

Notwithstanding any of these criticisms, I salute your efforts and those of
Andy as I am sure they will further our knowledge of these complicated
issues.

ken




  
Date: 07 Feb 2007 00:56:04
From: jim schulman
Subject: Re: Over and Under-Extraction in Espresso
On Tue, 6 Feb 2007 23:24:11 -0700, "Ken Fox"
<morceaudemerdeSnipThis@hotmail.com > wrote:

>
>The achilles heel of this is that you go from personal observations to
>conclusions. ...
>
I go from observations that can be replicated by anyone following the
instructions to conclusions. Unless it's God or Robbie the Robot doing
the observations, they are all personal.



You could provide me a sample of the public that you feel would be
representative of your taste.
>
>... I'm sure I'm not alone in saying
>that I have varied the doses I've used over time and have settled on
>something that seems to work well with the equipment I use. I dose about
>18g into a double basket with my Cimbalis, having used about 15-16 before,
>and after having tried 21g or so in triples for a week or two and going back
>to 18g in the doubles.
>
Guess not.


>
>And a serious problem in trying to blind taste this is that (I fear) the
>tastes in a double shot of espresso brewed from 12g or 14g or 16g or 18g is
>going to be pretty damn obvious...
>
So you accept the paper's conclusions? That the taste is
systematically different. And perhaps, that those great Kenyas and
Yrgs, so good in the cup, may taste better as 13 gram shots.



> ... do not support the
>conclusions you seem to have made, e.g. that the Italians figured out long
>ago how to dose properly and we need to get back to the basics that they
>discovered long ago. And some others, some noted baristas, have come to
>this same conclusion so gosh, they must be onto something and we've all been
>doing it wrong the last so many years.
>
So you've never done anything wrong with coffee for many years?

There were hundreds of great brewing coffees this year. Maybe a half
dozen great SOs when using current technique. That's the prima facia
case for suspecting that espresso making technique needs a very large
kick in the butt.