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Discussions > Espresso > Machines > Dosage Amounts  
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MatWir
Junior Member


Joined: 9 May 2014
Posts: 3
Location: Lethbridge
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Breville dual boiler
Grinder: Rancilio Rocky
Posted Fri May 9, 2014, 12:04pm
Subject: Dosage Amounts
 

Hi all, first post on the site - but have been using it lots!

I had a question in regards to dose.  Some coffees mention 19g, or 17g, ect. for best results with espresso along with other parameters given (temp and so forth).  The question I have is that sometimes when they say that 19grams is the suggested usage - there is no way I can fit that into my portafilter (breville dual boiler).  I will put 19 grams in, but when I level iwth my finger, I get rid of a bunch of the coffee.  So I am confused as to using a specific dosage of coffee, versus filling your portafilter and leveling.  So why measure out your dosage if you just level the coffee off anyways so as to not overflow your portafileter basket?

cheers
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outofnowhere
Senior Member


Joined: 27 Mar 2014
Posts: 8
Location: USA
Expertise: I like coffee

Posted Fri May 9, 2014, 1:18pm
Subject: Re: Dosage Amounts
 

Yeah, well...
Take for example Blue Bottle Hayes Valley roast.  They say to dose 21 grams on the bag but 20 grams if you look on line.  My lever machine stock basket is limited to 16 gram by recommendation of the manufacturer and my HX is limited to 14 gram.
Home baristas measure out dose because we are interested in replicating good shots.
Some good cafes use grinders that fill the PF by weight, then tamp.
Most cafes, some good, use volumetric approach (grind and sweep) because it is fast.
No matter what PF prep you start with, then you adjust the grind size (next time) and/or preinfusion (this time) and/or temp (this time) and/or pressure profile (this time) to compensate for age of roast, temperature, humidity in order to go after what you want (again!).
So you can choose to weigh out what will always fit in your PF and adjust parameters to that dose (let's say you limit yourself to 14-16 grams) or you can fill your PF while it sits on a scale and know what weight you are dealing with.
It is nice to know your dose weight and the shot-in-cup weight so that you know your cup ratio so if something is not to your liking, you know where to start.  Often, when we are dissatisfied with our shots, roasters and machine advisors tell us to down dose (usually to 14 grams) and grind finer, for starters.
So just select a dose that is to your liking and build your routine around it.
OON
P.S. for me, Hayes Valley is great on the HX with a hot flush using 14 gm but I can't get it right in the lever at 14 gm but 16 gm is beautiful.
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MatWir
Junior Member


Joined: 9 May 2014
Posts: 3
Location: Lethbridge
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Breville dual boiler
Grinder: Rancilio Rocky
Posted Fri May 9, 2014, 3:58pm
Subject: Re: Dosage Amounts
 

Ya, good point - buts thats just my question.  It makes sense to dose the amount for your portafilter - so why so much talk about dosage amounts for different coffees?  It seems when I dose based on my potafilter I get the best results, but wonder if I am missing something.  To put 18 - 21g in the same portafilter seems like it would give very different results regardless whats best for the coffee
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SproBro
Senior Member


Joined: 11 Feb 2014
Posts: 46
Location: Topeka, KS
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: CC1 v1.5
Grinder: Compak K10PB, Vario
Posted Fri May 9, 2014, 5:25pm
Subject: Re: Dosage Amounts
 

I use 19 grams in a 21 gram LM Strada basket, and pull to 38 grams over....well pretty much however long it takes. Usually around 32-38 seconds (2sec pre-in, 5 dwell, 25 pull = 32ish) The goal here I shoot for most importantly however, is to get the 38 grams liquid to coincide with the blonding point. If you use 14 grams and you want a "normale" type beverage, shoot for 28 grams at the blonding point, et al.

The point here is, volume is a rather unreliable measurement on its own. I think the widely accepted methodology on this subject is "do what works and tastes good"; Experimenting is half the fun of espresso to me though.
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Augsburg57
Senior Member
Augsburg57
Joined: 3 Sep 2012
Posts: 33
Location: Seattle and Tucson
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Rocket R58
Grinder: Mazzer Mini E Type A
Posted Fri May 9, 2014, 6:10pm
Subject: Re: Dosage Amounts
 

You should be dosing according to the portafilter basket you are using.  The baskets are made for single, double and triple doses.  I use a triple basket and does at 22 grams.  But when someone wants a single or double, I pull out the single and double portafilters.  I have my grinder set to dose the single at 7 grams and the double at 15 grams.  

