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  • Brew temperature

    Hi all,
    I am new to this coffee thing and am just learning to appreciate coffee and ways to make it taste better.
    Have read that you want the brew temp somewhere between 92-96 degrees C.
    Is this supposed to be the temp of the water coming out of the shower screen, or after it leaves the coffee filled puck or as it hits the cup.
    I have a way to measure each and am interested in performing some tests.
    Any replies appreciated

  • #2
    Re: Brew temperature

    Before it hits the coffee.

    After it has gone through, the water will have cooled, and the brewing is already completed.

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    • #3
      Re: Brew temperature

      Measuring brew temperature is notoriously difficult. You will see a number of people wax lyrical about the "temperature stability" of their machine online. It is extremely difficult to believe that the majority of these people have performed reliable measurements themselves.

      The thermal properties of espresso machines occupy a lot of discussion space online. Most people accept that brew temperature impacts on what is in the cup and that an ability to manipulate brew temperature will help you to get the cup quality that you want. This being the case, you would think that there would be a vast body of writing out there about how to change your brew temperature to manipulate the taste of the coffee. There isnt and you have to wonder about the relevance or usefulness of these discussions. Its sort of like how the phrase "cup of excellence" gets banded around a lot online and even in some print journalism, yet very few Australian coffee roasters - and, for that matter, consumers - seem to actually buy or taste the stuff.

      None of this is to say that brew temperature (or, for that matter, CoE) is irrelevant to getting a great cup of coffee, but just that a lot of writing on brew temperature should be regarded with due scepticism. The best machines that I have used have all given me repeatable brew temperature profiles across shots and a quick and easy ability to change the brew temperature to bring out the best on the particular coffee that I have had on hand. Few domestic espresso machines allow one to change brew temperature easily. Im not sure how many domestic espresso machines can meaningfully be described as "temperature stable," but I suspect that the reality is different from what is often posted online (without substantiation).

      What all of this boils down to is that its not a good idea to look at one buzzword of the day at the expense of focussing on what is in your cup.

      I walked into a cafe a few months ago that was serving borderline undrinkable espresso, despite using the state of the art espresso equipment and good coffee. I said that I thought it tasted as though the temperature was way too hot. They said that they had set their machine to a displayed temperature that was "correct." I asked them to try changing the temperature, just for kicks. Sure enough, dropping the temperature 4C resulted in infinitely better espresso. To this day, I dont know if the problem was an incorrectly set offset or if it was a rather odd blend, but the story is a clear illustration that you should put your faith in what you taste, as opposed to what number you read.

      Hope that helps,

      Luca

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      • #4
        Re: Brew temperature

        Very thoughtful post Luca..... Good one mate 8-)

        Mal.

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        • #5
          Re: Brew temperature

          Scase device and a fluke thermometer

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