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Thread: HX newbie tip

  1. #1
    Junior Member
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    Dec 2005
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    HX newbie tip

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Hi

    Ive had my La Scala Butterfly for a week or so and am really enjoying getting to know how to "drive" it properly. *Anyway, for the benefit of any learners in a similar situation, heres a tip that is making life easier for me: remove the wire retaining spring from one of your portafilters so that the basket can just drop out, and leave the portafilter in the group head while you grind, dose and tamp into the basket alone.

    The advantages I have found are:
    1. I can take my time over the grind, dose, tamp routine without worrying about the portafilter cooling too much or the brew water in the HX over heating.
    2. I can rotate the the basket under the spout of my Rocky doserless grinder as it fills to get better distribution.
    3. I can weigh the basket easily on our digital kitchen scales to check Im dosing consistently.
    4. Tamping is much easier - especially checking that your tamp is level.
    5. Without the basket in place it is easier to hear/see when youve flushed enough water to cool the HX.
    6. Once the cooling flush has finished I can allow the machine to recover for an exact amount of time, which should achieve a consistent brew temperature. *Then I just unlatch the portafilter, pop in the filled and tamped basket, lock and go!
    7. Tamping outside the portafilter has also allowed me to use the single spout portafilter that came with my machine, which makes it easier to observe the extraction (I was having difficulty getting a level tamp with the basket in situ).

    To overcome any fears about the basket "cooling" the shot, I keep it on the cup warmer between shots so it stays nice and toasty. *My palate isnt anywhere near sensitive enough to tell if the slightly extended "air time" that the ground coffee gets is having any adverse effect.

    The only downside I can think of is that I dont look like a pro-barista but, hey, Im not!

    BTW I cant claim any originality for this tip, Im sure I read it on one or other for the coffee forums - maybe even this one! *Anyway its helping me so I thought it was worth repeating.

    Cheers,
    Andy
    PS Naked portafilter arriving soon for an even richer learning experience!

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2005
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    Perth
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    Re: HX newbie tip

    Andy:

    It does sound like hard work what you are doing.

    It is easier IMHO just to leave the portafilter in place on the machine with the basket in it. When you want to make a shot just fill up the basket/portafilter and grind directly in.

    I have a Rocky doserless too and I find it very easy to rotate the portafilter. You just fill to the top of the basket then level it off quickly with your finger. This is very quick and easy and reasonably accurate.

    As far as flushing, the time to flush is just before you put the portafilter back into the group, this way you dont have to worry about consistency as far as water temperature is concerned.

    Regards,
    Grant

  3. #3
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
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    8

    Re: HX newbie tip

    Quote Originally Posted by wattgn link=1134010701/0#1 date=1134018474
    Andy:

    It does sound like hard work what you are doing. *

    It is easier IMHO just to leave the portafilter in place on the machine with the basket in it. *When you want to make a shot just fill up the basket/portafilter and grind directly in.

    I have a Rocky doserless too and I find it very easy to rotate the portafilter. *You just fill to the top of the basket then level it off quickly with your finger. *This is very quick and easy and reasonably accurate.

    As far as flushing, the time to flush is just before you put the portafilter back into the group, this way you dont have to worry about consistency as far as water temperature is concerned.

    Regards,
    Grant
    Hi Grant

    I wouldnt say its particularly hard work - the only step Im doing that most people dont do is weighing the basket and grounds, and thats only while I get used to knowing what my usual dose looks like.

    Youre probably right about when to flush though. *If you always flush through to fresh water before every shot then you can be sure youre getting the same temp each time.

    Thanks for the advice.

    Cheers,
    Andy

  4. #4
    Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Posts
    70

    Re: HX newbie tip

    Behmor Brazen - $249 - Free Freight
    Hey all!

    Andy, hope you are enjoying your new baby!

    I employed the same technique when I bought my Diadema earlier in the year....and guess what? I still use it!

    My overall technique has improved dramatically and I would say that my coffee is consistently in the good-great bracket....but the main reason I leave the basket unclipped is to give it a quick weigh before tamping and brewing. Yes, I am more than capable of dosing by eye, but I suppose when not entertaining, I am choosing perfection and weighing my dose in the basket before brewing is just a thing I do.

    The other reason is that it lets me wash out those pesky grinds that cling to the bottom of the PF before brewing so they dont end up in my beautiful espresso!

    Too much of a fuss? Well, my overall time from beginning to end is around 4.5-5 minutes inclusive of weighing and texturing milk etc. So if someone wants their coffee quicker than that, they can go elsewhere! ::)

    Go the loose basket in the PF!

    Regards,

    James



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