Americano Perfectly Temped Water, Etc. - Page 2

Beginner and pro baristas share tips and tricks for making espresso.
Dan Bollinger

#11: Post by Dan Bollinger »

HB wrote:Problem is, drawing 6-8 ounces of water through the grouphead will crater the temperature stability of any home espresso machine that comes to mind. Even a commercial one group espresso machine would struggle to recover from that long a draw within 1 minute, at which point the "perfectly temped" water has cooled below serving temperature (especially if the cup wasn't preheated).
Have you've tried this method? I have to add a splash of cold water to bring my American made this way down from "scalding" to a desirable "piping hot." And, my Vivladi SII recovers from making an Americano in 55 seconds (I just checked). But, as I mentioned, the recovery is a moot point for me since I only use this technique when I know I won't be making another pull.

I only use a kettle for heating water for Americanos when I'm making coffee for many people. To heat up a kettle just for one cup is a waste of time and energy, to me, and sorta negates the whole point of purchasing a commercial espresso machine! I might use the hot water dispenser more often, but I generally turn the steam boiler off except for the weekends.

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Team HB

#12: Post by TomC »

My Strega is cranked up a bit higher on its boiler pressure, around 1.35-1.45 bar. That plus the group heater works wonders for americanos. For me, it's as easy as preparing my basket, then doing my flush into my cup which preheats it nicely and allows it to cool to a more desirable range while I lock the PF and brew my shot. A scale like the Acaia that is coming out will likely be low profile yet sturdy enough for me to combine the approach and instead of brewing the shot in a separate smaller cup for weighing/measuring volume, I could likely just brew right into my preheated cup.
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#13: Post by caffeinatedjen »

It might help with the too hot water issue to try a different cup. I found the espresso too hot in the glass pavina glasses, and I would guess that would be the case with americanos too.

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boar_d_laze (original poster)

#14: Post by boar_d_laze (original poster) replying to caffeinatedjen »

Thanks for the thought, but that's not the problem. Let me explain:

If the water used to dilute the espresso for an Americano is too hot (above the temp at which the espresso was brewed, e.g., 198F) it won't just dilute, but will "shock" the espresso, cause it to "brew" further -- unpleasantly altering the taste.

Water in a typical espresso machine's steam boiler is heated to over 250F. While a few machines mix boiler water with line water to cool it down before tap use, the vast majority take it straight from the boiler. Although the temperature drops below the boiling point as the water depressurizes and steam is released between hot water tap nozzle and top of cup to below it's still TFH (too darn hot). Consequently, water straight from the tap is a no-go, regardless of cup material.

On the other hand (always plenty of those), you don't want to dilute the espresso with water below 160F, the appropriate serving temperature of coffee, so you're dealing with a fairly restricted range.

Drop a nickel in the pot Joe. Takin' it slow. Waiter, waiter, percolator