[Homeroast] Turning Bottomless Portafilter

Scace, Gregory E. Mr. gregory.scace at nist.gov
Tue Aug 31 14:20:11 CDT 2010


Near as I can tell, anything downstream from the extraction process doesn't affect the extraction.  So it's misinterpreting reality to think that absence of spouts produces more crema, unless you can pose a good argument that the absence of spouts  and portafilter floor somehow affects what is going on in the coffee cake.  

Crema bubbles are popped when they hit the floor of the pf and when the coffee flows out the bottom and through the spouts.  This certainly changes mouthfeel.  The floor and spouts absorb heat from the coffee, reducing the temperature of the espresso.

There are certainly advantages to the bottomless pf if one is lazy about portafilter cleanliness and if one desires to observe the extraction as it oozes out from the bottom of the basket.  It's a useful training tool, for sure.  And removing the spouts gives some more cup clearance for weird-sized cups.  Personally, I like my espresso a little cooler, so I've gone back to  spouts with my Marzocco, and I keep my portafilters clean.  I still use a bottomless pf on my La Spaz, as the pf is much harder to clean than a stainless steel Marzocco pf, and because I mainly serve milk drinks from the Spaz, under less optimal conditions (machines is in my office at work and cups are odd sized). 

-Greg



-----Original Message-----
From: homeroast-bounces at lists.sweetmariascoffee.com [mailto:homeroast-bounces at lists.sweetmariascoffee.com] On Behalf Of Mike Koenig
Sent: Tuesday, August 31, 2010 10:58 AM
To: A list to discuss home coffee roasting. There are rules for this list, available at http://www.sweetmarias.com/maillistinfo.html
Subject: Re: [Homeroast] Turning Bottomless Portafilter

I'm wondering if the more crema from a bottomless PF is caused by the lack
of agitation from hitting the bottom and the spouts.

Following that logic,  I'm wondering if the balance returns to the shot if
you stir the crema back in just before drinking?

Maybe it's time for me to get out the hacksaw and lop the bottom off one of
my spare PF's..

--mike



On Mon, Aug 30, 2010 at 10:57 PM, Bryan Wray
<bwray_thatcoffeeguy at yahoo.com>wrote:

