Single (Basket) Again - It's Like Starting Over

December 11, 2011


As a creature of pure habit, I had been content using big double baskets filled with fluffy coffee powder spilling out in wanton excess and crema filled shot glasses dripping gleefully down the cup onto the saucer below - I strayed though. Can I ever return to my paradise now lost?  



It started innocently enough - I wasn't really even looking.  I keep my back flush disc for cleaning my espresso machine in a cup on a shelf. I reached in without paying attention and took out what I thought was the blank, hole-less back flush disc.



I did not have my cleaning disc in my hand though - instead it was the devil.  I saw her there - lonely, unloved, but so attractive with her slender middle and curvy shape and couldn't help myself.  I should have put it back and walked away, but it was too late.  I left behind all my sense of stability and ritual - dosing by feel instead of weight - tamping differently,  just breaking all the rules.  If loving the single basket is wrong, I don't want to be right.



Maybe I am being a bit dramatic, but honestly today is the first time since having this machine (over two months now) that I have used the single basket.  My Gaggia came used with only a double basket so all my experience came from using double baskets for espresso.  



It took three tries to get something worth drinking so it was not hard but it went against my usual habits - I forgave her for the first indiscretion since I did nor purge my grinder - the second was clearly her fault.  I did not think the basket needed more than what it takes to fill the center but with this basket going past the center and out to the sides worked best.



Viola! Slow but steady espresso poured into the glass - the taste was nice but since these were new beans to me (breaking all the rules today) I am not sure how the taste compares to the same beans when up dosed.  I can't sit here and say my espresso prep habit has changed forever, but I can see using this basket more often than my previous rate of "never" in the future.  Do you use single baskets too or doubles only? I would love to hear your opinion!



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