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Date: 10 Mar 2007 00:01:54
From: pltrgyst
Subject: warming ground coffee?
Hmmm -- the thread on freezing coffee started me thinking (a rare event), and I
realized that I've never heard any discussion of warming ground coffee before
making espresso. We warm the cup, warm the portafilter, worry about water
temperature of a couple of degrees -- but has anyone ever experimented with
warming the ground coffee before filling the portafilter? Does it / would it
make any difference?

And perhaps warming the metal tamper? How far could this be taken? 8;)

-- Larry




 
Date: 11 Mar 2007 19:10:06
From: Bertie Doe
Subject: Re: warming ground coffee?

"pltrgyst" wrote in message

>but has anyone ever experimented with
> warming the ground coffee before filling the portafilter? Does it / would
> it
> make any difference?
>
> -- Larry

No, when you remove the p/f from the group, there should be sufficient heat
in the p/f to warm the coffee. Taking it one stage further, if you load the
p/f, lock the p/f into the group and leave it in the group too long, this is
called 'cooking the pack'. The coffee will have a burnt aftertaste.
I've read that the maximum time that a loaded p/f should stay in the group
(prior to pulling the shot) is about 5 - 10 seconds.

Bertie




 
Date: 10 Mar 2007 16:24:59
From: Flasherly
Subject: Re: warming ground coffee?
On 10, 12:01 am, pltrgyst <pltrg...@spamlessxhost.org > wrote:
> Hmmm -- the thread on freezing coffee started me thinking (a rare event), and I
> realized that I've never heard any discussion of warming ground coffee before
> making espresso. We warm the cup, warm the portafilter, worry about water
> temperature of a couple of degrees -- but has anyone ever experimented with
> warming the ground coffee before filling the portafilter? Does it / would it
> make any difference?
>
> And perhaps warming the metal tamper? How far could this be taken? 8;)
>
> -- Larry


Probably not. After running a blank shot through the PF/basket,
surfaces are steamed and as hot as the machine is capable. The grinds
are then is dispensed into the basket. In my experience, that takes
enough time to bring the thermalblock back up to steam. I then pull
the steam off and through the empty PF, heating it once more, before
inserting the still-hot basket with now, additionally warmed grinds
for the final PF lockdown. I also turn back on the steam switch.
Waiting approximately 5 seconds, even though the thermalblock is
intially a little hotter than a lower, factory extraction setpoint, to
*before* it actually cycles up to steam, and preinfuse until the motor
catches, torqued under load. Switch back to steam setting for a
couple more seconds while waiting for the first coffee drops to drip
through the PF, and then turn back on the motor to let it finish the
extraction.

Preinfusion isn't regarded as much of magic wand for all the fanfare
lower priced units physically attribute to its purpose. I suspect
it's a stopgap related to incorrect grinds and little or no tamping:
'How come my $50 unit doesn't make espresso as good as his $500 unit.
Uhm, I think I made a mistake. Is it OK now that you give me all my
money back, Mr. Manufacturer XYZ, because I think I'd like to buy one
like his?'

I simply cored out the preinfusion works (spring and plunger
horseshit), but, like a junkie's thinking a day or two later, had an
obscure misgiving and put back in a spare crema "enhancement" plate.
I know it's entirely subjective to say this, I certainly don't measure
much, except for the realization that my coffee tastes better without
the added layer of plate stoppage. Whereas I don't bother to
preinfuse at times, almost invariably I do effect that the head, PF
and basket, and grinds, be hot before extracting. I seldom use the
lower thermostat settings, either, and predominately work off the
steam switch. The taste of cool grinds is otherwise too sour, an
annoyance, uncomplicated and without body, similar to a bitter
residuals from results extractied from a couple minutes, if
excessively stalled from an incorrectly placed tamp on an overworked
motor.