Puckstrology is practiced in some circles of the coffee world.  The dark secret world centering around espresso where the line between myth and reality blurs.  I am not talking about something mysterious like having your fortune told by a mystic who reads the tea leaves in the bottom of your cup.  Those type of diviners of mystical truths might actually know what they are doing - especially if they predict you will be needing a refill of your tea cup. The practitioners of the black art of puckstrology are far more sinister.

These soothsayers look into the blackness beyond a man's soul - they stare into the abyss of a man's spent espresso puck and predict fortune or ruin for the shot just pulled.  Taste has no bearing on the facts.  The dark wetness of the coffee grounds reveals all.  One predicts great extraction based on the imprint of the showerhead screen bolt on top of the puck while another proclaims utter failure based on marsh like soupiness.  

A little better late than never terminology clarification is in order. The puck is a term used for the packed coffee in the filter basket of an espresso machine.  A spent puck is the same packed coffee after the water is pushed through and the coffee is expressed out into the shot glass or cup below. A problem with the puckstrologer's reading is that it has zero consistency in prediction and even less chance of predicting how the shot will taste.

Soupy, firm, cracked, or stuck to the shower screen - I have seen it all and still tasted good espresso.  Long as the stream going into the glass or cup looks right then the shot will be extracted properly and the taste should be fine.  Next time you see any mention of puckstrology ask the practitioner to repent and taste the shot - this will usually send them running for a dark cave where they can mine Folger's crystals to their heart's content. 

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Comments

Submitted by wakeknot on
I agree that it is unwise to read too much from a spent puck and that tastes can show that pucks sometimes lie (I just regret that I can't come up with a clever Shakespeare Puck pun)

Submitted by EricBNC on
<br>I am glad you got a chuckle out of this blog - I enjoyed writing it even though the inspiration is based on what I read in a recent forum discussion.

Submitted by dpablo19 on
I wish we weren't all so adamant about scrutinizing every spent puck, but it feeds our borderline obsessive-compulsive disorder. By the way, the coffee gods have spoken and they have told me "Keep practicing."

Submitted by EricBNC on
<br>jbviau - you can't know how hard I searched for the perfect word play - well done!

Submitted by EricBNC on
<br>dpablo19, I wouldn't mind reading the puck if it gave a consistent report on taste, but the two do not usually correlate - I wonder if the type and roast might come into play to affect the puck too.

The taste is the easiest part to tell if you got a good shot and then pour and finally the puck. Notice how it goes up the line from the bottom?

Puckstrology Debunked

| by

Puckstrology is practiced in some circles of the coffee world.  The dark secret world centering around espresso where the line between myth and reality blurs.  I am not talking about something mysterious like having your fortune told by a mystic who reads the tea leaves in the bottom of your cup.  Those type of diviners of mystical truths might actually know what they are doing - especially if they predict you will be needing a refill of your tea cup. The practitioners of the black art of puckstrology are far more sinister.

These soothsayers look into the blackness beyond a man's soul - they stare into the abyss of a man's spent espresso puck and predict fortune or ruin for the shot just pulled.  Taste has no bearing on the facts.  The dark wetness of the coffee grounds reveals all.  One predicts great extraction based on the imprint of the showerhead screen bolt on top of the puck while another proclaims utter failure based on marsh like soupiness.  

A little better late than never terminology clarification is in order. The puck is a term used for the packed coffee in the filter basket of an espresso machine.  A spent puck is the same packed coffee after the water is pushed through and the coffee is expressed out into the shot glass or cup below. A problem with the puckstrologer's reading is that it has zero consistency in prediction and even less chance of predicting how the shot will taste.

Soupy, firm, cracked, or stuck to the shower screen - I have seen it all and still tasted good espresso.  Long as the stream going into the glass or cup looks right then the shot will be extracted properly and the taste should be fine.  Next time you see any mention of puckstrology ask the practitioner to repent and taste the shot - this will usually send them running for a dark cave where they can mine Folger's crystals to their heart's content. 

Category: BLOG

@intrepid510

October 23, 2011 | by EricBNC


Ha ha! I never thought of it like that but you are right!

Agreed

October 21, 2011 | by intrepid510

The taste is the easiest part to tell if you got a good shot and then pour and finally the puck. Notice how it goes up the line from the bottom?

Message from the puck

September 26, 2011 | by EricBNC


dpablo19, I wouldn't mind reading the puck if it gave a consistent report on taste, but the two do not usually correlate - I wonder if the type and roast might come into play to affect the puck too.

Wolfgang!

September 26, 2011 | by EricBNC


jbviau - you can't know how hard I searched for the perfect word play - well done!

The only thing worse...

September 25, 2011 | by jbviau

...would be Wolfgang Puckstrology!

The truth...

September 23, 2011 | by dpablo19

I wish we weren't all so adamant about scrutinizing every spent puck, but it feeds our borderline obsessive-compulsive disorder. By the way, the coffee gods have spoken and they have told me "Keep practicing."

Thanks

September 22, 2011 | by EricBNC


I am glad you got a chuckle out of this blog - I enjoyed writing it even though the inspiration is based on what I read in a recent forum discussion.

funny and true

September 22, 2011 | by wakeknot

I agree that it is unwise to read too much from a spent puck and that tastes can show that pucks sometimes lie (I just regret that I can't come up with a clever Shakespeare Puck pun)

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