The TTD was received with a chopped portafilter (happily) but not the one shown on the Espressoparts.com website. There, one sees a rubber-handled, original La Marzocco portafilter, but the one shipped with the TTD is an after-market portafilter with a plastic handle. The shipped pf is a very tight fit on an Andreja Premium due to the 8mm group head gasket that comes standard with the machine. This pf would be a better fit on a machine with a 6 or 7mm head gasket. While these are minor points and have nothing to do with bench testing the TTD, I feel they are appropriate in a review of a complete product, as received.
Also, there was no documentation of any kind with the TTD. I would recommend that an information sheet with some basics specs and a guide for less experienced users, be included.
The Espressoparts.com web page (http://www.espressoparts.com/product/EPTF
) has an adequate description of the device so there's no need to dwell on that here, other than to mention that the TTD (sans pf) consists of a standard 58mm basket containing three major components, as seen in the photos: 1) a thermocouple probe placed across the outlet: 2) a grey, epoxy-like insert or cake: 3) a 1/4" pipe and an end cap with a tiny orifice and brass-colored metal "filter material" inserted in the pipe, all of which acts as a flow restrictor/controller. These components are designed to simulate the temperature and pressure found in actual brewing conditions. All this was based on observation. If I've misspoken about any of this, I would hope that Greg will jump in and correct me.
The TTD gives the impression of a very solid, well-designed device utilizing high-quality components, including a Teflon-jacketed, strain relieved, type T thermocouple cable connected to a standard mini-plug. All that's needed in addition to the supplied device, is a digital thermometer that can handle type T thermocouples (and an espresso machine, of course!).
In the next installment I will describe how I measured temperatures and used the measurements to set up my espresso machine to produce a consistent temperature profile shot after shot. I will include charts.