5 bar espresso --- WHAT THE H....

Beginner and pro baristas share tips and tricks for making espresso.
chockfullofbutts

#1: Post by chockfullofbutts »

The best coffee that I've consistently been able to get from a shop is at Sey Coffee in Brooklyn.
Before I even put the coffee to my lips I can smell stronger and more pleasant flavors than I can ever get at home or consistently from any other shop.

I always ask the people working there about their process, which seems very different from many other shops.
16g in and 40g out was one of the first things they told me which I've tried to replicate with their extremely light roasts. They told me they believe their coffee is good and needs more water to bring out the flavor.
They also use a MAVAM coffee machine which has an automatic pre-infusion that wets the puck and only begins the full extraction after the sensor indicated the pre-infusion is complete (about 15 seconds from what they told me).

However...this last time they told me that they brew at 5 bar!! I asked if it's a pressure profile that changes and the barista said that no, it's a 5 bar extraction the whole time.

Is this possible? Has anyone ever heard of any cafe brewing at such low pressure?

T

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baldheadracing
Team HB

#2: Post by baldheadracing »

It has been fairly common to pull light roasts at 5-6 bar for five+ years now.
-"Good quality brings happiness as you use it" - Nobuho Miya, Kamasada

erik82

#3: Post by erik82 »

It's becoming pretty common. I almost always pull light roasts at pressures between 4 and 7 bar where 6 bar is my most used pressure.

pham

#4: Post by pham »

It's viewed as a modern concept but low pressure shots have been around since the pre-pump machine era of espresso

Lots of lever groups in both domestic and commercial peak at quite low pressures that date back to the 1960s

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baldheadracing
Team HB

#5: Post by baldheadracing replying to pham »

It is a flat temperature profile with a flat low pressure profile that are relatively new. A lever can't do that (nor should it 8)).
-"Good quality brings happiness as you use it" - Nobuho Miya, Kamasada

Milligan

#6: Post by Milligan »

Any reason not to use 6 bar for traditional espresso?

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baldheadracing
Team HB

#7: Post by baldheadracing replying to Milligan »

Taste.

(I'm not saying that one tastes better.)
-"Good quality brings happiness as you use it" - Nobuho Miya, Kamasada

Milligan

#8: Post by Milligan replying to baldheadracing »

I'll need to try it back to back with a traditional roast at some point. I'm guessing lower pressure causes traditional espresso to taste flat?

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another_jim
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#9: Post by another_jim »

The tech options have changed. Yes, almost everything done now or ever can be emulated on a manual lever; but we are talking about techniques that create a market, i.e. that can be widely replicated and repeated, so that roasters can produce for it.

Sensor based preinfusion, that softens up fine ground pucks, followed by low pressure, large volume shots, can be done with manual levers and flow control machines. But to get to a wider public, the technique has to also be at the end of a button push on commercial machines.

For me personally, this style of shot tastes one dimensional, all treble and no bass. But de gustibus etc. Moreover, there are clear differences between doing them right and wrong. So it requires some skill and practice, and the motivation to acquire these.
Jim Schulman

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baldheadracing
Team HB

#10: Post by baldheadracing »

Milligan wrote:I'll need to try it back to back with a traditional roast at some point. I'm guessing lower pressure causes traditional espresso to taste flat?
It can be hard to pinpoint an exact reason. For example, lower pressure means a coarser grind to keep all else equal. Are you tasting the coarser grind?

I have this printed large and posted above my Strega:
another_jim wrote:Acids and bitters extract first, caramels and buffers/mouthfeel components extract last. If an espresso is too in your face; grind finer, dose lower and extract more. If an espresso is too blah, grind coarser, dose higher, and extract less.

If you use this standard for better espresso shots; then very light roasted coffees, which have fewer caramels and buffers, need a finer grind and higher extractions, whereas a darker coffee, with more caramels and buffers, needs a coarser grind and less extraction.

Despite all the tech-babble, that is all there is to it.
- from: Why is espresso with higher extraction yield "better"?
-"Good quality brings happiness as you use it" - Nobuho Miya, Kamasada