Jump to content



Sign up for a free account to remove the pop-up ads

Signing up for an account is fast and free. As a member you can join in the conversation, enter contests and remove the pop-up ads that guests get. Click here to create your free account.

Photo
- - - - -

Coffee: Intermediate to Advanced


  • You cannot start a new topic
  • Please log in to reply
195 replies to this topic

#101 of 196 OFFLINE   Sam Posten

Sam Posten

    Moderator



  • 17,383 posts
  • Join Date: Oct 30 1997
  • Real Name:Sam Posten
  • LocationAberdeen, MD & Navesink, NJ

Posted February 07 2013 - 02:10 AM

I've got the Breville. http://www.amazon.co...60249809&sr=1-8 Love it.

I lost my signature and all I got was this Nutter t-shirt


#102 of 196 OFFLINE   Carlo Medina

Carlo Medina

    Lead Actor



  • 9,803 posts
  • Join Date: Oct 31 1997

Posted February 07 2013 - 03:42 AM

Brian: I believe you have a thousand dollar grinder with 64mm burrs, the same size as the ones on my incoming Mazzer Mini E. The only "step ups" you have left are the professional Mazzer type models (like the Robur) which will give you larger burrs and lower RPMs, giving you an ultra consistent grind with no added heat to the bean. But that's only by a matter of minute degrees. From what I'm reading of your MDX, your grind quality should be pretty darned good and you and your customers may not even notice any increase to a Robur or other more expensive grinder. Reading into your post, your main problem seems to be getting "exactly the right amount" of grind into your portafilter. I hate to say it, but pretty much every "high end espresso" shop I've been to in LA (Intelligentsia, Caffe Luxx, Espresso Profeta, Single Origin, Coffee Tomo, etc.) and even the chains who still dose their own portafilters rather than use all-in-one grind/brew machines (The Coffee Bean, Peet's) all "waste" espresso by overdosing into the portafilter and using their fingers to level it off. Just the cost of doing business. For those into the "sweet science of coffee" (read: the lunatic fringe), there's something about making sure you properly fill in all the nooks and crannies in the portafilter, leaving no air pockets, before you even tamp. It reduces channeling. So you overdose so that you have a mini-mountain peak above the level of your portafilter, then you level off with your finger and dump the excess. There are even debates about leveling off procedures (some do simple swipe off with finger, some do concentric circles to get as much of the portafilter covered with grind before dumping the excess, etc.). Only then do you apply the even 30lbs pressure tamp. Dosers are inherently inaccurate. The only way to minimize your waste is to go doserless, like my Mazzer Mini Electronic Type A above. You program a single and double dose on the time (adjustable in 0.05 second increments) and then once it's dialed in it doses that exact same amount each time you press the button. Now that I think about it though it does take about 18 seconds to do a double shot (it's a prosumer machine, can be used in not-super-busy coffeeshops). The best professional grinders do a double shot in about 10 seconds. So you may want to look at the higher end models like the Mazzer Major Electronic, which essentially has the same touchpad/programmable dose as my model, but moves you up to the 83mm burrs (even larger than the one you currently have) but still rotates at 1600rpm. That model is $1900. The Mazzer Robur Electronic has 71mm conical burrs (as opposed to flat burrs) and a super low RPM motor (500 rpm) but that will set you back $2500. Both the Robur E and Major E (E for electronic) are doserless and will provide you greater dosing control once you dial it in. That said, if you're trying to pull "ideal shots" you'll still create a little mound of coffee above the level of the portafilter and level off some of it with your finger. Oh and not sure if you have a dealer yet or not, but I've had nothing but great experiences with Chris Coffee!

