Breville BES860 extraction temperature
I've taken the opportunity to measure the extraction temp of my BES860 and was surprised, and somewhat disappointed with the result. The machine makes a pretty good espresso, and has done for a number of years now, but now I wonder if I am missing out on some of the flavours that are extracted at higher temps. I always let the machine warm up for 30 minutes or so before use, and also run 60-90ml through the empty PF before I grind and pull a shot, just to ensure everything is hopefully at the right temp. Today I setup a k-type thermocouple in a freshly ground double basket and captured the temp readings through the extraction. As soon as the water hit the coffee, the temp shot up to 81.5C, rose slowly to just over 85C before dropping back at around the same rate to settle at 81.5C for the final two-thirds of the shot, around 30 seconds in total for a 21g basket. The chart below has more detail. Given the general consensus that espresso are best extracted at around 92-94C, I'm surprised how far short of the mark this machine is, yet it still makes a reasonable coffee.
Have any of my fellow CS's used this technique and had different results? Would a scase make much difference to the temp reading, if you can even use one on BES860? Has anyone tried to adjust the temp on a BES860? Any advice would be much appreciated.
I was playing around with a thermocouple in my BES870XL last week, I tested mine with an empty portafilter and found the temp to be about right in the sweet spot - only by the second or third shot though. I would bet if your basket were empty and didn't have cold coffee wicking away heat it would look pretty similar. When the water first hits the coffee it probably is the right temp and has cooled slightly by the time it reaches your TC.
Your setup looks a lot less noisy than mine I'd be interested to hear what you were using to measure!
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