Espro Pourover (Kickstarter) - Page 3

Coffee preparation techniques besides espresso like pourover.
culturesub

#21: Post by culturesub »

DamianWarS wrote:yes I agree but this would slow the flow down again wouldn't it? fast flow seems to be this unit's thing

image

I wasn't aware the problem of pourovers was they were too slow.
I think you're looking at this the wrong way. There isn't a problem with pourovers being too "slow", the problem is at what point are the filters/brewers slowing the flow/choking the brew. Think about it in terms like this:

Water is flowing through coffee. The coarser the grind, the faster the water will naturally flow, but the less the water will reach the inside of the ground coffee and the less that will be extracted. The finer the ground, the slower the water will flow and the more that can be extracted, but the more opportunities you have for over extracting of particular particles and channeling due to clumping.

First thing you need to help this is a good grinder that is unimodal, because fines play no role in the brewing of coffee, unlike the role they may play in Espresso(not saying they do or don't). You want water to be flowing through particles that are the same size as much as possible so that the water is extracting the same amount of coffee per particle for the most evenness of extraction.

Now lets say you have an even coffee bed. You are now fighting against channeling. Finer coffee grounds create more channels. Your goal is to reduce channeling in whatever ways you can. However- the slower that water flows, the more opportunity the more channeling that can be created.

So now you have the stationary items in your brew- your paper and your brewer. Micro fines stick to your paper, slowing your flow, creating more channeling. So you generally are looking for the FASTER papers, because it implies a) the pores are smaller, so the particles are that much smaller that will choke your brew and b) the paper itself isn't too causing any slowing down of the water.

Now you have your brewer- you basically have the same issue as the water, which is that if the water is slowing down because of the exit paths it has on the brewer, it will channel. The faster the brewer allows the water to escape, the more even the extraction and the less channeling you will see. So with a brewer like the ESPRO, the water has more paths of exit, will flow out faster and gravity will win out. This will create less channels(THEORETICALLY) and you can grind finer, extracting more coffee from each article and hopefully creating tastier coffee.

Gravity is a better invention then paper filters- if you let gravity be the dominant factor in the speed of your coffee brew, and simply using particle size as the thing that is controlling that, you will make better coffee. There really is no such thing as over extracted coffee in a scenario where truly unimodal coffee grinds exist in a world without channeling. We aren't close to the upper limits of how much coffee we can extract currently. Finding ways to help create that unimodal, chanelless environment is the role of coffee equipment. In theory, this is what the ESPRO is doing.

Jonk

#22: Post by Jonk »

culturesub wrote:First thing you need to help this is a good grinder that is unimodal, because fines play no role in the brewing of coffee, unlike the role they may play in Espresso(not saying they do or don't).
Curious (though perhaps a bit off topic) - while I agree fines should be kept low, sieving already fairly unimodal grounds seem to produce bland cups of coffee - have you experimented much with this?

On topic, 2 minutes can be a bit too fast sometimes in my experience, depending on the beans.

culturesub

#23: Post by culturesub » replying to Jonk »

I don't sieve, never have, so I can't really comment on the role it plays in brewing. The one thing I can say is unless you are sieving both fines and boulders, you aren't going to get the particle distribution you think you are just by sieving fines.

Also, 2 minutes is way too fast but I'm not even done pouring until 2:15/2:30 usually since I do pulse pour. I see almost no advantage to single pour in a home use scenario, but even if you were, you can just adjust grind size to get a longer brew time.

Speed in of itself isn't the desirable part in the above scenario- its that you can just adjust your speed by grinding finer, extracting more.

DamianWarS

#24: Post by DamianWarS »

culturesub wrote:I think you're looking at this the wrong way. There isn't a problem with pourovers being too "slow", the problem is at what point are the filters/brewers slowing the flow/choking the brew. Think about it in terms like this:

Water is flowing through coffee. The coarser the grind, the faster the water will naturally flow, but the less the water will reach the inside of the ground coffee and the less that will be extracted. The finer the ground, the slower the water will flow and the more that can be extracted, but the more opportunities you have for over extracting of particular particles and channeling due to clumping.

First thing you need to help this is a good grinder that is unimodal, because fines play no role in the brewing of coffee, unlike the role they may play in Espresso(not saying they do or don't). You want water to be flowing through particles that are the same size as much as possible so that the water is extracting the same amount of coffee per particle for the most evenness of extraction.

Now lets say you have an even coffee bed. You are now fighting against channeling. Finer coffee grounds create more channels. Your goal is to reduce channeling in whatever ways you can. However- the slower that water flows, the more opportunity the more channeling that can be created.

So now you have the stationary items in your brew- your paper and your brewer. Micro fines stick to your paper, slowing your flow, creating more channeling. So you generally are looking for the FASTER papers, because it implies a) the pores are smaller, so the particles are that much smaller that will choke your brew and b) the paper itself isn't too causing any slowing down of the water.

Now you have your brewer- you basically have the same issue as the water, which is that if the water is slowing down because of the exit paths it has on the brewer, it will channel. The faster the brewer allows the water to escape, the more even the extraction and the less channeling you will see. So with a brewer like the ESPRO, the water has more paths of exit, will flow out faster and gravity will win out. This will create less channels(THEORETICALLY) and you can grind finer, extracting more coffee from each article and hopefully creating tastier coffee.

