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Topic: Good tools, was tradition offering (18 msgs / 442 lines)
1) From: Zara Haimo
I mislaid my Thor Ridgeline briefly after a kitchen clean up a few weeks ago 
and had to make do with a regular tamper for a couple of days til I found 
it.  My shots were fine, but I had to pay more attention to getting the 
right tamp.  I especially love the Ridgeline for that first shot in the 
morning when my brain is not yet in full gear.  The Ridgeline makes it easy 
to get it right the first time every time.  It doesn't bother me at all to 
have a good tool do the job, but I can tamp properly on my own when I need 
to.
If someone invented an automatic machine that would grind, tamp, and pull 
shots at least as well as I can do it myself, I'd be delighted to have an 
automatic that would let me push a button and get great espresso.  The 
problem is not that the automatics are automatic, but that the current 
automatics do such a poor to mediocre job at best.
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2) From: Alchemist John
I agree down the line there.  I can tamp, but it is easier with the 
Ridgeline and my results improve or stay the same, and in reference 
to the automatic machine, I don't find any negatives associated with 
Ridgeline.  The automatics have negatives in many regards, most 
notably a poorer cup quality.
At 22:07 8/11/2008, you wrote:
<Snip>
John Nanci
AlChemist at large
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3) From: Les
With all this Ridgeline Talk, I thought I ought to comment since I am
the guy who makes them.  First off as Mike McKoffee pointed out and
has been echoed by all the other comments, the Ridgeline will not make
up for poor technique.  In fact, it may enhance poor technique.  I
have one professional barista using one in the Bay area.  He loves it.
 His first comment was, "The Ridgeline forces me to use good dosing
and leveling technique or the shot isn't good."  There is no adding
pressure or going for a deeper tamp if I don't dose right."  Since I
have had the fun of being a Barista for the past 8 Sunday mornings, I
have been going back and forth between the Ridgeline and a regular
tamper.  Last Sunday once I got the grinder dialed in,  I pulled 34
perfect mouse-tail shots in a row. I then switched to my standard
tamper and I had some channeling on shots 3 and 5 out of 10 shots and
it was more difficult to get consistent shots.   I do get more
consistent shots with the Ridgeline. .  The other news is that I can
now put "Patent Pending" on the Ridgeline.  I have been jumping the
hoops and spending the money to get the Ridge patented.  The attorneys
have filed the papers with the patent office.  I am working on a
tutorial that will be on my website soon.  I think that when you
polish the puck is where the Ridge really helps to keep the integrity
of the puck where it ought to be.  I want to be careful with this
post, because I don't want this post to be construed that I am
soliciting.  I do want to provide good information.  However, Tom does
sell my tampers, and maybe I ought to offer him the opportunity to
carry the Ridgeline.  He also has a link to my website.
Les
Thor Tampers
On 8/12/08, Alchemist John  wrote:
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4) From: Kris McN
Pros aside, for someone who's really only recently seriously moved to the
darkside at home, I've found the Ridgeline to be invaluable.  It's allowed
me to hold one variable constant and focus on my grind, dose, and leveling.
It's absolutely true, using it on a crap dose and level leads to a crap
shot.  Is it just training wheels and I'm actually not learning good pro
technique?  Maybe, but I think it will lead to me having better technique in
the long run should I ever move to using a regular tamper.  I'll know that
any problem is likely with my tamp pressure and technique, not the dose and
level, and I'll be able to adjust accordingly.  Plus, it's gorgeous!
Congratulations on the patent, Les!  That's great!  It is ingenious, I'm
glad you've taken that step.  Have you trademarked the name too?
Best,
Kris McN
On Tue, Aug 12, 2008 at 8:05 AM, Les  wrote:
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5) From: Barry Luterman
My congratulations too. As one of the first owners of a Ridgeline I
concur.It is a fine tool not a learning device at all.
On Tue, Aug 12, 2008 at 7:09 AM, Kris McN  wrote:
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6) From: Zara Haimo
Congratulations, Les, on the patent pending!
The Ridgeline has made me more careful about dosing.  Since I started using 
it, I also began weighing my shots.  The combination has given me very 
consistent, repeatable shots.
I agree with Barry that the non-naked PF has more mass and better 
temperature retention, but I've gotten addicted to watching the shots form 
on my naked PF, plus it's so much easier to keep it clean vs having to soak 
the spouts to get all the gunk out.
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7) From: Alchemist John
Your comment about better temperature retention made me remember a 
line of though and experiment I tried some time ago.  It has directly 
to do with this assumption that a big brass PF makes for better 
temperature retention/stability and consequently better shots.  Upon 
looking at my naked PF one day, I saw there was this air gap 
completely around the basket and the PF.  I wondered why in the world 
a hot PF would make any difference in the shot.  It is effectively 
insulated from the basket, and thus the grounds.  I tried a series of 
shots with a hot, warm, cool and down right cold PF.  The result....I 
could see no difference what so ever in the shots.  Grounds fresh 
from the grinder, into a thin metal basket, and hit with hot water 
for 30 seconds or so, had no chance to cool off or in any way be 
affected by the PF not directly in contact with them.
Any one else see this kind of thing?
Assuming the validity of this test, I wonder what other "myths" are 
out there.  That a 40 lb tamp absolutely critical has gone the way of 
the myth as shown by the 'non-tamp' and the Ridgeline.
Any others out there?
At 11:02 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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8) From: Zara Haimo
<Snip>
You are so right!  I never thought about that, but now that I look, I wonder 
how much effect the heavy brass PF really has.
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9) From: raymanowen
"  I wondered why in the world a hot PF would make any difference in the
shot.  It is effectively insulated from the basket, and thus the grounds.  I
tried a series of shots with a hot, warm, cool and down right cold PF.  The
result....I could see no difference what so ever in the shots.  Grounds
fresh from the grinder, into a thin metal basket, and hit with hot water for
30 seconds or so, had no chance to cool off or in any way be affected by the
PF not directly in contact with them....Any one else see this kind of
thing?"
I've seen it with my mind's eye- on two counts:
   - The brass wouldn't tend to stabilize the water temperature, since the
   specific heat of water is greater than that of brass. The water controls the
   brass temperature. besides-
   - All the brewing has taken place before the shot exits the filter, and
   the brew doesn't ever touch the filter handle, as you mentioned.
Just makes for a good story and more copy from people that write for a
living...
New life from the Carpeso Leaks- Using the steam wand like a Mini Hotsy, I
blew out some gunk from the filter handle and the filter basket.
More of the steam pressure through the  group and diffuser screen
into a blanked filter gets more grounds and slightly off color water.
For the steam function, the thermoblock temperature is set higher. Then at
the higher temperature, turn the control knob to brew. With the blanked
filter, it steams out the group and pf assembly quite well.
It's all set up for a back flush, but I do everything with moderate steam
pressure. No damnage, no hydrostatic lock and it really accentuated the
buttery body and crisp sweet CR flavors. What a shot.
Cheers, Mabuhay -RayO, aka Opa!
Got Grinder?
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10) From: Robert Yoder
This is wonderful!  Thanks for the observations!  One of the features Mr. Espresso (Carlo diR) touted highly when selling me my machine was the HEAVY PF.
 
