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What exactly is "Soft Infusion Tecnilogy"
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Burner0000
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Posted Wed Mar 26, 2014, 9:50am
Subject: What exactly is "Soft Infusion Tecnilogy"
 

I just came across an espresso machine that claims it has soft infusion technology.  Can anyone tell me what this is?  I've come across Nuova Simonelli's and Rancilio commercial machines with this option.  Curious to know what it is or does.
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boar_d_laze
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Posted Wed Mar 26, 2014, 10:16am
Subject: Re: What exactly is "Soft Infusion Technology"
 

"Soft infusion" is a type of group head, pre-infusion implementation.  In contrast to reservoir and pump-delay pre-infusion schemes it includes measures to evenly wet the puck across its entire surface and depth during the pre-infusion scheme.  

You're thinking about moving up from a Silvia to an E-61, right?  E-61 groups employ reservoir pre-infusion.

Pre-infusion is helpful for errors like tamping out of level, or failing to seal the puck against the basket wall -- as long as those errors aren't too egregious.  Does it make a difference in the cup"  Tough to say.  Do different types make a difference?  Tougher still.

A machine with some form of effective pre-infusion is far more forgiving than one without.  But I'm not sure that there's a lot of gradation which goes beyond that.  I think NS soft infusion groups are better performers in the cup than E-61s, but also think my Cimbali, with its ordinary Cimbali group plus pump-delay pre-infusion is better than an E-61 as well -- and better than an NS, too.  

All this stuff is subtle to the point where it's easy to imagine differences which don't exist and miss those which do.  So... y'know... take it with a mine of salt.  

Rich
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Burner0000
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Joined: 28 Jul 2011
Posts: 1,090
Location: Cambridge, Ontario Canada
Expertise: Professional

Espresso: Rancilio Silvia, VFA Expres...
Grinder: Macap MX/VFA N1464/Kyocera...
Drip: Manual Drip, French Press
Roaster: Behmor 1600 / Sonofresco
Posted Wed Mar 26, 2014, 10:53am
Subject: Re: What exactly is "Soft Infusion Technology"
 

boar_d_laze Said:

"Soft infusion" is a type of group head, pre-infusion implementation.  In contrast to reservoir and pump-delay pre-infusion schemes it includes measures to evenly wet the puck across its entire surface and depth during the pre-infusion scheme.  

You're thinking about moving up from a Silvia to an E-61, right?  E-61 groups employ reservoir pre-infusion.

Pre-infusion is helpful for errors like tamping out of level, or failing to seal the puck against the basket wall -- as long as those errors aren't too egregious.  Does it make a difference in the cup"  Tough to say.  Do different types make a difference?  Tougher still.

A machine with some form of effective pre-infusion is far more forgiving than one without.  But I'm not sure that there's a lot of gradation which goes beyond that.  I think NS soft infusion groups are better performers in the cup than E-61s, but also think my Cimbali, with its ordinary Cimbali group plus pump-delay pre-infusion is better than an E-61 as well -- and better than an NS, too.  

All this stuff is subtle to the point where it's easy to imagine differences which don't exist and miss those which do.  So... y'know... take it with a mine of salt.  

Rich

Posted March 26, 2014 link

I remembered just after posting this that some commercial machines are equipped with some sort of infusion or profiling option that basically works like a pressurized portafilter I think SCG did a video on one of the Aurelia models Nuova Simonelli sells that had an option where they pulled a shot with a regular 58mm basket without even tamping and the shot came out nicely.. I wonder if this is the soft insusion.. When I was in Jamaica I was offered an Americano and the Barista did the same thing.  Ground, dosed and pulled. No tamp.  The shot tasted great but regardless of the machine I don't want this option.
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Burner0000
Senior Member


Joined: 28 Jul 2011
Posts: 1,090
Location: Cambridge, Ontario Canada
Expertise: Professional

Espresso: Rancilio Silvia, VFA Expres...
Grinder: Macap MX/VFA N1464/Kyocera...
Drip: Manual Drip, French Press
Roaster: Behmor 1600 / Sonofresco
Posted Wed Mar 26, 2014, 11:47am
Subject: Re: What exactly is "Soft Infusion Tecnilogy"
 

Found it.  SCG did a video on the Vuova Simonelli Aurellia 2 that has this function. After over an hour of surfing I finally found some info on this.. lol
Fast forward to 5:30 in the video below.  

Video
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