[Homeroast] Portafilter in or out?

John Nanci john at chocolatealchemy.com
Tue Sep 27 09:21:27 CDT 2016


That's slightly different then :)

But I still wouldn't have gone down that road.  I've never found a shop 
that will change anything.  I'll talk shop but never make suggestions 
unless I'm asked outright without leading questions.

John


On 9/27/2016 7:14 AM, Larry Dorman wrote:
> I didn't just jump in and say "Hey man, your coffee kind of sucks and you
> should really do 'x'."  :)  I spent some time with pleasantries and listing
> multiple things I really liked about the shop.  At first he thought I was
> an artist getting ready to ask if I could put something up.  Maybe I caught
> him at a bad time, but he basically prompted me to get to the point when I
> lead into asking if I could provide some feedback on the coffee.  I do like
> the idea of asking about the portafilters as a soft way to have that
> particular conversation.
>
> I have a nice home setup, so I have no need to go to this shop.  However,
> my wife and I go there sometimes just to get out of our house to change the
> environment and talk.  If I'm going to be there taking up their space then
> I want to be a paying customer and I want to enjoy my drink.  :)  There's
> also something about supporting the local coffee shop that is appealing to
> me.
>
> Thanks for the feedback!
>
> On Tue, Sep 27, 2016 at 8:52 AM, John Nanci <john at chocolatealchemy.com>
> wrote:
>
>> I guess I would have been offended too.
>>
>> I would call both of you wrong.
>>
>> I personally think you should have asked if he minded input and/or if he
>> would explain why he didn't keep the PF in.
>>
>> I think it is bunk not to keep the PF in for the reasons you mention.
>>
>> I would simply not order coffee there.
>>
>> Where I live, I have two places I will order coffee of any sort 1) because
>> they do it as I expect 2) because it is good (listed in no particular order
>> of importance).
>>
>> John
>>
>>
>>
>> On 9/27/2016 6:36 AM, Larry Dorman wrote:
>>
>>> So...  there is a local coffee shop (Garland, TX) that has a decent
>>> location and aesthetic, but they are lacking in one critical area which is
>>> the quality of their coffee.  I actually dumped half of an americano from
>>> this shop once because it just wasn't enjoyable.  I like good coffee, but
>>> I
>>> do have some tolerance so for me to dump something is a statement.
>>>
>>> Anyway, I'd love to help this shop get better.  When I was in there this
>>> weekend I noticed that they keep their portafilters laying on a tray on
>>> the
>>> counter instead of in the group when not in use.  It happened that the
>>> owner was in so I mentioned to him that he should keep them in the group
>>> to
>>> keep them hot and that it would improve the coffee.
>>>
>>> I clearly offended the owner.  :(  His first response was to let me know
>>> that he has four other award winning coffee shops.  His second response
>>> was
>>> to state that the manufacturer of the machine (La Spaziale.  I don't know
>>> the model, but it's a small two-group machine.) recommends against keeping
>>> the portafilters in the groups when not actively in-use.  His final
>>> response was that it didn't matter because he trains his folks to run a
>>> small amount water from the group through them before use.
>>>
>>> This doesn't ring true with what I've learned and what seems logical to
>>> me,
>>> but I do want to learn if I'm out in left field.  I can't come up with any
>>> harm in keeping the portafilters in the group.  I suppose if they're
>>> locked
>>> in tight then they *could* cause premature gasket wear.  However, if I
>>> were
>>> running a shop I'd have a plan for regular replacement regardless.
>>>
>>> Otherwise, it seems to me that running a small amount of water through the
>>> PF will only partially heat it... there is a lot of metal there and the
>>> water is only going to heat the immediate area.  The commercial machine
>>> should be able to handle running some water through the group, but that's
>>> still kind of like doing a cooling shot which isn't recommended for a
>>> dual-boiler machine.
>>>
>>> So... was I wrong (from a technical aspect) to suggest to the owner that
>>> he
>>> keep the portafilters in the groups between uses?
>>>
>>> The owner's contention was that he's just had some difficulty getting his
>>> staff fully trained due to timing and turnover.  In fairness, I did get
>>> another americano on this visit and it was fine.
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>>>
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