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Date: 12 Sep 2006 01:23:46
From: Mama Bear
Subject: Water brewing temp - well I'll be!
Uh oh.

Just when they were saying that the perfect water brewing temp for
espresso was 203.5, "Houston we have a problem". We're in...Denver!

I thought that I found, the other day, that there was only about a half
degree of difference at this altitude but it turns out that I was wrong!

http://www.lucidcafe.com/cafeforum/schomertable15.html

Espresso Coffee: The Denver Effect

Water boils at about 203 degrees in the "mile high city," Denver,
Colorado. I brew espresso at 203.5 degrees Fahrenheit. Eager to display
my program to the giant SCAA trade show, perfection eluded me. Instead I
got more experience. (Experience is what you get when you did not get
what you expected.)

Once again the tricky coffee tricked me. I built a new machine and
counter top for the show. I took my two most powerful coffee magicians,
Amy Vanderbeck, and Lisa Parsons to Denver. Then, we promptly fell on
our talented faces. As always, the more you learn about espresso the
less you find you know.

OK, here's what happened.

The crema of our coffee seemed to be exploding out the spouts. No grind
would give us the creamy 25 to 30 second pour that captures the full
flavor. In the cup the coffee featured a crema with a lot of big bubbles
in it and it collapsed very quickly. I played with temperature and
pressure all weekend and the best I could do was to brew at about 200
degrees, dancing around sourness to get the crema to feature less gas.
We had discovered the Denver Effect, or the effect of high altitude on
the brewing of gourmet espresso.

As the espresso came into contact with the air it out-gassed oxygen
violently. The effect on the espresso crema was like a hurricane hitting
a wet tissue on a clothesline. It literally shredded the crema before
your eyes. And as you know the crema is responsible for holding the
aromatic flavors in place long enough to savor them. It is structural to
an espresso coffee, not merely for mouth feel although that is pleasing.
In addition the crema features a very low surface tension allowing
espresso coffee flavors to penetrate in between the taste buds on your
tongue, providing espresso's unique long lasting after taste.

I don't have a solution for the Denver Effect. It would appear that
super-gourmet espresso exists up to maybe 3,000 feet elevation. Above
that you better get a French Press. (Perhaps removing the oxygen from
your brewing water before it enters your espresso machine would be an
option, but that would have a pronounced effect on flavor, I think? What
do you think?)

Ciao for now!

END
_________________________

So to verify this, I found http://www.biggreenegg.com/boilingPoint.htm
and put in our 5300 feet, here at the house and the current atmospheric
pressure of 30.27. Result?: 203 degrees! Ahhhh!

So it appears that the design of the better machines, and their not
exceeding 200 degrees, makes sense, given that some of us are under "The
Denver Effect"! <shudder! >


--
- Mama Bear




 
Date: 12 Sep 2006 14:47:35
From: DavidMLewis
Subject: Re: Water brewing temp - well I'll be!

Ken Fox wrote:
> The French have a word for this, "la foutaise." Roughly translated, it
> means "bullshit."
>
You've taken enough lessons now, Ken.

David



 
Date: 12 Sep 2006 16:06:24
From: Barry Jarrett
Subject: Re: Water brewing temp - well I'll be!
On Tue, 12 Sep 2006 01:23:46 -0500, Mama Bear <MamaBear@No-Spam.noo >
wrote:

>So to verify this, I found http://www.biggreenegg.com/boilingPoint.htm
>and put in our 5300 feet, here at the house and the current atmospheric
>pressure of 30.27. Result?: 203 degrees! Ahhhh!
>
>So it appears that the design of the better machines, and their not
>exceeding 200 degrees, makes sense, given that some of us are under "The
>Denver Effect"! <shudder!>


i really wish schomer would remove the "denver effect" article from
his website. it has only confused people.

the "correct" brewing temp is not 203.5F. excellent espresso can be
made at altitude, without much difficulty.

--barry "made great espresso @ 10000ft"



  
Date: 12 Sep 2006 16:04:17
From: Mama Bear
Subject: Re: Water brewing temp - well I'll be!
Barry Jarrett <barry@rileys-coffee.com > wrote :

> On Tue, 12 Sep 2006 01:23:46 -0500, Mama Bear <MamaBear@No-Spam.noo>
> wrote:
>
> >So to verify this, I found
> >http://www.biggreenegg.com/boilingPoint.htm and put in our 5300
> >feet, here at the house and the current atmospheric pressure of
> >30.27. Result?: 203 degrees! Ahhhh!
> >
> >So it appears that the design of the better machines, and their not
> >exceeding 200 degrees, makes sense, given that some of us are under
> >"The Denver Effect"! <shudder!>
>
>
> i really wish schomer would remove the "denver effect" article from
> his website. it has only confused people.
>
> the "correct" brewing temp is not 203.5F. excellent espresso can be
> made at altitude, without much difficulty.
>

Thanks for clarifying that, though I've never had the money or expertise
to try espresso yet.




