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I'm confused about proper amount of ground coffee?!?!
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Discussions > Espresso > Q and A > I'm confused...  
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RobbW
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RobbW
Joined: 9 Apr 2014
Posts: 17
Location: Chicago area
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: DeLonghi EC155
Grinder: Hario Skerton with drill
Drip: Hario V60 Pour-over,...
Roaster: Stovetop and Oven
Posted Fri Apr 18, 2014, 2:26pm
Subject: I'm confused about proper amount of ground coffee?!?!
 

Okay, so I'm doing my best to learn proper techniques for making espresso.  I realize I have cheap, crappy equipment for the moment, but at least I can continue practicing technique for when I get a proper setup.  However, something has been bugging me since I started into the addictive hobby of making espresso: the proper amount of ground coffee to pull a shot.

I know most of you will probably shake your heads thinking, "Hasn't this been asked and gone over like a gazillion times?!"  Yes, it has, but here's the catch: I keep seeing, hearing, and reading about different grind volumes just about everywhere I turn.  I know that traditionally a single shot of espresso uses roughly 7 grams of ground coffee, and that a double would be 14 grams.  I only make doubles so let's stick with that.  Before I got any espresso equipment, I was reading a book my wife got me for my birthday last year.  It is "The Blue Bottle Craft of Coffee".  In the espresso section of his book, James Freeman relays his method for dialing in a shot of espresso.  He says to use around 18.5 grams of coffee and then adjust the grind and tamp accordingly to get the right volume of extraction in the accorded amount of time.  I have also seen this 18 grams number bandied about here on the forums and in numerous YouTube videos I have watched trying to learn about making espresso.

And then there are all the YT videos, instructional videos on cafe's/roaster's websites, forum posts, and numerous other places where folks just grind directly into their PF basket until it is overflowing, level it off, tamp it, and then pull their shot; all without measuring the weight of coffee used.

So, if I want to make a double shot of espresso at home, how much coffee should I be using: 14 grams, ~18 grams, or just fill the basket until it is overflowing?

BTW, I'm using an EC155 and a Hario Skerton manual grinder attached to a drill.  Like I said, crappy machine and a so-so acceptable grinder.  Also, I converted my PF to bottomless and replaced the basket with the Delonghi #607706 basket.
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calblacksmith
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calblacksmith
Joined: 25 Nov 2007
Posts: 7,745
Location: Riverside, Ca, U.S.A.
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: ECM Vene. A1, La Cimbali M32
Grinder: Azkoyen Capriccio, Major
Vac Pot: 40s era Silex
Drip: Msl. Com. brewers
Roaster: gave it a try, decided no
Posted Fri Apr 18, 2014, 2:29pm
Subject: Re: I'm confused about proper amount of ground coffee?!?!
 

Use 14 TO ~ 18, just be CONSISTENT in the weight, the same each time then adjust from there for grind.

My preference is 18 g for 2 floz, you may prefer something different.

 
In real life, my name is
Wayne P.
Anything I post is personal opinion and is only worth as much as anyone else's personal opinion. YMMV!

Feed the newbs, starve the trolls and above all enjoy what you drink!
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CMIN
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Joined: 14 Jun 2012
Posts: 1,362
Location: South FL
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Crossland CC1
Grinder: Baratza Preciso
Posted Fri Apr 18, 2014, 3:14pm
Subject: Re: I'm confused about proper amount of ground coffee?!?!
 

I had a Bar32, samething as an EC155 just different design. With those machines you can't go off any recommendations from roasters or general guidelines. Mainly b/c the baskets are way smaller then a regular machine basket for single and double sizes. For example my double basket on my CC1 can easily do 18g no prob, the double basket on my Bar32 if I remember could barely do 12g if that maybe slightly more maybe slightly less max depending on bean/blend/roast level, any more and the puck will fracture locking it in or pressing against the screen w/ like no headroom once pump is turned on. And no way is an EC155 fitting anywhere near 18g in the basket lol.
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RobbW
Senior Member
RobbW
Joined: 9 Apr 2014
Posts: 17
Location: Chicago area
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: DeLonghi EC155
Grinder: Hario Skerton with drill
Drip: Hario V60 Pour-over,...
Roaster: Stovetop and Oven
Posted Fri Apr 18, 2014, 4:24pm
Subject: Re: I'm confused about proper amount of ground coffee?!?!
 

