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Thread: A Slight Variation In Temperature, Produces More Flavours In Espresso

  1. #1
    Senior Member FineGrind's Avatar
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    A Slight Variation In Temperature, Produces More Flavours In Espresso

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    Hi,

    I have always read that temperature stability is important for an espresso machine. But I just read some information in the description of the Kees Van Der Westen Speedster, stating that espresso machines with a slight variation in brewing temperature, tend to offer a larger spectrum of flavours from the coffee grounds! What the? They were also saying that this is why a machine with very good temperature stability, needs to have very good pre-infusion system. This compensates for the lack of temperature variation by allowing the same amount of flavours to be extracted via pre-infusion instead. I just bought a GS3 for it's reputation of temperature stability. And I don't think they have a huge focus on making a very very good pre-infusion system, especially compared with the Slayer and the Speedster. And from comments I have read from GS3 owners, (one or two), they didn't notice a difference in taste at all with the pre-infusion on the GS3.

    So this lead me to think, that I have never actually known just exactly what it is, that temperature stability does for espresso. I have always just read that it is a good thing and believed it. And it made me wonder. Because the GS3 doesn't have the high standard of pre-infusion system that the Slayer or the Speedster have, am I now worse off than with a lesser machine, until I get to the price of the Slayer/Speedster? Which would mean I would have to take out a second mortgage on the house to buy something that is twice the price of an already super expensive machine?

    So to recap,
    1. Just what is it exactly that temperature stability does for espresso?
    2. If people say that they can't taste the difference with the pre-infusion on the GS3, and the system is not a really good one, compared to the Slayer/Speedster, am I better off with a lesser machine to get more flavours?

    Thanks.

  2. #2
    Senior Member sprezzatura's Avatar
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    Having temperature stability is still better than no temperature stability at all in my experience. But the best shot of espresso I've ever had was out of a Expobar Office Pulser. Had a terrible shot out of a KVW with bespoke coffee. Likewise a LM GB5 and a Synesso Cyncra.

    What does this mean? The Office Pulser was tuned expressly for a particular blend: temp., restrictors, grind, pump pressure.

    One can set up a simple HX machine to produce fantastic espresso - you don't need all the gadgetry; don't get me wrong - it's awesome stuff but not the be-all and end all of a great shot of espresso.

    Work with your LM and your roaster to tune the machine properly and it should work very satisfactorily.

  3. #3
    Senior Member FineGrind's Avatar
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    Thank you for your input Sprezz. The importance of other parameters such as temp, restrictors, grind, pump etc... I have taken it on board.

    I am looking for a few more specifics in relation to my questions if anybody else can impart some of their knowledge of espresso. I am not talking about no temperature stability at all. I am talking about slight variation in temperature vs virtually none.

    I am also asking if anyone can tell me exactly what temperature stability does? I would also like to hear a few more peoples opinion on their personal experience of the pre-infusion with the GS3 AV (volumetric). As I have not heard more than one or two views on it yet.

    I am after the best cup of espresso I can get. I, before reading about what I have posted here, thought that the GS3 was going to help me to do that. That is, without taking a step backwards in any way, in relation to what any "lesser" machine can do that the LM cannot. That is why, I thought, I have been on an upgrade path of espresso machines. I would like to know what limitation I now have using a GS3 as opposed to a much cheaper machine in terms of a flavour spectrum specifically. Is it even noticeable? So on...

    Your input will be appreciated,

    Thank you guys.

  4. #4
    TOK
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    Quote Originally Posted by FineGrind View Post
    ........I am after the best cup of espresso I can get......Is it even noticeable? So on...

    Your input will be appreciated...
    The only way you are going to be able to get a satisfactory answer to that, pertinent to you, is by having a couple or more espresso machines on the bench next to your current model, so as to do strictly controlled side by side comparisons....to see if it makes any difference to you.

    And then the answer ("...is it even noticeable...") is going to be, only if you think so. There are those that think so, and those that don't. Opinions are no good for this, you need side by side real time real life comparisons to judge what you think.

    And then there are differences between individuals expectations not to mention their palates.

    Remember there are other things beside the *apparent* academic / advertised / quality performance of a coffee machine. There is also the total experience of using the coffee machine, as compared to that of using another brand model machine. This can be just as important as a certain standard of quality performance in a coffee machine. When a certain level of quality performance has been reached or approached, the total experience becomes quite important to individual operators. ie there is more to this than the perceived academic quality of an espresso.