Should we start our own Myth-Buster thread?
 
Happy Roasting (and brewing),
 
robert yoder> Date: Tue, 12 Aug 2008 12:52:19 -0700> To: homeroast> From: John> Subject: Re: [Homeroast] Good tools, was tradition offering> > Your comment about better temperature retention made me remember a > line of though and experiment I tried some time ago. It has directly > to do with this assumption that a big brass PF makes for better > temperature retention/stability and consequently better shots. Upon > looking at my naked PF one day, I saw there was this air gap > completely around the basket and the PF. I wondered why in the world > a hot PF would make any difference in the shot. It is effectively > insulated from the basket, and thus the grounds. I tried a series of > shots with a hot, warm, cool and down right cold PF. The result....I > could see no difference what so ever in the shots. Grounds fresh > from the grinder, into a thin metal basket, and hit with hot water > for 30 seconds or so, had no chance to coo
 l off or in any way be > affected by the PF not directly in contact with them.> > Any one else see this kind of thing?> > Assuming the validity of this test, I wonder what other "myths" are > out there. That a 40 lb tamp absolutely critical has gone the way of > the myth as shown by the 'non-tamp' and the Ridgeline.> > Any others out there?> > At 11:02 8/12/2008, you wrote:> >Congratulations, Les, on the patent pending!> >> >The Ridgeline has made me more careful about dosing. Since I > >started using it, I also began weighing my shots. The combination > >has given me very consistent, repeatable shots.> >> >I agree with Barry that the non-naked PF has more mass and better > >temperature retention, but I've gotten addicted to watching the > >shots form on my naked PF, plus it's so much easier to keep it clean > >vs having to soak the spouts to get all the gunk out.> >> >> >Homeroast mailing list> >Homeroast
 e.com> >http://www.sweetmariascoffee.com/gallery/main.php?g2_itemIdx20>> > John Nanci> AlChemist at large> Zen Roasting , Hand Grinding, Blending & Espresso pulling by Gestalt>http://www.chocolatealchemy.com/>>Homeroast mailing list> Homeroast>http://lists.sweetmariascoffee.com/listinfo.cgi/homeroast-sweetmariascoffee.com>Homeroast community pictures -upload yours!) :http://www.sweetmariascoffee.com/gallery/main.php?g2_itemIdx20Reveal your inner athlete and share it with friends on Windows Live.http://revealyourinnerathlete.windowslive.com?locale=en-us&ocidT_TAGLM_WLYIA_whichathlete_usHomeroast mailing list">http://lists.sweetmariascoffee.com/listinfo.cgi/homeroast-sweetmariascoffee.com>>Homeroast community pictures -upload yours!) : > >http://www.sweetmariascoffee.com/gallery/main.php?g2_itemIdx20>> > John Nanci> AlChemist at large> Zen Roasting , Hand Grinding, Blending & Espresso pulling by Gestalt>http://www.chocolatealchemy.com/>>Homeroast mailing list> Homeroast>http://lists.sweetmariascoffee.com/listinfo.cgi/homeroast-sweetmariascoffee.com>Homeroast community pictures -upload yours!) :http://www.sweetmariascoffee.com/gallery/main.php?g2_itemIdx20Reveal your inner athlete and share it with friends on Windows Live.http://revealyourinnerathlete.windowslive.com?locale=en-us&ocidT_TAGLM_WLYIA_whichathlete_usHomeroast mailing list
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11) From: miKe mcKoffee
Seems having a PF at group temp prior to the shot is more about group temp
stability and PF not drawing heat off group and hence better shot temp
stability as caused by the water temp coming from the group. Some groups
would be more affected by under temp PF than others, and a heavier PF would
affect adversely even more with greater under temp mass. Bearing this in
mind with a good massive actively heated group a bottomless lighter less
massive PF would logically affect group shot temp the least and hence
possibly be the best from a shot temp stability point of view.