I'm not using the OEM pressurized basket that came with the EC155.  I'm using the # 607706 replacement basket on the modded bottomless PF.  I have been using 18 grams in the PF with every attempt since I got the replacement basket.  It fits.  I might lose a half gram or so with leveling off the basket, but it fits.  And with a good tamp, the puck gets nowhere near the shower screen.
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Whitcoatsyndrom
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Whitcoatsyndrom
Joined: 25 Apr 2013
Posts: 175
Location: Roanoke, VA
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Expobar Office Pulser
Grinder: Baratza Vario
Drip: Newco-OCS 12
Roaster: HG/BM
Posted Fri Apr 18, 2014, 5:26pm
Subject: Re: I'm confused about proper amount of ground coffee?!?!
 

RobbW Said:

And with a good tamp, the puck gets nowhere near the shower screen.

Posted April 18, 2014 link

That sounds like you could dose more, or perhaps tamp less (not both...only change one thing at a time).  The puck coming "nowhere near the shower screen" is not the goal.  Read the section in the following link regarding dosing.  It goes into some great detail on how to tell how much to dose.  Reading the rest of the info is also highly recommended:

http://www.frcndigital.com/coffee/HowToEspresso.html
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CMIN
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Joined: 14 Jun 2012
Posts: 1,362
Location: South FL
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Crossland CC1
Grinder: Baratza Preciso
Posted Fri Apr 18, 2014, 5:28pm
Subject: Re: I'm confused about proper amount of ground coffee?!?!
 

Ahhh, forgot about that, thought you were using the stock baskets. The PF is small on these machines so I'm guessing the basket is really deep for bottomless to fit 18g and not come near the screen, any impression on the top of the puck after extraction? Do you have a digi scale that weighs to .1g? Or if not how are you weighing? Personally I usually stick around 16-18G, I'll play around with a bean/blend and keep track of the dose for next time. Really not a noticeably taste difference, more so some beans/blend pulled better at 18 then they did at 16 for example. I'm using a Papua New Guinea right now at 16.5g
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RobbW
Senior Member
RobbW
Joined: 9 Apr 2014
Posts: 17
Location: Chicago area
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: DeLonghi EC155
Grinder: Hario Skerton with drill
Drip: Hario V60 Pour-over,...
Roaster: Stovetop and Oven
Posted Fri Apr 18, 2014, 6:57pm
Subject: Re: I'm confused about proper amount of ground coffee?!?!
 

Yes the basket is fairly deep. I also got a La Pavoni basket that is slightly shallower. I keep going back and forth between the two but haven't settled on a preferred basket. I am using a My Weigh Triton 2 scale to weigh down to 0.1g resolution.
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SproBro
Senior Member


Joined: 11 Feb 2014
Posts: 62
Location: Topeka, KS
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: CC1 v1.5
Grinder: Compak K10PB, Vario
Posted Fri Apr 18, 2014, 9:40pm
Subject: Re: I'm confused about proper amount of ground coffee?!?!
 

I believe the correct answer is: there is no correct answer. I'm using a 21g Strada basket with 18.6g (I usually adjust dose in .3's). It seems like at 20+ grams my puck building technique just isn't good enough to get an even extraction. I like my espresso pretty in-your-face tasting though, with high viscosity.

I feel like 14-16g is easier to build a good puck at though.
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RobbW
Senior Member
RobbW
Joined: 9 Apr 2014
Posts: 17
Location: Chicago area
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: DeLonghi EC155
Grinder: Hario Skerton with drill
Drip: Hario V60 Pour-over,...
Roaster: Stovetop and Oven
Posted Sat Apr 19, 2014, 4:48pm
Subject: Re: I'm confused about proper amount of ground coffee?!?!
 

Okay, I think I may know where some of my confusion is coming from.  In the "Blue Bottle" book I am reading, the author says to never use the single basket, only the double.  He uses 18.5 grams and pulls a shot in 25-30 seconds.  However, he also talks about pulling a shot volume of 30-35mm in that 25-30 seconds.  That can't be right.  That would be the volume for a single shot, right?  If I'm pulling a double, shouldn't I be pulling ~60ml?
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D4F
Senior Member


Joined: 15 Mar 2012
Posts: 2,007
Location: USA
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Gaggia Classic PID
Grinder: Baratza Forte-AP
Posted Sat Apr 19, 2014, 5:17pm
Subject: Re: I'm confused about proper amount of ground coffee?!?!
 

Here is a good place to start with volumes and weights of espresso.

Click Here (www.home-barista.com)

The weight of espresso brewed will depend on your taste.

 
D4F also at
http://www.gaggiausersgroup.com/
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