Originally Posted by Otago
I have now... Thanks for that.
Loosely related (i.e. no filters in sight, although I will try them later) there was a lot of discussion about preinfusion time & effect + depth and age of roast.
This is not for the dark roast or "chocolate bomb" brigade - standard espresso machines are more their bag.
One of the "youtube" comments prompted this post of mine
5 days ago
The 'pause' after the pre-infusion is what baristas in Italy used to do in the 1960s, and got to be known as the Fellini move after appearing in one of his films. People with Pavoni Europiccolas still do this. but the paper filter is something I'd like to try.
(reply) John Buckman
4 days ago
Interesting! How long a pause? On the blooming shot we are putting in about 40ml of water in at the start, then holding pressure and pausing water for 30 seconds. (end)
I have posted a few times on CS that I used to do preinfusions of up to 40 seconds on my manual lever Electra "eagle". The lighter the roast, the more I would let it age (when it no longer smells green, use it) and the longer the preinfusion required. I learnt the preinfusion technique in 1979 from a Northern Italian gent when I did a 3 week intensive at Perth's top roaster (using their gear at the time). For crema aficionados, that means you get less (and less - the lighter the roast and the longer it needs to age) crema, however it lasts longer in the cuppa and tastes (a lot) better.
The comment about Rao's higher extractions are also interesting. When (post eagle) I went to the combination of a Mahlkonig Vario grinder (low retention, very even particle spread), a naked portafilter and VST baskets my extraction ratio went through the roof - to the extent that I had to swap to 7g single baskets for the first time in 25+ years. Even my 15gs were way too strong to balance as a latte. The flavour whack from straight espressos also became an overwhelming "finger in the light socket" affair rather than the "hot textured honey" I prefer.
Now I have added a DE1 to my setup. I still haven't had the time to have a real good play with it yet, so the next comment should be regarded as more a work in progress thought as I am still tinkering.
I have pulled a number of long preinfusion / sharp pressure kick / low, slow flow shots earlier - some of which I reckon actually topped the Electra. That is how I used to get the best cuppa out of my eagle.
Today an extreme experimental shot: I just pulled a 56.8(!)g shot out of my 7.2g VST whilst I waited (and waited, and waited) for it to blond. I cut it at exactly the blonding point and it tasted pretty good as an espresso and also well balanced as a latte after my first "curiosity sip". The coffee: light roasted Colombian about 3 weeks old, the grind was closer to coarse Turkish rather than fine espresso. It had around 30 seconds of very low water flow preinfusion, an 8 second pause, it was then set for 5 seconds at 9 bar (which it didn't quite reach) and then a "fast transition" low flow controlled (1.5 to 1.0ml slow transition) finish in two stages. The tablet graph looked awful, mainly due to the huge pressure bump and flow bump in the middle. The actual pour was the one of the closest I have yet seen to the Electra, which shows the difference between measuring inputs (even as close to the group as the DE1) and outputs. A scale would have shown nothing until after the peak and then a slow fairly even flow until I cut it at 43 seconds of actual shot time. Although this particular shot did not quite get the manual lever flavour, I am amazed at how long it took to blond and how balanced it was.
Anyway, food for thought.