Profiling pour-overs

Coffee preparation techniques besides espresso like pourover.
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#1: Post by Brewzologist »

I've been interested in the Smart Espresso Profiler pressure sensor for some time and intend to add it to my next espresso machine. Separately, I've also been trying to improve my pour-over technique, but I don't often record the brew data needed to improve consistency. As a techie I wanted to find something that would help automate saving my brew data for later analysis, and the kind folks at Naked Portafilter allow free downloads of their Smart Espresso Profiler app which does this quite nicely. The app also works with a number of Bluetooth scales to allow pour profiling for pour-overs even without the pressure sensor.

Two app features I find helpful in my pursuit of better pour-over technique are:
1) You can use a previous brew as a background reference for pour-profiling your current brew. This alone has helped me be more consistent in my pours.
2) You can export brew data to a CSV file. I am currently working on an Excel workbook that will import the CSV files to allow sorting/filtering and trending of data from brews over time. (Will share here as I get it in better shape).

Just thought I'd share this for anyone interested. And a big thanks to Naked Portafilter for a highly usable app that works for filter brewing too.

EDIT: corrected post to refer to "pour" profiling.

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#2: Post by jmotzi »


Technically ( :? ) this is a pour profile, not a flow profile. You have measured the arrival of water into the brewer. For a flow profile (water leaving the brewer) you would need a stand upon which to mount the brewer (something like this expensive one Your scale would be just under the catch device (cup, carafe, whatever) and would therefore measure the liquid flowing out of the brewer. For an even more complicated approach :D , you could mount that entire setup on top of a second scale, which would then record your pour (essentially what you did before). Now you would have both the pour into the brewer and the flow out of the brewer and of course need two phones to record it all. You could take both data sets and plot input and output. Now sure what you would do with the data, but it would perhaps be fun :)

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#3: Post by Brewzologist (original poster) »

Good catch on my improper use of "flow" profiling. I changed the post to reflect that as I'm really profiling the pour.

I've used a stand before with 2 manual scales as you describe but it didn't really tell me much. Essentially the "flow" scale followed the "pour" scale except during the initial bloom and then again at the end of the pour where the flow kept going after the pour was complete.

Maybe I'm missing something of value here? There are a number of different pour techniques (Rao, Hoffman, etc) but should we be paying more attention to flow?

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#4: Post by DamianWarS » replying to Brewzologist »

I would think the greatest impact a pour technique contributes to is agitation so in a sense, it would be an agitation profile but agitation can't really be measured by a scale. I'm not so sure if a profile can really capture agitation as there's more to it than just how quickly you're pouring and things like pouring height or movement has a factor as well so a pour profile like this feels perhaps too 1 dimensional and you could mirror it and possibly get different results.

Guys like Rao/Hoffmann/Perger would probably never promote a pour profile because they are too hard to get consistent. This is why you see stuff like single pours because they are easier to reproduce consistency and far better to recommend to a cafe setting. The Asian market however has different goals in mind and they would probably gravitate to techniques that are difficult to master because they look at the pour as a skill and art form rather than dissected parts that can be mass-produced. breaking it down into simple parts tends to demystify the process and loses its identity so you don't end up not getting a lot of this happening in Asian markets because they desire the mystery surrounding it and its unique identity.

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#5: Post by Brewzologist (original poster) »

Agree with the challenge of capturing all the nuances involved in pour-over technique affecting consistency, and hence the reason I capture things like stirring in text to go along with the profile data. I imagine I'll eventually go away from all the data collection and simplify things once I develop better heuristics for my pour-overs. Even so, I still think following a profile with the SEP app to be generally useful when I'm half asleep and not paying good attention. And just as a funny FYI, yes you actually can capture agitation (Rao spin "spikes") in a pour profile and it looks like this: :)