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Post By rustyfence
Extracting Fiefy's Organic Latte Art Blend
Having just replaced my trusty Silvia with a shiny new BZ10, I was keen to start putting the new machine through its paces. With my Corretto temporarily off-duty, I ordered 1kg Fiefy Latte Blend (brown) from Andy, and in the interim used some stale, cheap supermarket beans while I awaited their arrival. The supermarket beans gave some unexpectedly decent shots for milk drinks ... a great start, and I was optimistic in getting some excellent shots from the fresh CS roast.
Unfortunately it didn't turn out quite so easy - I ran through about 0.5kg attempting to dial in Fiefy Latte. Changing one variable at a time, I tried 16g factory, 18g Pesado and 20g Pesado baskets, with normal, up, and down dosing, ground to provide a suitable extraction time in each case. Ultimately, 15g in the 16g basket, with an extremely fine grind, provided the best tasting extraction, with some nice toast flavours in there. After searching some necro-threads, it looks like others have previously hit the same combination for Fiefy blends - could have saved me some beans if I had read first!!
Anyway, at the 15g dose I found a double shot was needed to make a 160ml cap of sufficient flavour - something I had never had to do with the Silvia. My higher dose shots would inevitably tend towards unpleasant bitterness, with the bitterness lingering in the mouth for quite some time as an unpleasant aftertaste.
Having dialled in to a good tasting grind and dose for this blend, the story would end here ... except for crema. Being especially designed for latte art, I was expecting to extract shots with a good layer of crema to draw on. But the shots I am pulling at the nice-tasting lower doses provide a crema layer that covers only maybe 70% of the liquor surface in a standard 160ml IPA cap cup. Worse, much of this dissipates if left for 30-60s. To get a bit more crema I need to dose higher, and grind coarser but this doesn't taste good (and still this is barely enough to cover the surface of the shot in a thin layer). None of the shots are giving anything close to a gloopy golden viscous flow - they start off dark and thin and then turn the right colour but stay thin.
This blend seems to be have been a staple of CS for many years, so I'm guessing the issue here lies with machine, barista, grinder or all. I know BZ10s have a reputation for being a little finicky and favouring taste over body .... but I'm pretty sure something is not quite right. Maybe it is a blend/roast that is just not suitable for the BZ10? Does anybody have any extraction tips they can offer for this blend?
For info, my grinder is a Macap MC4, original burr set, probably done about 100kg in total, last cleaned maybe 10kg ago. The BZ10 is new, gauges are showing factory settings of ~1.2-1.3 bar boiler pressure and 12 bar OPV brew pressure setting (others have reported that this corresponds to actual pressure at the group of about 9-10 bar when Scace tested). The beans were about 6-7 days post-roast during the testing. Pucks tend towards wet/sloppy (compared to Silvia's spongy/dry/firmer pucks)
Got a lot of variables to work with there!
Learning any new machine setup will require some tweaking, but from what you've said I think the major variable here is possibly going from home roasted (lots of possible variation here) to commercial beans (less so - especially from one supplier). If you're firing up the corretto again soon, maybe fiddling too much will be counter productive - you'll need to do it all again when you change back. But if you're going to stick with Andy's beans…
It is possible that the new machine is running cooler than the Silvia, and the fluid/pump dynamics are a little different too. If you're used to lots of thick, dark crema, this may be part of the cause.
I'm not a big one for endlessly discussing different basket sizes etc. If I were in your situation with those beans though, I would consider that they are possibly roasted a little faster and lighter than you are used to from your home roast. I would tend to fine up the grind/dose higher/tamp lighter and see what result you get. I normally use 19.5g in a standard Diadema double basket FWIW. If I get thin pours, this is what I tend to do
The one thing I didn't change was tamp pressure, and I am a heavy tamper usually. So there is plenty of room to back off: I will try a light tamp at a higher dose and finer grind, and report back. You are right that I am used to darker home roasts, and Andy's Fiefy is probably a middle.
