Two - The Espresso Recipe
The Espresso Recipe
In Post One - Syrup Balls we said.....'Post Two would be about Solubility and Coffee recipes'. We lied!
As we began to write we realised that there was far too much content for one post so decided to skip solubility and start with The Espresso Recipe.
When you produce espresso you dissolve dry coffee with hot water over a given amount of time. These three ingredients make up your Espresso Recipe. They are referred to as;
DOSE (Dry coffee in grams),
YIELD (Espresso weight in grams),
TIME (The amount of seconds it takes to achieve the yield).
Like any recipe, there are optimum amounts for each ingredient. The aim is to find the recipe with the most flavour - which can be difficult as each time you adjust the quantity of one ingredient it affects the others in a different way! We can help - after lots of testing we supply each of our coffees with a BREW RATIO & TIME, with the Brew Ratio you can fill in the gaps to complete the recipe.......
Alway start your recipe by establishing DOSE and stick with it, if you were to change DOSE the other ingredients would also need to be adjusted. How much coffee you should use depends on the space in the filter basket. Coffee needs headspace to allow water to pass through it evenly. If coffee is forced against the machines shower plate individual streams of water will force their way through the coffee in channels(channeling), this is ineffective and dissolves less coffee as the streams don't evenly saturate all the grounds.
If you don't know the recommended size of your basket you can use the following 5 Pence Piece technique to help you set your DOSE.
Weigh and evenly tamp your coffee, place the 5p on top, fully lock the handle into the machine and then unlock it. If there is no imprint from the 5p in the coffee increase the dose until there is. Once you have an imprint reduce by 1 gram, record the weight and you have your DOSE. If you have a centre screw in your shower plate be sure to place the 5p to one side of your coffee puck.
With this method, when the water enters the basket it will first fill the the head space, pre-infuse the coffee and pass through evenly, saturating all of the grounds.
Top tip - adjustments to grind size will change the DOSE weight so weigh each DOSE manually until the TIME is set. Once Time is achieved(see below) go ahead and programme/set your grinder DOSE. There is extra help here for 'Dialling In' a grinder.
There is a trade off between how much coffee is dissolved and how much the espresso is diluted, once the trade off is balanced and optimum extraction/taste is found the relationship can be recorded as a BREW RATIO. The BREW RATIO can then be used with any DOSE weight to establish your recipe's YIELD.
BREW RATIO X DOSE =YEILD
E.g. Assuming a BREW RATIO of 2 and a coffee DOSE of 16g your machine should be programmed to produce a YIELD of 32g. (2 x 16g = 32g). All of our BREW RATIOS are shown in the details below each coffee on our website.
TOP TIP - use the manual pour button to achieve the YIELD until you have adjusted the grinder to achieve the TIME. Once the YIELD takes the correct TIME to extract, programme the machine. This will save reprogramming over and over. If you need help programming your machine refer to the manual or call the supplier.
The size of dry coffee particles(grinds) in your DOSE will control the speed at which water passes through the coffee bed. Large grinds = quick extraction, small grinds = slow extraction. The more TIME water spends with the coffee the more it will dissolve. Too quick will taste weak and possibly sour. Too slow will taste strong and possibly bitter. Perfect extraction will taste balanced & sweet with a syrupy mouthfeel.
Now that the entire recipe has been achieved the machine YIELD can be programmed & the grinder DOSE weight can be set. Calibrating (Dialling In) your grinder to achieve your recipes TIME should be done regularly to maintain espresso quality. We have a 'Dialling In' Guide in our Brew Guide PDF's.
So, thats The Espresso Recipe. This will help you control the ingredients in your control but those same ingredients can change due to factors out of your control so always taste, taste, taste and adjust your grinder as necessary. If you would like to see the science behind creating a recipe read Blog Three - Taste & Science.
Enjoy, hope you see some Syrup Balls!