Exercises for tuning your barista techniques - Page 2

Beginner and pro baristas share tips and tricks.
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cannonfodder
Team HB

#11: Post by cannonfodder »

I tend to switch back and forth. When I find myself spending more time watching the extraction at the expense of taste, I put the bottomless PF back in the cabinet for a couple of weeks. I find that the only time I really need to use a bottomless PF is when I go to a new blend just to make sure I have the grind correct.
Dave Stephens

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HB (original poster)
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#12: Post by HB (original poster) »

malachi wrote:There are some problems with using bottomless portafilters in a commercial setting.
And, of course, IMHO there are some problems with using them period.
What problems? I would think they'd be easier to use in a commercial setting - no spouts to wipe before the extraction, no spouts to rinse afterwards.
Dan Kehn

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malachi

#13: Post by malachi »

The first test bottomless in use at Stumptown became ovalized in less than a week and broke in 10 days.
When busy you can get grounds transfer into the cup.
You cannot split shots.
"Taste is the only morality." -- John Ruskin

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malachi

#14: Post by malachi »

Oh... and spouts are rarely rinsed after shots are pulled. Wiped with dry rag, yes. Whole portafilter swapped out, broken down and cleaned, yes. But rinsed... not encouraged. Causes problems with extraction in some cases and is too time consuming.
"Taste is the only morality." -- John Ruskin

Trabant

#15: Post by Trabant »

The first test bottomless in use at Stumptown became ovalized in less than a week and broke in 10 days.
Wow. What happened? I can think of several cafes using naked pfs regularly (including mine, 2% Jazz in Victoria, Murky in VA) and I've never seen this happen.
When busy you can get grounds transfer into the cup.
Same thing happens when using spouts if you aren't careful - this is an issue of the barista's technique, not the portafilter.
You cannot split shots.
pull singles - especially if you have 3-4 groups to work with ;)
A lot of cafes using traditional double spouted portafilters put both shots into the drink regardless. Guess it comes down to preference here.


Any other reasons to not use naked portafilters?

matt

#16: Post by matt »

Trabant wrote:Wow. What happened? I can think of several cafes using naked pfs regularly (including mine, 2% Jazz in Victoria, Murky in VA) and I've never seen this happen.
Actually, last I checked, Murky no longer uses them. They were the first commercial shop to use them throughout, and then stopped a few months later. When I asked Nick Cho about it, he said basically it was very good for training for tamp & distribution, but baristas were starting to get lazy about shot volume and timing. (I could very well have that wrong, as it's been a while -- we'd need to get Nick in here to double-check). So good for some things, bad for others.

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malachi

#17: Post by malachi »

Trabant wrote: Wow. What happened? I can think of several cafes using naked pfs regularly (including mine, 2% Jazz in Victoria, Murky in VA) and I've never seen this happen.
Well... I think on the busiest day I worked at a Stumptown cafe we went through something like 150lbs of espresso blend.

Metal fatigue.
"Taste is the only morality." -- John Ruskin

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HB (original poster)
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#18: Post by HB (original poster) »

To better focus on technique and less on gadgets, for months I've eschewed measuring temperature, weighing coffee, timing extractions, and whatnot. But the combination of the E61 adaptor and watching Abe at EspressoFest 2006 work with machine-like precision using his scale and auto-tamper, I'm back into hair-splitting:


Target flush temperature was 206F

To assuage my guilt over backsliding into geekery, I'm combining holistic barista techniques into this regime by using the readout to confirm and correct my interpretation of the flush's spittle sound. Not looking at the readout, I try to "call the temperature" by putting my finger on the meter's hold-reading button and stopping the flush by sound alone. The goal is to be within 0.5 degree. Below three minutes since the last shot is tricky since the noise is less and the temperature's dropoff is faster. Without the readout in this case, I resign myself to flushing two ounces and living with only ~1.5F accuracy.

PS: Although I'm loving my espresso lately, Steve is giving me grief about it. OK, OK... I promise to shove all the toys in the drawer soon and "go lever, baby."
Dan Kehn

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jrtatl

#19: Post by jrtatl »

Dan, What's this E61 Adaptor you mention. The link you posted is in Deutsch.

As a slight hijack: have you spent much, if any, time with the Scace Device? I'm in a similar "numbers quest" and really want to find out, with more precision and accuracy, my brew temp.

Thanks,
Jeremy

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HB (original poster)
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#20: Post by HB (original poster) »

Sorry about the link, it's correct now.

Bob Yellin led the review of the Scace Thermofilter Temperature Device back in August 2005 and I've been using it extensively ever since. Its strength is comparing brew performance between machines because of its exacting measurement standard (the temperature probe is precisely in the same location, same buffer medium, flow rate, etc.). The strength of the adapter I mentioned is its real-time measurement and "predictive" ability. As shown below, the data collected by these various measurement techniques is quite different:


Four different repeatable measurement points. Which offers "better" information? (discussion)
Dan Kehn