Cafelat Robot User Experience - Page 392

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thirdcrackfourthwave

#3911: Post by thirdcrackfourthwave »

jpender wrote:I'm just 600 miles or so down the same coast, also sans A/C, and the RH is pretty similar.




Why would you guess that higher humidity is protective compared to lower humidity? Do you imagine the seal drying out?
Maybe. Originally I did say multifactorial. Preheat, batch variation from manufacturer, etc.. DW leaves the portafilter on some have speculated this might shorten lifespan. I would suspect the heat is more of an issue in the breakdown but then again I have all sorts of silicone bakeware that is subjected to higher dryer heat and it seems perfectly fine and some of it is a couple decades old. So maybe moist heat causes breakdown and atmospheric conditions the other 23 hrs and 59 min are immaterial. FTR not a material science guy and I don't play one on the internet. I've not replaced mine after 2 plus years and haven't thought about the breakdown until now. Thank you for helping me think on this.

Nwin23

#3912: Post by Nwin23 »

So there's a LOT of information in this thread, some of which conflicts one another as people learn and adjust. I've read through the majority of the thread and am hoping for some consensus/advice.

Brand new Robot owner-I've had it just over a week and have only made one decent shot. I have the barista model with the leveling tamper, a scale, a wdt tool with 3d printer needles, a Hario kettle with my gas range, and a Kinu m47 Phoenix hand grinder.

Normal process is weigh, grind, tap the grinder, remove cup, pour into PF, wdt the top half, shake a bit to level out, tamp, shower screen, boiling (or close to) water in, preinfuse for 10-15 seconds, pull shot.

The beans:

I've tried two types. First, I bought from Cafune and they graciously provided me a bag of Kaito Love brewed about 3 weeks ago. I used this for 2-3 days and received sour shots no matter what. At first my grind setting was about 1.1.0 and I went down to about 0.9.0. I'd get about 6 bar with 30-40 seconds brewtime. I would go for 17g in, 34-35g out. I wasn't tamping much with this bean.

The second type is Redbird espresso, roasted just a week ago. I bought this as I read it was more forgiving to newbies. I'm still dosing about 17g in,35g out. I play with grind settings of 0.8.1 to 0.9.0. My best shot so far was this coffee 17g in, 0.8.1 grind, 36g out, light tamp. Preinfused for about 15 seconds and then 7-8 bar for ~45 seconds which seems WAY too long to me based on what I've read. Because of this, I tried to adjust a bit coarser to 0.8.3 but then I tamped a bit harder, so the time was roughly the same, but it didn't taste as good.

I need to better document what exactly I'm doing, maybe start a logbook with notes. I'm not exactly sure where to go from here. I'm concerned my kettle might not be as great as an electric...I just try to get the thing to 'boiling' and then pour the water into the PF. Also I'm not exactly sure on my grind if it's too fine as I read some people say a coarser grind is favorable to this machine.

Looking for any advice people can offer...

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thirdcrackfourthwave

#3913: Post by thirdcrackfourthwave » replying to Nwin23 »

I think you are closer than you realize. There is no 'true' consensus because we are all different and some of us have different preferences, consequently we are using different ingredients and processes. I talked to a pretty big roaster/barista and he said people ask for sour shots so . . .". .it didn't taste as good." Could you be more specific? Start changing the variables around your 'best shot so far.' I don't think the kettle is the issue or the 3d printer needles--you aren't channeling and I use printer needles stuck in liquor bottle cork deal. Within reason I don't think the tamp is all that critical. FTR I generally use medium roast ground pretty fine 18.5 gms ish, 10 sec preinfusion, ramp up to 8 bar with declining pressure to 6 bar, 34 ml out around 35 seconds after preinfusion. If you still have some Cafune (not familiar at all) try grinding smaller and pull shot at higher bar.

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Balthazar_B

#3914: Post by Balthazar_B »

Nick, just a couple of quick suggestions:
  • Not familiar with Cafune, but if the roast is medium-to-light, the sourness might be from the water not being hot enough. In a Robot, that means preheating the portafilter and basket, and perhaps the piston. There are quite a few earlier posts (and maybe a separate topic) discussing some ways of doing that.
  • If you grind coarser, that usually means updosing at the same time. So your 17g fine grind would become an 18-19g coarser grind. Tamping hard won't compensate, BTW, or frankly make much of a difference.
  • How are you preinfusing? Are you gently pressing the arms (say at 1 bar) until you get a couple of drops on the screen? 15 secs with a Robot is on the long side (IMHO) and during that time, the shot water will be cooling down. Try 7 secs and see how that works.
- John

LMWDP # 577

Nwin23

#3915: Post by Nwin23 »

Thanks for the advice-Cafune is the Canadian store I bought the robot from and they gave me a bag of Kaito roasters brand coffee called "Love" which is discussed earlier in the thread:

https://kaitocoffee.com/products/espres ... love-blend

What didn't I like about the shots? Sourness was the main thing. Another part was acidic, but I think the profile of that coffee lends to acidity.

