Things we know...
Many variables must be continuously monitored and controlled to ensure a great shot.
One thing we learned is that the failure along the lines of any one variable results in shots of espresso that are just meh and require much sweetener and much dilution (milk/water) to correct for the failure of that one variable.
In the end, we realized that a consistently pulled shot, when frozen immediately and counter to prevailing theory, allows for a tremendous taste to be more consistently provided.
The variables (at least the ones we are willing to tell you) we seek to control:
- Good beans
- Two shot volume of espresso beans.
- Grind such that clumping occurs but quickly collapses after clumping.
- Consistent hot water temperature.
- Seconds after contact with water without pressure (ensures that the top layer is evenly saturated)...
- push through for a double shot into a 2 oz jar.
That is all there is to it, save for the experienced eye to tune the process almost shot to shot.
By our estimate, a hundred hours of pulling shots this way will make you a pro.
This process also solves the pull time problem for a coffee shop who is swamped with business.
Simply queue up some of these frozen jars a few minutes in advance in hot water and you can just unscrew the cap and combine the espresso elixer with boiling hot water and have an Americano as quick as pouring a cup of coffee.
Our way is likely to produce a better Americanos and better latte than your machine / barista combo will.
Note that the espresso shots are still better done by your staff as the crema is not preserved with this method, although the taste is.