The Matrix Shower Screen

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TomC
Team HB

#1: Post by TomC »

My Matrix shower screen arrived today (finally) :lol:




It started as an Indiegogo campaign here

Almost half the total cost was shipping, but all-in-all, not a bad price at 25 Euro delivered, after about 8 weeks. The folks who bought the first release like myself are considered the beta group, but as far as I know there's no difference between these and the production run they're ramping up, besides we probably got a better price.

It's really thick sintered 316L stainless steel for the screen. Light doesn't even pass thru it. Some 50 layers of spheres mashed together.




From their campaign description, it was built with the Kees Speedster in mind, but works for any similar group ( Faema, KVDW, San Remo, Rocket, Wega, Bezzera, E61)

I won't regurgitate all their marketing claims here, but a few of the key points are a reduction in channeling, less need to clean above the screen because coffee particles are too big to get thru, sturdier crema and softening of harsh acidic flavors. They claim you can grind finer and get more uniform flow thru the puck. Also, they claim drier pucks.

I pulled a shot using my stock Speedster screen, then removed it and swapped in the Matrix, kept everything else the same. The shot brewed with an entirely even color from the beginning, and immediately came into a single stream quicker. For that series of shots I was using a well developed roast from a friend and I noticed a much drier puck. But when I switched to a 15g VST basket and tightened the grind to a massive degree for a very, very light roast of a washed gesha , those pucks were wet like I've always had before when grinding that fine. It was probably the lightest roast I've ever had, the ground coffee the color of canela (Ceylon cinnamon). In a sample of just a few shots, the coffee did taste significantly smoother, more rounded and less harsh in terms of sharp acidity. I'm going to have fun exploring the lighter roast spectrum for which it was purposely designed.

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TomC (original poster)
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#2: Post by TomC (original poster) »

It occurred to me that maybe EY measurements might provide some insight, but my refractometer is on loan to a friend for a while. I'm sure some will get around to it.

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sweaner
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#3: Post by sweaner »

Where does one purchase this?
Scott
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TomC (original poster)
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#4: Post by TomC (original poster) » replying to sweaner »

Good question! I think until the production models start shipping, interested buyers will have to contact them directly. I'm not aware of any specific vendors yet. The makers of the Matrix are on Instagram and the Indiegogo link above.

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EddyQ

#5: Post by EddyQ »

I'm curious how it work out Tom. One of my KVDW Idro groups has the tendency to bore holes in my puck. I put a Aeropress filter above the screen and it solved the issue temporarily. After about 1 week the paper filter had a hole bored through it. SO, a shower screen like that should do wonders for me. Assuming it can be cleaned. . . :shock:
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TomC (original poster)
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#6: Post by TomC (original poster) » replying to EddyQ »


Per the manufacturer, the cleaning regime suggested is to install it and run about 300 shots thru it before bothering to pull it and inspect it. Otherwise, normal detergent backflushing procedures apply.

I'm really going to be interested in reading other's impressions if they also use a microfiber towel. It might be a minor point, but I'm curious if any fibers from a microfiber towel might get pulled onto the screen. In my minds eye, I picture a cats tongue scraping, or velcro pulling. I don't want fuzz on my screen. But besides that, I'm quite enjoying what I'm getting so far. I'm still stunned that there's only 11 backer from the original indiegogo posting. It's not expensive at all. But I'm glad I took the dive so far.

almagoro

#7: Post by almagoro »

hi again

my previous response was blocked because i didn't keep with the vendor's participation rules. i'm sorry for that, and i hope this reply is all within the guidelines.

sweaner - where can you buy it? at the moment, nowhere. production is planned for early Q1. we have some vendors already working with us but i can't direct you to them without "offering a service". so i'd suggest you contact your normal supplier or machine producer to inquire - if they're working with IMS they should be able to offer you those showers when they hit the market.

tomc - about your experience - The filter is so dense, it creates a back pressure and has an internal pressure working inside the pores. the back pressure allows for a drier coffee because it means there's always water above the shower "denied" passage to the portafilter, which under a normal filter would just pass freely. that layer is sucked back easier.

2 other important things influence the suck-back - one is the density of the coffee grinds and its resistance to air flowing through it as the water attempt to flow back through the valve. in the case of a very light roast finely grind, you'll have much more resistance than an Italian blend. this resistance is also why those coffees tend to be harder to manage as espresso.the second is the position of 3/2 valve. a valve higher than the portafilter and very far away will need to suck more water in a less natural flow. the speedster's valve is about 20cm, so there's some extra water.

regarding the light roasted coffees different outcome - the inner pressure is insane. basically the pressure is "equal" along the height of the material, otherwise it wouldn't flow out in the same rate, but inside the material it behaves in a very interesting way - the pressure rises extremely where the water is compressed (the edges closest to the spheres) and drops rapidly where the water flow easily. the pressure drop causes gas to be released from the water. some of it is steam in micro bubbles form and some is CO2 releasing from the water. the added gas also pushes through the coffee - some gets reabsorbed in the water and some stays free and help build a smooth crema that oils your tongue better so you feel less of the harsh acidity in the first taste. the other reason for the drop in perceived acidity is because that CO2 is the byproduct of carbonic acid breaking apart and it lowers that acidity very very slightly. it's the lesser reason though, because just by comparing the acidity of the water coming out, the change very small.

regarding the cleaning - the channels in the material change from 12 to 4 microns according to the position related to the spheres. there are hardly any coffee fines small enough to get pushed through this. some oils and tiny tiny particles will flow back, but cleaning solution at the end of the day should be enough to break them up and release them from the screen. wipe it with any soft towel, no worries.

EddyQ - sound like you have a serious distribution problem in that group. maybe the peek parts are cracked or the shower screen defected. it could really influence your shot consistency. i believe the matrix will help like the paper did, but that still is not a solution and more of a bandage.


if there are any questions, write me at omri@del-c.com or @Del_Creatives on IG.

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kaptain_zero

#8: Post by kaptain_zero »

I thought for the price I'd give it a shot, but alas.... the Indiegogo campaign is over and I cannot order one.... :x

It looked like a neat product and was reasonably priced... A nanotech screen purchased in Canada for an E61 would run Cdn $55 plus shipping!

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TomC (original poster)
Team HB

#9: Post by TomC (original poster) »

I need to possibly swap out my Cafelat silicone gasket I have in my Speedster for an OEM Kees one and see if I'm having an issue that can be traced to the Cafelat gasket (which I normally love), I'm getting some significant spritzing that seems to be coming from between the gasket and wall of the Matrix.

I was pulling two quick drinks before running out to work tonight and noticed the odd squirting, the water shooting out almost horizontally. I pulled the screen and gasket, checked them for any flaws or issues, re-installed them both and noticed the same behavior.

So far, the one thing I am noticing is that most coffees do need to be ground finer.

I do hope some other folks who've gotten their hands on the Matrix can share their impressions. I didn't pay attention to the "11" backers on the Indiegogo campaign until just the other day, so now I'm realizing that I might be talking into an echo chamber for a while until new units get out into the hands of others :oops:

coffeeOnTheBrain

#10: Post by coffeeOnTheBrain »

Just so that there is a little more then an echo ;)

I got the info that the screens and baskets will be available late February or March 2021 on Amazon.