Discussion in 'Social Life, Food & Drink, Travel' started by Flambeur, Dec 2, 2009.
Thanks for the recs - will adjust grind and be on the lookout for that coava.
I think there is a spectrum of roasts from very light to very dark. Within those roasts (I am not a roaster) are different ways of getting to that final roast: altering the temperature (temperature or roast profiling) while roasting in order to develop certain flavors more than others. The roaster does this knowing what the particular bean from that season's harvest is like so that he achieves the flavors that he's looking for. Two roasters roasting the same bean to the same final roast level (eg. same Agtron, a measurement of the darkness of a roasted bean) could produce two very different tasting beans.
That's a pretty long way of saying that a dark roast is not a dark roast. Peet's is different than Starbucks, which is different than the many small roasters who actually do roast dark. The Sweet Maria's notes section for the green beans they sell has lots of examples of this when they talk about the different flavors of a bean that come out at different roast levels. That gives the lie to the 3rd wave dogma that light roasts (along with wash processing) give you more of the intrinsic flavors of the bean. Many of those flavors are actually developed and brought out by roasting, and some don't appear until the roast gets darker.
Anyway, Peet's uses French press for their individual servings and they recommend it on their website, so I assume they think it's okay. For FP, I'd steep much, much longer than the recommended 4 minutes. The TDS ratio that Sweet Maria's measured a while ago for a standard 4-minute press was like 16 percent, which is underextraction, as you are looking for between 18-22 percent. They recommended up to a 10-minute steep. I think the darker roasts may benefit from that as well as water as hot as you can get it. Maybe wrap the FP chamber in insulation, too? Or try an Espro press? I want to try wrapping neoprene around my CCD --- I have a 10 degree drop during my steep time.
Great info, thank you!
Y is the mad scientist of the coffee thread.
I tried 70gms/212/6:00/med grain/0:30 stir at 1:00/1l press today. Flavour was okay - little muddy and a touch bitter.
lefty, one of our local coffee shops runs their FP output through a Swiss gold filter. It still has the FP body, but is a bit cleaner.
Not a bad idea. I find that I need to flip the filters every few months as they get bent out of shape. I replace after two flips. I also never seem to get it perfectly clean by hand so there is sometimes a bitter taint to it. The dishwasher works but I drink more coffee than I wash dishes.
* bitter taint - great punk band in the '70s
It just occurred to me that high brew ratios may only be appropriate for paper filter methods because the FP process adds so much body itself already. You may want to back down from 70 g, and see if that improves things.
on the topic of espresso
i've been pulling really inconsistent shots even at the same grind setting (i'll get 2 ozs in 27 seconds for one shot then 2 ozs in 40 seconds for another). part of the problem i think is inconsistent dosing, but i dont know how to adjust for that without weighing out the coffee every time. i also think it might be inconsistent tamping, but i'm not sure. what to fix?
Which machine/grinder did you get?
2oz is already on the upper end of the scale for a doppio. Just for the fun of it, try 45-50ml (but first get realitvely consistent shots, see below).
Anyway, if you don't weigh your grounds, do so until you get a feel for it (which may never happen). If you want to avoid weighing, always grind a bit too much such that you have to "wipe off" excess coffee without compressing the grinds. That way you get roughly the same amount of coffee each time and can adjust grind size and tamper pressure from there.
What's important is that you always tamper with the same pressure. You want to keep as many as possible variables as stable as possible. Tampering lightly or very strongly makes a huge difference.
So, either weigh your grounds or use the method I've described above. Always tamper with the same pressure (lightly or strongly). Then adjust grind size from there on. You can also play around with the amount of grounds when you have a scale. Something in between 14-20g should be the optimum for a doppio. Obviously, more grounds = slower shot. Strong tampering = slower shot. Adjust until you've found your preferred variables for the beans you use. And don't change all at once, like tamper pressure, grind size and amounts since you won't know what changed what. I'm repeating myself, but I guess you get what I mean.
And just to sum it up again and to get back to your question, extraction from 27 to 40 seconds means that you either used more grounds, tampered more strongly or both if the grind size wasn't changed.
Tamping is rarely ever the problem, unless you only tap the coffee down.
Most of the time it is bad distribution. You can try the nutation tamp or if you want something bullet proof go with using the WDT method with a needle or a paper clip.
Also if you are using it to grind espresso and other brew methods, do not adjust the grind setting unless its either empty or grinding. Moving the grind setting while stationary is not good for the burrs and will not give you the true grind change steps.
Oh yes, use the staub tamp method at the end.
WDT and staub tamp eliminates most issues. If it runs too fast or too slow, adjust the grind setting.
Credit to home barista and coffee geek forums for the info.
One might argue that the staub tamp actually contradicts the intention of reducing channeling. Generally, I don't think channeling is his problem (at least not the reason for the extreme fluctuation of pulling shots). I'd recommend using a bottomless portafilter. You'd quickly see whether you have lots of channeling or not.
Same for WDT. It may make a difference, esp. regarding channeling, but that's not the main problem. The problem is variation in coffee grounds used (and/or tamper pressure).
Regarding tampering: I quickly got annoyed of tampering with 20kg of pressure. It just feels stupid. I pressure with medium-light pressure. Obviously, it makes a lot of difference whether you just polish the grounds, tamper with 5kg or with 20kg. It may not be very noticeable in the +-10% range once you're in the 20kg ballpark though, I agree.
