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Topic: Espresso machine - rotary vs. vibe and lever (6 msgs / 194 lines)
1) From: Alchemist John
I tend to disagree with this stance of allowing the operator to 
determine the pressure.  I does allow it, but I don't think it is of 
any particular benefit.  If I 'have' to deviate from 9 bar to pull 
the shot, to make it long or shorten in it, then invariably the shot 
and cup is inferior to one where I have dialed in the shot and take 
the classic 22-28 seconds to pull a 1.5-2.0 oz double at 9 bar.  Just 
because it is a lever doesn't change those parameters.  What I tend 
to 'use' the lever's variable pressure for is ramping the pressure up 
to 9 bar in such a way that I do it smoothly (technique) and don't 
compact the puck and collapse the bed.  After a few years on various 
levers, I have also found I can usually dial in a shot within 3 
shots, often 2, because I have more feedback on the effort required 
vs pull time.
So I guess I have the mindset that a consistent pressure is the way 
to go.  Pulling to 'suit the shot' is making excuse for a bad shot 9/10.
At 15:20 8/11/2008, you wrote:
<Snip>
John Nanci
AlChemist at large
Zen Roasting , Hand Grinding, Blending & Espresso pulling by Gestalthttp://www.chocolatealchemy.com/Homeroast mailing list
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2) From: Tom Ulmer
I find adjusting the pull based upon visual input to be extremely useful to
the quality of the cup. Then again I am an absolutely terrible golfer (I
believe I have body amnesia) but am absolutely inspired by an off balance,
cross court, back handed racquetball kill shot...

3) From: Les
Alchemist John and I did some extensive testing with a Pavoni that was
fitted with a pressure gauge.  We pulled shots at various pressures,
and as Alchemist stated, a nice ramp up of pressure is one of the big
advantages of a lever.  We discovered that 9 bar produced the best
shots.  This research was posted on home bariista in the lever
section.  As Alchemist stated, you can't make up for a bad grind, or
tamp with a lever.
Les
On Mon, Aug 11, 2008 at 9:53 PM, Alchemist John
 wrote:
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4) From: Alchemist John
I find it is useful for the next shot.  By the time you adjust your 
pull, what you are adjusting for has already passed into the 
cup.  It's like braking to not hit an animal after it has already 
passed in front of you.
But in the effort to actually discuss this, what do you change during 
the pull and based on what visual input?  I keep trying to think of a 
case where I would change my pull based on what I see, and I just can 
not come up with one.  All I come up with is that "ok, it pulled in 
19 seconds, I need to tighten down 3 minutes (my own mental system 
for my grinder) to dial it in.  Aside from that, I find not doing 
anything to the pull pressure makes for a better 'recovered' shot 
than trying to 'save' it, i.e. for my tastes, a 19 second 2 oz shot 
at 9 bar is much better than a 23 second 2 oz shot that is a 9 bar 
for 13 seconds and then 7 bar for 10 seconds.  And over pressure 
shots I just plain don't like.  More is not better to my tastes.  10 
bar shots just tend to be sharp and acrid to my tastes.
At 06:00 8/12/2008, you wrote:
<Snip>
John Nanci
AlChemist at large
Zen Roasting , Hand Grinding, Blending & Espresso pulling by Gestalthttp://www.chocolatealchemy.com/Homeroast mailing list
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5) From: Tom Ulmer
The machine I use does not have a pressure gauge and I don't measure time so
all of my reference is what I perceive as resistance and the visual output
of the portafilter. If the pull is tight I run with it for the duration
which I estimate is no more than 30 seconds - too tight and I agree it's a
waste. If it loosens up then I let up a bit and go to no less than what I'd
guess to be 15 seconds - too loose and why bother. Some times a good tight
pull that goes loose can be "recovered" by relieving the applied pressure
momentarily. There are some coffees that I enjoy the espresso much more by
slowing the volume output of the first part of the pull and finishing hard.
I've also found through experience its best just to be on heightened
vigilance for the animal particularly if you've only got two wheels on the
road.

6) From: Michael Mccandless
La Pavoni is a great learning tool.
My Gaggia shots were undrinkable until I started w/the La Pavoni.
Nothing like "feel" to get you in the right neighborhood.
McSparky
On Tue, Aug 12, 2008 at 2:15 PM, Tom Ulmer  wrote:
<Snip>
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