XBox Live: TheL1brarian (let's play Destiny on XB1)


#103 of 196 OFFLINE   BrianW

BrianW

    Screenwriter



  • 2,554 posts
  • Join Date: Jan 30 1999

Posted February 08 2013 - 12:09 AM

Thanks, Sam and Carlo. I hadn't heard of the technique of leveling off the portafilter, like measuring flour for a cake. I've always used the pre-tamp (attached to the grinder) to determine dosage amount. But by the time the pre-tamp indicates I've gotten too much in my portafilter, the grounds are already below the edge of the portafilter, and I have to dump it out and start all over. Or, if I'm feeling particularly stupid, I'll decide that it's not too too much, and try to pull a shot with it anyway, which sets me back another minute or so. I'll try the loose-grounds/finger-leveling technique you describe and see where that gets me. It can't be more wasteful than getting only 60% of my shots right on a bad day. In any case, at this point, I'm more worried about time than waste. And, yeah, the MDX is an awesome grinder in every other respect. I know dosing is part of the art of being a barista, but I also have orders to fill, and dosing is the one bottleneck in my "production" line. I'll welcome any extent to which I can minimize the impact dosing has on my production time. I'll check out the grinders you both have mentioned and see if they might speed up my production. I'm so bad at dosing that a machine that takes 18 seconds to dispense a single dose for a double shot would actually speed up my production. :P Of course, I'm new at this. In thirty years, I'll be an expert doser and be able to do it with my eyes closed, with no waste, and with less than a half-second variance between double shots. Yeah, that'll be the day...
-Brian
Come, Rubidia. Let's blow this epoch.

#104 of 196 OFFLINE   Sam Posten

Sam Posten

    Moderator



  • 17,383 posts
  • Join Date: Oct 30 1997
  • Real Name:Sam Posten
  • LocationAberdeen, MD & Navesink, NJ

Posted February 08 2013 - 01:08 AM

The Breville is great for a home but I'm not sure it's up to commercial volume use. Sorry, it didn't occur to me that you were asking about those for your shop Brian.

I lost my signature and all I got was this Nutter t-shirt


#105 of 196 OFFLINE   Carlo Medina

Carlo Medina

    Lead Actor



  • 9,803 posts
  • Join Date: Oct 31 1997

Posted February 08 2013 - 02:53 AM

Yeah Brian there's gotta be a million different ways people advocate for dosing and tamping, so there's no absolute rule. Check out some videos and tutorials online. Home-Barista.com and Coffeegeek.com are filled with people who are passionate about espresso and willing to share the love and knowledge. Here's a video I found on and about the 2 1/2 minute mark is the dosing section. She presents a couple of options, and there are many more (my technique is slightly different from hers). I've also seen videos where people take the top of the doser off and level the excess grind back into the top of the doser so as to not waste any grind. I would *not* recommend doing this unless you are in a real busy time where you're sure that excess grind will be used within seconds in another shot. The one thing most baristas agree on is that coffee once ground ages quickly and loses flavor. If you put back excess grind in the doser and let it sit for more than five or ten minutes, some other customer down the line may end up being unhappy. That's why I went doserless. I keep my coffee in whole bean form right up until I brew.

XBox Live: TheL1brarian (let's play Destiny on XB1)