Basically, you will typically find you want a heaping dose in the portafilter and when you do the wipe, you don't lose a lot of coffee to waste.  Obviously, you will need to experiment to determine exactly what does works best with your coffee, portafilter and machine.  Expect a single basket to be somewhere around 7 or 8 grams.  A double basket would be around 12 to 19 grams.  A triple basket might use 18 to 24 grams.  All are just starting points - you fine tune according to your preferences.
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MatWir
Junior Member


Joined: 9 May 2014
Posts: 3
Location: Lethbridge
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Breville dual boiler
Grinder: Rancilio Rocky
Posted Fri May 9, 2014, 6:41pm
Subject: Re: Dosage Amounts
 

Hi Augsburg, that makes a lot of sense to me, dosing according to your basket size.  But why do many coffee companies suggest a dose size for a particular coffee?  I just got an espresso blend where they suggested 18 grams. Some other of their offers they suggest different weights for optimal extraction? I would think the dosages would be too machine specific to suggest this?
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Augsburg57
Senior Member
Augsburg57
Joined: 3 Sep 2012
Posts: 33
Location: Seattle and Tucson
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Rocket R58
Grinder: Mazzer Mini E Type A
Posted Fri May 9, 2014, 7:33pm
Subject: Re: Dosage Amounts
 

MatWir Said:

Hi Augsburg, that makes a lot of sense to me, dosing according to your basket size.  But why do many coffee companies suggest a dose size for a particular coffee?  I just got an espresso blend where they suggested 18 grams. Some other of their offers they suggest different weights for optimal extraction? I would think the dosages would be too machine specific to suggest this?

Posted May 9, 2014 link

I suspect they are saying their coffee tastes best with an 18 gram double dose.  Many 3rd wave coffee shops have a double shot as their standard shot.  That is often a 1.5 to 2.0 ounce shot made from around 18 grams.  (As opposed to two separate shots of 1.0 to 1.5 ounces.)
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JasonBrandtLewis
Senior Member
JasonBrandtLewis
Joined: 9 Dec 2005
Posts: 6,368
Location: Berkeley, CA
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Elektra T1 - La Valentina -...
Grinder: Mahlkönig K30 Vario -...
Vac Pot: Yama 5-cup
Drip: CCD, Chemex
Roaster: No, no, not another...
Posted Sat May 10, 2014, 2:15pm
Subject: Re: Dosage Amounts
 

MatWir Said:

So why measure out your dosage if you just level the coffee off anyways so as to not overflow your portafileter basket?

Posted May 9, 2014 link

Because we "coffee geeks" need something to worry about . . . .  ;^)

Matt, bottom line:  it's what's in your cup that matters.  In other words, how does it taste to you?  Not to me, or him, or her, or that person hiding behind the Foster Grants, but you!

IF you look at the Istituto Nazionale Espresso Italiano (the National Institute of Italian Espresso), their website says that a single espresso is 7 grams (+/- 0.5g.) of ground coffee to yield 25ml (+/- 2.5ml) of espresso in 25 seconds.  Pulling a double would be 2x the ground coffee (14 grams) for double the volume (50ml), but in the same time frame of 25 seconds.

Basically no one in the U.S. pulls single shots.  I cannot think of a single café or coffee house where the "standard shot" is not a double.  So let's start with two basic, bottom line concepts and move on from there:  a) 14 grams of coffee is a good place to begin in terms of pulling a shot of espresso; and b) neither the Italian Carabinieri nor the "jack-booted thugs" of the ATF are going to come charging into your home, guns drawn, if you use a different dose.

The first thing to do is try a shot at 14 grams and see what you think; then try a shot at 15 grams, 16 grams, etc.  See what tastes best to you.  

You've read in some of the posts above about baskets coming in various sizes.  Often, people around here, and in some cafés/coffee houses will use bottomless portafilters and a triple basket (holding 21 grams) just to pull a double.  If you have a triple, you could start pulling a double at 21 grams, and then dose down to taste . . . up to you.

But ALL of the numbers are just suggestions -- whether you get them from a roaster's website, the side of a bag of beans, or here on CG.  You need to find what tastes best to you . . .

 
A morning without coffee is sleep . . .
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