Proliferator

This blog really wants to stand at a bar and drink his espresso.

Archive for February 2009

Preinfusion

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This from more discussion with one Martin S., who stated that the results of experimentation with preinfusion on a Synesso Hydra were “reduced bitterness in the crema”. This got me thinking. Assuming that a puck/cake/whatever-you-want-to-call-it consists of interlocked coarse and fine particles, completely soaking both those types of particles before beginning full pressure extraction would lead to a more even extraction. Without preinfusion, the fines extract faster (because the coarse particles are not fully wetted), and reaching the same average extraction ratio would consist of overextracting the fines and underextracting the coarse particles.

If anyone is actually reading this, do you agree?

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Written by Nick

14 February, 2009 at 7:48 pm

Posted in Coffee

Starbucks Poised to Launch ‘Soluble’ Coffee

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Via Brand Called ‘Breakthrough’ Unlike Instants of Old

“The instant product has been many years in the making and is designed to mimic the taste of store-bought Starbucks — the point the company is expected to make in its marketing for the brand.”

Can someone find out what they do and use it to make the coffee taste good?

Written by Nick

12 February, 2009 at 4:09 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

A Note on Black Cat

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I’ve been too hard on this coffee. I’ve stated a couple times that I don’t like it, but the more I drink it, the more I realize that I just don’t like the way it’s being pulled. At first I thought that I did not like the Ipanema (Brazil) that comprises 80 percent of the blend, but when the doses are lighter and the temps cooler, it’s deliciously fruity and winy. Basically, I’m looking forward to some Marty Sweeney shots of Black Cat.

What is also interesting is Intelligentsia’s practice of letting the barista determine the shot parameters. Not only do they vary dose, but part of the dialing-in process is temperature adjustment. I’ve never seen that actively done at any other shop. Props to them for this, but it does result in widely varying espressi. I confess to having a preference for who pulls my shots. This is counter to everything I’ve been told is an objective at coffee shops (consistency is key, according to most), but the hard reality is that many shops struggle to reach an acceptable level of quality with their espresso. If I had to choose between having a barista determine how my espresso is going to taste, and the barista trying just to meet a minimum standard, I’ll take the former.

Written by Nick

8 February, 2009 at 11:08 pm

Posted in Coffee

Ode to Bar G

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I used to work on that Linea.

I used to work on that Linea.

I still have reservations about the time I spent at Bar Giuliani in Champaign, and how fruitful my labor was there. However, as I was riding the 5 E Green bus to campus I realized that I no longer had a warm place to duck into in the middle of campustown. And when I took the first sip of my macchiato at Paradiso I started pining for the ability to pull shots of Redline for myself. The quality has gotten better at Paradiso, but I’ve had better Black Cat.

Written by Nick

5 February, 2009 at 12:49 pm

Posted in Coffee

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So I’m in Champaign-Urbana for the day

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And I just walked past Cafe Kopi. There’s a sign in the window stating that there will be no Wi-Fi access on the weekends, a la Ritual.

Written by Nick

5 February, 2009 at 12:45 pm

Posted in Coffee

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