#106 of 196 OFFLINE   Carlo Medina

Carlo Medina

    Lead Actor



  • 9,803 posts
  • Join Date: Oct 31 1997

Posted February 11 2013 - 01:10 PM

Wow, bad boy is in the house. Guess which one is the "real deal" and which one is the pretender? Love the warning label that comes with it. Makes me feel like I've got my Big Boy Pants on! :D Posted Image Initial thoughts: Already justified the money. First of all the build quality is impeccable. Tips the scales at over 20 lbs, fit and finish are first-rate, no plastic other than the hopper. Here's the amazing thing: I think either Chris Coffee or Mazzer dialed it in (there's a label on it with an arrow where the manufacturer recommends you begin at before fine adjustment) and with that at the six o'clock position, my first shot was a perfect shot! 24 seconds to 2 ounces, and super smooth to boot. Already my Rancilio Silvia is performing heads and shoulders above where it was with the previous grinder. With the old grinder, no matter how well I ground the bean, the espresso came out bitter and I had to add sugar to my lattes. I longed for the day where, just like my local awesome espresso shop (Espresso Profeta), I would pull an espresso shot that was so smooth, I could just add milk and not feel the need to add sugar. With my first pulled shot I was able to achieve just that. The flow pattern was completely different, slower, smoother, richer than I could ever coax out of the Baratza grinder. Channeling was reduced greatly (and I'll likely be able to eliminate it completely with practice). I didn't even have to tamp as hard. I steamed the milk and poured it over the espresso and took my first sip. No bitterness. No need to add sugar. Just like Profeta's (different flavor due to different beans, they use Vivace and I use Intelligentsia). This grinder may have saved me $2K. I was thinking of buying one of those high end machines I had linked to above, thinking that would solve my smoothness of espresso issue. What I didn't realize was the difference a grinder makes. I figured buying a $300 grinder was enough, but I was wrong. Now I think I'm getting everything I can out of the Rancilio. It was like having a 1080p HDTV but hooking up a DVD player with no upscaling to it. Now I have a Blu ray player of a grinder. :D Check this out: Posted Image Can you guess which is which? Same bean, same roast date, ground at the same time. Mazzer to the left, Baratza to the right. Look how much finer the grind is for the Mazzer, how much more uniform each grain is. There's a lot more light colored specks in the Baratza, which I can't explain since it's the exact same bean from the exact same package. Espresso, just like home theater, is a weakest link scenario. A breakdown somewhere along the way (grinder, espresso machine, tamp evenness and pressure, water temperature, skill of the barista) and it's the difference between bad, decent, and great espresso. I'm not at the "god shot" just yet, but I'm a heck of a lot closer than I was before the Mazzer entered the house.

XBox Live: TheL1brarian (let's play Destiny on XB1)


#107 of 196 OFFLINE   BrianW

BrianW

    Screenwriter



  • 2,554 posts
  • Join Date: Jan 30 1999

Posted February 12 2013 - 12:26 AM

Thanks for the informative rundown, Carlo! You've convinced me that doserless is the way to go. I'm actually getting better, but I have my own MDX grinder that I don't allow anyone to touch :) . It's the only way I can maintain consistency. When my shop earns enough money to allow me to expand my capabilities, I'm definitely going to check out the Mazzer grinder. Thanks for taking the time to review it and let us know how it works.
-Brian
Come, Rubidia. Let's blow this epoch.

#108 of 196 OFFLINE   Carlo Medina

Carlo Medina

    Lead Actor



  • 9,803 posts
  • Join Date: Oct 31 1997

Posted February 12 2013 - 03:59 AM

My pleasure Brian, glad to be of any help. Just a quick "morning after" update. My espresso this morning was still awesome, but wanted to let you all know that a doserless grinder can be prone to static clumping of grinds if the beans and/or weather is dry. You don't get this on a doser because the act of dosing (flicking the lever) actually agitates the grinds in the container and breaks up the clumps before dosing it into the portafilter. Today the humidity in my area was 20% overnight, and I ran the heater because it was so cold, so my internal house humidity was probably in the teens or 10%. Not an issue, I just put the grinds in a separate container, agitated it with the tip of an unfolded paperclip, then poured it back into the portafilter and all was well! Also, this is my last of a pound of beans roasted 2 1/2 weeks ago, still should be fine but definitely on the drier side, so I think that coupled with the super dry air really made it clump. Don't get me wrong, the Mazzer has antistatic measures in it (tiny screen the grinds pass through) and the person from whom I bought it had one and his didn't clump at all as it came out, but we ran his grinder in the afternoon when humidity was higher and he roasts his own beans so they were not more than 3 days old. And last night's had hardly any clumping when I first did it. I think the main culprit was the overnight low humidity with a bit of blame for slightly old beans. I have a new Intelligentsia bag that was roasted on the 9th ready to go though! Can't wait til my afternoon post-work latte! :D Seriously though, bitterness is gone, I can't remember the last time I drank two lattes without adding sugar. I do miss my mocha though, so I'm going to order the drinking chocolate from TCHO so I can make some hopefully by this weekend! :tu: :tu:

