“Your Barista Is Making Your Coffee Wrong.” A couple of weeks ago, an international study came out and it was accompanied by click-bait headlines like this one. But once you get past the obvious attempts to shock, you can dig into the meat of the “discovery.”
The claim was that coffees are not fully getting extracted because we jam too much coffee into the portafilter. This leads to channeling of water and an uneven extraction, as some coffee does not get saturated enough to be fully extracted. The ideal dose? Well, according to the international study, the answer is 15 grams, coarser grind sizes, and lower barometric pressures in the espresso machine.
With an open mind, we decided to test the method as part of the #MondayEspresso ongoing series. The initial results were lackluster, and we saw the need to extend the extraction time in order to give flavors more seconds to develop vs the study’s recommended 20 second extraction time. But we now feel that with the assistance of some pressure profiling, we’ve hit an espresso flavor profile that makes the 15 gram dose workable.
It’s a 4 stage profile. We start with a long pre-infusion, then punch in at 7bar. After a few seconds, we cut the flow of water and pressure to let the coffee fully saturate, then push into 6bar for the rest of the pouring process.
15 grams in, 38 grams out. Though this results in an unusually long, 63 second extraction time, the coffee still has crema and was not bitter in an undesirable way. The puck of espresso is consistently overly-wet by traditional standards using this profile, which we see as being consistent with the desire to have all the grounds fully saturated in this method.
Ultimately, the coffee was delicious, had excellent crema, but was thin in terms of mouthfeel. But the mouthfeel was the only drawback. If you are only tagetting taste profile, the method passes with flying colors and pouring milk into the espresso to create a milk beverage would yield a tasty cup if done properly.
PS. We will skip the numerical rating this week, as we have used a different coffee recipe altogether.