What makes lever espresso different? - Page 2

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drgary
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#11: Post by drgary »

My experience comparing my Conti Prestina 58mm basketed shots with my Elektra Microcasa a Leva 49mm basket shots is that they're very similar. I am guessing that the temperature decline on the Rota with your technique is large so that you are pulling those shots cool and emphasizing the bass notes.
Gary
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Rufus T.F.

#12: Post by Rufus T.F. »

drgary wrote:I am guessing that the temperature decline on the Rota with your technique is large so that you are pulling those shots cool and emphasizing the bass notes.
That very well might be. The cylinder in Rota takes about 250ml of water (approximation - I have not measured). So I pour boiling water in to heat it up, start my preparations, after a minute I flush the water out completely, pour newly boiled water in, grind and prepare the coffee, flush the water out completely and then brew on the third boiling pour. The machine is hot, but I'm pretty sure the shot is being made anywhere between 93C and 90C, perhaps even below 90C. Fortunately, the construction is so forgiving, the shots come out good. I did try to reflect that in Bianca's temp and went as low as 88C, but no cigar - the shots were very unbalanced. Also on lighter roasts Bianca fared better - most probably because I could pull a shot at 94-95C, which is impossible on Rota.

When I was comparing Rota to Caravel/VAM, the temp difference between machines was much easier to balance (e.g. just wait 30s longer when pulling a shot on Caravel and you have matching temperatures). The taste profiles were much closer than in the other comparison, but still very much coffee-dependent. I had a Colombian that gave virtually the same cup. I had a Colombia/Mexico blend with 27% Brasilian robusta that gave two very thick and creamy shots where Rota was chocolate+cognac, while Caravel was chocolate+ raspberries. I also had a light Ethiopia from which Caravel gave a much sweeter, but simpler shot. My natural conclusion was - well, I need a bigger representation of different basket diameters in my collection :)

What are the impressions from comparing your other machines, Gary? Have you e.g. tried to match Caravel's ristretto on any other machine?

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drgary
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#13: Post by drgary »

I haven't tried to match machines. At this point I put one of the machines in my collection on my counter, dial it in again and enjoy. If I were to try to match a Caravel shot it would be with a La Pavoni or Olympia Express Cremina. Sometimes I enjoy/prefer brew methods other than espresso to extract the best flavors from a particular coffee. Most striking, perhaps, is using the Turkish coffee method with coffees that I have very recently roasted because the very fine grind takes care of any "degassing" and the extraction via rising temperature that is stopped before the coffee burns showcases the caramels and sweetness. With that mention I don't want to take this discussion too far off topic.
Gary
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one_good_coffee

#14: Post by one_good_coffee »

Basically that you have to « make » the shot.

Every espresso machine where you have to do something that is more than pushing on a button will produce a better coffee for you because of the haptic feedback.

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drgary
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#15: Post by drgary »

one_good_coffee wrote:Every espresso machine where you have to do something that is more than pushing on a button will produce a better coffee for you because of the haptic feedback.
This is stated categorically. However the consistency of a spring lever is an advantage. You can vary that lever pressure manually, but leaving the process to the spring helps fine tuning other aspects like dose, grind and temperature.
Gary
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one_good_coffee

#16: Post by one_good_coffee »

You don't have to convince me. And even with a spring lever, you still have to pull the lever, which provides this « I did it » feeling.

jwCrema
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#17: Post by jwCrema »

Well, the Decent Espresso people will tell us we're crazy and they can do the same thing with their machine.

However, I owned a DE v1.0 machine and can say it's rather humorous to assemble all of the electronic wizardry in attempt to duplicate what the spring lever does with utter simplicity. I fried a board in the DE because I entered a calibration number incorrectly. One too many digits and it blew it up. The last straw was when the inconsistency of the DE was stated to be due to the Mazzer Major. The Major was getting the finger for being inconsistent in its grind.

The lever machines co-located on the the counter took exception to this and I nearly had an espresso machine riot. The Major was very twitchy to get the grind precisely where it needed to be, but once it was there, it was locked in stone. The Cremina and Club were always the model of consistency.

I think the sweetness is due to the combination of temperature and extraction working on the grinds. Doing a deep Fellini will put more steam/water in the last part of the puck, like a push button machine. There is a repeatable taste difference that is not welcome with our roast on our gear.

markmark1

#18: Post by markmark1 »

Does anyone have the data for the temperature decline over the shot on a commercial size lever group?

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baldheadracing
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#19: Post by baldheadracing » replying to markmark1 »

Here's a typical performance (not me):
What I'm interested in is my worst espresso being fantastic - James Hoffmann
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drgary
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#20: Post by drgary »

markmark1 wrote:Does anyone have the data for the temperature decline over the shot on a commercial size lever group?
This would vary over different groups.

The temperature profile of a commercial lever group
Gary
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What I WOULD do for a good cup of coffee!