HomeRoast Digest


Topic: Non-presurized portafilter strikes again (3 msgs / 126 lines)
1) From: Rick Copple
All right. Some of you may have recalled the discussion a while back 
about me getting an unpressurized portafilter at some point, and saying 
it would produce better espresso.
I finally got around to ordering one of these from Saeco, and it finally 
arrived today. Actually this morning, I was in the car, getting ready to 
back out to go to work, and this truck pulls up behind me, blocking my 
escape. Is this big old truck bringing me my little bitty portafilter? 
Yep, sure was.
Already being late for work, I ran into the house and laid it on the 
counter. Lunch time rolls around and I'm home. Hum, time to try this 
thing out. Unpack, look it over, get the machine to heating, grind some 
of my Guat. Huehue. Maravilla that I had roasted to the top end of full 
city, prepare, tamp with what I decided was decent pressure (though I 
knew I might not at all be close first time), and cranked out a 21 sec. 
pour once the temp hit prime time.
I have to say, that was the best espresso I had tasted from that 
machine. Smooth, creamy, not at all bitter, and left a nice sweet taste 
in the mouth. Even my son who to this point hasn't cared for the 
espressos I've made thus far liked it and drank it all down.
After coming home from work, had to try some more. I had saved one 
shot's worth of the Batak/Prince blend just for this occasion. However, 
apparently I didn't get the tamp quite as packed as it needed to be. 
Came out thinner, faster, and the brew was getting close to the lip of 
one cup before cutting it off just under 20 sec. It had a bitter edge to 
it, though it was still plenty drinkable. So, I did the next best thing, 
I made an Americano out of it, and I'm still enjoying it now.
Then I also had some Sumatra Vokipi Supergrade roasted, and I tried 
that. It had a little edge to it, but not much. Not bitter, but was also 
smooth and creamy.
Cool, now I get to play around with this variable of tamping more to 
experience all the flavors it can produce. And I'm finding I enjoy the 
espresso. So yea, another non-pressurized portafilter convert here. I 
think the pressurized one can help a newbie get their bearings with the 
other settings before worrying about tamping quality. However, one will 
be hard put, I think, to get really great shots from a pressurized one. 
For that, it takes user input on the tamping, something the pressurized 
filter erases into a baseline pressure no matter how you tamp.
Oh, I also roasted tonight some aged Sumatra. Will be my first time to 
try this. I'll make a pot tomorrow and see whether I keel over or not. :-)
-- 
Rick Copple
Marble Falls, TXhttp://blog.copple.us/?sectionid=5

2) From: Turbosimba
hmmmmm, why is it that I get about the same results consistently in my  Solis 
Crema with the pressurized filters they included with the machine, as well  
as the non pressurized ones I bought later?  I think the only difference is  
that the pressurized filters produce a denser type crema, whereas in the non  
pressurized filters the crema is less dense, more even in color and  texture.
 
Most of my espressos are lousy.  I don't think I have enough  experience yet 
in blending and roasting the beans correctly for espresso.   I've tried just a 
little  ( dare I say it? ) Peets peaberry blend and the  flavor was much more 
consistent with good espressos in fine coffee houses. This  tells me I need 
to learn more about home roasting for espresso. I'd be  grateful for 
suggestions. ( I am totally satisfied with my results for  regular filter and french 
press brewing.  What I roast and brew is better  than 98% of what passes for good 
coffee in restaurants. )
 
By the way, has anyone noticed that almost all restaurants, coffee shops  and 
even fast food establishments, not to mention convenience markets, are  
featuring so called *European roast* coffees?  More and more you get dark  roasted 
coffee in these places, but it is almost always old tasting, and  therefore 
horrible.  I wish restaurants would learn that the key to good  coffee is 
FRESHNESS!!!!.   Oh well, that is why I took up home  roasting. 
 
Last week I was with friends at Cafe de la Presse in San Francisco. We all  
ordered decaf americanos with dessert and lo and behold they were marvelous.  
Tasted like fresh roasted beans.  So often in those places they grind the  b
eans fresh for each cup, but the beans are OLD when they grind them, so what's  
the point?
Jeff

3) From: Rick Copple
Turbosimba wrote:
<Snip>
I'm not familiar with the Solis Crema, but others may be able to give 
input as far as the machine goes, whether you can get pretty good 
espresso out of it and if so, how.
One might attribute that first shot I had with the NPPF as beginner's 
luck. Maybe I hit the tamp and grind just right that time. Then again, 
the Sumatra was good to. As I indicated, it had a touch of an high end 
edge to it. Not bitter, mind you, just a high note edge. But that 
quickly passed once you began drinking it and mostly it was just smooth 
and creamy and pretty tasty.
When I was first getting the machine, I did a lot of study on how to 
pull shots. There are a lot of variables from grind to how hard a tamp 
you put on the puck, etc. So why you are not getting great espresso 
could be any number of reasons.
I know some have those links handy for learning espresso. It might be 
good to just review those and compare with what you are doing.
I have to say, however, that even with the pressurized portafilter, my 
shots tasted better than the local coffee shop with their big fancy 
Italian espresso machine, that if used right should produce outstanding 
shots. We figured they didn't have the temperature up high enough on the 
boiler. At any rate, it seems with the NPPF, I at least have a shot of 
getting out of the baseline flavor profile. Naturally, I also have a 
shot at some yucky stuff if I don't do it right too! ;-)
-- 
Rick Copple
Marble Falls, TXhttp://blog.copple.us/?sectionid=5


HomeRoast Digest