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  • Pre-infusion

    I read some instructions somewhere that suggested that when making coffee on a domestic machine you turn on the brew switch for 3 seconds, wait a further 5 seconds, and then turn it on again and brew your shot. Apparently this is the equivalent of commercial machine preinfusion.

    Do people do this? Are they aware of this technique? Can anyone shed any further light on commercial machine preinfusion?

  • #2
    Re: Pre-infusion

    I saw Paul Bassett use that trick in the Coffee Crazy DVD when using the Sunbeam machines.

    I started doing that on the breville machine and still do it on the Boema commercial machine.... out of habit now I guess.

    Wetting the coffee I assume expands it to take up the small air gaps between the shower-head and the tamped coffee.

    Nothing wrong with the shots that I pull so I tend to continue to do the same thing! ;D


    • #3
      Re: Pre-infusion


      Your commercial espresso machine is fitted with a group electovalve that "blows off" (relieves pressure) every time you switch off the brew switch. This means that when you attempt to "pre-infuse" in the way described, you are actually sending the best part of the coffee (that which is the first part of the infusion, which contains the first/"sweetest" coffee oil), out the exhaust valve and into the drip tray, instead of into your cup.

      Machines that have "pre infusion" designed into their cycle, pressurise the coffee filter with brew water then stop for a couple of second,s but they DONT activate the pressure relief of the electrovalve until the end of the actual brew cycle.

      With your machine, I would say you will actually improve your shots by NOT trying to pre infuse manually, because you will retain that first part of the coffee oil that should end up in your cup / palate!

      You can do what you describe with most domestic machines because they dont have a group electropvalve and therefore when you stop the brew/pump switch for a couple of seconds to pre infuse, there is no pressure relief.

      However, it is debateable whether anyone can actually detect the difference between that which is pre infused, and that which isnt, and from the point of view of having "celebrities" showing us how to do these things without all the necessary "disclaimers" (as per above), it simply falls into the category of "publicity stunt" for the sake of "show", and so.........  

      Happy brewing,


      • #4
        Re: Pre-infusion

        Thanks for the heads-up!

        as of right now I change my "habit" and if it wasnt after midnight I would go and pull a shot to see how much better it is ;D

        I have to wait for breakfast now. :-[


        • #5
          Re: Pre-infusion

          JD, As far as I can remember, an old commercial operator sage explained to me that the pre extraction is roughly the first 3-5 seconds after the brew button is turned on, when nothing actually comes out.

          On Miss Silva, I can hear the pump force the water as the infusion takes place (wetting the puck) then, as the espresso starts coming out, the pump changes pitch. Once its wet, the water flows out with less resistance.

          Liked FCs answer too.



          • #6
            Re: Pre-infusion

            Get that hot water in and get it out......... the sooner its done in 30 secs the sooner you get the brew..... as FC said DUNNDOIT!!!!!!

            Some fully Auto machines have this option, like our Saeco..... but I reckon my first statement say it all.