Proper dosing is critical in making a cup of coffee. It can make or break the coffee’s flavor, as too much makes an unnecessarily bitter and robust coffee, and too little and your cup will taste more akin to water than of coffee. There are many things to consider when finding out what dosing is in coffee and the specific numbers behind it.
Dosing in coffee is an action wherein one carefully measures the amount of coffee concerning the overall yield desired. A general rule to follow is 3 tablespoons of ground coffee for every 8 ounces of water for a medium-bodied roast.
Dosing can be pretty tricky, especially if you dislike precise brewing and lean more into an estimating methodology in creating your coffee cups. However, learning how to dose coffee properly is an essential part of being a good barista (it’s also essential for a perfect cup).
What Is “Dosing” In Coffee? It’s A Balancing Act.
There are many things to consider while dosing in coffee. Aside from achieving the flavor you want, you can also consider the quality of the beans used for brewing. This part is crucial as the quality of the beans may require different dosing ratios.
To give a vivid example, dosing in coffee is pretty much like how you take a particular drug (i.e., antibiotics) and take note of the dosage required for the medicine to stay effective while not risking overdose.
And like medical drugs, there is also a sort of “overdose” when it comes to dosing in coffee. It is like a balancing act, and one wrong move can tilt the whole coffee formula in another direction, altering the overall flavor immensely.
How Important Is Dosing In Coffee?
Now, we have stressed that dosing in coffee is essential. However, how vital is it exactly?
Getting the dosing wrong is one of the gravest mistakes a barista can make in ruining a cup of coffee. Moreover, it is pretty easy to make mistakes when dosing coffee, and it is not like you can make one mistake at a time, as one can easily create multiple errors in one go.
The fact is that dosing in coffee is highly essential to make a great cup of joe.
What Makes Dosing In Coffee Essential?
- Appropriate dosing gets the flavor right.
- Proper dosing brings you an incredible degree of caffeine control.
- When observing accurate dosing, you can easily attain consistency within your coffee cups.
Getting The Flavor Right
Whether a professional barista or a regular coffee fanatic, when making coffee, we always have that one goal in mind: getting that tasty flavor.
Dosing in coffee is vital as the dosing process itself is half the battle when making a delicious cup of coffee. There are many consequences when the execution of dosing is not appropriate.
The easiest mistake to make when dosing in coffee is adding too many coffee grinds since you are confident that you can “add water” to the cup if everything is too much. Please don’t be that kind of barista.
Adding too many coffee grinds can be devastating to the flavor of the coffee cup as the drink itself will turn incredibly bitter.
There is always this misconception in Asian cuisine that “concentrated is better,” but that is not the case for coffee. Many coffee drinkers despise extremely bitter coffee as they mask the muted and subtle flavor profiles of nuts, chocolate, and fruits found within coffee.
The worst thing is that your coffee cup will be dubbed as “cheap” since most cheap coffee beans are highly bitter ones.
Tamping And Dosing
When coffee does not go through an appropriate tamping process, there is a chance that the resulting cup of coffee is incredibly diluted, meaning that the ratio of coffee grinds and water is not balanced.
Although tamping is not “dosing” per se, you make sure that your measurements of coffee grinds are accurate. As you can understand, when you forget to tamp, there is a chance that the coffee grinds are not compressed enough and contain less compared to how they look.
Consistency Can Make Your Coffee Sell
Aside from flavor, dosing also helps you attain a better consistency in your coffee cups. Although drink consistency is an excellent addition for those who make coffee at home, it is not an essential trait for a homemade cup of coffee.
However, those who run businesses that offer coffee products need to get that consistency right every time.
Most consumers love the consistency of flavor regarding coffee, as it assures them that every time they buy a cup from your shop, the taste will be the same as the cup they loved last time. Although dosing is not the cure-all formula for this, it can surely help by a ton.
Having consistent ratios with your coffee grind content is essential to ensure that each cup is nearly identical to the previous one.
There is a direct relationship between caffeine levels and the number of coffee grinds used. Now to a barista, caffeine control may not mean a lot, but to those brewing at home, caffeine control can be more meaningful than you think. It is when dosing in coffee comes into play.
In a study conducted by Karacan, each of 18 ordinary young adult men got 1 cup of warm water, 1-, 2-, and 4-cup equivalents of regular coffee, a 4-cup equivalent of decaffeinated coffee, and a 4-cup equivalent of caffeine twice throughout a 13-night sleep laboratory trial. Proponents did this trial to test the effects of caffeine within a person’s body.
The researchers gave all of the drinks 30 minutes before bedtime, and the outcomes were as predicted. Regular coffee and caffeine discouraged rapid eye movement (REM) sleep from occurring earlier in the night, whereas phases 3 and 4 of sleep occurred much later.
Several subjective sleep parameters were also affected by the amount of coffee consumed. These findings show that caffeine and coffee can cause insomnia-like symptoms in healthy people.
Summary And Key Concepts
Dosing is a process done before brewing, wherein a barista determines how much fresh coffee grinds one needs to allot during brewing. This process is crucial in determining the taste of the resulting coffee cup.
Although it is very tempting not to conduct this process meticulously, there are real incentives one can get when there is dosing. Aside from having a better-tasting cup, you will also get more consistent brews and get a better degree of caffeine control.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Should I Optimize My Dosing With Regards To The Roast?
If the roast of your coffee is lighter, I would recommend a smaller dosage. However, I would use a little higher dosage for a darker roast. The explanation for this is that lighter roasts contain far more caffeine than dark roasts, even though heavy roasts taste richer and smokier.
How Should I Tamp?
Tamping doesn’t have to be complicated. First, fill the portafilter accordingly, and with your index finger, brush off any overlapping coffee grinds. Afterward, evenly tamp the coffee grinds with about 10 pounds of pressure, finishing it off by “polishing” the tamp (twisting the tamp).
How Many Grinds Should I Use For My Espresso Machine?
A general rule when it comes to using espresso machines is that most often, the size of the portafilter dictates how many grinds you should use.