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And sometimes you just have to throw precision out the window…

October 11, 2011

And sometimes you just have to throw precision out the window…


I am usually a huge fan of control when making espresso.  If you change any variable by a little bit it changes the flavor of the coffee.  Increase your dose, you change the taste.  Change how fine your grind is you change your taste.  Change the temperature you change the taste.  Trying to make espresso if you cannot keep these things under control will result in unpredictable taste.  When you are using a lever machine you can add in even more variables.  


I had put my Pavoni away for a few months and I pulled it out again and started using it and was not having any success.  I could tell long before the cup was even filled that it was going to be another mediocre shot.  


Than a fantastic thing happened.  Simultaneously my scale that I weigh my beans out with broke (or more likely the batteries ran low) and I got a new blend of beans that I had not used in a long, long time that a friend brought to me.


I had no option but to throw some beans in the grinder and go.  I ended up overdosing relative to all of the pulls I had been going with before.  I also opted for a much higher temperature than I had been using because it was a set of beans that I remembered liked a high temperature.  


The result?  A fabulous shot that rivaled the shots I had been pulling on my HX machine (which is by far my favorite).  


The problem had obviously been that I was not off by a little, but instead a lot and keeping such careful control had resisted a major correction that was necessary.  So I guess if you are close control is of great value, but if you are far from what you want you should not be afraid of a dramatic change.




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