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The books and info I've read mention extracting for 25 seconds, but I get waaaaay more than a double shot of espresso in that duration.

The exact numbers I have are:

  • 15.6g of ground coffee (after taring the portafilter and filter inside)
  • 22 seconds made 78.9g of coffee (after taring espresso cup)

I'm using a Breville espresso machine... like the most common household one (cost me $100 to $150 I think, like 4 years ago).

My grinder is a Bodum, also cost me about $100.

I ground on the espresso symbol, the finest my grinder well do.

I grind directly into the portafilter and I used a nice stainless steel tamper to tamp what was probably between 20lbs and 40lbs, just a little more than gravity.


I'm not discussing taste here, but some potential other causes: I once put my portafilter and filters in the dishwasher, and that peeled the stainless steel off the portafilter, but it continues to work, so I figured it was fine. Also I've never decalcified my machine, although I did take it apart and clean it about a year and a half ago. Oh and the beans were some third-wave hipster brand, it costs $18 for a pound bag.

4

First things first; I advise you to decalcify your device in advance. This may fix many shady problems and taste issues.

Then...

There may be several issues that may affect your flow. These are what I can say at first sight...

  • Grind size: Finer and more consistent grinds may help.

  • Even distribution in the basket: if you don't evenly distribute the grounds, some water may leak around the grounds instead of brewing your coffee. Take care of even distribution.

  • Tamping: Tamp evenly, consistently and a bit more forcefully when necessary. Some baristas tamp up to 20 kg-f during tamping.


And a final note; for the given amount of grounds, a doppio (double espresso) is quite normal. Doppio should be 60 ml in your cup. In general, 14 - 16 gr of coffee grounds make a 60 ml doppio.

  • A todays standard dose of grounds for a double espresso, like 18g for example, should actually yield around twice the amount of coffee, thus 36g (that is standard in all specialty coffee shops today and most modern lighter single origin roasts call for it). Of course there's some variance depending on the coffee (and roast). The typical italian brew ratio would be 1:3, thus 18g of ground coffee would yield 54g of brewed coffee. – avocado1 Jan 5 '18 at 0:12
  • Wow, I didn't realize the type of coffee could effect the flow so much. So depending on the coffee beans, with the same grind you could have a ratio between 1:2 and over 1:3? – Jason McCarrell Jan 5 '18 at 17:18
  • 60ml isn't too far from my 78ml, but 60ml is way more than a double shot of espresso, is it not? Ok so I just read a wiki article that mentions that the amount of the pull can vary ridiculously... im so confused now. – Jason McCarrell Jan 5 '18 at 17:19
  • @avacado Hi, According to (Illy & Navarini, 2011), "The coffee portion, e.g., the weight of roasted and ground coffee required for preparing one cup, is normally confined in the range 6.0–8.0 g but the upper limit can reach 9.0 g." – MTSan Jan 5 '18 at 21:55
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    Oh man, your final note is key. I'm making double shots and putting both shots into the same cup. So of course I'll get much larger volume per second. – Jason McCarrell Jan 11 '18 at 18:47
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MTSan mentions the grind briefly, but I think it's very likely the cause of your problems:

My grinder is a Bodum, also cost me about $100.

At that price point, it's probably a blade grinder. Blade grinders aren't good a producing a consistent grind: you'll get some larger pieces and some very fine dust. This is far from ideal when making coffee (in general) because the dust will overextract (leading to very bitter flavours) whereas the larger piece won't fully extract.

When making espresso, this is going to lead to a very fast extraction because the water chooses the path of least resistance. When the grind is uneven, that path is going to be around those larger pieces, meaning you'll get channelling.

The best advice is to get a burr grinder and use the blade grinder for something else (e.g. spices).

Alternatively, you can use a sieve to take out the very large pieces in your grind. This won't be as good as a good burr grinder, but at least you'll have less channelling because you have fewer very large pieces to give the water an easy way out. A paper towel technique (see YouTube link below) can be used to filter out the dust. The downside is obviously that this is quite tedious to do every time and you're trowing away a significant amount of coffee while you're at it.

To learn more about sieving and the paper towel trick, I'd recommend watching James Hoffmann's Coffee Hack: The Best Blade Grinder Results on YouTube.

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