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How Much Is Too Much?

August 24, 2011

Thanks to ROASTe's facebook page contest I took some time to think about my espresso and coffee consumption.  More to the point, the most I have consumed in one sitting that I can recall.  I did have a day in mind, a day that is easy to recall but for not so positive reasons.  If my story wins me a bag of coffee from Deep Cello Coffee Roasters then all the better - if not, then at least my story can provide a cautionary tale to prevent others from making the same mistake. A quick note though - if you do not drink espresso it might be hard to relate - an espresso double shot is 14 to 16 grams. This is enough coffee to brew a 10 ounce cup of strong coffee but is a little less than 2 fl oz of concentrated liquid in espresso.  This means you get a serious punch from a small package - now on with the story.





My highest volume day happened several months ago - I had an abundance of beans, more cheap thrift store espresso machines than I care to admit, and two new espresso grinders that needed testing/comparing to my older grinders as well. I figured if I ran two double shots worth of beans through each grinder twice for each machine I would have a handle on which machine/grinder combination was the best. I had an idea which ones were the best performers already but I wanted proof that some sleeper combo could be worth recommending should someone ask.  Those results are a topic for another day or likely a future blog on ROASTe, but this bit is all about the coffee.  I thought (before getting started) the test wouldn't take long - maybe a couple hours some lazy morning.  After the first 3 double shots I began to question whether every grinder should be tested. After the fifth double I seriously questioned my decision to test with 14g doubles instead of 7g singles.  After the sixth (and final) double shot I revisited my time table for completing these rounds - sure I had a bit of a caffeine buzz going, but I have a fair tolerance built up to the stuff.  The main problem was my sense of taste - after the third shot everything started to taste the same. I threw out the results from the last series and repeated them the next day.  Spreading out the rounds was the right decision - so six (double) shots, that's the most I have had in one session and it is an accidental record I will not waste the coffee on purposely trying to break.

So there you have it - after a while my sense of taste was overloaded and the nuances that I could easily distinguish early on were gone by the time I pulled the later shots.  I like to think I drink for taste and usually do, but since I am still new to espresso I needed to learn my limit - now I know when to say when. 






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