BLIND SHAKER CUP.. I love it.. - what's your technique?

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

#1: Post by Qrumcof »

Posted this on the kafatek forum, didn't get much discussion.

Many people didn't notice the improvement I did.. Which makes me wonder if I was doing something wrong before the shaker cup (I only stirred the top of the puck to level it).

BEFORE SHAKER CUP:
I had been using one of those coffee whisks to stir the top part of the puck before I use the leveling tool and tamper. I've had this shaker cup for about a week and have had a noticeable improvement with three out of three coffees I've tried. ]

SIDE NOTE:
I bought the new version.. I was initially upset the smooth inside looked blemished instead of polished. I think they should put the disclaimer on the webpage, that anodizing might end up blotchy... The seller explained to me they (manufacturing) emphasized smoothness over cosmetic on the inside... And it is indeed exceptionally smooth. I agree with that logic and the parts fit is perfect.

MY CHANGED WORK FLOW:
I adjusted my kafatek FLAT grinder to hold the shaker cup (it seemed a little shallow at first, but I eventually got it to fit in their securely).

I see a lot of videos with people shaking hard, and it looks to me like this would compress the coffee. I wouldn't describe what I do as shaking.. I make a motion like starting to flip an omelette (to make the grounds raise up), then swirl in a circular motion to homogenize the coffee grounds.. Then I rotate the shaker in my hand and then repeat the above a couple of times.

I put the shaker on the Porta filter..
PULL THE PLUNGER...
Use the whisk stirring tool to level the grounds...
And then tap the Porta filter enough so the grounds don't overflow when I remove the blind shaker...

DONE:
The grinds are almost perfectly level at this point..
Finish with a spinning leveling tool, then a conventional tamper.

https://craiglyn.com/blind-shaker/

msimanyi

#2: Post by msimanyi »

I didn't notice your Kafatek post, but I use the blind shaker and also note the improvement.

I don't shake it though. I don't even put the lid on. I just give a gentle side-to-side shake while holding the "plunger" in place with my finger, then drop into my portafilter, stir, tap, poke, tamp and spray. I think the blind shaker provides a very even fluffiness to the grinds, which then respond well to being stirred.

"Poke" is using the porcupress and "spray" is just a few quick spritzes of water.

I did try removing the blind shaker from the process, but didn't like the results. And it was the same case for the "poke" and "spray" steps.

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baldheadracing
Team HB

#3: Post by baldheadracing »

I have Craig Lyn's newer version, the Espresso Shaker Funnel

I haven't noticed any difference over grinding into a stainless steel bowl and dumping the grounds through a canning funnel into the basket.

It sure looks better on the counter than a camping bowl and a canning funnel - and takes up less space.
-"Good quality brings happiness as you use it" - Nobuho Miya, Kamasada

bialettibarista

#4: Post by bialettibarista »

Could you please tell me what the height measures on the blind tumbler?I emailed Weber never got a response. I find this to be a very interesting concept. I'm a big fan of anything that helps keep ground coffee off my countertop and if it cannot help with extraction then all the better.

lukehk

#5: Post by lukehk »

I have the previous version of the shaker. I find shaking it produced clumps and it took a lot of practise how to pull the plug out. Never came out even, often like a volcano and i had to wdt anyway. So I find it more effective to dose into a cup, wtf in there, gently sprinkle into the portafilter (dumping in one go leads to more dense parts) then distribute evenly with a needle based tool. Does the new version make a difference? From what I read they have improve the angles to improve how it falls in the basket

michael

#6: Post by michael »

I have the newer version too

Fun to use but I'm a little disappointed that the coffee grinds get lodged in the ridges and crevices in the top of the shaker and on the edges of the plug; when I use the kafatek catch cup there's no grind retention after the coffee is dumped into the pf 8)

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baldheadracing
Team HB

#7: Post by baldheadracing »

bialettibarista wrote:Could you please tell me what the height measures on the blind tumbler?I emailed Weber never got a response. I find this to be a very interesting concept. I'm a big fan of anything that helps keep ground coffee off my countertop and if it cannot help with extraction then all the better.
The Craig Lyn "Espresso Shaker Funnel" I have is 74.8mm tall without lid; 78.9mm with lid. Craig Lyn also has a "Blind Tumbler" and a "Blind Shaker."

Weber Workshops has a potentially-different "Blind Tumber" and "Blind Shaker" (and a "Magic Tumbler").

Confused enough already? :lol:.

As for ground coffee on the countertop:
-"Good quality brings happiness as you use it" - Nobuho Miya, Kamasada

jdrobison

#8: Post by jdrobison »

I use it and my method is similar to OP. Honestly, I'm primarily using it as a funnel and have to shake very, very gently to avoid clumping. I always WDT and use my WDT tool to level it all so I really don't think I'm getting much from the shaker otherwise. If I didn't already own it and knew what I know now, I'd just use the Decent funnel, instead.

Qrumcof (original poster)

#9: Post by Qrumcof (original poster) »

Gosh (porcupress) probably over $300 with shipping (am I reading that right). It's hard to justify that much money when some people say there was improvement, others say it's worthless.

Today I made a ring of holes with a toothpick before tamping, and I didn't get the usual ring of coffee stuck in the PF around the edge.. The shot turned out a darn good (will try to repeat tomorrow).

Qrumcof (original poster)

#10: Post by Qrumcof (original poster) »

lukehk wrote:I have the previous version of the shaker. I find shaking it produced clumps and it took a lot of practise how to pull the plug out. Never came out even, often like a volcano and i had to wdt anyway. So I find it more effective to dose into a cup, wtf in there, gently sprinkle into the portafilter (dumping in one go leads to more dense parts) then distribute evenly with a needle based tool. Does the new version make a difference? From what I read they have improve the angles to improve how it falls in the basket
My shots have been noticeable better and more consistent since I started using the shaker. Yes, (the newer version) my grinds are not perfect after I pull the plunger; -thats when I "start" leveling the puck.. But simply shaking the PF (before I remove the cup) gets it pretty level (but I think I have adhd, so I usually level it more with a WDT tool).. LOL.. then a leveling tool (the ones you spin). Then tamp.

To my sensibilities the grinds seem very fluffy and easy to work with after I pull the plunger. When I shake the shaker I do circular not shaking like a salt shaker (because I believe that would compact the grinds).