Clumping and Tamping - Page 4

Beginner and pro baristas share tips and tricks for making espresso.
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#31: Post by Compass Coffee »

cannonfodder wrote:You should have seen her dress. If she showed up at my work dressed like that, she would have been sent home. Maybe it was for the distraction of the tech judges.
Maybe yes maybe no. If she showed up at work at my shop dressed like that she'd have a very good tip day. Not even close to as skimpy as some of the bikini or even pasties being seen at some places these days, seriously. Wages ain't that great for barista in this country, doing what they can to improve tips is a reality. Sure most of those bikini drive thrus are not about the 'spro at all, nonetheless a sexy female barista in a downtown business district serving killer shots will make much better tips. Fact of life. So in reality IMO her attire did reflect real life trends in the coffee industry. And yes I'm a happily married for 28 years letcher. :wink:
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#32: Post by cannonfodder »

Marshall wrote:Actually, Tatiana is the co-owner of her shop near the University of Washington. The location inspired her to do a performance piece based on the frat boys and sorority girls she serves there. Unfortunately, quite a few people took offense.
I was not in attendance so I only have photos to reference from. The theme is unique but when you are trying to present yourself as a fun loving professional barista a little more conservative attire may be wise. Not that I don't mind looking at the photo, again, and again, and.... I just don't think it was appropriate for the venue. In my office, she would not have gotten through the front door but there may have been a bunch of guys with their faces pushed against a window somewhere. If I owned a café, I still would have sent her home, just a little over the top for my personal preference, unless we are on a beach.
Dave Stephens

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#33: Post by Psyd »

cannonfodder wrote:You should have seen her dress. If she showed up at my work dressed like that, she would have been sent home. Maybe it was for the distraction of the tech judges.
I know that this is going to sound like an attack on you, Dave, but it isn't. It's an attack on this prevalent idea that somehow if they don't dress or think like you, they aren't 'professional'. This is probably why she became a barista and not a sariman. Some of us will trade the sportscoat and tie, and even the polo and dockers, for more utilitarian or comfortable dress. Or maybe more expressive and less conformist? You know what we all say behind your backs, doncha? "If you can't take a joke..."
I do have to say that a person working in a University environment will dress quite differently than the person working in the business district, and I couldn't care less. What I care about is that they're nice, accommodating, and can pull 'spro like a pro. Her dress was appropriate for her professional life, it was clean, and neat. Really, what else can you want from a professional.
Something tells me that the issue with her attire was more one of a narrow-minded, hyper-focused (on the wrong things, possibly) crowd than it was with her actual clothing.
Some folks still have a problem with a bit of freedom. Freedom of choice means their choices, too, you know. Just because they aren't your choices doesn't necessarily mean that they are bad.
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#34: Post by RapidCoffee »

another_jim wrote:For home users, doserless grinders seem to exercise a nigh addictive fascination.
That's because dosers cannot be used for their intended purpose (dosing) in a home environment. In home use, dosers are "thwacked" to help break up clumps. But a good grinder design should not produce clumps in the first place, eliminating the need for thwacking, WDTing, etc.

Several grinder manufacturers (including Mahlkonig and Mazzer) now offer high-end doserless grinders for commercial use. So it's not just the home market any more. Whenever you grind on demand, doserless makes a lot of sense. It's just that many of the current implementations are not quite ready for prime time.
John

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#35: Post by another_jim »

RapidCoffee wrote:In home use, dosers are "thwacked" to help break up clumps. But a good grinder design should not produce clumps in the first place, eliminating the need for thwacking, WDTing, etc.
This may be good design, but at the moment it's pure science fiction, about as real as weightless concrete.

The Versalab uses a rotating sweeper vane arrangement to declump the grinds. Dosers also declump, as does WDT. The newer doserless design force the grinds through a wire grid. This usually works but can backfire; in high humidity, you get buckshot pellets.

I suspect that grinders willl always need to have an explict declumping mechanism, and that no design for transporting grinds that seems to be inherently clump free.
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#36: Post by RapidCoffee »

Jim, you may well be correct. But still... the Versalab does produce a remarkably clump-free grind. Even the lowly KitchenAid Pro grinder, with its vertically-mounted burrs (and no declumping mechanism), does a good job in this respect. The problem with Mazzers, Macaps, and most other commercial grinders found in home use, is the extrusion of grinds through a horizontal chute. The grinds are compressed in the chute and form clumps. I submit that better designs are possible, and these will lead to significant improvements in grinder usability, both in the home and the commercial cafe.
John

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#37: Post by another_jim »

Yeah, I would like to see a grinder with vertically mounted high quality burrs.
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#38: Post by Navin »

Personally, I don't really care whether a grinder creates clumps or not, nor am I particularly bother about "declumping." I just care about the quality of the extraction. For instance, I have a doserless Iberital MC2 which I use as a backup espresso grinder and it produces a rather clumpy grind. However, with a fairly straightforward "finger sweep" distribution and no particular procedures for declumping, the extractions are fine in taste and in appearance with a bottomless portafilter; as a quick test, I tried stirring things up with a needle but that didn't noticeably affect the quality of the extraction.
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#39: Post by HB »

Navin makes a good point: Clumps are not created equal. For example, the Macap MXK clumps, but the extractions were even and predictable without any post-dose treatment. Perhaps the benign nature of its clumps are attributable to the conical burrs.
Dan Kehn

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#40: Post by hbuchtel »

An unspoken (?) theme running throughout this and similar topics is how much easier it is to see differences then taste differences...

I just pulled two shots- two 15g baskets, one with a full WDT treatment and one with only dosing + tamping. Looking at the bottomless PF the difference was striking. The WDT basket had a textbook beginning and even blonding, while the dose+tamp basket had an uneven beginning and blonding (the tamp was canted to one side- poor dosing!). It was obvious to me which one was 'better.'

The problem is... the two cups tasted the same to me! :oops: Which is to say I didn't have a preference for either of them, and they both met my basic expectations for quality.

As long as most some of the online opinions are being written by people who, like me, are much better at picking out visual differences then flavor differences, there will be two different standards running alongside each other- a high visual standard and a low(er) (or just less demanding/discerning) standard for taste.

I'm not sure how well I expressed that thought :? , but I'm sure y'all know what I'm talking about...

Regards, Henry
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