XBox Live: TheL1brarian (let's play Destiny on XB1)


#109 of 196 OFFLINE   Sam Posten

Sam Posten

    Moderator



  • 17,383 posts
  • Join Date: Oct 30 1997
  • Real Name:Sam Posten
  • LocationAberdeen, MD & Navesink, NJ

Posted February 12 2013 - 08:24 AM

In case you have the need: http://imgur.com/Vek6VVd :eek:

I lost my signature and all I got was this Nutter t-shirt


#110 of 196 OFFLINE   Carlo Medina

Carlo Medina

    Lead Actor



  • 9,803 posts
  • Join Date: Oct 31 1997

Posted February 24 2013 - 04:55 AM

Thought I'd jump in with a bit of a 2 week update. The honeymoon period with the Mazzer Mini E continues! I'm super impressed with the grinder, and if anything, I think there is such a thing as "burn-in" for the burrs! (and no I wasn't one of those who swore that all speakers needed burn-in) :P It's performing better today than it was when I unboxed it, less prone to static clumping (though there's still a little, especially when in SoCal humidity drops to ~20% which has recently been often unfortunately) and seemingly even more consistent grind quality, admittedly I'm just eyeballing the look and feel of the grind. This whole learning process continues for me, though, with the recent realization of how much of a difference grind fineness and brew temperature make for espresso. My local shop uses Vivace espresso beans, which are very loved and well-respected in the industry. Since I'm on good terms with the owner of the shop, he gives me a good deal on beans (well he doesn't quite give me a discount, lets just say my pound bag feels significantly heavier than a pound). So I decided to try it because I'm tired of driving over ten miles to get my Intelligentsia beans from Venice Beach (parking is nearly impossible on the weekend). Upon initially dialing in the grind over the course of wasting 4-5 double shots (22 seconds for a 2 ounce shot) I found the Vivace beans to be way stronger, more bitter and acidic, and generally a bit burnt tasting. I thought I'd made a mistake in switching. But then I thought about it and said to myself, Profeta (the local shop) gets quite a sweet taste out of their espresso drinks so I must be doing something wrong. So I wrote in to Vivace asking for advice. Tara was super-helpful and pointed me to a page where it was recommended that brew temp should be about 203F at the brew group. My PID was set to 220F at the boiler, which was resulting in about 210F at the brew group. So I bought an instant read thermometer to confirm brewhead temp and now my PID is set at 214F resulting in about 202F at the brew group. I also upped the fineness a little bit so that it took about 27 seconds to get 2 ounces, because a longer extraction in general yields a slightly sweeter taste. This morning I yielded my best shot yet. Vivace's bean tasted very close to what I get in Profeta. Their $15K Synesso machine has a much more stable temp in their boiler/brew group compared to my $700 Rancilio, which I'm sure accounts for the last bit of sweetness and smoothness that I haven't been to match. But I can say I'm about 85% there for 5% of the equipment cost...not a bad ROI! One thing I've done to virtually eliminate channeling is employ the WDT (Weiss Distribution Technique - Google it). Even though I was dosing and leveling off to the best of my ability there was still channeling. Channeling where you get tiny microjets of espresso shooting sideways instead of a completely smooth pour. If you're using a bottomless portafilter you'll note that you will see tiny dots of coffee on the side walls of your cup. Ideally you'd like to see none and all of your espresso should be in a pool at the bottom of the cup and the interior sides of the cup should be clear. Channeling occurs when water finds tiny tunnels in the espresso and shoot out through those, which yields uneven extraction. I bought a tiny bamboo skewer stick (just thicker than a toothpick) and employ WDT before tamping. I've done this for the last few days (5-6 drinks) and channeling is now eliminated and the flow and crema look awesome. Most importantly, coupled with the dialing in of the grind and reduction of brew temp, my espresso tastes near professional now. I'm starting to get to the point where the equipment will be the limiting factor, and that's always been my goal: to maximize the quality I can get out of my limited espresso machine budget. Maybe some day I'll be able to spring for the La Spaziale Dream T or the Alex Duetto III (probably will be a IV by the time I can buy one) but for now, I've definitely reached a level of espresso quality with my Rancilio where I feel like I'm able to squeeze every last bit of performance out of it! At some point in the future I'll set up the tripod and camera and make a video of my setup and procedure if anyone's interested in seeing it.

