Rao's Book's Model vs. Ristrettos

After a lot of testing, and a lot of bad shots, I have figured out roughly why/how a direct application of the espresso brewing model in Scott Rao's book doesn't work (for me at work).

Rao follows a close-to-current-SCAA definition of espresso: the extraction mass is targeted at 1.5x-2.0x the dry-dose mass. Whereas, at work, we mostly pull ristrettos with an extraction mass within the range of 0.5x-1.5x the dry-dose mass.

Drinking fruit juice concentrate, Pei Pa Koa - 念慈菴, soy sauce, etc. straight-up can be pretty disgusting, whereas many such solutions yield beautiful profiles simply via dilution. A lot of stuff is simply more balanced with added water.

Or you could just extract a less complex solution into what little water you have. Most (not all) of my recent tests (which are rather subjective) have resulted in rather pleasant flavour profiles in shots that fall *short* of the 25-40 second range in Rao's book's model.

Furthermore, a number of roasters we are working with appear to target roast profiles that taste better at low extraction yields - my suspicion is that it's because they too are calibrating their roasts for ristrettos.

All this appears to result in a waste of coffee, but it still tastes nice if you get it right.


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