Question about pressure and flow profile importance - Page 2

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

#11: Post by PeetsFan »

gavijal wrote:I read a lot about importance of flow and pressure profiling for modern espresso. Straight 9 bars seems bit outdated (when you read on the internet). But if that's so, why all best coffee shops in the world (or at least 90% of them) are using espresso machines with a straight 9,8, or what ever bars? Except of few Stradas, and Slayers, almost everyone using just linear constant pressure thru shot. Couldn't find one famous speciality coffee shop with a lever or Decent (or something similar). Is then a pressure profiling so important for a good shot?
What does your taste tell you?
What did you like about the best espresso you ever had?

Yes, there are people who say that pressure and/or flow profiling are important. And I respect them. But does that mean you need it? Will you personally taste it? I don't want to start a flame war. What I can say is that if it produces definitively, dramatically better espresso, then all commercial machines would quickly adopt it. But as far as I know, only Dalla Corte has adopted it. But in prosumer, people will pay for it so it's being offered.


I'll probably put a flow device on my machine, although I'm not crazy about the aesthetics of the thing. But I love my morning drinks as they are, so I'm not in any hurry.

gavijal (original poster)

#12: Post by gavijal (original poster) replying to PeetsFan »

Well top of the line at La Marzocco - Strada has it , as top of the line San Remo - Opera 2. But they are expensive as hell and as I heard prone to problems.

PeetsFan

#13: Post by PeetsFan »

Peppersass wrote:Doing things like weighing the dose and flow/pressure profiling can more than double the time between receiving an order and serving. Fewer drinks produced per hour, less production per employee-hour. Deadly for cafe profitability
In a cafe environment, I think you can load a hopper full of beans and use timed grinding. I think it's every bit as accurate as single dose grinding. Portion control is a great way to ensure consistency and manage costs. That's my opinion, anyway.

rbax238

#14: Post by rbax238 »

Doing things like weighing the dose and flow/pressure profiling can more than double the time between receiving an order and serving. Fewer drinks produced per hour, less production per employee-hour. Deadly for cafe profitability
I had an occasion to line up at my favourite shop with about 5 couples ahead of me. Unfortunately the first one ordered for a party of 8, complete with pastries/cakes/etc. We stood there for 25 minutes to get our order. "Time is Money" is an eternal truism. There's no issue when you're in a small m&p shop with one couple in front of you. But there are lots of very busy inner-city shops that pump out a LOT of drinks per hour.

Every video I've seen targeting commercial operations is about how to automate and streamline the workflow.

Adding anything, eg. Flow Profiling, which takes longer, is "bad for business."

rbax238

#15: Post by rbax238 »

To answer your question, the reason commercial shops don't offer profile-based shots is because they usually take extra time to produce and involve a more complex workflow (unless it comes out of a fully-automated / computerized machine).

Every time I think I know what flow control is to be used for I find another reason to use it. Yeah, the learning curve is steep, but at least it's long.

I can use FC to imitate the long decline of pressure of a lever-shot. The much more interesting (and complex) usage is to make (various) forms of pre-infusion. These seem to be most useful for taming very-fresh and very-light-roast coffees. Then there is the "sweet bump" profile which lowers the flow/pressure at the beginning and end, and only raises the pressure to 9bars for 5 seconds in the middle.

Recently I watched a Hoffmann video where he rants about "proper" brew pressure being EIGHT bars at the brewhead (9bars at the boiler only). My machine is vendor setup to be 9bars at the brewhead. Oh, I can open the machine up and adjust the OPV down 1 bar, I suppose. But I can also use the FC to keep the max pressure (according to the brewhead mounted manometer) of the brewhead limited to 8bars.

Now I'm reading about a school of thought saying 6bar shots are better.

I really do think that FC is more than a fad. In the not-to-distant future, all your E61 machines will be sold with FC built-in and it will be able to record / playback profiles like a Decent does now. In fact, there's a Spanish machine (IIRC) offering this now. Not too far from now, they'll all have to offer this if they want to move units.

gavijal (original poster)

#16: Post by gavijal (original poster) »

rbax238 wrote:I had an occasion to line up at my favourite shop with about 5 couples ahead of me. Unfortunately the first one ordered for a party of 8, complete with pastries/cakes/etc. We stood there for 25 minutes to get our order. "Time is Money" is an eternal truism. There's no issue when you're in a small m&p shop with one couple in front of you. But there are lots of very busy inner-city shops that pump out a LOT of drinks per hour.

Every video I've seen targeting commercial operations is about how to automate and streamline the workflow.

Adding anything, eg. Flow Profiling, which takes longer, is "bad for business."
But you can preset profiles for different coffees, so the time for making one would be the same. I don't talk about manual FC like with pedal, but more about straight 8-9 bars thru shot.

rbax238

#17: Post by rbax238 »

I'm not sure if we're talking about the same thing.

To keep the workflow as simple/trouble-free as possible the shop should use presets of the machine.

However, aside from a straight 9bar shot in 30 seconds, "profiling" shots are almost always characterized by a changing flow/pressure throughout the shot and most-often involve extended pour times of 50 to 120 seconds. I was saying that this extended pour time will badly affect wait times in busy shops. Thus commercial shops may not be eager to offer "extended time" shots.

Of course any profile which doesn't extend the pour time (like a "6bar 30s shot") wouldn't have this disadvantage.