…GOD arrives at the plan.

Too melodramatic? …Maybe a little …Maybe not!

I’ve had manual Grind On Demand in constant operation at the plan since I arrived, but now it’s official, and unavoidable, achieved with an accurate digital timer on our brand new Anfim Super Caimano! Does this mean we’re all automated and soulless now? Of course not – the grinder still needs frequent adjustment by the human hand of the barista to ensure it’s on-the-money, and everyone at the cafe is trained to use Gloria in a semi-auto fashion, resulting in (hopefully!) sentient command over every shot. This new grinder, used properly, just means a whole array of subtle improvements for the crafting, and the taste, of the espresso.

I spent some time researching this grinder for the cafe, and, whilst I don’t have much experience with a wide range of grinders, this (thankfully!) seems to be as awesome as anticipated (especially for the mid-range price), and certainly worlds away from our old one. It perfectly fits our budget, our volume, and our pretty broad staff needs – empowering our more experienced baristas and myself with more precise control and greatly improved grind/distribution/shot quality, whilst helping to aid consistency for those less practiced and attentive with the espresso.

This ‘2nd revision’ Super has 90 rather than 70 adjustments for the stepped grind, and our version has a timer for two preset doses (adjustable by tenths of a second, with a digital display), enabling us to maintain shot parameters in an ‘infinite’ manner, and also accurately dose for single baskets, as well as doubles. The mods that have been available for a little while in the UK with Delta/Omron timers are great (and marginally more ergonomic, and more rapidly adjustable), but do not allow for two presets, so this new version is ideal for the plan …because we serve standard single shots in our small drinks (except for Flat Whites, naturally, or when a double is requested!). Some folks just don’t want a double in a 6oz drink, and it would be wasteful to only grind for doubles when it’s quieter (that said, I won’t write-off a move to ristrettos across the board at some point just yet! This grinder has allowed me to achieve a few blindingly beautiful 100% brew ratio ristrettos, outside of service. The problem with 53’s being a practical one of the implications of dose and resulting shot volumes to some extent). We also have a neat free-dose button, which is great …even though I’ve not really needed it yet!

The quality of the grind (large 75mm flat burrs, with relatively slow/cool grinding at 800rpm), and especially the dosing, and the distribution of the grounds into the basket from the Anfim is much fabled (and old news to many people) …and the legends are indeed true. I was a staunch advocate of additional finger levelling – for distribution as well as dosing – but since Wednesday when the Anfim arrived, I haven’t felt the urge. Touching that neat, fluffy, perfectly central pile of grounds would perhaps just seem detrimental if anything! Two gentle pats to settle the cone a little, two taps down on the counter to further settle, then a tamp, concentrating now more than ever on levelness (‘cos there’s worryingly little else to do ;)!). Naked extractions are clearly (visually) beautifully even, to the point of perversity. And the wastage under the grinder? Even in narrow 53mm groups? Even after a busy shift? Don’t get me started – what wastage?!

But there’s still lots to learn, and understand, and improve, and tweak, and experiment with, to allow the coffees to shine as they should, as often as possible …but as a tool, this grinder makes searching for the secrets that little bit more …realistic.

I’ve been rather agitated of late, trying to put my finger on the cause, and solution, for frustrating problems with the taste of shots. It’s an ongoing endeavour, that is of course part of a complex fabric of variables, and these problems when they arise (whether severe, or more subtle, or imagined!) are no doubt now largely our (my!) fault, rather than that of the equipment …but it was interesting to note today, upon starting a fresh batch of coffee, just a few days off roast, that many of my concerns seemed to mellow, slightly, to the point of cautiously thinking *oh! that actually tastes about right!*. Another detail to monitor even more closely than usual..!

…Some pics – for those (like me before!) wanting to get a better idea of this grinder:

5 Responses to “…GOD arrives at the plan.”

  1. Youri Says:

    Glad you like it Trevor 🙂
    I usually get shots within 3 seconds variation when using a preset dose on the espresso machine. Pretty good results I think!

  2. Will Corby Says:

    I’ll be in to take a peak very shortly! I’ll make it an early morning or late afternoon call though, any chance I can have a go??

  3. thebeanvagrant Says:

    Absolutely! …Thought you weren’t keen on this model/type of timer though?! 😉 The new display probably makes all the difference – I can imagine it would be very confusing adjusting it without it.

  4. Will Corby Says:

    That’s why I want to see it, the display must make it infinatly better! How does thursday sound? Morning or afternoon, I guess if we went late afternoon we could grab a beer afterwards?

  5. thebeanvagrant Says:

    Sounds great – whichever is best – 9-10am, or 5ish, then a beer (after I’ve cleaned down Gloria, of course!).

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