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Lever workflow in a busy and good quality shop

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Let me preface as to why I am asking this...

 

I recently went to a roastery/coffee shop out of a sheer curiosity as they do have a lever machine. Not any machine, but a Kees van der Westen Idrocompresso! Mythos, EK43 on the bar too... I had my hopes up, as you can see! I grabbed the only seat available, which conveniently was at the side of their espresso bar, so I had a good look at their workflow. Two baristas on duty with no timer or scales for the grinder or beverage output, slightly different tamping techniques (if I were to nitpick), different pre-infusion approaches (as far as I could tell, one barista waited for drips and the other just used time/feel) and then I saw one of them pour out some of the espresso for the reasons I do not wish to understand (still curious, just don't want to derail the topic too much).

 

I had single origin (house) espresso and a flat white. The espresso was just meh and FW was too large and too hot (usual problem to me, so I'd disregard it as a preference). My guess espresso yield was too much as it felt rather dry and over-extracted, but I'd rather not speculate since I didn't end up buying their beans to try myself.

 

It got me wondering... scales, PuqPress, etc. are no longer alien to some shops which do produce good quality espresso. What's the workflow in a coffee shop that is dedicated to good quality espresso and the shop happens to have a spring lever machine? Even spring assisted lever machines are still manual and require a lot of attention, but I don't think many places can afford time for the routines many of us employ at home.

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Not exactly answering your questions but the only place I have witnessed a workflow utilising weighing, levelling, pre infusion the same every time, weighing out etc has been Foundry using their Londinium machine. I think they work out the weight/time etc for the beans that morning and only tweak during the day if needed. They are quick, efficient, and every shot is excellent. I honestly don’t feel they are faffing or taking too long, each stage takes just a few seconds.

 

Your experience sounds awful. Is that kind of service down to training . . .


2019 L-R with hand turned Thuya burr handles and toggles / 1998 La Pavoni / Monolith Titan Flat & Conical, MAX Flat on order  / HG-1 / Kalita wave / Stag kettle / OCD / Joey Skateboard Handle Pullman Big Step & matching stirrer / Wenge Handle Lev Tamp / Push Tamper / Puqpress / 15g & 18g vst / IMS 35μM / LDT / Barista Gear Titanium 12oz pitchers / LW Bean Cellars & Caddy / Decent thermometer / Acme Evo 150ml cups / Espazzola / Hottop / embroidered by me bar towels / in the cellars: Steampunk, North Star, Foundry, The Barn, HasBean, Coffee Compass / 6 gorgeous guineas / a dog / a very lovely husband 

 

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My local cafe up to 2 years ago , had a two group feama going. They weight in and out (not puqpress etc) . Ultimately rightly or wrongly they have now ended up with a rock solid volumetric machine , as they struggled with the Saturday crush in there. Staff tours over , training , i think played a part as volumetrics can be easier for less involved people to use...

 

This isn't a diss a levers etc and I know people will chip in saying that their workflow was at fault etc. Just documenting their journey not making an objective statement on whether a cafe can handle high volume with levers.


I write a blog, it's nothing to do with coffee ...

https://rjwinc.wordpress.com

Instagram - rjw_inc

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Lever machines are manual and in a busy shop require much more attention to ensure good quality espresso. Recall dropping into a place in Newcastle @dfk41 which had a KVW lever - the coffee wasn't good. Atkinson's in Lancaster had a Faema dual lever in the Halls but this got removed to the training room. This is why coffee shops who care about what they are doing invest in high end kit - volumetric or, even better, gravimetric espresso machines. Once dialled in, these machines don't require any skill to pull a perfect shot unlike a lever machine where the barista needs to know what s/he is doing.


Londinium-R - EKS43 running SSP Silver Knight burrs

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[video=youtube_share;GRTebBz7450]

 

classic approach that.

 

I believe first and foremost it takes a dedicated barista who knows his machine inside out and is willing to fiddle with it during the day. Not every coffee shop has 100% staff that are up to the job like they could/should be.

In your case of a very special setup it makes you wonder what the person responsible for this equipment purchase intended to showcase, their coffee or their purchasing power? Because the more hands-on the approach the more will go wrong when different folk try to pull shots...

If we decide to expand into the café world one day, I'll be very careful to get machinery that allows someone else to use it in the very same way as I would in their place at any time.

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[video=youtube_share;GRTebBz7450]

 

I love this guys videos. He's got his workflow spot on


LR, ZM

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I love this guys videos. He's got his workflow spot on
Gotta love his milk steaming construction in above example! everybody 'round here would end up with hot bubbles all over the counter but Dritan gets perfect texture from it

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I love this guys videos. He's got his workflow spot on

The coffee he uses scares me though .


