Coffee Cup
"Espresso! My Espresso!"
An Ongoing Internet Novelette
by Randy Glass - Copyright 2008 - All rights reserved

Coffee Cup
104
My First Single Shot

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

     It has been just over 8 years that I have been making espresso at home. In all that time I have never bothered with the single basket. Seems odd, but there are some very good reasons for that act of omission:

- I like espresso. Why have one when you can have two?
- When I pull a good one I would lament that it was only one ounce.
- I like a cappuccino, and a single shot gets lost in a cappuccino cup.
- I started with Silvia which is less forgiving when it comes to pulling single shots (according to reports).
- Habit

     This morning I was at the end of a batch of home roast. After measuring the correct amount of coffee for the two doubles I pull each morning there remained about 1/2 tablespoon of beans left in the jar. Normally I would pour them into the next jar of beans which I had roasted the day or two before, but this next batch was a new, "experimental" roast and I did not want to mix, so I just poured the few leftover beans into the grinder.

     At the end of the session I had more leftover coffee grounds in the doser than normal... predictable. It was too much to throw out, and I would never keep ground coffee... "What to do?" I asked myself. I immediately opened the drawer of my coffee center, took out a single basket, and dosed. Sure enough, there was just exactly one single pull of ground coffee in the doser.

     Based on what I have learned I would have ground just a bit finer for a single, but being that the grounds were left over, I tamped, locked and loaded with nothing to lose. The pull looked quite nice and flowed just like the earlier doubles had done, much to my surprise. I had expected a slightly faster flow during the extraction, but that was not the case.

     I pulled the espresso into a 2.25 ounce Malabar Gold glass cup (thank you, Dr. John!) and filled the remaining volume of the cup with hot water, thus making an "Americanito" (my new term for a single Americano). It was absolutely delicious, with a distinct taste of toffee and chocolate, and that's saying something because I admittedly have a difficult time picking out subtle varietal flavors in coffee most of the time. That Americanito disappeared faster than I could even think about taking a picture of it to share.

     So, my new advice is that if you have not tried a single shot, and particularly if you have a machine that is more gentle to the coffee when delivering the water flow, try it. A one ounce shot with about 1.5 ounces of hot water can be a delightful treat.


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