Espresso Anatomy – The Single Shot

The single shot of espresso is one of the rarest...

if not the rarest espresso drink in all of modern coffee and cafe culture.  Ever since I began learning about and working in the specialty coffee industry (which is a paltry five years) a single shot has been a split double. That basically means you're likely tossing or in some cases drinking the other half.  Which brought me to the conclusion a couple years back to write about the single shot being officially dead.  But by popular demand, and to be sure my Espresso Anatomy series is fully rounded out I decided it was time to bring it back.

Now, the single shot is basically all of the same general principles for preparing any other kind of espresso. We'll be toying with the puck preparation, the grind, and most notably the difference between the standard straight walled basket and the single.  Most modern baristas have only seen one of these weird little contraptions sitting in a dusty corner behind the Cafiza and backflushing basket. I personally fall into that category, and had to dig mine out from the box of accessories that came with my machine when I bought it over three years ago.

In this video I'll talk about these baskets and how their shape differences effect tamping and shot extraction.  I'll also work on dialing in a single shot of espresso to taste as close to a double as possible.  Last, but certainly not least I'll look at why single shots have a higher extraction percentage (in my experience) than their double shot siblings.

So hit play on the video and let's get this show on the road.


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