What I want in a shot: thick (body I guess?), chocolate/toffee notes. I'm not a huge fan of light roasts yet so fruity flavors aren't really my thing.

For preinfusion, I'm probably
Messing that up. I put the PF on, start my timer, and just push down lightly on the handles around 1-2 bar until I see the first drop hit the shot glass...then I go full up to 8 bar until I reach my 35g. Note that I am NOT waiting for the screen to show a drop or two, but I'm letting it drop into the shot glass which means longer "preinfusion time", so I might be wrong in that.

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Balthazar_B

#3916: Post by Balthazar_B »

Nwin23 wrote: What I want in a shot: thick (body I guess?), chocolate/toffee notes. I'm not a huge fan of light roasts yet so fruity flavors aren't really my thing.
There are a few threads in the Coffees ubertopic discussing darker-roasted comfort blends, if you're looking to explore some new alternatives. Given the inherent thermodynamic qualities of the Robot, it would be worthwhile focusing on blends that brew well or optimally at the cooler end of the range. I'm sure DrGary and a few others can suggest some prime candidates.
For preinfusion, I'm probably messing that up. I put the PF on, start my timer, and just push down lightly on the handles around 1-2 bar until I see the first drop hit the shot glass...then I go full up to 8 bar until I reach my 35g. Note that I am NOT waiting for the screen to show a drop or two, but I'm letting it drop into the shot glass which means longer "preinfusion time", so I might be wrong in that.
My rule of thumb with conical grinders is shorter preinfusions, since there's a wider range of particle sizes in the puck. My reasoning is that with longer exposure to brewing water, the smaller particles risk getting overextracted, which can result in bitterness. FWIW, I've found a preinfusion of 7 secs is about right with the dark Italian blends we favor, and much longer than that, the more flavor defects become apparent.

Also, FWIW, like Paul Pratt, I almost never ramp up above 6-7 bar on the Robot, which seems to be its sweet spot. And mimicing commercial lever shot profiles, I also gradually ease off as the shot progresses until it's about 3-4 bar at the end.

Hope this helps!
- John

LMWDP # 577

Jonk

#3917: Post by Jonk »

Nwin23 wrote:Normal process is weigh, grind, tap the grinder, remove cup, pour into PF, wdt the top half, shake a bit to level out, tamp, shower screen, boiling (or close to) water in, preinfuse for 10-15 seconds, pull shot.
I think you should WDT the whole depth. M47 is a good grinder but the grinds stick and clump in the transfer. I like to do spirals the way you can see for example John Buckman and Lance Hedrick WDT. Then there's no need to shake, just a firm tap and tamp at whatever pressure you like but do it the same way every time.

Gooseneck kettles are not a good idea unless you protect the puck with a filter paper. Otherwise use a spout with faster flow that won't excavate your precious puck.

When you grind coarser, try using no pre-infusion at all - just slam the puck with 6-8 bars at once. I do think you get more body that way.
Otherwise, don't worry so much about timing. I view everything from 0-30s pre-infusion + 15-60s shot time as normal. Have fun, experiment.

As for sour shots, it might be the grinder as much as pre-heating. Here's how you can work around that: Improving light roast espressos with the Cafelat Robot (but I do think it's a good idea to stick to roasts that suit your grinder without a lot of fuss)

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tiptongrange

#3918: Post by tiptongrange »

With the Kaito Love try down dosing to 14 to 16 grams and grinding finer.

With the Redbird, you didn't state how it tasted, but try down dosing that too without changing the grind.

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drgary (original poster)
Team HB

#3919: Post by drgary (original poster) »

Nick, you have good suggestions above. You might also find this instruction helpful for an overview of dialing in shots.

Espresso 101: How to Adjust Dose and Grind Setting by Taste
Gary
LMWDP#308

What I WOULD do for a good cup of coffee!

Nate42

#3920: Post by Nate42 »

I had a fun "robot fail" the other day. First thing in the morning I tried making a shot without coffee. Which is less obvious than you think when the screen is in place. I stood there bewildered for a second as the water I added passed straight through. The problem with your first coffee of the day is that you haven't had any coffee. :D

To Nick: advice you've been getting is good. Read espresso 101. Preheat for lighter roasts. I am an advocate of the pour to overflow method, but there's lots of ways. For redbird, grind more coarsely, and don't preinfuse for so long. Also this is getting into "opinion" territory but I am not a fan of treating tamp as a variable. We have enough variables as it is. Tamp until the puck is fully compressed, ie push until it "pushes back". You will have better consistency this way.