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My embarrassing espresso secret

In 2009, I had the opportunity to be coached by a World Barista Judge. I learnt something that day that was so controversial that I kept it secret for years. If I asked you about the technical requirements for an espresso shot, what would you say? We coffee obsessives can talk for hours about dosing, extraction, brew ratios and the list goes on. We'll talk about phases of the shot as it pours. All too often we begin with assumptions, lose sight of the overall goal and go with things that feel right, in the absence of evidence. For example, a Long Black is usually made with two shots of espresso poured into a cup that is three quarters full of hot water. It's done this way because of the beli


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