The standard is usually to serve regular coffees with a single espresso and large coffees with a double shot. Single espressos, double espressos and all your cappuccinos and lattes have either a single or a double espresso as standard.
What is an espresso? That is really a great question. Traditionally of course an espresso is a shot of about 25 to 30ml brewed in about 25 seconds with around 7-8 grams of coffee. But who decides? Is there a secret coffee government that decides to jail baristas who serve espresso with a different brewing recipe?
You are free to do whatever you like. After all, it is your coffee and your coffee shop so serve what you think is best! Just be aware that deviating from the norm will give you some more criticism although you will also likely find many like minded people who enjoy what you are doing.
Now, a very different approach to serving your coffees is to use a double ristretto as a base instead of a single espresso. There are many artisan coffee shops who do this already and we think it is a very interesting concept. By doing this you can increase the flavour of your coffee and serve drinks that are extremely delicious. It does however give a lot of food for thought.
A ristretto is a shorter shot, slowly extracted and is usually made with a higher dose of coffee or a finer grind. The method depends on what you prefer. Because the ristretto is so short, often only 15ml, you will need to use doubles all the time in order to cope with the size of the cup. If you decide not to do this then you might end up with mild drinks and that defeats the purpose.
By serving all your drinks with double ristrettos you ignore the single shots and the single group handle. All your shots will come from the double handle. This means you can no longer split shots in order to brew two cups at once. And of course this will have a significant effect on your speed of service.
Also, you will be using a much larger quantity of coffee. If you normally serve a cappuccino with 7-8 grams of coffee then you are now moving to a cappuccino with 16-18 grams of coffee.
Also, by doing this you will probably only stick with one size. The reason is that if your customer is asking for a large drink, lets say 12oz, then you would have to brew two double handles into one cup which can take a long time. This also gives you a lot to think about when serving take out coffees as the most popular drink size is 12oz.
Give it a try among yourself and your staff, see what tastes best and see what you think is most practical.
We hope this helps.
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