--
- Mama Bear


  
Date: 12 Sep 2006 11:13:12
From: Ken Fox
Subject: Re: Water brewing temp - well I'll be!
"Barry Jarrett" <barry@rileys-coffee.com > wrote in message
news:2fmdg25t1nje829ed6aebctlt42lqgu9qt@4ax.com...
> On Tue, 12 Sep 2006 01:23:46 -0500, Mama Bear <MamaBear@No-Spam.noo>
> wrote:
>
> >So to verify this, I found http://www.biggreenegg.com/boilingPoint.htm
> >and put in our 5300 feet, here at the house and the current atmospheric
> >pressure of 30.27. Result?: 203 degrees! Ahhhh!
> >
> >So it appears that the design of the better machines, and their not
> >exceeding 200 degrees, makes sense, given that some of us are under "The
> >Denver Effect"! <shudder!>
>
>
> i really wish schomer would remove the "denver effect" article from
> his website. it has only confused people.
>
> the "correct" brewing temp is not 203.5F. excellent espresso can be
> made at altitude, without much difficulty.
>
> --barry "made great espresso @ 10000ft"
>

there's this fellow in Colorado (whose business has a catchy name that I've
forgotten already) who has made some posts on home-barista.com to the effect
that there is a real science to this, wherein you have to adjust your boiler
temperature AND brew pressure to make good espresso at each altitude. It
is all a very complicated thing, in his opinion, requiring much
experimentation and knowledge. He, of course, is one of the only people in
the universe to have acquired this knowledge, which justifies using him as a
consultant.

The French have a word for this, "la foutaise." Roughly translated, it
means "bullshit."

ken




 
Date: 12 Sep 2006 10:57:13
From: Steve Ackman
Subject: Re: Water brewing temp - well I'll be!
In <Xns983C409C3C61Mama@216.196.97.142 >, on Tue, 12 Sep 2006 01:23:46
-0500, Mama Bear wrote:
> Uh oh.
>
> Just when they were saying that the perfect water brewing temp for
> espresso was 203.5, "Houston we have a problem". We're in...Denver!

That's garbage, as many here will attest.
I made great espresso at 6150' and many others on this
newsgroup have brewed coffee and espress between a mile
and 9000' or so.

Perfect temperature varies with the beans, grind,
extraction time.
The perfect temperature is "it depends."

<snip >

> I thought that I found, the other day, that there was only about a half
> degree of difference at this altitude but it turns out that I was wrong!

Should have looked here. ;-)
http://twoloonscoffee.com/map/boiling_point.php



  
Date: 12 Sep 2006 16:01:26
From: Mama Bear
Subject: Re: Water brewing temp - well I'll be!
Steve Ackman <steve@SNIP-THIS.twoloonscoffee.com > wrote :

> In <Xns983C409C3C61Mama@216.196.97.142>, on Tue, 12 Sep 2006 01:23:46
> -0500, Mama Bear wrote:
>> Uh oh.
>>
>> Just when they were saying that the perfect water brewing temp for
>> espresso was 203.5, "Houston we have a problem". We're in...Denver!
>
> That's garbage, as many here will attest.
> I made great espresso at 6150' and many others on this
> newsgroup have brewed coffee and espress between a mile
> and 9000' or so.
>
> Perfect temperature varies with the beans, grind,
> extraction time.
> The perfect temperature is "it depends."
>
><snip>
>
>> I thought that I found, the other day, that there was only about a
>> half degree of difference at this altitude but it turns out that I
>> was wrong!
>
> Should have looked here. ;-)
> http://twoloonscoffee.com/map/boiling_point.php
>
>

Can't get the site.



--
- Mama Bear


   
Date: 12 Sep 2006 17:03:48
From: Craig Andrews
Subject: Re: Water brewing temp - well I'll be!

