When it comes to espresso, or indeed any coffee brew, precision is paramount. Every single element that goes into the brewing process matters – from the quality and roast of the beans, to the water temperature, the pressure during extraction, and, importantly, the amount of coffee used.
In Australia, as in many parts of the world, baristas adhere to specific measurements when pulling a shot of espresso to ensure a consistent and quality brew.
The Golden Rule: The 1:2 Ratio
In Australian coffee culture, as well as in many professional coffee circles worldwide, the “Golden Rule” of espresso is often quoted. This rule refers to the ideal ratio of coffee to water, which is typically a 1:2 ratio. This means that for every gram of coffee, there are two grams of water.
The amount of coffee used in a single shot of espresso in Australia typically ranges between 7 and 9 grams, but it can go as high as 20 grams in some cafes that prefer a stronger, bolder flavour. This, coupled with the 1:2 ratio, results in an espresso shot of approximately 14-18 grams (for the 7-9 gram input) and up to 40 grams (for the 20 gram input).
Double Shots: The Aussie Standard
In Australia, however, most cafes and coffee houses tend to serve a double shot as standard. This practice stems from a preference for the enhanced flavour profile and body that a double shot provides, which forms the base of most popular coffee beverages like the flat white, latte, and cappuccino.
For a double shot, baristas use between 18 to 20 grams of coffee. Following the golden ratio, this yields approximately 36-40 grams of espresso. This might vary slightly depending on the specific beans used, the grind size, and the espresso machine, but this range is generally a good rule of thumb.
Factors Affecting the Amount of Coffee in a Shot
The amount of coffee used in a shot can also vary based on the type of coffee and the desired strength of the espresso. Lighter roasts may require more coffee as they have less mass, while darker roasts, being denser, may require less.
The grind size of the coffee can impact the amount needed. Finely ground coffee packs more tightly into the portafilter, which could result in using less by volume than a coarser grind.
The Importance of Consistency
The key to a perfect shot of espresso lies in consistency. Baristas are trained to weigh the coffee before and after extraction to ensure a precise brew.
This consistency allows for a quality coffee experience every time, creating a balanced and delicious shot of espresso.
In Australia’s vibrant coffee culture, precision is appreciated and pursued, and this extends to the amount of coffee used in each espresso shot.
The exact measurement can vary based on the coffee house’s preferences, the type of coffee, and other brewing variables, but the 1:2 golden ratio is widely recognised as the standard.
The attention to detail ensures that every cup served upholds the high standards that Australian coffee lovers have come to know and expect.