rusty  g1

                 …Out                                                    …In

The last few days have been a whirl of frenzied busyness at the cafe, what with one thing and another. Perhaps the crowds are here to see Gloria, but in truth, it probably has more to do with the fact the 8th wonder of the world which has just opened nearby: John Lewis Cardiff, and, imminently, the remainder of SD2.

Fortunately though, Gloria has moved in, been introduced to the team, and is settling in very nicely, helping us to refuel lagging shoppers with some especially lovely coffees (while ‘Rusty’ is enjoying a well earned retirement)!

There’s lots to get used to, as with any new machine, and so little time to experiment with the details, but, learning curves aside, already the difference in both the quality and the consistency of our espresso is worlds away..!

…Shots are sweeter, cleaner, brighter, truer, and altogether more sparkly, and representative of the coffees!

…Milk is now creamier and of a more consistently wonderful texture!

…Bottomless shots (my first) are *Super Wow!* and and full of promise, as well as taste and texture!

…Shots are, weirdly; hotter..!

…No more gushing shots, that are simultaneously sour and bitter monstrosities! (not as eye-wateringly at least)

…Configurability is quite perversely well appointed!

…Each group seems to contain magical sprites whose job it is to paint the crema of each shot with richly flecked, intricately beautiful tiger striped mottling!

…With 3 fully and independently functioning groups, and 2 wands, our potential output is (potentially) multiplied by some ridiculous figure!

By far the biggest difference for me in terms of technique is the change in group size. This will take some adjusting to in order to utilise it to its best potential. The 58mm groups are certainly the only thing that I perhaps miss about our old machine, but even this may change once Gloria and I get better acquainted. It is strange not being able to dose at 16-20g any more: Doses now (as far as I can initially see) need to be 16g or less (17g at a push, when the conditions are right); even with smaller group support plates in place. I knew doses would need to be smaller on the whole, but I had anticipated still being able to dose up to a maximum of about 18g, but this doesn’t seem to be the case. It’s also odd not being able to employ any additional finger distribution and leveling any more – almost no occasion safely allows for this with the 53mm’s, so I think it’s best to forget about it entirely, and work on developing a consistent method that doesn’t ever involve it.

But what’s a few grams less, or a different surface layer, when the coffee tastes this good?! Rather than updosing ability, 53mm groups are designed to offer greater consistency, and this will be a great thing for the cafe. And regardless of these aspects, the coffee is undeniably immeasurably superior now. It probably just focuses attention more towards the grinder…

The only other decision right now is whether to go flat, or US curve again for my replacement RB tamper base! Don’t think I’ll be venturing down the Euro route…

Ps: Our new baby isn’t sleeping through the night yet, but it’s early days!

9 Responses to “Hello!”

  1. blackmountainscoffee Says:

    I don’t believe you sorry. I’ll just have to come in and taste for myself.

  2. Trevor Says:

    The more the merrier …although my legs might seem to disagree!

    • Trevor Says:

      (Ps. You’re quite right not to believe me – my barely contained enthusiasm might be deemed overzealous, and only accurately reflects my own limited perspective. From other viewpoints, it might be complete rubbish!)

  3. The Caffeine Kid Says:

    I’ll be in tomorrow for a shot! Have only just had the internet installed after 2 months, its a good bit of news to kick of having it back!
    See you in the morning!

  4. thebeanvagrant Says:

    No internet for two months?! You deserve a coffee!

  5. Youri Says:

    Hi Trevor,

    I just made an espresso with 20 grams in a 53mm basket. 25 seconds extraction time. Worked really well, shot was beautiful.

    You just need to tap the handle in between quite a lot when filling the basket.

    Have you tried it yet with 20 grams or so?

    I usually only use 16 grams but thought I would try it after reading your post.


  6. Trevor Says:

    Ah-ha! …Interesting! Especially today, I too have been tending more towards tapping the handle down a few times on the counter prior to tamping to try to get a bigger dose. Wasn’t sure if it was ‘acceptable’ (as the action feels a bit violent!), but it seemed quite a natural thing to do, as it both helped to better settle the grounds evenly (something I’m very conscious of now that I can’t finger distribute them), as well as raising the dose in a way which is (sometimes) desirable.
    Not sure how much I was dosing today, as I didn’t have my scales, but when I weighed last week, 17g was as much as I could get in (even with a hard tamp, and depending on the grind/coffee) without the dose beginning to touch the screen prior to brewing. There might be a variance in the screen height between different 53mm machines, but I’ll weigh the new techinque next time I can, and see if 20g is ever safe/possible with ours!
    Haven’t weighed my shots on the new machine yet; the crema’s doing some interesting things (especially with the naked p/f!), so checking the ratios out will be interesting too.
    So much to practice and experiment with! 🙂

  7. Hugo Says:

    I recently spent the day weighing doses and shots for James’s survey and pretty consistently dosed 18g from the Anfim. I have to say my technique on the Anfim, with it’s surreal grind quality, has become a simple dose, double tap on the bar & tamp. The tap feel very logical and natural.

  8. Trevor Says:

    Yep, those Anfim’s are mad – can’t wait …fingers X’d!

    Plenty to be going on with for the mo though!

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