[Homeroast] Bottomless Portafilter

miKe mcKoffee mcKona at comcast.net
Tue May 4 21:40:47 CDT 2010

Yeah, keeping multiple SO espresso's dialed in can be a challenge! Currently
in addition to Delirium running Kenya Kirinyaga (just switched from Ethiopia
Haile Selasse), Monsooned Malabar (seriously, Vienna roasted killer caramel
chocolate shots at 208.5, 35sec loose ristretto ~1.5oz - with just a wee bit
of goodly MonMal Funk:), and bag just in last Monday Nicaragua Limoncillo
JavaNic. Was running the JavaNic a wee bit darker slower profile roast
targeted for espresso later part of the week. While I was roasting Bryan was
dialing in Nicaragua Limincillo JavaNic switched to the lighter quicker
"non-espresso" roast for the first time. Now, I hadn't roasted it targeted
specifically for espresso, City+ and not a slower "taming" profile, but that
doesn't matter! First pull ran way fast (like 17sec) but instead of
immediately dumping he bit the bullet, tasted it (standing over the sink),
and immediately spit it out and grimmaced. Simultaneously cranked the grind
down, dose up to ~18.5g (from ~16), and temp up from 200.5 to 202.5. Two
shots later he declared PBJ, cherry PBJ! This was about 30sec pull (after
pre-infusion), 202.7f, 1.5 volume.

Flash forward 4 hours into mid afternoon. Now typically most afternoons need
grinds tightened at the Roastery Coffeehouse. Been roasting, weighing,
bagging etc for hours and decide time for a shot. I go to pull a JavaNic
shot and think, hmmm should adjust the grind but don't. Few seconds in I
know it's gonna be fast. I let the volume go all the way out to 2oz (ACF
ristretto demi filled) even though blonding, killed at 24sec after
pre-infusion. Hmmm, anticpated a bitterish shot. But BAM! Creamy limeade
shot! I mean DAMN, smoothly slightly sweet lightly limeade espresso. Not
just a hint, or a short hit of lime, but a soft limeade dance throughout the
shot. The faster pull really elevated the Nic' citrus character while still
maintaining some of the JavaNic varietal syrupy body. Being an acid head I
just realized that was my first GodShot in a hell of a long long time.
Lifetime #8 IIRC. Go figure, a shot I thought was gonna be a sinker turns
out to open the coffee heavens. Oh, and no channeling:) FWIW not ground with
one of the Majors but a SJ. 

Now heaven help me trying to replicate that shot! I did pull a couple
similar "looking" shots for customers shortly after, but only smelled the
shots so can't be 100% sure. Should have asked if they minded if I dipped a
demi-spoon in for QC but didn't think of it at the time. 


> -----Original Message-----
> From: homeroast-bounces at lists.sweetmariascoffee.com 
> [mailto:homeroast-bounces at lists.sweetmariascoffee.com] On 
> Behalf Of Tom & Maria - Sweet Maria's Coffee
> Sent: Tuesday, May 04, 2010 6:35 PM
> What Andy and Samuel and most everyone else said too. Naked is 
> actually a great term, being that it strips off the disguise of the 
> spouts that might make one thing "oh, i am making a great shot" and 
> shows you what you are really doing. It is frustrating too, 
> especially if you are like me and prefer lighter roasts for espresso 
> than the typical kind. Dialing in espresso is hard and with all the 
> variables of roasting as well, it's quite a challenge. I was talking 
> to a barista at the SO brew bar at Four Barrel and even on a nice 
> Marzocco and tons of experience, managing these variables is not 
> easy. But the bottomless PF gives you the best feedback on your 
> technique. I rarely toss a shot, unless it is really, really bad. I 
> learn from tasting all of them, and every so often I really nail it...
> Tom

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