As a sanity check, I went out and purchased a darker commercially roasted blend locally, which were specially marked as high-crema (I'll call them X). X were roasted 5 days ago, and I was able to see the barista at that roastery pull a shot on his commercial gear, and taste. I dosed 20g of X in a 20g Pesado on the BZ10 at home, and this is my best effort so far:
X is definitely bolder and punchier than Fiefy's and can cut through milk well, but to my taste Fieffy's has nicer and more subtle/interesting flavours. But the main thing I wanted to check here was crema production. On the commercial gear I reckon 80% of the initial shot volume of X appeared as crema, before settling down. On the BZ10, the crema volume was definitely reduced compared to the commercial pull, but still I think acceptable, and substantially more than I am able to extract from Fiefy's.
So once the hopper full of X is empty (maybe a day or two) I'll go back to Fiefy's with a light tamp/finer grind and upload a video.
A fine setup you have there and whilst I've never had a Bz10, I have very fond memories of my time with my Bezzera.
They are a fine well constructed machine in my experience.
What MAtt said in his first line is where I have you return and establish a 'baseline' setting with your kit.
Which size basket ? Your choice. But as you mention shot / finished beverage strengths maybe the 16g OEM is a good start.
First off I found my Bezzera required at least 8mm clearance for the showerscreen so as not to disturb the puck upon locking the handle in.
So finding what is the maximum dose for (each) basket is where I'd suggest you start. Of course tamp pressure has an effect here, but I use it as a final point of control to fine tune - 1st puck height, preinfusion time and then total shot time / flow / yield.
A good flat base sq edged matched tamper ( you might require more than *one ?) with between 8-10mm shoulder height is a very convenient easy way to assess the final adjustments to your puck.
I'd suggest you setup puck height so that post shot the imprint of the showerscreen is just evident. Which is an easy way to start and find what your kit needs to pull consistent good shots. Later on you can lower the dose ( 0.5 to 1.0gm) and grind finer, tamp heavier if you so choose.
Be consistent with your bean first, then your dose then from there work on the grind setting and then finally the tamp.
Of course as all good CS'ers know only change one thing at a time.
Whilst your working your way through this gulf of uncertainty, recording the 'metrics' is a lot easier than relying on your memory and 2nd guessing yourself.
Weigh the dose and the resulting shot , as well as time it. This will give you the info you need to direct you towards the next change, where required.
Hope this works for you, it has for me.
"So once the hopper full of X is empty (maybe a day or two) I'll go back to Fiefy's with a light tamp/finer grind and upload a video."
PS with up to mid 40 deg temps in S.A. in summer I personally prefer (in Qld) not to be leaving beans for days in a Doser.
I Rebag my roasts in 150gm lots or so ...enough for 3-5 days use and dose per the demand of each session.
A search here will give you Andy's opinion of dosing out of a 1kg or even a 500g bag of fresh roasted beans and how they will gently fall off after 15, 20 or even 25 separate openings of that bag.
This stuff is only 1% but all the 1% add up to what we are all chasing .....Consistency.
Cheers EA. My (only) tamper is the one at the link below, which came with my Silvia when I purchased it from Coffee-A-Roma about 6 or 7 years ago. A nice tamper, but for sure there is quite a bit of loose play between tamper and basket and the tamper base edge has a slight radius. Maybe the next purchase should be a 58.5 calibrated tamper.
Regarding headroom - I did a number of "5 cent" tests for headroom after the difficulty with some of the early Fiefy's blend shots, and suspect that the updosed shots did impinge on the showerscreen, perhaps cracking the puck and leading to channelling. But channeling shouldn't have been happening in the lower-dose shots (unless brought on by my heavy tamps). With Silvia I always dosed by volume, but with BZ10 I am dosing by weight using kitchen scales. Only once so far have I seen an imprint of the shower-head screw on the puck post-shot, so I will try some small dose increases until I get that.
After reading reports on CS that the BZ10 can be unforgiving, and that the IMS baskets can also be unforgiving, the combination may be unforgiving squared? Consensus seems to be that the EP HQ precision baskets are more forgiving (?) ... I reckon I will try setting a baseline with that filter and Fiefy's blend. I already have a double EP HQ basket on order from Talk Coffee, should be here in a few days.
Last edited by rustyfence; 12th January 2018 at 01:00 PM.
Reason: Replaced Coffee-A-Roma ebay link with link to their own website
Rusty I'll answer with your last post contained in my reply to make things easier.
First off lets keep things simple and focus on the basics.
