What Else Tastes Like a Peppina?

Beginner or pro barista, all are invited to share.
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coffee.me
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Postby coffee.me » Sat Dec 19, 2009 9:38 am

My commercial HX, a Rancilio S26, is modified to do adjustable preinfusion (in time and pressure; i.e. none at all, or PI for 5s on 4bar, or 8s on 2bar, etc). It's also modified with a thermocouple under the showerscreen so I can read the water temp as it hits the coffee. But, I can never make it produce shots as good as my Peppina, actually, not even close. Same goes for my stock Caravel, can't touch my Peppina.

My Peppina is modified with a TC and a pressure gauge in the brew path. So, basically, I can do full, true, measurable, but manual, pressure profiling on her. I also have her on a dimmer so, with help from my TC, I can make her do declining, inclining or stable temps during a shot. That said, no matter what I do with her, she produces the best shots I've had at home or elsewhere; mind you, I've had the least experience with her compared to my other machines.

I prefer using my commercial HX, but I don't know how to make it produce shots as good as the Peppina's; no matter what I try, it just doesn't work. Oh, neither can I ever make my Peppina produce shots similar to the HX's; even with no preinfusion and full 9bar pressure on the lever during the whole shot.

How would I describe her shots? In general, thick, flavorful, balanced, sweet, crema laden, out of this world. The caravel's are usual much more mellower and lighter, just worst. The HX's(even on 8bar) are usually pushier, less flavorful, just worst.

I want "it" to be my technique, so I thought of asking here if someone knows how I could make the HX produce as the Peppina does(hence posting in the Tips and Techniques forum), but I have a feeling this isn't a question we know the answer of. Instead, I have another question: if you have/had a Peppina, were you ever able to make another machine of yours make shots like hers?

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coffee.me
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Postby coffee.me » Sat Dec 19, 2009 10:22 am

Wait, forgot something important: those amazing Peppina shots happen at high doses (think 20g+/-), using it's double basket, and producing a 1.5oz+ ristretto. Same combo with the HX too, but different result as mentioned above.

Comfort food blends, SO, all the same conclusion.

hperry
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Postby hperry » Sat Dec 19, 2009 10:35 am

My experience does not parallel yours - but you have quite a few tools that I am not using with mine (only an Auber PID in my case). I get by far the best shots with the Caravel of anything I am using here. The Peppina actually comes in third behind the Dalla Corte. I'm interested in how you do "pressure profiling" with a spring lever (changing out the springs, perhaps?). Also can't quite figure the 20 gram loads, although I have managed 17 or 18 successfully. In our environment the Peppina produces acceptable to good shots. I fully grant that the problem may be with the barista rather than the machine. :D
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Postby coffee.me » Sat Dec 19, 2009 10:57 am

Hal, I hope nobody confuses the Peppina shot quality with the mods on her. We (the Peppina & I) produce the best shots of all my machines even without using the mods with no profiling, just a little increase in lever pressure...

Now to your questions:

hperry wrote:I'm interested in how you do "pressure profiling" with a spring lever (changing out the springs, perhaps?).
Holding/pushing the lever increases/decreases brew pressure. For that to be meaningful, I needed a pressure gauge to do exact assisting/resisting. So, basically, I don't depend on the lever to deliver pressure, I use my arm with my eyes on the pressure gauge & naked PF. With this, I can do any pressure profile imaginable, but manually.

hperry wrote:Also can't quite figure the 20 gram loads, although I have managed 17 or 18 successfully.
Here you go: Loading a 45mm basket

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Postby coffee.me » Sat Dec 19, 2009 11:01 am

hperry wrote:My experience does not parallel yours - but you have quite a few tools that I am not using with mine (only an Auber PID in my case). I get by far the best shots with the Caravel of anything I am using here. The Peppina actually comes in third behind the Dalla Corte.


That's the kind of stuff I'm after on this thread; although I can't relate! How would you compare the three results?

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Postby hperry » Sat Dec 19, 2009 11:25 am

coffee.me wrote:Hal, I hope nobody confuses the Peppina shot quality with the mods on her. We (the Peppina & I) produce the best shots of all my machines even without using the mods with no profiling, just a little increase in lever pressure...


So effectively you are using it more like a Caravel than a Peppina. In essence you are not talking about the Peppina shot quality as it is designed to be used. I'm not sure about rejecting the mods and the technique as a source of your good shots with the Peppina. It seems to me that you are describing kind of transforming the Peppina into "sort of" a Caravel (manual pressure) when you are using it. What would happen if you applied the same technology to the Caravel? For example, if you take the Peppina instructions seriously they anticipate 6 seconds to complete a shot. I'm betting that is lots less than what your shots take to develop.
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Postby Bluecold » Sat Dec 19, 2009 11:26 am

Conti Comocafe would be a good contender I guess.
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hperry
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Postby hperry » Sat Dec 19, 2009 11:30 am

coffee.me wrote:That's the kind of stuff I'm after on this thread; although I can't relate! How would you compare the three results?


I'm really poor at the coffee language game. However your description of the Peppina shot would apply to my Caravel shot. The Dalla Corte (on its best days) would be second in reflecting your description of the Peppina. My Peppina shots are more like you describe the Caravel. But, I'll have to admit that early on I liked the Caravel better and sort of gave up on the Peppina.
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Postby hperry » Sat Dec 19, 2009 11:32 am

Bluecold wrote:Conti Comocafe would be a good contender I guess.


I also own a Bruni Brunella that I think I prefer, although to this point I have spent less time with it.
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hperry
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Postby hperry » Sat Dec 19, 2009 11:36 am

coffee.me wrote:That's the kind of stuff I'm after on this thread; although I can't relate! How would you compare the three results?


Also the machine is not the only variable (as is the case in so many of these discussions). The grinder, coffee and barista are also parts of the equation that we are not considering.
Hal Perry