Gravity is a better invention then paper filters- if you let gravity be the dominant factor in the speed of your coffee brew, and simply using particle size as the thing that is controlling that, you will make better coffee. There really is no such thing as over extracted coffee in a scenario where truly unimodal coffee grinds exist in a world without channeling. We aren't close to the upper limits of how much coffee we can extract currently. Finding ways to help create that unimodal, chanelless environment is the role of coffee equipment. In theory, this is what the ESPRO is doing.
you're absolutly right with all that and thanks for the detailed response but I'm not quite a believer (I'll wait for the youtube reviews). There's not a lot of info with this brewer out there but with there is I can't see an appreciable difference in grind size. Even the image I posted which boasts a 2 min brew time the comparisons should all be using the same grind, coffee, roast, etc... otherwise it's not a fair comparison because of course a coarser grind will run faster than a finer. There promo videos are all about fast brew time with a slogan of getting "your best cup" and I would infer from this that even though it's faster it must more effciently extraction coffee which allows it to be quicker.

It looks cool and I like that idea of having a silcone rim even though it's not double walled they claim in keeps heat better but maybe that's just a product of a faster brew. (ie. a 4 min brew is going to cool down more than a 2 min brew). I know it can work without filters which is a good thing but this custom shaped fluted paper seems like a way of forcing recurring purchases and keeping customer locked in. I would have perfered a design that uses standard fluted papers and you can be assured that if this catches on a new kalita wave will emerige that uses standard fluted paper making the whole thing more sustainable.

runningonespresso47

#25: Post by runningonespresso47 »

Okay, sorry for the delays in responding. Life got busy and couldn't play around with the brewer more until now.
culturesub wrote:Super interesting- were you able to measure EY?
Unfortunately, no I'm sorry. I wish I could!

I know there was a good amount of discussion on extraction theory which was fun to read. I'll just add two links http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kI3zOwFG9mg and https://coffeeadastra.com/2020/04/02/wh ... pour-over/ that expand on the topic more. The Perger experiment shows that a faster brew doesn't necessarily mean a significantly lower EY. After about 30 seconds regardless of the grind size you see very small changes in EY. Which makes sense, once the solvent (water) is saturated with a compound, the less and less aggressive the extraction is. So 2-3 minutes I think is still okay. When you choke a pour over, gravity draws water through the coffee bed and will find the path of least resistance, which can create channeling and uneven extractions, causing greater astringency and bitterness. My guess is the longer the brew time the more likely you are to find channeling. Someone feel free to correct me if I'm wrong about something here!

I don't know. It's really complex if you want to make it that way. As a chemistry guy, I enjoy the science behind it. You can still make a good cup without pushing the boundaries of extraction.
DamianWarS wrote: There's not a lot of info with this brewer out there but with there is I can't see an appreciable difference in grind size. Even the image I posted which boasts a 2 min brew time the comparisons should all be using the same grind, coffee, roast, etc... otherwise it's not a fair comparison because of course a coarser grind will run faster than a finer. There promo videos are all about fast brew time with a slogan of getting "your best cup" and I would infer from this that even though it's faster it must more effciently extraction coffee which allows it to be quicker.

It looks cool and I like that idea of having a silcone rim even though it's not double walled they claim in keeps heat better but maybe that's just a product of a faster brew. (ie. a 4 min brew is going to cool down more than a 2 min brew). I know it can work without filters which is a good thing but this custom shaped fluted paper seems like a way of forcing recurring purchases and keeping customer locked in. I would have perfered a design that uses standard fluted papers and you can be assured that if this catches on a new kalita wave will emerige that uses standard fluted paper making the whole thing more sustainable.

The kickstarter page does mention it was the same bean, grind, and recipe for each of the pour overs in that picture. The first post I had on this page was also just to confirm there claims were true that the brewer/filter papers used did in fact decrease brew time compared to those other pour overs despite the same bean, grind, and recipe. As for discussion of filter papers, that was the purpose of my comparing the origami with a kalita paper filter to the espro. The origami has a wide hole on the bottom, which should allow for faster flow compared to the three smaller holes in a Kalita Wave. Even so, Espro's design was still faster than that. Therefore, the design of the brewer + their unique filter papers seems to aid in faster brew time than what a kalita filter paper can do. If the product provides a unique advantage (assuming you find faster flow beneficial for either time purposes or EY purposes), I think it's worthy of being different from the Kalita standard filter and continuing to purchase. Now, as you mentioned, there is the April brewer coming out, which I also backed (kind of a pour over junkie, I know), which is supposed to be a design that uses Kalita filters and reports faster flow. If/whenever that gets shipped to me (it's been a process so far), I'll be sure to compare to the espro too.