"Mama Bear" <MamaBear@No-Spam.noo > wrote in message
news:Xns983C98D8B4FB5Mama@216.196.97.142...
> Steve Ackman <steve@SNIP-THIS.twoloonscoffee.com> wrote :
>
>> In <Xns983C409C3C61Mama@216.196.97.142>, on Tue, 12 Sep 2006 01:23:46
>> -0500, Mama Bear wrote:
>>> Uh oh.
>>>
>>> Just when they were saying that the perfect water brewing temp for
>>> espresso was 203.5, "Houston we have a problem". We're in...Denver!
>>
>> That's garbage, as many here will attest.
>> I made great espresso at 6150' and many others on this
>> newsgroup have brewed coffee and espress between a mile
>> and 9000' or so.
>>
>> Perfect temperature varies with the beans, grind,
>> extraction time.
>> The perfect temperature is "it depends."
>>
>><snip>
>>
>>> I thought that I found, the other day, that there was only about a
>>> half degree of difference at this altitude but it turns out that I
>>> was wrong!
>>
>> Should have looked here. ;-)
>> http://twoloonscoffee.com/map/boiling_point.php
>>
>>
>
> Can't get the site.
>
>
>
> --
> - Mama Bear


Workin' fine here.. {:-)
Craig.



    
Date: 12 Sep 2006 17:09:36
From: Mama Bear
Subject: Re: Water brewing temp - well I'll be!
"Craig Andrews" <alt.coffee@deletethis.rogers.com > wrote :

>
> "Mama Bear" <MamaBear@No-Spam.noo> wrote in message
> news:Xns983C98D8B4FB5Mama@216.196.97.142...
>> Steve Ackman <steve@SNIP-THIS.twoloonscoffee.com> wrote :
>>
>>> In <Xns983C409C3C61Mama@216.196.97.142>, on Tue, 12 Sep 2006
01:23:46
>>> -0500, Mama Bear wrote:
>>>> Uh oh.
>>>>
>>>> Just when they were saying that the perfect water brewing temp for
>>>> espresso was 203.5, "Houston we have a problem". We're in...Denver!
>>>
>>> That's garbage, as many here will attest.
>>> I made great espresso at 6150' and many others on this
>>> newsgroup have brewed coffee and espress between a mile
>>> and 9000' or so.
>>>
>>> Perfect temperature varies with the beans, grind,
>>> extraction time.
>>> The perfect temperature is "it depends."
>>>
>>><snip>
>>>
>>>> I thought that I found, the other day, that there was only about a
>>>> half degree of difference at this altitude but it turns out that I
>>>> was wrong!
>>>
>>> Should have looked here. ;-)
>>> http://twoloonscoffee.com/map/boiling_point.php
>>>
>>>
>>
>> Can't get the site.
>>
>>
>>
>> --
>> - Mama Bear
>
>
> Workin' fine here.. {:-)
> Craig.
>

It came up again later. Interesting.

I don't know the first thing about espresso, though I WISH I did.

But I can't afford an expensive espresso machine anyway.

My sister gave me a Cuisinart Espresso Bar a few years ago, a CDE-2WT
but I was never able to get it to work well. The water would just run
right through it. But it may have been the Braun burr grinder I was
using.


--
- Mama Bear


  
Date: 12 Sep 2006 09:07:21
From: Ken Fox
Subject: Re: Water brewing temp - well I'll be!
"Steve Ackman" <steve@SNIP-THIS.twoloonscoffee.com > wrote in message
news:slrnegdin1.be4.steve@wizard.dyndns.org...
>>
> That's garbage, as many here will attest.
> I made great espresso at 6150' and many others on this
> newsgroup have brewed coffee and espress between a mile
> and 9000' or so.
>

at 5850 feet the espresso I make at home tastes better (at least to me) than
what I've had in Schomer's places at sea level.




   
Date: 12 Sep 2006 10:59:21
From: jim schulman
Subject: Re: Water brewing temp - well I'll be!
On Tue, 12 Sep 2006 09:07:21 -0600, "Ken Fox"
<morceaudemerdeThisMerdeGoes@hotmail.com > wrote:

>"Steve Ackman" <steve@SNIP-THIS.twoloonscoffee.com> wrote in message
>news:slrnegdin1.be4.steve@wizard.dyndns.org...
>>>
>> That's garbage, as many here will attest.
>> I made great espresso at 6150' and many others on this
>> newsgroup have brewed coffee and espress between a mile
>> and 9000' or so.
>>
>
>at 5850 feet the espresso I make at home tastes better (at least to me) than
>what I've had in Schomer's places at sea level.
>

The altitude sickness in that article was Schomer's, not his
machine's. The espresso water when it hits the puck is at 9 bar or so,
so won't boil even if you were brewing on Everest. It exits the PF
around 10F below the entering temperature. Basically, as long your
brew temperature is no more than 10F higher than the local boiling
point you won't get the effect for the reasons Schomer describes.

