Ask Heather: "If I had my way, no equipment would come with numbers" Part 5

Heather Perry, 2X US Barista Champion and Klatch Coffee CEO, answers YOUR questions about espresso. Let's see what the "Queen of Espresso" has to say...

Q:  "How does tamp pressure impact the brew time?"

A: "The more compact the coffee is the more it slows down the extraction. I tell people don't worry about how you tamp, just be consistent. As long as when you tamp and you flip the portafilter over and the coffee stays in the tamp its fine. If you think your extraction. is running to fast, don t adjust your tamping, adjust your grind or your brew time."

Q: "I have entry level equipment, I weigh my dose and time my shot, at 30 seconds I have 70ml of liquid and crema, but the weight is consistently 45g what am I doing wrong?"

A: "Nothing, this ties into using scales vs. no scales. An easy recipe we give is a 2:1 ratio. Your 70ml of liquid by volume is because your coffee is fresh, remember crema is made up of gases, gases weigh nothing. If you have fresh coffee you get lots of crema, if you use older crema you get less crema, but your weight will be the same even though by volume visually they will look very different. This is why using scales are helpful, pay attention more to your weight than your volume.

For you recipe of a 17g dose, 45g is probably a little high, I would stop it at 25 seconds rather than 30 seconds. I will probably give you 30-35g shot, taste it, see what you like more. Tasting it may have less bitter to it and a cleaner after taste. You are on the right track!"
Q: "Is it true I have to clean my grinder is I grind caffeinated then decaf?"
A:  "Yes, only if you don't want caffeine in you decaf."

Q: "I just bought a Burr Grinder, whats the difference with the numbers?"
A:  "Ignore the numbers, brew you coffee, is it well extracted or not, go courser or finer. Adjust as needed and taste."

Q:  "What kind of grinder should I buy?"
A: "If you want a good pot of coffee, try an entry level Baratza. If you want to make espresso, Chemex you want an higher end grinder to give you more of a grind range, of finer or courser. Also if you are making espresso you want a grinder that weighs the volume thats consistent.  The grinder depends on the purpose of what coffee device you are using ."


Have an espresso question? Let us know by messaging us on social media or asking with the hashtag #AskHeatherand we'll get back to you!

Recommended Espressos:

WBC World's Best Espresso sweet dark chocolate - orange citrus - berry

House Espresso orange zest - cinnamon stick - semi-sweet chocolate

Belle Espresso blackberry - chocolate - brandy