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Tamping is one of the crucial steps to espresso preparation. Many baristas have been taught to tamp evenly with 30 pounds of pressure and to ensure tamping levelness. Today there are also different tampers from flat bases to concave to ribbed surfaces and even different base sizes. This week we set out to test two different aspects of tamping; the levelness of a tamp, the tamper's base size and their effects on the resulting espresso.
One of the commonly discussed variables in espresso preparation is distribution techniques. There are many techniques and methods for distributing the grinds in the portafilter basket but which one truly gives the better espresso? We decided to conduct a little experiment to find out for ourselves once and for all. Which is the King of Distribution Techniques?
1:3 Brew Ratios have become increasingly popular over the last few years. Matt Perger of St. Ali in Australia has been championing the idea of higher brew ratios for awhile now, Tim Wendelboe routinely serves 1:3 Brew Ratios for Espressos at his shop, so does Five Elephant, our own home-grown Oriole Coffee and many more. What is the reason behind 1:3 Brew Ratios' increasing popularity and why isn't everyone brewing it?
There are many variations to the espresso. One of the most commonly ordered variation is the Double Ristretto. Traditionally defined as a very strong or concentrated espresso, the ristretto is typically an espresso with a 1:1 Brew Ratio, while double just means a double shot. In our experience however, we have come across 2 different methods or brewing ristrettos; the Three Part Extraction theory and the fixed 1:1 Brew Ratio method.
The basic fundamental behind coffee is that only roughly 30% of coffee is water-soluble. Out of this 30%, only about 20% are actually desirable and tastes good. The goal behind every coffee professional is or should be to extract as much of these good and delicious parts of the coffee whilst minimizing the extraction of the undesirable parts of the coffee. Now that we know that we should all...
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