Espresso serving size

elusive espresso... theorize, philosophize!

Espresso serving size

Postby homelessroaster on Wed Apr 08, 2009 11:38 am

After reading about this shop that is trying to sell its "extra" shots on craigslist it really got me to thinking about espresso servings. Referring to espresso servings in the traditional single, double, triple or even using the 1 shot, 2 shot, 2 shot terminology is a big pet peeve of mine.

To me a serving of espresso is all the liquid that comes out of the basket in one extraction. If you're making a triple cappuccino using two separate extractions, leaving an "extra shot" you wouldn't take that extra shot and add another extra shot to it and serve it to straight up...I hope.

What terminology do you guys use in your shops?

The big part of the annoyance for is when I walk into a shop that has Espresso on the board (with no other modifiers and only one price) I usually assume I can go ahead and order an espresso and they'll take care of the rest. I would also like to think that that at least means I'm going to get a beverage created from a single extraction. But I almost always get asked "single or double?" The responses and reactions I get vary wildly. Sometimes I get "4 shots" by asking for a double, sometimes I get half an extraction and then would be asked to pay extra for the second half...and on and on.

So whats the deal? When and how are we going to get away from that sort of terminology? I got to bars where I order "A Shot" of liquor and I get 1 ounce, some bars I get 1.5, some bars I get 3. I'm fine with that. I've yet to see someone flip out because they are used to getting 3 ounces of liquor and they only get 1. Its just the way it is. But I regularly see customers get upset because they think you've jipped them out of a shot. I can't tell you how many "triple" espressos I've pulled out of a La Marzocco Triple basket with someone watching only to have them get upset because they see only "two shots" going into they're cup...or worse "one shot" if I was using a naked basic. Even when I show them the considerably larger basket size and explain that is actually almost 4 times the coffee most places use to make a "single," I can still tell they feel jipped.

Thoughts?
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Re: Espresso serving size

Postby Jeff Givens on Wed Apr 08, 2009 12:38 pm

Maybe a quad-spout portafilter would allay their concerns.

I'm with you on this though, unless it's a shop that I know, I'm never quite sure what they consider a "single" or a "double."
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Re: Espresso serving size

Postby Brent on Wed Apr 08, 2009 1:12 pm

Jeff Givens wrote:I'm with you on this though, unless it's a shop that I know, I'm never quite sure what they consider a "single" or a "double."


which is where I ask... but I also go with the "if I need to ask, do I really need the coffee?"
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Re: Espresso serving size

Postby seankohmescher on Thu Apr 09, 2009 10:30 am

If the menu does not state what it is, then you should feel comfortable with asking. The biggest problem is that you will usually be asking a register person, who has not be properly trained. Our menu says all shots double ristreto 18-21 grams.
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Re: Espresso serving size

Postby xristrettox on Thu Apr 09, 2009 7:34 pm

i think it's important to realize that there is no real standard, regardless of what the scaa's definition may be.

many people will look at the size of the basket and/or amount of coffee used to prepare an espresso and call it from there. 14-16 grams has been considered a double for a long time, and somehow when folks started up-dosing to 20 grams or more, half the people just called those doubles, and others started calling them triples.

how can we possibly define something like that? a double for me is your triple.

folks over at coffeehouse NW pull with 20 grams(ish) and call that an "espresso". For them each portafilter locked and loaded is considered an espresso, regardless of wether they are using a double basket or triple.

at barista, we have on our menu that our espresso (all served as "doubles") will range from a 1 ounce ristretto up to a 2 ounce shot depending on how the coffee pulls.

if anything, this just invites more of a conversation with the consumer on what espresso really is.

btw, something that some shops in pdx are doing now is charging a dollar for an extra shot of espresso. if all drinks are doubles, then that extra shot (single) that we are charging for (often for .50) and putting in our drinks is actually costing us close to that amount. so we're not making any money on it. charge them a dollar and give em a quad. :P
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Re: Espresso serving size

Postby nick on Thu Apr 09, 2009 10:04 pm

Mass is a constant. Volume is dependent on density. Mass is all that matters.

Volume is a LIE.

(paging Dr. Schecter)


Speaking of which... I'm really fat these days. :(
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Re: Espresso serving size

Postby xristrettox on Fri Apr 10, 2009 9:22 am

yeah, but your consumer does not know how dense their espresso should be.
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Re: Espresso serving size

Postby Tim Dominick on Fri Apr 10, 2009 11:58 am

nick wrote:Mass is a constant. Volume is dependent on density. Mass is all that matters.

Volume is a LIE.

(paging Dr. Schecter)


Speaking of which... I'm really fat these days. :(


Anyone without this on bar is providing false results
http://balance.balances.com/scales/784
Instead of the extra halogen heaters, spend the $9K on some way to honestly disclose the mass of your customer's drinks. Don't they deserve better than the lies of volume.
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Re: Espresso serving size

Postby xristrettox on Fri Apr 10, 2009 9:08 pm

who's spending 9k on halogen heaters?
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