XBox Live: TheL1brarian (let's play Destiny on XB1)


#111 of 196 OFFLINE   Sam Posten

Sam Posten

    Moderator



  • 17,383 posts
  • Join Date: Oct 30 1997
  • Real Name:Sam Posten
  • LocationAberdeen, MD & Navesink, NJ

Posted February 24 2013 - 07:55 AM

I know I am!

I lost my signature and all I got was this Nutter t-shirt


#112 of 196 OFFLINE   BrianW

BrianW

    Screenwriter



  • 2,554 posts
  • Join Date: Jan 30 1999

Posted February 24 2013 - 11:58 PM

I'm interested, too, Carlo. Also, I'm interested to know if changing humidity affects your shot times. Do you have to make adjustments (I'm asking about grind setting, mostly) when the humidity changes to get consistent results?
-Brian
Come, Rubidia. Let's blow this epoch.

#113 of 196 OFFLINE   Carlo Medina

Carlo Medina

    Lead Actor



  • 9,803 posts
  • Join Date: Oct 31 1997

Posted February 25 2013 - 03:36 AM

Hi Sam and Brian. I'll work on taking a video in the next week or two. Good reason to learn Adobe Premiere! Brian - regarding humidity and shot times, I haven't seen a need to change either the grind setting or the shot time, but I admit that I've only recently "dialed in" the Vivace bean and the weather's been relatively similar over the last few days, highs in the low 60sF and humidity in the 30%. It's looking to get warmer in the next few days (high of 81 on Friday) and then back down to 68 early next week, but no real chance of precipitation during that time so I'm going to guess it's going to go from dry to drier and then back. I'll try and pay close attention to any need to change things. though. On a side note I'm really bummed I didn't have my video set up to capture this morning's extraction. Absolutely zero channeling (sides of the cup were porcelain white, with a beautiful pool of crema topped espresso on the bottom) with some great tiger-striping on a very even extraction (did a great job on the tamp, usually I'm uneven and pushing on one side or the other too hard). We'll see if I can pull it off when I do record a session!

XBox Live: TheL1brarian (let's play Destiny on XB1)


#114 of 196 OFFLINE   Sam Posten

Sam Posten

    Moderator



  • 17,383 posts
  • Join Date: Oct 30 1997
  • Real Name:Sam Posten
  • LocationAberdeen, MD & Navesink, NJ

Posted March 22 2013 - 09:44 AM

Probably too far below Carlo's tastes, but of possible interest to those of you considering getting started:

http://www.kickstart...resso-machinetm

 

I'm in for one of the Limited Edition black ones to brew at work....


I lost my signature and all I got was this Nutter t-shirt


#115 of 196 OFFLINE   Carlo Medina

Carlo Medina

    Lead Actor



  • 9,803 posts
  • Join Date: Oct 31 1997

Posted March 22 2013 - 10:44 AM

Ugh I was hoping to have a video done but last week was working the graveyard shift, so didn't get a chance. Also I changed from the Vivace espresso bean back to Intelligentsia because Vivace proved to be a little too strong/dark for me, and I wanted to go back to the milder Black Cat espresso. What happened when I switched back though was crazy channeling all over the place on my original filter basket. I actually went and ordered a VST filter basket from Chris Coffee. Yes I spent $29 on a filter basket: 18gram ridgeless. And while I'm still getting more channeling than I'd like, I love the more intense flavor I'm getting, while still not necessarily getting into the strong/dark territory of Vivace. I don't know if that description makes sense, it's still not as strong/dark in flavor as the Vivace, it's still the same milder overall flavor of Black Cat, but just more intensity in the flavor.