    Regardless, without labouring the point any further..."is it noticeable?"....if you think so then it is, for you.
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    Unfortunately the Gs3 is a dud. I'll trade you for my Rancilio Silvia, perfectly unstable brewing temperature.

  6. #6
    JKM
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    Inconsistent heat stability means inconsistent coffee...

    Because the temperature of the water in coffee does affect the taste, you want to have the most stable temperature control available. For example, you make an amazing coffee one day but because of inconsistent temperature you cannot replicate the taste exactly due to heat instability.

    A GS3 has the ability to change the brew boiler temp by 0.2 of a degree (celsius)... If you are worried about missing out on flavours then adjust your brew boiler temp until you've found that magical spot for the coffee you are using. Its a similar concept for those competing in the brewers cup competitions - temperature does impact on the flavour of the coffee and finding the perfect temp can be challenging.

    Be grateful for your GS3... You don't know what you've got till its gone

  7. #7
    TC
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    I think it's important to distinguish profiles which vary in temperature v inconsistency. Eg: Leva v Silvia.

    There are many who are of the opinion that declining temperature during a shot can deliver things that a saturated group can't.

    Our Leva doesn't have saturated group temp stability but is consistent shot to shot. It kills my GS/3. Love 'em both, but I know where the better coffee is.
    DesigningByCoffee and Dimal like this.

  8. #8
    JKM
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    Quote Originally Posted by Talk_Coffee View Post
    I think it's important to distinguish profiles which vary in temperature v inconsistency. Eg: Leva v Silvia.

    There are many who are of the opinion that declining temperature during a shot can deliver things that a saturated group can't.

    Our Leva doesn't have saturated group temp stability but is consistent shot to shot. It kills my GS/3. Love 'em both, but I know where the better coffee is.
    Here is something I pulled from the 5 senses blog today regarding the effects that temperature have on extraction (most of the tests were done between 92 and 98 degrees):

    "Lower temperatures result in lower extraction yields, have less body, sweetness and bitterness and more pronounced acidity."


    • Ted Lingle. The Coffee Brewing Handbook (Specialty Coffee Association Of America Handbook Series, Second Edition). SCAA, 1996.

    The temperatures do vary so it depends on what temp your Leva is running at. Standard GS3's brew boilers are programmed to extract at 94.5 degrees celsius. Consistent temp at 94 degrees celsius is optimum for extracting the highest level of sweetness, (which doesn't support the theory of a declining temperature during extraction). The post on the 8th of April on the five senses blog is all about testing the temperature of extraction, the results speak for themselves.

    (Brew Temperature and it's Effects on Espresso | Blog | Five Senses Coffee)

    I fully agree with you - A declining temperature during a shot can definitely deliver things that a saturated group can't.

  9. #9
    TC
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    Quote Originally Posted by JKM View Post
    Here is something I pulled from the 5 senses blog today regarding the effects that temperature have on extraction (most of the tests were done between 92 and 98 degrees):

    "Lower temperatures result in lower extraction yields, have less body, sweetness and bitterness and more pronounced acidity."


    • Ted Lingle. The Coffee Brewing Handbook (Specialty Coffee Association Of America Handbook Series, Second Edition). SCAA, 1996.

    The temperatures do vary so it depends on what temp your Leva is running at. Standard GS3's brew boilers are programmed to extract at 94.5 degrees celsius. Consistent temp at 94 degrees celsius is optimum for extracting the highest level of sweetness, (which doesn't support the theory of a declining temperature during extraction). The post on the 8th of April on the five senses blog is all about testing the temperature of extraction, the results speak for themselves.
    Sorry- but I disagree. If 94.5 deg is/was the holy grail, there would be no need for temperature adjustment on any machine. There would also be no requirement to produce machinery in different specification for different regions and roasts and there would actually be no need to produce multi-boiler PID anything.

    If they really think that, they have much to learn...
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  10. #10
    TOK
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    Additionally, the readers may like to take a quick squiz here:http://coffeesnobs.com.au/brewing-eq...tml#post555445

    Specifically the last page, Posts 739 and 741, in regard to these magical figures.

  11. #11
    JKM
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    Quote Originally Posted by TOK View Post
    Additionally, the readers may like to take a quick squiz here:http://coffeesnobs.com.au/brewing-eq...tml#post555445

    Specifically the last page, Posts 739 and 741, in regard to these magical figures.
    Hey Tok,

    Do you have another link to the above thread? There's nothing at the end of that link...

  12. #12
    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    Here you go mate...
    http://coffeesnobs.com.au/brewing-eq...ad-15.html#739

    Something may have got truncated from that link...

    Mal.



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