Kona Konnaisseur miKe mcKoffeehttp://www.mckoffee.com/Ultimately the quest for Koffee Nirvana is a solitary path. To know I must">http://www.mcKonaKoffee.comURL to Rosto mods, FrankenFormer, some recipes etc:http://www.mckoffee.com/Ultimately the quest for Koffee Nirvana is a solitary path. To know I must
first not know. And in knowing know I know not. Each Personal enlightenment
found exploring the many divergent foot steps of Those who have gone before.
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12) From: kevin creason
You confuse me, Barry.
A funnel or a needle or a naked PF are training wheels but the ridgeline is
not?
Les-- way to go! I need one to match my massive black walnut pawn piece you
made for me. I don't care if someone does say they are training wheels-- I
want whatever makes it easier to make the best and most enjoyable espresso I
can.
On Tue, Aug 12, 2008 at 12:17 PM, Barry Luterman wrote:
<Snip>
-- 
-Kevin
/* Never argue with an idiot. They drag you down to their level and beat you
with experience. */
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13) From: Barry Luterman
No you misunderstand me. The needle and funnel are tools. The PF is a
tool only in the sense that it trains one to pull a good shot. It is a
tool only in the sense that it is a training tool.
On Tue, Aug 12, 2008 at 6:19 PM, kevin creason  wrote:
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14) From: Michael I
I'm a recently new owner of a beautiful Ridgeline in Desert Ironwood Burl.
It's a lovely piece, much nicer than my Reg Barber tamper.
However, I do have a question for the rest of you Ridgeline owners out there
(or Les, for that matter).  The design of the tamper is such that the level
of the grounds in the portafilter after tamping (for my La Spaziale Vivaldi
II) is a bit too high.  Not only does it contact the screen screw when
locking in the PF, but it contacts the screen, too, destroying the integrity
of the top of the puck.
So, what I've been doing is an initial tamp with the Ridgeline, and then a
final tamp with the Reg to compress the puck further so that it doesn't hit
the screen.
Has anyone else dealt with this, or is it possibly just a function of my
machine's design?
-AdkMike

15) From: Les
Mike, Contact with the screw head is OK, but not the screen.  I wonder
if LaSpaz has lowered the head a bit.  They love to make minor spec
changes.  If you want to send yours back for a tune up.  I can do
that.  This really isn't the place to be posting this discussion, so
lets talk in private.
Les
On 8/13/08, Michael I  wrote:
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16) From: Michael I
That's fine, Les -- I was really just looking to see if anyone else had any
similar experiences.  There is an alternate screen configuration for the
Spaz, one which supposedly increases the head space, and I wondered if any
of the listers had tried this (or something else) to beneficial effect,
before I tried it myself, or went the "tune-up" route.
-AdkMike

17) From: Hugh F
There is also a thinner distribution disk for the S1; I tried this but as the coffee was not contacting the grouphead with the (?) 17 gram dose I used, I found little difference.
I went back to the original thicker distribution disk when I moved to a 14 gram dose following a suggestion about dose sizes for my Macap MXK(R) grinder in the 
www.home-barista.com Titan Grinder Project thread.
If you wish to use these larger doses, I'd definitely try the thinner distribution disk first - IIRC the admin of s1.rimpo.org tried the different configuration of the screens and liked it at first but I don't think he said finally that it was an unmixed blessing.
Cheers,
Hugh
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18) From: Bill
Sorry to still be resurrecting old threads.  I'm almost done...
All I wanted to say, CONGRATS Les on the patent.  Good for you!
bill in wyo
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