After spending some more time with the brewer, I am still impressed. For me, the faster flow is beneficial for those beans that produce a lot of fines when ground, like a lot of Ethiopian/Kenyan coffees. I found that no matter how coarse I went with coffees like this, I still was able to choke a V60 and had to opt for different recipes to make a manageable brew time so that I could avoid channeling and subsequent astringency. Maybe that's technique issues or something else, but it can be frustrating. Originally, I had no reason to push grind with the CC Big Trouble I was brewing because it was a darker roast. As I put some SO's back in my roundup, I was choking V60's and getting brew times around 5 minutes. When I put them through the espro, I was still in the 2-3 minute range without any astringency. I'm gonna keep going finer and see if I can eventually choke this thing but it's been fun to play around with. Taste is so subjective, and I haven't been brewing beans that are my absolute favorite, so I can't say espro produces a better cup than some other pour over vessel. But I will say I've had a smaller margin of error and more consistent cups with it.

Hope this makes sense/is helpful!

DamianWarS

#26: Post by DamianWarS »

runningonespresso47 wrote:Now, as you mentioned, there is the April brewer coming out, which I also backed (kind of a pour over junkie, I know), which is supposed to be a design that uses Kalita filters and reports faster flow. If/whenever that gets shipped to me (it's been a process so far)
The April brewer to me seems a better option using more standard filters. The last thing the coffee industry needs is another set of filters to buy and new products should be looking at existing filters available on the market. Not only are they reinventing the wheel but they are saying your standard tires don't fit and you need to buy new ones. You would have to have some remarkable results for me to be interested in buying

But I do get an industry needs to be creative and free to innovate just from a business perspective so many changes is higher risk and probably means this will stay as a niche product. Even the April brewer is expensive for just a whole lot of ceramic. I can buy a ceramic 3 hole flat bottom brewer for like $15 so why would I spend $50 so I can get a mug with a lid with it? These niche products seem to be hitting a very small niche probably trying to be the next thing to catch on and sure eventually one of them will and explode into the market but even the aeropress was like $20 and I think these new hipster driven brewers need to be thinking about more affordable options.

culturesub

#27: Post by culturesub »

runningonespresso47 wrote:So I received my Espro Pour Over yesterday. I played with it a little bit this morning. Here are some initial thoughts:

First, the paper filters are a bit finicky, even more so than Kalita filters. Trying to get the first one out using their instructions (flaring the filters out and pulling out the outer filter), I completely ruined the first one. The second try was certainly better. Just a little practice needed. Then, pre-wetting the filter paper requires some finesse so that the paper doesn't fold in on itself. This wasn't a huge deal. Just requires a slight adjustment from what I'm used to.

As for the brewer, the construction is certainly solid, as you'd expect from a metal pour over brewer.

The main thing I wanted to experiment with was the drawdown times. Espro really sells how its flow is faster than other pour over devices. My little test this morning seems to confirm this.

I went with their suggested recipe to just start out and compare with an Origami dripper (once with a V60 and once with a Kalita filter). 16.5g to 310 mL water (200F). 50g bloom (45 seconds) and followed by a 260g pour finished by 1:20. Same bean (Counter Culture Big Trouble), grind size, and same water composition. Results are as follows:

- Espro --> 2:23

- Origami (Kalita) --> 3:28

- Origami (V60) --> 3:40

This was pretty interesting to me. Of course, this is an n=1, so take with a grain of salt. Regardless, The flow is really fast, even compared to the Origami, which is considered to be a fast brewer itself. There certainly are plenty of factors to consider, such as bed depth and shape, but still. I won't speak to taste just because the 1:19 ratio is a bit high for my taste, and I think you can tune recipes for different pour over vessels to get the best flavor out of each. But Espro seems to deliver when it comes to fast flow.

I just got mine- I can't even tell you how terrible the paper is. Were you able to pre-wet them? I can't without the walls just completely collapsing on themselves.

runningonespresso47

#28: Post by runningonespresso47 »

culturesub wrote: I just got mine- I can't even tell you how terrible the paper is. Were you able to pre-wet them? I can't without the walls just completely collapsing on themselves.

I did that to my first paper as well. I then started to be a little more delicate with pre-wetting (starting at the base of the filter and then slowly spiraling outwards towards the top). Haven't had a problem since then. As for removing the paper filters from the group, I've found that it's best to flair them out, stick a finger between the bunch and the outer filter, and them slowly work your finger around the entire circumference of the filters. You'll have to reform the flutes before brewing, but that's worked out well for me. With a little practice I haven't found it to be too terrible.

culturesub

#29: Post by culturesub »

runningonespresso47 wrote: I did that to my first paper as well. I then started to be a little more delicate with pre-wetting (starting at the base of the filter and then slowly spiraling outwards towards the top). Haven't had a problem since then. As for removing the paper filters from the group, I've found that it's best to flair them out, stick a finger between the bunch and the outer filter, and them slowly work your finger around the entire circumference of the filters. You'll have to reform the flutes before brewing, but that's worked out well for me. With a little practice I haven't found it to be too terrible.
Any chance you can send a video of this? I've tried REALLY hard to do this with no luck. I'm gonna try with the melodrip tomorrow, which is a ridiculous thing to have to try to to do wet a damn filter without the walls collapsing.

runningonespresso47

#30: Post by runningonespresso47 » replying to culturesub »