Cafelat Robot User Experience - Page 393

A haven dedicated to manual espresso machine aficionados.
Ken5
Supporter ♡

#3921: Post by Ken5 »

This is directed to Nate's comment rather than nwin23's question.
Nate42 wrote: Snip... I am not a fan of treating tamp as a variable. We have enough variables as it is.
I mentioned this in a thread I started about the SE Profiler app's graph, but thought I would bring it up here as it is very relevant to the robot.

There is another variable that I don't see mentioned, and I found it to make a big difference. The 'speed' that you press the levers to get to your target pressure can significantly increase or decrease the shot's timing. A very fast ramp up to let's say 9 bars can run significantly slower than a slow ramp up to the same exact 9 bars. Only thing I can think of is the quicker press compacts the grinds more than the slow?

So... keep that variable constant too once you find the one you like. I have used this to my advantage at times! If I sense that I ground too coarse by seeing the preinfusion flow too quickly I will press the levers harder, thus faster, without going higher than I normally would. This slows the flow.

Ken

CafelatStore: home of Cafelat products online
Sponsored by CafelatStore
jpender

#3922: Post by jpender »

Nate42 wrote:I had a fun "robot fail" the other day. First thing in the morning I tried making a shot without coffee.
Glad I'm not the only one to perform this clever trick. It is very confusing in those first several seconds, isn't it?

mborkow

#3923: Post by mborkow »

Tom's #42 Robot just landed back in the Bay Area at my house -and has displaced the La Pavoni Europiccola that's been on my counter here since 2011. I paired it with a white Stagg EKG kettle and the shots are simply excellent. I have had to adjust from drinking two 8 gram singles to one 16 gram double but other than that I'd barely notice (and I assume the shots will get better as I get to know the Robot better). So far, I love the Robot.

mikelipino

#3924: Post by mikelipino »

It's been quiet on the Robot thread. Is it because you all have moved to something better or because it just works and there isn't much to discuss? For me it's definitely the latter.

The ability to adjust on the fly for mistakes is a key strength. This morning I was half-awake and hand ground for V60 in the general espresso range instead of the pour over range (you'll do that on a hand grinder where you have to go more than 1 full revolution!). Rather than dumping the grounds that were a little coarser than ideal for espresso, I said what the heck and loaded them into the Robot.

This was a medium roast Mexican Huatusco, so all I needed to do to preheat was fill and dump the basket once. Preinfusion was immediately fast, so I took the rest of the shot at 4 bar with declining pressure for a regular shot time of 30s. And while not perfect, the shot was very drinkable as opposed to a way-underextracted sour, watery mess.

Jonk

#3925: Post by Jonk »

Lately I have been having fun trying out staccato espresso with the Robot. I like the ristrettos from the "sudo" approach. The ability to adjust on the fly is very helpful when you're dealing with 3 doses and grind settings. Kind of thankful that it's not possible to tamp 4 or 8g with the regular tamper so I can skip that step (OK an aeropress plunger works but not ideal).

I have also bought darker roasts than I normally use, inspired by The hunt for best Italian roasted coffee beans and to my surprise I've preferred pre-heating with the Italian blends I've tried. I might adjust brew temperature with slightly cooler water but still pre-heat the piston.

Fingers crossed that we'll see a plastic piston for sale some day. I wouldn't mind needing to replace it after a few years if it meant completely eliminating the need to pre-heat the piston.. Unless there's a better, perhaps hybrid solution out there.

jpender

#3926: Post by jpender »

Jonk wrote:I have also bought darker roasts than I normally use, inspired by The hunt for best Italian roasted coffee beans and to my surprise I've preferred pre-heating with the Italian blends I've tried. I might adjust brew temperature with slightly cooler water but still pre-heat the piston.
I've been preheating a lot more as well with medium and a few darker roasts. I really get the sense that it helps most of the time. This morning I decided that I'll start pulling one unpreheated shot and one preheated shot each morning (I usually have two) to try and determine if I'm fooling myself or not.

My preheating method has evolved somewhat. I preheat the piston the same, with a cup of boiling water for about two minutes. But my PF preheating is now two minutes over direct flame on my stove. It gets very hot. The condensation on the Robot body sizzles when I lock in the PF. The result is pretty close to a constant temperature of 92-93°F (198°F) during the shot. Like this:




Jonk wrote:Fingers crossed that we'll see a plastic piston for sale some day. I wouldn't mind needing to replace it after a few years if it meant completely eliminating the need to pre-heat the piston.. Unless there's a better, perhaps hybrid solution out there.
I also don't love preheating the piston. I was so impressed with how well the silicone coated PVC piston I made performed that I am going to make a better one. I'll again use PVC and silicone but this time the silicone won't just be a thin coating. It will be FDA food grade silicone sheets with the PVC far from the water.

mikelipino

#3927: Post by mikelipino »

It's pretty amazing we have a (unplanned) spro-over, a staccato, and constant T shot all on stock equipment, just with changes to technique. No PID, no OPV adjustment, just perhaps the willingness to burn our fingers on the stove :)

La Marzocco · Home: customized for espresso aficionados
Sponsored by La Marzocco · Home
VoidedTea

#3928: Post by VoidedTea »

Jonk wrote: Fingers crossed that we'll see a plastic piston for sale some day. I wouldn't mind needing to replace it after a few years if it meant completely eliminating the need to pre-heat the piston.. Unless there's a better, perhaps hybrid solution out there.
What do you think about Streitman CT2? Seems like an interesting hybrid solution. Not exactly a traditional boiler, more like a cup with a heating element attached to a manual lever. I am quite intrigued.

jpender

#3929: Post by jpender »

mikelipino wrote:...just perhaps the willingness to burn our fingers on the stove :)
Not much chance of that:


Jonk

#3930: Post by Jonk »

VoidedTea wrote:What do you think about Streitman CT2?
I have never used one, but it's more or less my ideal machine (well a PID would've been nice) just more expensive than I'd like it to be.
jpender wrote:This morning I decided that I'll start pulling one unpreheated shot and one preheated shot each morning (I usually have two) to try and determine if I'm fooling myself or not.
That's a good idea. It's not so easy to tell reliably, but my general feeling is that I'm able to extract more with a high average temperature and the added sweetness and acidity overpower any extra bitterness (but I think this is blend/bean specific as well). There's certainly merit to a steeply declining temperature as well as an option.