https://www.chriscof.../vstbasketg.htm


XBox Live: TheL1brarian (let's play Destiny on XB1)


#116 of 196 OFFLINE   Johnny Angell

Johnny Angell

    Played With Dinosaurs Member



  • 5,460 posts
  • Join Date: Dec 13 1998
  • Real Name:Johnny Angell
  • LocationCentral Arkansas

Posted April 02 2013 - 07:13 AM

I make espresso 10x more than I make drip but no complaints on the Technivorm. It is beautiful, fast, and most importantly tasty. I wish the pots were a little bit bigger, so I'd definitely go with the bigger version if you can! That wasn't an option when I bought mine I don't think.

 

One thing (ok two things, the first being the price)that I don't like about the Technivorm is apparently there is no metal filter for it.  I looked at it in a Williams Sonoma store and the filter basket looks huge and doesn't look like a standard size for which a metal filter would be available.  I still remember when we switched from paper to metal and the significant improvement in the quality of the coffee.

 

If we were to go with the Technivorm, I'd feel like I was taking one step forward and one back.  Sam, I presume you are using paper filters and still feel the Technivorm is an improvement over other drip brewers with metal filters?


Edited by Johnny Angell, April 02 2013 - 07:22 PM.

Johnny
www.teamfurr.org
But a family cat is not replaceable like a wornout coat or a set of tires. Each new kitten becomes its own cat, and none is repeated. I am four cats old, measuring out my life in friends that have succeeded but not replaced one another.--Irving Townsend


#117 of 196 OFFLINE   Sam Posten

Sam Posten

    Moderator



  • 17,383 posts
  • Join Date: Oct 30 1997
  • Real Name:Sam Posten
  • LocationAberdeen, MD & Navesink, NJ

Posted April 02 2013 - 07:13 PM

I use a metal filter from Amazon:

http://www.amazon.co...t?ie=UTF8&psc=1


I lost my signature and all I got was this Nutter t-shirt


#118 of 196 OFFLINE   Johnny Angell

Johnny Angell

    Played With Dinosaurs Member



  • 5,460 posts
  • Join Date: Dec 13 1998
  • Real Name:Johnny Angell
  • LocationCentral Arkansas

Posted April 02 2013 - 07:24 PM

You have the smaller Technivorm don't you?  The big one requires a flat-bottomed filter.


Johnny
www.teamfurr.org
But a family cat is not replaceable like a wornout coat or a set of tires. Each new kitten becomes its own cat, and none is repeated. I am four cats old, measuring out my life in friends that have succeeded but not replaced one another.--Irving Townsend


#119 of 196 OFFLINE   Sam Posten

Sam Posten

    Moderator



  • 17,383 posts
  • Join Date: Oct 30 1997
  • Real Name:Sam Posten
  • LocationAberdeen, MD & Navesink, NJ

Posted April 03 2013 - 01:54 PM

I forget the model number but this metal filter works perfectly for it, it is wedge shaped like the Technivorm's brew compartment.

I lost my signature and all I got was this Nutter t-shirt


#120 of 196 OFFLINE   schan1269

schan1269

    HTF Expert



  • 14,894 posts
  • Join Date: Jul 04 2012
  • Real Name:Sam
  • LocationChicago-ish/NW Indiana

Posted April 03 2013 - 06:29 PM

There is a coffee shop by me that sells a round -a-bout selection of coffees. They put it in their own bags(labeled so you know what it really is). I use a cheap Mr. Coffee for drip. I have 3 different presses. The cool pieces are a Zojirushi CWB40(I think that is the correct number) for correct water temp for the various press's and blends, or for tea. The 2nd is an old table grinder where the grounds end up in a drawer. When I don't have time for that, I have an 8 cup Melitta grinder and a 2 cup Krups(the Krups has a much wider grinding setting)

Edited by schan1269, April 03 2013 - 06:30 PM.





0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users