"My (only) tamper is the one at the link below, which came with my Silvia when I purchased it from Coffee-A-Roma about 6 or 7 years ago. A nice tamper, but for sure there is quite a bit of loose play between tamper and basket and the tamper base edge has a slight radius. Maybe the next purchase should be a 58.5 calibrated tamper."
Sure imho the tamper maybe only 5 / 10 % of the 'whole beans/ dose/ grind/ tamp recipe but remember the tamp is relevant to the grind and both are relative to the bean ( quality freshness etc. AND the grind setting).
With my Bezzera (1st prosumer after sunbeams etc ) thats where I found the importance of setup. Remember you are chasing a consistent shot.
With out consistent setup how can that happen....yes a lucky once in a while.
I'll return to the tamper below. But suffice to say even if you have every other thing bang spot on, without a good fitted tamper you will experience shot results varying say with time, volume, taste etc. Vice versa with dry old beans or wrong grind or inconsistent dose etc AND a matched tamper you'll still experience results varying all over the place. A good tamper will give you the final key to consistency but wont overcome any other ills.
Get a set of Vernier Calipers. Get each basket. Find where 8-9mm from the top sealing edge of the basket is and lightly contact measure.I'll guess at 58.4mm for your OEM baskets. The Pesado's ( I don't have) ?.
I have 8 differnet baskets I can and do use. 4 differnet Tampers between 58.15 and 58.72mm.
** I have found through trail and error between 0.15 and 025 mm under the actual basket reading is a good fitment.
That wont be so tight as to disturb the puck upon removal but will give a clean edge firm tamp transferal.
With having good quality baskets - numerous ones that you have - you downplaying their quality by not matching a tamp base to it.
So WIth a good quality tamp handle and removable bases - if you did require more than one size tamper - you can then get the varying base sizes you need and bring them out to suit which basket your using at the time.
"Regarding headroom - I did a number of "5 cent" tests for headroom after the difficulty with some of the early Fiefy's blend shots, and suspect that the updosed shots did impinge on the showerscreen, perhaps cracking the puck and leading to channelling. "
Yes thats why Im suggesting you stick first with one basket first. One setup dose one safe head height THAT does impact the screen lightly During the shot. Once you mastered the variables with this then you can experiment - i.e. down dose / finer grind / different tamp etc.
OR transfer that setting to another basket and refine it etc etc.
"Only once so far have I seen an imprint of the shower-head screw on the puck post-shot, so I will try some small dose increases until I get that."
Again chase this as your first 'Baseline' setup. Master it taste it evaluate it. Then move on. All of the shot, taste + metrics, will direct you from there.
"But channeling shouldn't have been happening in the lower-dose shots (unless brought on by my heavy tamps). With Silvia I always dosed by volume, but with BZ10 I am dosing by weight using kitchen scales."
BUT wrong grind will ....flow to quickly with a low dose setup.
OR A short pre-infusion from the same low dose/too coarse a grind - will evolve into a fast quick thin pore.
A tamp (too small a tamper) that allows the pressure to push back up the sides of the basket is only adding to the inconsistent results!
Remember a quick pore is unlikley to produce lots of crema OR at best pale crema, due to a lack of infusion f the water / pressure through the grinds.
Your chasing nt just crema but rich dark brown golden tinged red rosa in the crema.
Not pale fawn coloured crema.
"After reading reports on CS that the BZ10 can be unforgiving,"
You know what I'll now call that out as rubbish. My BZ99 has a similar 'head height ' to my now Rocket and similar to most commercial group heads ( about 15) I've had exposure to.
That was pedalled around here around 20 mths ago till about just on 1 yr ago. Those who are constant readers here will know the significance of a certain change this time last year. I'll move on.
But Bezzera's in my opinion are great machines. Take the time to know it and work with it.
" and that the IMS baskets can also be unforgiving, the combination may be unforgiving squared? "
I have no experience with these. But would consider them to be good quality, and I'd be happy to try them.
BUT I'd guess they're no different to the OEM Rockets, Synesso's, HQ, VST, OEM Expobar, Generic 22gm, i have.
You have to work with each one.
Different inside diameters? Yes definetely. Some are straight sided...Yes sure are. Some are finely tapered, Yes and you need to observe that*.
