This morning it had been a few weeks since trying yet again to pull a =
(great?) shot. I could spend just about as long as I needed playing ... =
going to get it right. Since last time I tried I've had multiple =
shots, thanks to Dan (The Scarlet Wombat) from here, and Peter (?) (the =
barista at Terroir Coffee, where I had the great pleasure of attending an=
house run by George Howell, something I highly recommend if you're near =
MA). I started with an unopened 12oz bag of Terroir Brazil Cerrado =
Northern Italian Roast (lighter than most roasted beans I've purchased =
espresso) - so I figured I was going to end up with some combination of =
great from espresso & bad shots I had to dump! :)
First thing I did was set Rocky 2 stops finer than it had been (now at =
match the grind I brought back from Dan's. I used the naked portafilter =
purchased months ago from Chris Coffee in Silvia ... it's a Rancillio PF =
LM Triple basket. I had never used a triple basket, so I had researched =
& decided to go with 21g (also the first time I've got by weight). I =
to use the "stockfleths move" (more or less) for distribution, and what I
estimate to be a 30 lb. tamp.
What a shock when I achieved a great looking shot, exactly the amount of
espresso I wanted, and in 25 seconds! The naked PF told me I was almost =
... just a little channeling around the edges. I don't know if this was =
shot" but the aroma was amazing, it was absolutely delicious, with no
off-flavors even at the end! It was the best shot I've ever had ... and =
first time I could really taste origin flavors in one of my shots! Now I
finally understand why people can't wait to pull a shot of a new bean!
Now it was time for shot #2, which I planned on turning into an =
decided to eat a yogurt & then turn the container into the gizmo for the =
Distribution Technique, hopefully solving the channeling problem. (I =
to see my wife's reaction when she notices that I now play with yogurt
containers on top of the coffee craziness :) !) This time there was no
channeling, but there was a little bit of water leak between the =
grouphead & PF
... & the PF was tight; presumably I had left some coffee grinds behind.=
pull was a little fast. The shot was better than anything I had done =
today, but nothing like shot #1. A good Americano though!
Now, already with a nice caffeine buzz, it was time for shot #3, which I =
on using for a cappa. I really cleaned the grouphead more thoroughly ...=
leak this time. There were 2 streams of espresso from the naked PF for a=
time, but they merged into 1 right in the center ... and no channeling! =
seconds I had the correct amount of espresso. I figured I was really =
now. But the shot just wasn't as good as #1 or #2, although still not a =
shot, and it made an excellent cappa.
So I am now flying around with a great caffeine buzz, did not have to =
shots, and feel more optimistic about my barista skills :) !
I love having the extra espresso produced by the triple basket, although =
mean using the naked PF ... no real problem there, except for some =
Dosing & tamping is now a lot easier, since 21g doesn't fill the basket =
as I had been doing previously, and no problems with the coffee hitting =
grouphead. Of course I now can't use the wonderful double shot =
& shotglasses I've purchased!
A couple of things I'm wondering about ...
All 3 shots produced a wet puck on top, although they held together when =
into the knock box. Any ideas for what is causing this, or should I just=
it since the espresso is turning out ok?
I notice the PF always comes out with water in the basket even when I =
run water through the grouphead. Does this indicate a problem?
Any ideas why shots #2 & #3 were worse than #1? I don't think this was =
difference in perception. Is there usually any need to adjust the grind =
the 1st shot? I warmed up Silvia for about 90 minutes before using, then=
lot of water through the grouphead & wand (both water & steam) to flush =
water. I did run water & wait awhile after steaming before pulling =
let Silvia cool down.
Now I think I'm going to have to take a run to work off some of this =
so I can sleep tonight! :)
BTW, Cody is our wonderful Sheltie, whose job it seemed was to frequently=
me that I needed a break from pulling shots ... so I could play with him.=
he was very good at his job :) ! There was a frisbee break thrown in =
shots #2 & #3! He didn't want to be left out of this story :) !
Thanks for listening!