> Just to weigh in late, without having read many of the discussion early on:
> Re: Spouted vs. No-Spouts-     Most of the differences between spouted and
> spoutless PF have to do with the amount of crema each type of PF produces
> and which type of coffee.
> First, the general facts:- Bottomless produce more crema- Crema leads to a
> fuzzy, thicker mouthfeel in espresso
> My Opinions:- Crema (very generally) contains the majority of the sharp,
> sour flavors in espresso.  These flavors typically persist 2/3 of the way
> back and 1/2" off the centerline of the tongue in my experience, although
> there is not actually a "taste map" as many people think.- A great number of
> aromatics escape during the "scraping" of crema, which was previously acting
> as a crust.
> My Conclusions from "Facts vs Opinions"A shot that has come from a spouted
> portafilter is going to taste more balanced, however, balance can often come
> across as lacking or boring to some.  When you reduce the amount of crema on
> the shot you also reduce the thick feeling of the espresso.  You also (in my
> opinion) decrease the amount of flavor in the shot because you have reduced
> the sharp, sour flavors.  The shot is, essentially, tamer and more
> "controlled."
> Also, to speak to what Mike said, I've been using both styles of
> portafilters for 4 years now, often in side by side comparisons, and in my
> opinion it's a little silly to use portafilters with spouts.  They ARE
> dirtier, no matter how much scrubbing you think you are doing.  Dirty
> equipment= bitter shots.  Also, when something goes wrong on a bottomless
> portafilter you immediately know.  It jets/sprays/channels and you have a
> visible sign.  Why wouldn't you want to know immediately when something has
> gone wrong?  If your shot sprays, something IS wrong.  The only way to see
> spray is to go bottomless.
> As a small side note... In regards to James' blog about crema scraping... I
> think it's important to know James when judging this post.  I've spoken with
> James a number of times at different trade-shows, jams and whatnot.  It
> isn't like we are best buds or anything, but you do get a sense of the type
> of person someone is by following their writing for a long time and I've
> been following James' blog for a number of years, rather religiously. He's a
> great guy and INCREDIBLY smart.  One of the first things you note when you
> meet James is how (sometimes somewhat annoyingly) inquisitive he is.  He
> challenges anyone to speak against his findings openly.  He wants as many
> people to go out and try to prove him wrong as possible, because at least
> then SOMEONE understands what is going on.  Sometimes this comes back to
> burn him later (think his infamous "Chemex technique" instructional video),
> but ultimately, he just wants to stir the pot and get people
>  thinking.  Sometimes, it's purely for his own enjoyment, just to see how
> many people he can get on board with one of his ideas.  Blogs are just
> that... blogs.  Journals.  Thoughts that are often based solely on opinion.
>  I find it a little humorous that anyone on here with an espresso setup that
> has a price tag under $2000(ish) would be willing to completely write off
> James' conclusions about scraping crema.
> -bry
> _______________________
>
> Bryan Wray
>
> Nor'West Coffee
>
> 360.831.1480
>
> Bryan at NorWestCoffee.com
>
>
>
> It is my hope that people realize that coffee is more than just a caffeine
> delivery service, it can be a culinary art- Chris Owens
>
> --- On Mon, 8/30/10, raymanowen at gmail.com <raymanowen at gmail.com> wrote:
>
> From: raymanowen at gmail.com <raymanowen at gmail.com>
> Subject: Re: [Homeroast] Turning Bottomless Portafilter
> To: "A list to discuss home coffee roasting. There are rules for this list,
> available at http://www.sweetmarias.com/maillistinfo.html" <
> homeroast at lists.sweetmariascoffee.com>
> Date: Monday, August 30, 2010, 2:22 PM
>
> One more thing to add to this espresso brewing thread- This wannabe also
> does not like the coffee grounds or fines of any kind to float up the
> column
> of water from the group.
>
> "...[miKe] can pull totally untamped nekkid shots no problem...
> (Problem is tends to dirty up the group screen way fast.)"
>
> Is that all- nothing north of the screen harbors some ultra-fine floaters
> in
> the passages?
>
> I have some hard white cereal bowls and saucers. Pure water from the wand
> always makes a pristine crystal clear puddle when I'm pre-heating and
> looking through the glass demi, then cycling some hot water back to the
> reservoir.
>
> 100° F reservoir water doesn't bother the 55w vibe pump- ( Yay, Crapesso! )
> but the thermoblock heater thinks it's growing muscles, when it's just
> lifting smaller weights twice.
>
> Temperature surfing to brew a shot of espresso is still a fact of life on
> the little bugger, and a disc of bleached and rinsed filter paper retained
> by a Gold [brass] mesh disc on top of the puck stops All the potential
> grounds floaters. Maybe only stops 0.998, but of the Four Great Leaps
> Forward in espresso brewing for me, this little pre-filter was #3.
>
> #1 was the Grinder, and I thought "That's all, folks- can't get any better
> than this."
> #2 was flash or surface freezing the beans in a pressed-flat ZipLoc
> sandwich
> bag before grinding. Better grinding and destroys heat in advance [That's
> It]
> #3 Described above- [No flavors extraneous to the fresh grounds- Can't get
> any better]
> #4 was Vibro-compacting the grounds in the basket, followed by almost Zero
> tamp- just enough tamp to smooth and level the top in conjunction with step
> #3. [Shot got better yet]
> #N Was ist um die Ecke? Es ist schon zu viel Spaß!
> Cheers, Mabuhay, Prost -RayO, aka Opa!
> --
> Persist in old ways; expect new results - enjoy the Insanity...
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