Also, do you use a tamper that fits your basket almost perfectly, indesertum?
It's not mine. It's a big marzocco. I think the grinder is one up the upper Baratzas.
What's the point of the yogurt container funnel?
I'll try the staub tamp.
Tamper fits basket almost perfectly.
I don't really feel like my tamping technique changes too often but then again I've never weighed it.
I overdose, distribute in four directions, gently tamp with two fingers to get even pressure, tamp hard with elbow above tamper, polish, remove excess grinds with a brush of finger and twirl, then pull the shot.
I'm concerned I overdose inconsistently. Not sure if that changes the weight of grinds. I just don't have a sensitive enough scale. My scale is +- 5 grams. My sensitive enough scale can't handle all the weight.
I never bothered with the yogurt funnel, its more to reduce waste, allow you more room to work with the coffee. The WDT is all more or less the needle or the paper clip, by vigorously mixing or moving through the fines, you're breaking up the clumps to reduce chances of channeling.
I'm assuming this is for home consumption correct?
If that is so, I'd slow down. Grind into portafiler, tap the bottom of the portafilter onto the table, grind more, tap on the surface of the table, WDT, and proceed to tamp. The taps just serve to make more room since the coffee tends to mound up.
I myself never could get consistency using the professional barista methods of the NSEW finger level. Of course their equipment makes a difference. A Mazzer Super Jolly will eliminate most needs to fuss with distribution due to the professional grade nature of the ridiculous sized burrs. I use a Vario myself, but I still find I must work on the distribution afterwards to ensure good shots. I have done a grind directly into the portafilter, level off, nutate and then tamp with good effect, but sometimes it works sometimes it doesn't,
I'd also recommend a 20$ pocket scale, once you get the right weight, usually in the ballpark of 16-18g, you can then ballpark the time of the grind to reach the weight. Personally I'd err on the side of less than more. Once the puck hits the screen, the shot usually goes to hell.
Work with one variable at a time, using WDT, weighing, and Staub will allow you to figure out if you've dialed into the right level fines. Once you get the consistency, then play around to see if you can get away with doing it by feel.
Good luck, and oh yes make sure the coffee is about 5-7 days post roast and no more than 14-16 days. Otherwise they might be too gassy to pull shots with or too stale.
FWIW, I'm not completely disagreeing with you. Still, I'd say reducing channeling is like improving the polish of his shoes whereas he still has problems figuring out the correct size to wear.
I also don't recommend tapping down the portafilter during the grinding. This compresses the grounds a lot which means that much more grounds fit in the basket, like you said. Not bad, you think? Well, unless you can tap it down exactly the same each time and the grind size would be exactly the same (such that the ffect of compression would not vary from time to time), it wouldn't be a problem. But since it varies, it's one more factor of randomness (unless, of course, you have a scale).
I did the toothpick thingy but whenever I used a bottomless portafilter without doing so, it never got messy. Since I''m lazy, I hardly do it anymore. Still, the yogurt thingy is clever and can't hurt if one wants to possibly improve the shot. I never had any clumps with my Vario v2 so far, or at least none that I noticed. Same with the Staub method. I did it in the beginning, but since I don't do it anymore I haven't noticed a difference. And my portafilter already looks like it was beaten.
indesertum, grind in some light container, weigh it. Your sensitive scale should be able to handle 30-50g, no? If you grind in a container, then refill in into the basket, I'd definitely use a toothpick to even out the grounds though. You could also use something like this (not my pic):
What do you mean by overdosing incorrectly? Basically, you overdose
Then use a postcard or something to carefully shove off any excess grounds (without any downward pressure! you don't want to compress at all!)
Disclaimer: These are not espresso fine grounds. I just dumped some grounds in there to show it (that's also why there are grounds where they don't belong (on the portafilter, und the basket). As you can see, the surface isn't perfectly flat in the 3rd picture. It will be much less noticeable when using espresso fine grounds, but you can reduce the "holes" by shoving the ground off in different directions. Again, no pressure, no tapping down the portafilter whatsoever.
I don't think tamping with fingers is necessary. I also don't bother with removing excess grounds, unless they're on the side of the basket, then I just loosen them up so they drop onto the polished surface. I highly doubt this will have any noticeable effect. I'd also reconsider the Staub technique. A) Your portafilter will look like shit, especially when it isn't yous and your friend hasn't done it before, it'd suck if you messed up the portafilter (that is assuming it's in a good condition). B) You basically tamp, then knock the portafilter to break down airpockets or whatever, but at the same time you break up the tamp again which means that naturally there will be air pockets or air channels again, so you have to tamp again. I'm no fan of it anymore and don't see it's necessary, especially not if you begin with evening out the grounds.
Barista methods are personal. Both our suggestions are worth trying. I originally did not include weighing grounds, but that is important as well.
I personally don't believe in overfilling and leveling off, it seems like a waste of good coffee.
At the beginning, I'd pop the basket out, weigh/tare the basket, dispense into the basket, tap on table, dispense and tap until I got to my desired weight, pop it back into the portafilter, WDT, tamp and load up.
It's long and convoluted, but it made it almost foolproof. Then I eliminated WDT and weighing. It worked for me as a novice, and it's what I do to test the waters of new blends to dial it in. It's very much YMMV, but it helped reduce sink shots for myself.
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