The Next Breakthrough in Espresso Technology

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Abe Carmeli
Team HB

#1: Post by Abe Carmeli »

This is my wish list for the next development in espresso technology. And surprisingly, I have seen movement in that direction on two of my three items.

1) Coffee distribution in the P/F. This is an untapped gold mine, which I believe will produce a bigger jump in the cup than PID. When we distribute coffee, all we can do is affect a small layer of coffee, close to the top of the puck. most of the coffee remains in its native distribution pattern. A jig that will affectively distribute the coffee evenly is what we need. I mentioned it to Ken Nye over coffee in his shop and he says that he knows of someone who is currently working on such a devise.

2) An air pump with a programmable pressure profile. The coffee coming out of that Techno in the show which was fitted with an air pump, reminded me of the Synesso on steroids. Versalab crema, and it was a small little machine. An air pump produces a steadier pressure than a rotary, and it shows in the cup. Now add to it the ability to program pressure profile, say declining profile, and you have introduced an interesting variable.

3) Better Grinders. I'm waiting to see how the M3 Versalab Grinder holds up, but this is not a solution for a commercial environment.
Abe Carmeli

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#2: Post by malachi »

The Swift currently distributes in a specific, spiral pattern. The results are not better. With good technique, you actually can create good density throughout the basket manually (through a combination of effective dosing, distribution and tamp).

Air pump... I don't think brew pressure is a current big weakness personally (industry wide).

Now grinders... ignore the Versalab - even it is 1960s grinding technology. This is currently the weak point in terms of equipment. This is where things need to change.

Of course... for pretty much all of us the limiting factor is on the handle side of the portafilter - still.

Abe Carmeli (original poster)
Team HB

#3: Post by Abe Carmeli (original poster) »

malachi wrote: With good technique, you actually can create good density throughout the basket manually (through a combination of effective dosing, distribution and tamp).
I'd like to see a scientific study, in a lab, of coffee distribution/density in the puck before tamping, using various techniques. Espresso is far behind on the science of things when it comes to grinding, dosing, distribution and tamping, and it is not too hard to study it in a lab. Illy's latest edition of Espresso doesn't go there either. How do you affect the coffee distribution in the lowest half of the basket when all we do is move our hand at the top of the puck? What technique do you use?

As to the Swift, I heard from more than one source that manual coffee distribution and tamping beats it hands down.

The technology I was referring to is Sonic. Low/high sound frequency which creates microscopic vibration in the basket to distribute coffee like it were sand. I have not seen it, just heard it is in development.
Abe Carmeli