Archive for October, 2009

Random Thought…

Posted in Coffee/Espresso on October 31, 2009 by thatcoffeeguy

Here’s an out of the blue thought for today:

Looking at the La Marzocco USA blog site today, I happened across some of the pictures that they posted of a GB5 with see through panels.  It got me thinking, why do we stop with just panels?  What if a “naked” portafilter wasn’t just bottomless, but see-through?  What if it was made out of glass or something.  Baskets too.  What if the group was made out of glass as well?

Obviously tapping the portafilter with the tamper becomes a thing of the past- shards of glass in customer’s coffee tend to get bad reviews.  Also, I’m no scientist, so I couldn’t tell you how this would play out for heat retention, structural stability at nine bars and expansion and contraction with heat gain/loss, but it all seems like it would be fine.

Is this something that is possible?  I think it would be amazing to really see what’s going on inside of that portafilter while the pump is running.  We’ve taken the first step, why not take another?  Does turning the portafilter and group into glass actually allow us to see anything inside while the espresso is extracting?

Are there reasons why this is completely impossible?  I know it may not be practical, but I’m speaking just for possible verses impossible.



Once Burrs are Hot, How Hot and for How Long?

Posted in Coffee/Espresso on October 29, 2009 by thatcoffeeguy

Flat vs. conical, the debate that seems to occupy every grinder forum on the internet in at least a couple posts was raised again the other day.  Someone raised a point that, for some reason, I had never thought of before:  Conical burrs have more mass and turn slower, so they don’t heat up as quickly.  We already knew this, this is why they are to a busy cafe’s advantage.  However, once they are hot they are hotter longer because they are larger.  This was a new thought for me, and is obviously to the disadvantage of a really busy cafe during the rush times.

Has anyone ever checked the temperature of their burrs after a really busy couple of hours?  How long does it really take for conical burrs to heat up, especially verses flat burrs?  And once they are hot, do flat burrs cool off faster than conical burrs?  It seems that their smaller mass would mean they would have to, according to physics and all.

So I guess my question is, do shops routinely get busy enough that those “ever-to-our-cooler-advantage” conical burrs get as hot as flat burrs?  Is the conical shape actually to the advantage of staying cooler longer?

Why am I so fascinated with grinders?

I’m interested to see where comments go…