ACM 3.05 – Down-Dosing & Up-Yielding and the TDS Tasting Protocol

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Down-Dosing & Up-Yielding

There has been a growing tendency in specialty espresso making over the last ten years to brew with less coffee (down-dosing) and more water (up-yielding) — though the beginnings of specialty coffee certainly saw a decidedly opposite trend. This move is likely due to increased roasting skill and green bean quality.

As farmers improve coffee harvests, the desirable soluble content of each bean has increased. In a similar way, coffee roasters have improved in developing their coffee roasts, due to the widespread use of data logging software, more cupping, and shared roasting knowledge. As coffee accessories have been modified and improved, so too has the barista’s ability to reach higher extractions. Higher extractions suit better, well-roasted coffee, leading to less use of coffee to achieve a target TDS.

Establishing Strength Targets Through Sensory Testing

In this Video, Matt walks you through a new BH protocol for objectively establishing strength targets and shows you a calculator we have developed to help make this easier

Ten years ago it was normal for a company to have a standard brew ratio for all their coffees and consider it a part of the company identity. This is no longer adequate. Instead, sensory testing is needed to establish TDS targets. We have designed a protocol and a spreadsheet to help you operate with a strong awareness of both perceived and actual strength of each coffee you serve.

Establishing strength targets through sensory testing can be done through a simple cupping protocol — i.e., splitting strong espressos and brews into several cups and diluting each cup with increasing amounts of bypass water. To make this process a precise protocol that you can quickly apply on a bar we have made a calculator called the TDS Tasting Experiment. It is the 4th sheet in our BH Toolkit. You can navigate the sheets via the tabs at the bottom of the screen. By now we hope you would have downloaded your own copy for personal use!

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