The Espresso-Brew Ratio is the source code for any espresso, distinguishing Espresso from regular Drip Coffee. However, most of us choose to fix and limit the change in the mixing rate when making Espresso at all costs because it correlates with so many other factors in the extraction process. A decrease in speed equals (%) will change the taste by a significant margin. This has led to one of the most popular trends over the past few years: compliance – almost a religion with a 1:2 espresso-making ratio.
This article will focus on the issues of the espresso mixing ratio and the 1:2 ratio with the views of Scoot Rao and Danilo Lodi – World Barista Championship judges. In addition, the article mentions some technical concepts; you can refer to more information about Advanced Espresso Technique.
What is the Espresso mixing ratio?
Simply put, the Brew Ratio is the ratio between the initial coffee volume/the amount of extract obtained (or vice versa). For example, if you put 20g of ground coffee in Baskets and pull a 40g espresso shot, you’ll have a 20:40 or 1:2 mixing ratio; For drip (or Pour Over)as above, this ratio is about 1:16, meaning that with 15g of coffee we can “pour” 1 cup of 240ml.
In addition to the mere (two: one) call, the rate of Espresso can be called by nouns vary, depending on the area. For example, in Italy, “Ristretto“ is used to refer to the traditional ratio of 1:1 (7g coffee / 7g espresso); “Normale“ to only 2:1 ratio (to less than 3:1), and finally “Lungo“ to refer to espresso cups extracted from a percentage of 3:1 to 4:1 (according to LaMarzocco)
In this context, instead of calling it the Espresso-Brewing Ratio, we’ll use Espresso-Brewing Ratio (EBR), according to Scott Rao, for convenience in illustration wallets.
Correlation between mixing rate and espresso quality
If you’re familiar with two concepts, Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) and Extraction Yield (EY) in Espresso Basics, we can start with the following example:
On a beautiful day (it’s not pretty, or it’s okay), you use 20 grams of coffee to extract a 40g espresso.
- After checking the Espresso, you see TDS = 10% (10% of the solids dissolved in the cup), or in other words, there are 4g of dissolved solids in the cup (10% x 40g of extract = 4g).
- Next, 4g of coffee solids are extracted from 20g of powdered coffee, corresponding to the extraction yield rate = 20%. This is an excellent rate and is entirely in the optimal range (18 to 22%, according to SCA standards)
Thereby with a 1:2 concoction ratio, you have extracted a cup with the ideal extraction rate possible because with EBR 1:2, you are capable of maintaining the extraction yield = 2 times the TDS ratio, try the formula above with other numbers, you will quickly notice this exciting correlation.
For example, with 8% of TDS, EY = 16% or 9% of TDS, Ey = 18%. And there is absolutely no other espresso rate that can produce results as the example just mentioned above.
Is 1:2 always right?
Although it looks very scientific, a formula cannot be accurate in all cases. The purpose of all Espresso (EBR) is to make the extraction rate (EY) between 18 and 22 percent.
But on the contrary, the rate of extraction (EY) often depends on many factors, such as extraction time, temperature, pressure, type of coffee, etc. And most of all, the combination of a blender and espresso machine will require different EBR ratios to yield very different extraction rates. (in some cases, better machinery can deliver higher extractions at lower EBR.)
However, things aren’t too tricky, as Sam Sgambellone of Coffee Kaizen shared a correlation chart between TDS and EY with different EBRs. Each oblique line represents a different rate of espresso-making, based on which you can see the amount of soluble substance (TDS) that corresponds to the extraction rate (EY) and vice versa.
You will quickly notice other EBR ratios that also give equally good extraction rates with the chart above. And choosing which brew rate depends on what type of coffee you serve (what percentage do you want to extract, with how much-dissolved substances are in the cup?).
Choose the right Espresso.
Most cafes use a 1:2 espresso-making ratio for the only case of serving Espresso. To make a latte or cappuchino, you have to fine-tune it so that the extraction rate is somewhat higher than usual due to neutralizing milk taste. And in any case like that, you can’t just apply a 1:2 ratio to every cup. The following two examples can demonstrate this:
- The first espresso shot, you use as an American latte (about 450ml). So that the coffee flavor doesn’t disappear in the milk, the barista will want to cram as much dissolved solids into the coffee as possible. So with 20g of coffee and EBR = 1:2.5. Look up at the chart. You will have EY = 21%, and TDS = 8.4%, through which you have added 4.2g of dissolved solids to the latte.
- In Shot Espresso, secondly, with high-quality specialty coffee, you can even use a higher-than-normal brew ratio of 1:3, along with 20g of coffee this ratio still gives you an EY= 22% and TDS = 7.3%extraction rate, this way, you can optimize the taste better, Release the whole body to the highest level.
Maintain consistency when controlling the Espresso mixing ratio
Once again, consistency is mentioned when making Espresso in particular and concocting other techniques in general. Especially for espresso-making rates, a percentage amplitude in the phase ratio will result in significant variations in the amount of soluble substance (TDS) or extraction rate (EY).
To make sure your EBR tweak is effective, the first thing to do is to fix the elements involved in the technical operation of the barista, the blender (grinder for Espresso), and the blender (water flow, pressure,..) because, after all, you can’t make a perfect concoction rate if you can’t repeat it on different occasions.
The second issue, which is closely related to the equipment you use, is if you are using a Mazzer blender (not quantitative support) and An Espresso blender of La Marzocco Linea – the standard machine that cannot customize water flow and pressure and then combines the use of a ratio of 1:2.
All of the above is almost meaningless. Meanwhile, with the help of a coffee maker that provides flow profiling, or pressure profiling, the higher your ability to master the Espresso brewing rate.
However, choosing a coffee grinder or espresso machine is another matter, as baristas and café owners have other issues to consider.
Pre-programmed espresso machines are not optimal for cafes with a large customer base (offices, private homes, or test environments are preferable). It would help if you kept consistency in taste, proportional to hundreds of espressos – every day. Therefore, adjusting the water flow or mixing rate at each shot is not optimal.
In a nutshell, the Espresso mixing ratio
Finally, before impacting the espresso mixing rate, consider other factors such as the desired extraction rate, the required soluble concentration, the volume required, the efficiency of the blender, your blender ability, and the purpose of each espresso shot. However, one factor that shouldn’t be considered is what people are doing.
Sure, if an expert like S. Rao makes recommendations feel and experiment when possible. But if you choose to make a concoction based on what others do, you’re unlikely to be of excellent quality for an espresso (The fact is, crowd action means you’re on average).
Source of reference:
- www.perfectdailygrind.com/ How to Better Control Your Espresso’s Brew Ratio
- Flavorwww.home.lamarzoccousa.com/ Brew Ratios Around the World
- www.scottrao.com/ The 2:1 Ratio