MarkPrince Moderator Joined: 19 Dec 2001 Posts: 5,611 Location: Vancouver, BC Expertise: Professional
Espresso: KvdW Speedster Grinder: Versalab M3 Grinder Vac Pot: A bit too many Drip: Bonavita Roaster: Hario Glass Retro Roaster
Posted Fri Aug 20, 2004, 10:29pm Subject: Simply put: Espronography
Today was a busy day for me - a visit to Ethical Bean in Vancouver, then an extended visit to Alistair's shop (Elysian Room) to further discuss the naked portafilter setup. Alistair mentioned he started formulating the idea a few weeks back when he was fooling around with removing spouts for the pour, but the catalyst was that Chris D, Kyle etc at Zoka posted something almost identical to what he was thinking about doing; Kyle posted the idea and implementation to the SCAA's Barista Board about three days ago. There's a funny story... Alistair read the post, and ran like a little schoolboy to Nathan, his friend and barista at his shop....
"Nathan! Nathan! Someone else cooked up the same idea I'd been thinking about for a few weeks, that portafilter surgery!!!"
Nathan apparently looked at him like his boss was on drugs :) :)
Neway, I've reserved comment on it till now, and I'm still kinda reserving comment until I do some of my own testing. But Hopkin lent me one of his naked portafilters for the weekend, and on Monday, I'm going to get one of mine hacked down (my LM portafilters are a slightly different design than Hopkins' more recent models).
But for now, here's a high res shot of what all the excitement is about.
Posted Sat Aug 21, 2004, 11:25am Subject: Re: Simply put: Espronography
I just came back from Murky Coffee (http://murkycoffee.com/). Nick, the owner, was kind enough to let me compare shots between an unmodified LM portafilter and a “crotchless” LM portafilter. Each PF was fitted with a double basket. I “rinsed” my taste buds with water between sips.
Using the same blend, the shot from the “crotchless” PF was definitely sweeter than the one from the unmodified LM. The shot also had more mouthfeel to it. Of course, that is just my taste buds (subjectively) speaking. Also, the pour from the “crotchless” PF was awesome! Kind of makes you want to extend your tongue under the “crotchless” PF (insert your favorite porn joke here).
Posted Sat Aug 21, 2004, 2:29pm Subject: Re: Simply put: Espronography
Well, I said I wouldn't do it to one of my La Marzocco portafilters, but I just couldn't help myself. I decided that I liked murkycoffee's approach so much, that I took my LM to a metal fabrication shop. I had work done at this shop before, so I knew they would do a great job. The modification turned out better than I could have hoped for, and the result in the cup is wonderful. It cost me $30, money well spent!
I am no espresso expert, so I will say that I think the espresso is better, and I enjoy using this new naked portafilter.
Thanks to everyone at Zoka and murky for sharing their ideas and results.
corey Senior Member Joined: 26 Sep 2003 Posts: 1,147 Location: Perth, Australia Expertise: Professional
Espresso: Synesso, Marzocco Grinder: Mazzer Robur
Posted Sat Aug 21, 2004, 3:27pm Subject: Re: Simply put: Espronography
Thanks all for the photos and willingness to experiment. The naked PF would obviously pose a problem when wanting to split shots in a commercial environment, but for doubles this concept is incredible. I wonder what effect on temp the PF removal would make? Temperatures of brewing and in the final cup I guess, could be affected. I love the idea that more crema is transported directly to the cup and the taste of a shot falling directly into the final cup rather than finding its way through metal channels surely would taste better. The other advantage is that old coffee oils are going rancid in the spouts (which are hard to clean well) therefore cleaning spouts and the bottoms of PF's is now redundant. I have a spare PF at work so it's off to the PF plastic surgeon!
PS Thanks for your input Mark, you know we were all waiting to hear what you had to say!
I have a theory about the temperature variable, hopefully I can explain it clearly. Let's assume that there are two methods by which the temperature of the espresso could be affected, convection (the air around the filter basket and espresso) and conduction (the direct contact of the espresso and basket with the portafilter).
I think convection would have very little effect because the travel of the espresso through the air is only extended by a small distance than if it were going through the spout. In addition I don't think the air could affect the temperature of the grounds and basket enough to change the temperature of the extracted espresso. This is especially true in the design that Nick @ murky came up with, since only the very botom of the portafilter is missing. I think that in this particular situation, convection is not as efficient as conduction in the temperature change, so it's effect is not as critical.
I think that conduction has the most chance of changing the temperature of the extracted espresso. In a normal portafilter there would be two places conduction could affect the temperature. First, the direct contact of the basket with the portafilter would have a conductive effect on the temperature of the basket, and to the temperature of the ground coffee. Second the extracted espresso's contact with the portafilter and spout as it travels to the cup. Since the extracted espresso no longer has contact with the portafilter and spout at all, this method of conduction is eliminated completely, so it's no longer a variable in the temperature stability. So that leaves us with the conduction of temperature from the portafilter to the basket. I think that this conduction is not as critical since very little of the basket touches the portafilter anyway (look at the photo's of Zoka's design and you'll see it's basically the lip of the basket) and the place where the physical contact with the portafilter has not changed, so in theory the conduction to the basket will be basically the same. If my thinking is correct, the contact of the extracted espresso with the portafilter in a normal portafilter is what has the most influence on the temp of the extracted espresso.
All of this is completely theory and opinion, worth exactly what you paid for it.
Boy this is fun!
Edit: At this rate, I may need to change my "Expertise" to "I Live Coffee."
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