Barista Magazine

FEB-MAR 2019

Serving People Serving Coffee Since 2005

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Page 66 of 99

SPRING IS JUST AROUND the corner, and sometimes it's hard to fi nd motivation to stay engaged during these seasonal transitions. Maybe it's time to think about doing a little extra cleaning or start planning your next throwdown to try and draw everyone out of hibernation. That big cof- fee event that happens every year in the United States— the Specialty Coffee Expo, which is happening April 11–14 in Boston— is coming up. Start looking at those fl ights! How do we stay motivated, you ask? We get hyped answering all these questions! We love using a bottomless portafi lter, but what do you do when someone wants an odd number of shots and you want to make sure they still get a balanced fl avor? This is probably more of a training question, but there is defi nitely a way to get this done! Most manufacturers offer a 14-gram portafi lter basket. I would pick up an extra portafi lter and keep a 14-gram basket in it. After that, it's really about developing a recipe that you like. I think start with a 1:1 ratio, then try a 1:1.5. I expect the extraction should be stopped a little sooner than you normally would, as well. Also, I suggest you get in touch with your coffee trainer or roaster for advice about this and other train- ing-related questions. They know best on how the espresso should taste and be represented. Good luck! —Double J Just to add on to what Double J said, you could go the other way and try a bigger basket (some might call it a triple, like a 22- or 25-gram size) and adjust the water/reci- pe accordingly that way, as well. —Alex Sometimes I go to put my portafi lter up into the group- head but it won't fi t. Like, it has too much coffee … but my dose is where I want it. What do I do? It may be time to switch to a larger basket size. The dose weight of your espresso is just that: a weight. We also have to consider the volume and density of the particles in there. We have found that with some espressos, you can fi t a good 20 grams or so in a so-called 17-gram basket. Some beans, blends, or roast levels tend to be less dense, and therefore it takes more coffee volume to make that 20 grams. Most technicians carry a wide range of basket sizes and styles. Double J and I carry everything from as small as 14 grams to as large as 25 grams from several different manufacturers. Hit up your local tech and see if they have anything they can recommend. —Alex What does the "manual-fi ll" button on my machine do? It doesn't seem to do anything when I push it! There's a strange temptation around the old manual-fi ll switch. I've see many "Do not touch!" and "No!" warnings taped onto those mystical buttons when I'm out on service calls. But you're brave, right? Certainly some faded old Post-It isn't going to tell you what to do. So one day, when it's slow around the shop and the playlist isn't holding your Back in the day, baristas had to always manually fill the espresso machines. As they used the machine throughout the day, they would have to keep an eye on the sight glass to make sure the machine didn't run out of water. 67

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