Weber Workshops Unifilter first impression

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Katran

#1: Post by Katran »

I just got the unifilter and I pulled a set of decafs (too late for regular coffee). Here's my first impression:

Setup: I used Onyx decaf Ethiopia Worka Chelbesa Natural coffee, 18g in, 50g out, just like Onyx recommended. I used a e37z hero grinder, at 600 rpm. My flow includes paper filter on the bottom, metal filter on the top, grind directly into the portafilter, but move it so that it covers the edges first (no coffee mountain in the middle), light OCD, WDT, tap, weighted tamp, light water spray on the metal screen (or coffee), then pull using a 2g preinfusion, Slayer-style. (my mini is modded with the needle valve). My max pressure on the mini is set to 7.25 bars and I use a 0.6 gliceur. All I did now was to change the regular portafilter with the unifilter.

Pros:
- I was able to grind much finer than usual. Even when I was going finer and finer, the shot tasted good. The extraction you can see on the bottom, and the water was straight down, clearly with less channeling. There's a clear improvement, much more headroom in terms of grinding.
- The coffee tasted good, but I need to test more coffees to see the differences

Cons:
- the unifilter doesn't sit on the stand on the grinder. It's flat, and you can't have it sit in the place of regular portafilter. That was ok when I was grinding, because I hold it in my hand to control where the grinds fall, but afterwards I like to flush the grinder of the fine particles by doing high rpms and push some air thru the grinder. For that it's easier if I can rest the unifilter. I cannot.
- again, the unifilter doesn't fit into the portafilter station. I like to rest it there for OCD, WDT and tamping. But it's not that bad because it's flat, and I can just put it on top of the mat and it's fine.
- after I pull the shot, it's very hard to remove the puck from the unifilter. The walls are straight and the puck simply gets stuck. This adds about 10 seconds if not more.
- the flow from the unifilter is like a shower, and it doesn't come together to the middle. This is because the bottom is flat, not slightly curved like with a regular portafilter. This gives the advantage that you can see how bad your channeling is (there's always some amount of unevenness/channeling), but it also means that I cannot use regular espresso glasses. Goodbye Kruve glasses...

First impression: clear improvement in the extraction, mostly in the headroom of channeling. I'm going to experiment with higher doses, to push things further, things I couldn't do with the regular portafilter, because I was already at the limit. I could also increase the pressure, since I have more headroom now. The downside is that it's simply harder to use.

mathof

#2: Post by mathof »

Katran wrote: - the flow from the unifilter is like a shower, and it doesn't come together to the middle. This is because the bottom is flat, not slightly curved like with a regular portafilter. This gives the advantage that you can see how bad your channeling is (there's always some amount of unevenness/channeling), but it also means that I cannot use regular espresso glasses. Goodbye Kruve glasses...
Couldn't you pull into a spouted measuring cup and then transfer the liquid into your Kruve glasses?

stephenmsis
Supporter ♡

#3: Post by stephenmsis »

Been using mine for a few days.

Coming from a Weber Key Magic tumbler, fits on top of the portafilter perfectly.

Cafelat paper in the bottom, puck prep, fit the metal top screen.

Pulls consistently well. Sometimes it takes a little longer to form one stream in the centre. The odd time it has run two streams for most of the duration. Neither occurrence makes any difference to the coffee.

I'm grinding slightly finer, compared to my old bottomless portafilter and Decent Espresso basket.

The coffee does have a richer mouthfeel. For some reason it looks darker too. I went back and forth between the Unifilter and the traditional bottomless PF and there is a difference.

I'm pleased with the purchase. As always with Weber, it's not just the functionality that is pleasing, but the design. The Unifilter is superbly crafted.

mathof

#4: Post by mathof » replying to stephenmsis »

I take it you are using lightly roasted coffees (you list Wendelboe and Gardelli as your favourites). What size dose are you using in the Unifilter? I usually use 15g in a VST 15g basket, and I was wondering whether that dosage would work with the Unifilter.

Katran (original poster)

#5: Post by Katran (original poster) »

Couldn't you pull into a spouted measuring cup and then transfer the liquid into your Kruve glasses?
Yes, but it's more process. Hence a drawback.
Coming from a Weber Key Magic tumbler, fits on top of the portafilter perfectly.
I have the magic tumbler, but frankly I don't like it. It's more process, more things to clean, and slightly more retention, because coffee will stick to it. I can see how you could use it if you do multiple shots, but I generally pull 1 shot in the morning.
I'm pleased with the purchase. As always with Weber, it's not just the functionality that is pleasing, but the design. The Unifilter is superbly crafted.
Me too. The design is great.
I take it you are using lightly roasted coffees (you list Wendelboe and Gardelli as your favourites). What size dose are you using in the Unifilter? I usually use 15g in a VST 15g basket, and I was wondering whether that dosage would work with the Unifilter.
The unifilter is made for 18-20g. I haven't tried going outside this range yet.

stephenmsis
Supporter ♡

#6: Post by stephenmsis »

mathof wrote:I take it you are using lightly roasted coffees (you list Wendelboe and Gardelli as your favourites). What size dose are you using in the Unifilter? I usually use 15g in a VST 15g basket, and I was wondering whether that dosage would work with the Unifilter.
I'm using 20 grams and with a light or medium roast from Assembly and Wendleboe and it works well. Tried 18 grams last week and that worked too.

mason a
Supporter ♡

#7: Post by mason a »

I've had my unifilter a whole 2 days, so clearly lots left to learn, I had been using the stock La Marzocco portafilter on my GS3MP dialed in Coava coffee Daurfusu (Natural) 19g in 38g out in 30 sec (total) w/5 sec pre-infusion at 3bar and 25 sec at 9 bar. Switching to the unifilter with the EPF paper filter, same 19g, and the metal mesh screen, I had to tighten the grind on the Weber Key 7 notches, which was shocking. It produces a noticeably different shot than the stock portafilter, it tastes cleaner and clearer. I still have variables to dial in, but so far, I think this thing has long term promise. I was worried that it might not be compatible with the puqpress mini, but it works perfectly after recalibrating the height, better than the stock portafilter. I agree, getting the puck out of the unifilter after pulling the shot is 100x more difficult. The pucks used to fall out of the stock portafilter with one tap and come out in one piece. The unifilter pucks are kind of a nightmare to get out, someone needs to tell me the trick other than repeated banging. I did make an indentation in the middle of the metal mesh from the shower screen screw using 19g (about the size of a golf ball dimple), don't think it changes performance much, but I don't see being able to use more than 19g, with these beans at least.

mivanitsky
Supporter ★

#8: Post by mivanitsky »

The trick is to use a Mr, Puff, or equivalent blower type cup. a sharp, whole-hand smash usually expels the puck in one go. The fit of Mr. Puff for this use is imperfect, and no doubt, something else could be purpose built.

Starspawn2318

#9: Post by Starspawn2318 »

Overall the first impressions I've read about it seem quite promising... but honestly the straight walls/difficulty of knocking the puck out seems like a design flaw. For what it costs thats a major problem for me.

erik82

#10: Post by erik82 » replying to Starspawn2318 »

Why is that a design error? It's a small trade-off to make for a lot of positive things you get in return. Every design choice will have its positive and negative properties. That's just how things work and a slong as there more positives it's a good thing as nothing will ever be perfect. It's like saying a Monolith is a crappy grinder because a bean can get stuck in it and won't grind right away and needs a puf to get through.

Doesn't it help to keep the portafilter out for like 30s for the puck to fully dry up? A "wet" puck most of the times will be much harder to get out then when it's a bit more dry.