Some (1) even sits higher in my naked handle. So the lug to sealing edge is longer ....so i observed i was getting screen fracturing ...so yes my setup height for the puck is measured lower into the basket to compensate.
* Thats where you need to be carefull of measuring down into the basket to get the correct diameter size.
" Consensus seems to be that the EP HQ precision baskets are more forgiving (?) ... I reckon I will try setting a baseline with that filter and Fiefy's blend. "
They are a fine basket. beautifully engineered and rock solid consistent. If you work with it!
But you know buy one, put stale cardboard s/market beans in it, guess what dose, then grind it wherever and then tamp it with a Plastic Tamper ....you see what Im saying.
Then someone posts up here and says I just bought a you beaut new ABC Basket and I cant get it to work. It flows 45ml in 15 sec... Man its crap..I was told it was assured....etc etc.
"I already have a double EP HQ basket on order from Talk Coffee, should be here in a few days."
Now your talkin.!
Why don't you ring him and get the order put on hold.
Find the baskets you have and measure them WITH a vernier calliper. Yeah I know. Try a kind hearted engineering shop nearby. They're a common tool in any metal work / mechanical works.
Get Chris to match a tamper on at least one of the baskets.
Then stick with it till you master* it completely.
Meaning Im going to change something in my dose / grind / tamp and therefore my shot should change to do this etc etc.
Meaning your predicting the changed effect before you make the input change.
What does all this convoluted garble mean?? Your now analysing your own work and you dont have to read longwinded gumpf from me.
Apols for the length.
PS say gday to Chris...no I've never met him r spoke to him. I do know without his and the other fine contributors here I;d still be dealing with a $20 machine with a blade grinder and trying to understand why my first shot tasted worst than the Maccona I was drinking at the time.
Now look whats happened .... Ive outed myself. oh the shame
Last edited by Javaphile; 12th January 2018 at 02:22 PM.
Reason: Fixed link(s)
Thanks for the tips and encouragement Mal, EA.
Mal I have the micrometric version of the Macap MC4, so very fine tuning is definitely possible. For coarse movements I don't bother removing the micrometric adjuster - I just keep turning it.
EA, I did some measurements with digital calipers, and it turns out the tamper is 57.9-58.0 dia, and most of my "58" baskets are 58.9-59.0 near the top. So assuming I have the tamper centred there is about 0.5mm play each side.
This arvo I put Andy's roast of Fiefy's Blend back in the hopper, dumped a few seconds of first grind, and dialled in over a couple of shots. With it set up for a reasonably fine grind with a touch under 19g in the 20g Pesado/IMS basket I already have, and a lightish tamp, here is the result:
Starts reasonably well, gets a little bit viscous but not hugely so, and then pressure drops and wateriness ensues towards the end of the shot. Cut the shot off a little early to avoid bitterness, which seemed to work - was less bitter than previous attempts and made a nice tasting cap. The crema is a touch better than previous attempts: initially it *just* covers the surface of a single shot in a cap cup and slowly recedes from there. At this stage I think I'm still looking at needing doubles to make latte art with the Fiefy blend though.
Certainly looks like you’re getting the hang of it. With how soon the pour begins and the lightness of the crema I would still tend to fine up and dose a little higher, but I tend to like a slow drippy pour And semi-commercial type machines tend to handle that a little better...
"A drip that wants to pour."
Matt is on the money..... you need to slow your pour down a tad, still.
When the coffee first appears you want to see viscous droplets that form into a 'mouse tail' stream after a second or two.
Pick one size basket to calibrate.
Wait a minute... let's just all stop to admire that sentence! That's brilliant, I've never heard it expressed like that before haha. Perfect description!
Originally Posted by chokkidog
Aaaaaand carry on XD.
(But yes definitely worth going a bit finer and slowing the pour down a little. And the crema in double shots do tend to hold up much much better than single. Better yet a naked portafilter would get even better crema, but to me I've never had trouble still doing latte art even if there is very little, or even completely gone, crema)
Thanks all. Have ground finer, and slowed down the pour some more to very very thin stream and dripping - good results, especially by cutting the shot earlier to avoid the bitterness.
Texturing milk with the 2-hole tip on the BZ10 has also taken some getting used to, a different technique required compared to the 1-hole Silvia. Now that I have the texturing sorted out the latte art is working much better.
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