I write a blog, it's nothing to do with coffee ...

https://rjwinc.wordpress.com

Instagram - rjw_inc

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Gotta love how he gets bored of tulips & starts to play a bit more.


Laissez les bons temps rouler

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Wasn't up near Edinburgh was it?

 

Artisan have one..

 

32479729237_1560b90f4f_c.jpg

 

You can see who uses what here...


Input: 'Terranovered’ Versalab M3 + Mahlkonig EK43 Turkish burrs + Niche

Output: KVdW Speedster + V60 + AeroPress + Syphon + Bialetti Induction Moka Pot + Bialetti Mucka Express + jar of instant for visitors..

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Wasn't up near Edinburgh was it?

 

Artisan have one..

 

32479729237_1560b90f4f_c.jpg

 

You can see who uses what here...

That's only a 3 group.

Laissez les bons temps rouler

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Wasn't up near Edinburgh was it?

 

Artisan have one..

 

32479729237_1560b90f4f_c.jpg

 

You can see who uses what here...

 

It wasn’t Artisan! There’s few more in the list... but I’m not sure they have ever been mentioned in this forum.

 

I don’t frequent in coffee shops often enough, so just been wondering. On the other hand, I realised that attention to detail won’t change much between a pump with volu/gravi-metrics and a lever.

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Lever machines are manual and in a busy shop require much more attention to ensure good quality espresso. Recall dropping into a place in Newcastle @dfk41 which had a KVW lever - the coffee wasn't good. Atkinson's in Lancaster had a Faema dual lever in the Halls but this got removed to the training room. This is why coffee shops who care about what they are doing invest in high end kit - volumetric or, even better, gravimetric espresso machines. Once dialled in, these machines don't require any skill to pull a perfect shot unlike a lever machine where the barista needs to know what s/he is doing.
You could also argue that a volumetric machine can turn out bad shots if it's not used properly. I'd also add that dialing in on a daily basis and using fresh beans has a bigger impact on shot quality.

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It wasn’t Artisan! There’s few more in the list... but I’m not sure they have ever been mentioned in this forum.

 

I don’t frequent in coffee shops often enough, so just been wondering. On the other hand, I realised that attention to detail won’t change much between a pump with volu/gravi-metrics and a lever.

 

i was in this artisan last Wednesday but they didn’t have a mirage. From what I remember it was a Linea pb. Still weigh grinds and extraction though


Londinium R, Hg-one, button tamper, vst,ims,V60,siphon,aeropress...and still no idea

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If your in London and want a decent Lever espresso which isn’t

charcoal Italian roast, try a visit to Lanark in East London.

 

The guy there used a 3 group Victoria Arduino levee ( as used by Gelym Davis )

with an EK43.

Beans appear to be preweighed in individual portions ( Darkarts coffee )

 

Seems to be fine with moderately busy times, and coffee is always very good.


__________________________________________/////EK43////EXP DB/////

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I haven’t been, as I never find myself in Worksop, but Piccolo there have a decent 3 group lever machine apparently, that the guy running the place knows how to use.

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Not exactly answering your questions but the only place I have witnessed a workflow utilising weighing, levelling, pre infusion the same every time, weighing out etc has been Foundry using their Londinium machine. I think they work out the weight/time etc for the beans that morning and only tweak during the day if needed. They are quick, efficient, and every shot is excellent. I honestly don’t feel they are faffing or taking too long, each stage takes just a few seconds.

 

Your experience sounds awful. Is that kind of service down to training . . .

 

Sounds like they are going to have a serious problem with consistency.

 

We weigh all our doses and the output for every shot. We have parameters that we adhere to in order to save a bit of time. Our dose has to be within 0.1g of the recipe and the yield within 1g. Anything outside of those parameters goes down the drain.

 

Lever workflow doesn’t really need to be much slower than it would be on a pump machine. Obviously it’s a fully manual process so you just end up getting really good at knowing how long things take and what you have time to do while the shot is pouring etc. It’s actually incredibly satisfying when it’s super busy but when I do barista shifts, I often leave with seriously aching arms! - which I notice much more now that I do less shifts.

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If your in London and want a decent Lever espresso which isn’t

charcoal Italian roast, try a visit to Lanark in East London.

 

The guy there used a 3 group Victoria Arduino levee ( as used by Gelym Davis )

with an EK43.

Beans appear to be preweighed in individual portions ( Darkarts coffee )

 

Seems to be fine with moderately busy times, and coffee is always very good.

I'll second Lanark. Absolutely banging.

 

Also, @JKK you have too many PMs in your inbox...


'it's all about the microbubbubbles'

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