Naked portafilter practice with old-ish Illy coffee?

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Illyfex

#1: Post by Illyfex »

I'm new to the naked portafilter and am going through a lot of good coffee trying to get my technique right. My main problems seem to be a flow that starts evenly, but at the edges of the basket (rather than uniformly across the screen) and mini spritzers that don't seal off (gotta wear safety glasses when watching a pour).

These seem to be mechanical problems (dosing/distribution/tamping), so I thought it might be beneficial to use some of that Illy coffee that comes with the art cups to practice with. I'm not looking for crazy crema, tiger striping and the like (or even a drinkable shot). I'd like to see that very even start and no crazy sprays.

I generally dose a double at 16.5 grams, so I've been weighing 25g into the triple basket. After tamping, the top of the puck is just below the retaining ring. SO...back to the original question, given the problems cited above, do you think using the Illy coffee (essentially free, consistently ground, but probably stale) would allow me to correct these problems?

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TimEggers

#2: Post by TimEggers »

No. You'll learn nothing from old coffee. Nothing.
Tim Eggers
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zin1953

#3: Post by zin1953 »

Illyfex wrote:...back to the original question, given the problems cited above, do you think using the Illy coffee (essentially free, consistently ground, but probably stale) would allow me to correct these problems?
Dave? Tim is correct: the only thing you learn from using old stale coffee is how to use old stale coffee. Don't waste your time. Throw it out. Get fresh coffee.

Cheers,
Jason
A morning without coffee is sleep. -- Anon.

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another_jim
Team HB

#4: Post by another_jim »

Brew the coffee filter or French Press. Pour it into a cup and let it sit 15 minutes. Take one big sip. Do you want more?

If the answer is no, don't use the coffee. If you follow this rule, you won't need to worry so much about your technique.
Jim Schulman

CoffeeOwl

#5: Post by CoffeeOwl »

You'll never get with stale beans. Learn with fresh and then, after you're able to get some good results, you can master your technique with stale beans. Sign will be spritzless tiny-tiny stream from the very middle of the basket.
'a a ha sha sa ma!


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SwingT
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#6: Post by SwingT »

Illyfex wrote:seem to be mechanical problems (dosing/distribution/tamping)..... dose a double at 16.5 grams, so I've been weighing 25g into the triple basket.....?
how are your doubles doing?

If they're not too swift - suggest you get the doubles correct - distribution - and then once you have the doubles down pat try the triples.

If you haven't tried doing a nutating tamp, give that a shot - just do it firmly and don't worry about the 30 lb deal. try grinding a little finer. Works for me.
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User avatar
jammin

#7: Post by jammin »

Illy,

Thats awesome you got a chopped PF! It sounds like you have some forward progress to make with your dosing but thats good news - your coffee is gonna start tasting better!!!

I have been drinking A LOT of triples lately and use the synesso 18 gram triple basket(~20gram dose) which is totally a great basket btw;) Jim pointed them out to me actually. I would suggest looking into one of those, and even using your old basket(double?) that you were familiar with. Whatever you do, I also recommend using fresh beans. GL - you'll have it figured out in no time. I imagine you will be pulling snapshot worthy pours in about a week if you get fresh beans, dose evenly, and maybe even try a smaller basket.


Cheers,
Jackson

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User avatar
JmanEspresso

#8: Post by JmanEspresso »

If the triple basket you are using is the La Marzocco(OR LM Style) Triple basket, which is almost certainly the basket you are using... The stale coffee aside, the basket itself requires a different approach to avoid donut extractions, and just uneven extractions in general.

The only triple basket that is 58mm, that I know of, that you can use almost exactly like a Traditional or ridgeless/Synesso double basket, is the 18gram Synesso Triple Basket. If you put the ridgeless 14gram basket, and the ridgeless 18gram basket next to each other, shape wise, they are near identical, and size wise, the 18gram is only slightly taller, but in an E-61 machine, will hold 23-24grams, while the 14gram ridgeless will hold 19-20gr(depending on the coffee). The La Marzocco Triple/Straight Sided 21gram Triple, I had no problem getting 26grams in there, and some coffees I could cram 27gr without touching the screen. Its a BIG basket.

But, whether the coffee is from Intelligentsia or Ecco, or is from Illy or Lavazza, you will get donut extractions, lop-sided extractions, and sprayers all over the place unless you alter your distribution & dosing techniques.

Furthermore, I think you will find that, while Triples can be fun(if not a PITA), that the double basket, ~16-18gram shots are much more rewarding.

Get some high quality coffee from any number of roasters, use the bottomless portafilter with a double basket, and work on those type of extractions first. Once you have those consistent to where you are satisfied with your results, then attempt the triple basket if you are still itching to do so.

klemenv

#9: Post by klemenv »

another_jim wrote:Brew the coffee filter or French Press. Pour it into a cup and let it sit 15 minutes. Take one big sip. Do you want more?

If the answer is no, don't use the coffee. If you follow this rule, you won't need to worry so much about your technique.
Exellent point.

That is, how I started to drink coffee. (And yes, it was Illy. :wink: )

User avatar
Illyfex (original poster)

#10: Post by Illyfex (original poster) »

Thanks for the replies. The naked portafilter is a Rancilio handle with the La Marzocco Triple Insert Basket. It definitely has straighter sides than the double I'm accustomed to using.

I don't know why it didn't occur to me :oops: to switch baskets and use the double in the bottomless filter. I'll have to try that next and see if I'm still getting "donut" extractions (perfect term) and those microscopic shooters.

I tried the Illy coffee when I got my machine about a month ago -- it wasn't expired then and wasn't half bad. It's been in their screw top can since then and I'm sure is WAY past it's prime. Guess I'll just use it for decoration.

Well, off to try a bottomless double...