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About Colio07

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    Apart from coffee, I play tennis, listen to a wide range of music (and occasionally play), travel
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    Management consultant
  1. I’ve reached the same thinking regarding EK43s for espresso. I have an EK43 but only use it for filter brewing. I use a Titus grinder for espresso, with my Londinium, and I’m very happy with the consistency and taste in the cup. As to your sense that using filters is mostly about flow restriction, I am inclined to agree. Just not sure about whether (for me) it leads to noticeably better taste! But I’m going to stick with it for a little longer to see...
  2. Yes, sorry. Was using ‘significant’ to suggest that using filters seemed to consistently lead to higher extraction yields than not using them, not to mean ‘a lot’. But I can see that wasn’t particularly clear! The groupings are pretty tight, ranging between +0.7% - +1.9%. NB: I didn’t count brews where the espresso ran too fast or too slow. This was usually when dialling in, but a couple of times it ran too slow seemingly for no reason - in those cases I put it down to a shoddy CamLab filter, but I can’t be sure. As to the extent of the rise, Rao said Andy Shechter was reporting a 1.5% EY increase (with no details regarding the conditions under which he achieved this). With all the usual caveats about cross-comparability, I know I have not on average reached that sort of increase, but I’m not too far off so I haven’t been overly concerned that I’m missing something.
  3. I’ve had a few days of experimenting with paper filters when making espresso. Still early days with relatively small sample sizes, but here are my initial observations... First, the conditions. I’ve been experimenting with 3 different beans: Coffee Collective’s La Esperanza, Square Mile’s Red Brick and HasBean’s El Yalcon decaf. They’re fairly similar (single- or part-origin Colombian; broadly similar roast profile), and all about the same age (roasted c. 2 weeks ago). I’ve been keeping my recipe pretty similar across each to try to maintain consistency - though obviously this is not by any stretch exact - dosing finely ground 18.4/18.5g coffee to achieve c. 38g-39g of espresso. All coffee ground in a Titus grinder and brewed with a Londinium I machine and VST 18g ridgeless baskets. London tap water filtered through a BWT Mg+ filter. I’ve been using pre-wetted 55mm CamLab paper filters (Whatman 1 equivalent; 5-13 microns) below the puck, and dry, cut-down Aeropress filters on top of the puck. Naked portafilter to check evenness of extraction. Anyway, I have found that using paper filters on the bottom and top has increased extraction yield by an average of c. 1% for each bean compared with not using filters. As Rao found, I have to grind a little finer when I’m using the filters. The CamLab filters are pretty thick, and don’t seem particularly high quality in terms of fineness or consistency - maybe the Whatman filters are better - but by and large they seem to stop fines from clogging the basket holes. I haven’t noticed materially less channeling, but I’m pretty meticulous in my puck prep so I don’t normally get much channeling anyway. Less crema - the filters seem to soak up some of the oils. So the method is generally achieving what it’s claimed to. What I can’t decide, however, is whether the increased extraction yield (EY) is particularly noticeable in taste. My “control” (without filters) EYs for these beans are around 20%-21%, so bumping absolute EY up by 1% equates to around a 5% increase in extraction versus the control. I think I should be able to taste the difference, but to be honest I’m not sure I can. My wife says she can’t. I’ll keep experimenting. It could be that different beans benefit more from using filters than others. But if I continue not to be able to really taste the difference, I won’t persist.
  4. Yes, that’s right. Sounds reasonable in principle. That said, I’m not sure how necessary this would be if you’ve already got adequate measures in place to mitigate this - e.g. good grinder, good puck prep, low pressure pre-infusion, etc. But I suppose it’s always helpful to have additional safeguards in place in case something goes wrong in the process! Anyway, I’ll let you know how I get on. I’ll be looking at yields, but the primary tests are a noticeable improvement in taste and/or consistency.
  5. I agree with you on EY ‘top trumps’. In my view it’s about improving the flavours one gets from the beans, and clearly the EYs for different beans will be, well, different! I don’t really care whether I can reach a particular absolute figure - it’s not meaningful to cross-compare across experiments. But I do think achieving incremental increases in yield for a particular lot of beans using a number of ‘levers’ (including, possibly, paper filters) is useful in trying to find the ‘sweet spot’ of flavour. Looking forward to receiving the filters tomorrow so I can try it out.
  6. Thanks. Yes, I’m using VST baskets. I’ve also got an EK that I’m using for filter coffee. Might try it again for espresso with the paper filters method, just to contrast/compare vs the Titus.
  7. Thanks. It’s worth a try, anyway. On extraction yields - as with seemingly everything in coffee, really - I realise it’s about progression / incremental improvement, so I don’t expect the filters to be a panacea. Sounds as though you haven’t carried on with this. Why not? Too much of a faff for too little improvement in taste?
  8. Some of you may have seen this already (or indeed may be doing this already), but Scott Rao’s latest Instagram post is about him experimenting with using paper filters above and below the puck when brewing espresso. He says it enables him to grind finer and increase extraction yields while significantly decreasing channeling. Apparently it’s something Andy Schechter started doing years ago... Using this method with his normal 1:3 ratio with light roast beans on a Decent Espresso machine & Baratza Forté grinder gets Rao regularly to around 24%-25% extraction yield, which he expects could be optimised to around 26% with darker roast, aged beans. He is using a pre-wetted 55mm, 10 micron paper filter (sometimes 20 microns... Whatman 1 or 4 paper filters, apparently) below the puck and a dry Aeropress filter on top of the puck. Both filters are available on Amazon. I’ve already got Aeropress filters, and I’ve ordered some Whatman paper filters tonight (due to arrive on Friday). I will try this method as soon as they arrive, and will report back. In the meantime, does anyone else have any experience with this method and feedback to share on the results?
  9. Oh well. Thanks for looking into this!
  10. My latte art remains (consistently) simple and wonky, but I’m making progress.
  11. Thanks. Frustrating that they have such high delivery prices - hope they’re reasonable in their reply.
  12. I’d be up for 10 if you’re planning to go ahead with this
  13. This is what I do - think many lever owners do the same. Doesn’t obstruct opening / closing the cupboards.
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