My ode to consistency

October 26, 2011


My ode to consistency.  I posted earlier about how ideally a barista and even those of us who do this as a hobby and not professionally should be able to be fairly consistent in our espresso pulls.  We should know that if we get a shot we love, we can come close to it on the next shot.  Sure some shots will transcend and others will be not quite what we hoped, but some basic consistency should be achievable through good skills.


I confess that this was not just random musings, but was prompted by my espresso the last few days.  I have been pulling Klatch’s “World’s best espresso” at home and I have not been as consistent as I usually expect.  One of the main reasons is that I just have not been able to get it dialed in due to the rush of pulling a shot between getting the kids dressed, eating breakfast, and getting us all out the door for school and work.  It means I only get to pull one shot and if it is off tough.  None the less I have pulled two great shots.  One was hard to reproduce simply because my daughter needed me just as I was flushing the machine and so I did not have the control I usually do and when it was great I did not know what happened so it took a while to realize that it was hotter than I had thought and that my attempts to repeat it were at far too low a temperature.


This morning, though, was different, I know exactly what I did – pulled a 21 gram shot at around 200 degrees in about 24 seconds.  It was a little faster than I usually pull updosed shots, but it worked out great.  The shot was amazing. I then decided to sneak over and try for an encore and the second shot was not great.


Perhaps part of it is that my gear is better for shots between 14 and 20 grams than shots that are so far updosed, but I don’t think that is it entirely. I do find much more chaneling in updosed shots, but, for example, Belle, which I often updose is unbeliveably predictable. 


Tomorrow morning I have to wait for the furnace guy to service the furnace.  This will give me a great chance to pull multiple shots and not be rushed.  I’ll be curious to see if I can make the great shots be the expected shots!


Hopefully I can get this coffee to be just as predictable as other coffees are and just as good as that first shot I had this morning.



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