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Having fun pulling shots.

January 31, 2012

More musings on playing with coffee.  Life has been quite busy, so I have not gotten to play with the T1 ever the way I would like. Pulling shots is really fun for me and I would love to pull shots until I get bored of doing so, experimenting with temperatures, doses, steaming techniques, etc.  Unfortunately or perhaps fortunately because I do love playing with coffee this would require at least several hours in a row before I would want a break and there never seems to be a 3 hour stretch where I can do that.


Today I got to carve out about 45 minutes to play.  I did not learn a ton, but I had fun.  I usually insist on precision, weighing each dose and I let that go today.  In fact I usually single dose, which means I weigh the beans first then grind only those beans and otherwise the grinder is empty, but today I decided to just grind by feel so I could move faster.  I could tell results were less consistent, but not dramatically worse.  Some would argue that is a reason not to single dose, but since it only adds 15 seconds or maybe 30 if I am moving slowly it is not much time saved when I am only pulling one or two shots, so it is hard to see skipping it as a reasonable choice if the coffee ever ends up worse (although there is a camp that thinks all grinders work better if you do not single dose  so they would argue you should never single dose, but I am in the camp that thinks some grinders, such as the Super Jolly, are just as good single dosing as loaded with beans.)


The biggest step I took was steaming milk.  I like the steamed milk I am producing, but I would not win any barista competitions for the art.  I found that on this machine stretching the milk for a longer, but less vigorous period seems to work better than what I had been doing.  This will vary from one machine to another so it is something a barista must learn with each new machine.  It also varies based on a barista’s technique, so it is not the case that you can say “here is how you steam milk on machine X” since it will work best for one technique, but something else will work better if you tilt the pitcher differently, if you put the nozzle in a different spot,…


Anyway, it was a blast.  Now I just need to figure out when I get to do this again (preferably after I come down from my current caffeine high).




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