What actually happened to his shots that day remains a mystery; but it
sounds a lot like what happens to me with beans fresh out of the
roaster. Given Schomer's (published) persona, I have no dount he had
his coffees divided with bags for Thurday through Monday. Chances are
he mislabelled a Monday bag as Thursday and was pulling day old
coffee.


    
Date: 12 Sep 2006 12:29:25
From: Dan Bollinger
Subject: Re: Water brewing temp - well I'll be!
> The altitude sickness in that article was Schomer's, not his
> machine's. The espresso water when it hits the puck is at 9 bar or so,
> so won't boil even if you were brewing on Everest. It exits the PF
> around 10F below the entering temperature. Basically, as long your
> brew temperature is no more than 10F higher than the local boiling
> point you won't get the effect for the reasons Schomer describes.
>
> What actually happened to his shots that day remains a mystery; but it
> sounds a lot like what happens to me with beans fresh out of the
> roaster. Given Schomer's (published) persona, I have no dount he had
> his coffees divided with bags for Thurday through Monday. Chances are
> he mislabelled a Monday bag as Thursday and was pulling day old
> coffee.

So you are thinking that the effervescence he witnessed may be from CO2
outgasing and not O2 or simply boiling water? Dan



     
Date: 12 Sep 2006 12:50:08
From: jim schulman
Subject: Re: Water brewing temp - well I'll be!
On Tue, 12 Sep 2006 12:29:25 -0400, "Dan Bollinger"
<danNObollinger@insightSPAMbb.com > wrote:

>> What actually happened to his shots that day remains a mystery; but it
>> sounds a lot like what happens to me with beans fresh out of the
>> roaster. Given Schomer's (published) persona, I have no dount he had
>> his coffees divided with bags for Thurday through Monday. Chances are
>> he mislabelled a Monday bag as Thursday and was pulling day old
>> coffee.
>
>So you are thinking that the effervescence he witnessed may be from CO2
>outgasing and not O2 or simply boiling water? Dan

I've never seen the Denver effect anywhere in the Rockies, despite
going skiing each year in places with competent cafes and visiting
Ken. I have seen something like it when pulling very fresh roasted
coffee. So CO2 outgassing seems a better theory than altitude.

I can see the docu-drama now. Some employee switches bags as a
practical joke. Schomer pulls his shots, sits down at the computer and
publishes, all within ten minutes, employee makes deathbed confession
50 years later.


      
Date: 12 Sep 2006 13:30:03
From: notbob
Subject: Re: Water brewing temp - well I'll be!
On 2006-09-12, jim schulman <jim_schulman@ameritech.net > wrote:

> Ken. I have seen something like it when pulling very fresh roasted
> coffee. So CO2 outgassing seems a better theory than altitude.

I tend to agree. I've pulled a couple doubles in the past half hour
using liquid amber beans only 18hrs out of the roaster. I'm getting
very coarse and bubbly crema, not my usual fine "polyphasic colloidal
foam" (love that one).

nb


 
Date: 12 Sep 2006 06:20:20
From: Karl
Subject: Re: Water brewing temp - well I'll be!
Mama Bear wrote:

> As the espresso came into contact with the air it out-gassed oxygen
> violently.

What leads you to conclude it is out-gassing oxygen? If you are brewing
at above the local boiling point, could the coffee be, essentially,
boiling, or "out-gassing" water vapor, when it leave the PF and the
pressure is suddenly reduced?

Karl "at 20 feet above mean sea level" Rice



  
Date: 12 Sep 2006 14:55:21
From: Marshall
Subject: Re: Water brewing temp - well I'll be!
On 12 Sep 2006 06:20:20 -0700, "Karl" <karlmiltonrice@yahoo.com >
wrote:

>Mama Bear wrote:
>
>> As the espresso came into contact with the air it out-gassed oxygen
>> violently.
>
>What leads you to conclude it is out-gassing oxygen? If you are brewing
>at above the local boiling point, could the coffee be, essentially,
>boiling, or "out-gassing" water vapor, when it leave the PF and the
>pressure is suddenly reduced?
>
>Karl "at 20 feet above mean sea level" Rice

Ask David Schomer. That's who he was quoting.

shall