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Just like you measure all of your inputs, and carefully make your water, you want to carefully measure your outputs. Internet lore says that a double shot is 2 oz. 2 oz of what? Espresso is a complex material made up of liquid, solids, and foam. From coffee batch to coffee batch, even with the exact same inputs, you might get more or less foam. What doesn’t generally change from batch to batch is the density. Sure, like we said earlier about milk, the density isn’t exactly the same. However, the overwhelming mass of the coffee is water, and we know water weighs 1 gram per milliliter. Thus, we can use our scale again to measure the weight of the espresso to measure our shot.

Get the scale on the machine, get a cup on the scale, and zero/tare the weight. I put a towel under my scale since it’s not waterproof. Flip the lever, and start the timer.

Not a great distribution.

Ideally you just want one stream of coffee coming out. Eventually mine gets there. Maybe I need to upgrade that grinder….

In my particular case, I shoot for an output of around 36 grams in around 30 seconds.

With this coffee and for making lattes I have found this to be a good weight and time, and even longer durations are tasty. Also, the brew pressure on this machine is adjustable. Classical espresso brew pressure is 9 bar, no more no less. However, there is an emerging group of coffee snobs that like lower pressure espresso. I adjusted my machine down to just under 7 bar of brew pressure and have liked the result, so I stick with it.

You adjust your grinder finer or coarser in order to raise or lower the shot time, respectively. This assumes all other factors are equal (distribution, tamp, etc).

Ultimately we have lots of numbers and other things we have tossed around here, but when you lay them all out they make a nice recipe. Ignoring the specific magnesium, calcium, and carbonate (HCO3) concentrations of the water, the recipe might look like:

19g in, 36g out, 30 seconds at 6 bar.

You can measure the in versus out as a “yield”/ration, or in this case 1:1.89. Although I prefer a recipe that looks like:

19:36/30@6.

It really doesn’t matter as long as you keep track of it in a way that you understand and that you actually keep track.

I steam after I pull.

No, that’s not a euphemism. I like to steam the milk after I pull the shot. I could do them at the same time, but that makes me feel stressed out, and this is supposed to be a relaxing process. Steaming milk is an art in and of itself, and I’ve got a whole series of articles planned for that. In addition to milk chemistry. It’s going to be AWESOME.

Latte art, coming up.

Since I make 1-2 beverages a day for myself and one for the wife, I am getting alot of practice with latte art.