So, a few days ago I was faced with a new question. The culprit: heat. Allow me to explain...

Grinders grind. All day, every day they keep on grinding. We learn through experience that a hot temperatured grinder will ruin those delicate oils in the beans. So, we invest in new technologies that allow us to run the grinder and not amass so much heat. We are brilliant.

Then we dump our wonderfully ground coffee into 200 degree baskets, thus searing the hell out of them.

I understand that temperature control and stability is a must, but think about it. From the time we dose, we tamp, clean, spin and do all sorts of other fun tricks to the portafiler before even starting the extraction. Those poor grounds are sitting in that hot basket, volitile oils are being ruined, all for what?

So today I tried a new trick. I left the portafilter in the machine when not in use. However, I took the baskets out and left them at room temperature. When I would go to pull a shot, I inserted the basket just before dosing. To my suprise, this eliminated some harsher tones I was tasting, and made an excellent finish.

So, if anyone wants to try this, and mabey document some information, that could be good. Im going to do this all weekend, and mabey make some charts and graphs or something. Any thoughts? Any suggestions?


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great detective work! i'm really curious to hear how your weekend goes. how many extra baskets do you use during a rush? i like the idea of using a fresh and CLEAN!! basket every time i pull a shot. my first thought was: "how would that change my speed?" but i guess it takes me just as long to thoroughly wipe clean my basket before dosing. keep us posted. maybe i'll try it out during my next close.
I'm trying this right now. Surprisingly, its' true. Great work, Matt!
this is very interesting. stainless steel is not a good heat conductor so teh baskets should be easy to cool down. If there was a way to cool down the basket without totally cooling of the brass PF?? Then again if the PF is bottomless ther is not as much brass anyways. Cold wet towel followed by drying? Ice bucket? I am going to try this but bump up the machine brew temp to 204 to compensate. RB
sweet! thanks for the insight. we are using botomless pf's right now, so i just knock, wipe, then pop out. its just an extra step that takes a second or 2. my machine is running at 201.5. next time ill kick it up and see what happens.

thanks guys!
This sounds really interesting to me, and I am willing to experiment. I am a firm believer in the need for the baskets and portafilter to remain at the high temperature to keep it from becoming bitter. I notice when the portafilter is allowed to cool down then is definitely gives the shots a metallic taste which is unbearable! but what if you were to just leave the basket at room temp, and not the entire portafiler!? maybe it would create and more control on the temperature of the grounds before extraction begins, keeping them at a steady temperature until it is time to heat them, but keeping the rest of the portafilter hot, so the heavy metals on that part of the machine don't have to try so hard to heat back up...i think a main reason why a cooled portafilter in whole is bad is because it takes too long for the entire thing to heat back up before extraction begins. but just the basket prob heats back to temp right away, or at the same time as the coffee, making it almost impossible to burn the grounds before hand. Thanks for making me think about this, i am eager the try is out and get back to you on what I have noticed!
OK, definitely playing with this tomorrow.

If you run bottomless, why not just leave the whole pf out? I don't, so am curious...

I like the "quick cool" before dose concept... what about a cool air jet? This could be an air compressor nozzle, or even one of those cans of "air" you use to clean computers with. Got one of those right here, I'm definitely having some mad scientist moments tomorrow. Customers are gonna think I'm nuts.

Great thinking... gotta love this community. Thanks Matthew.

baskets are totally stainless steel, really thin, and volitile when it comes to temperature. if you leave one out of the PF for less than a minute, its already at room temperature, and upon replacing it, it gains its heat rapidly. I think thats the diffrence from leaving the whole PF out.

I do use bottemless now, and although they are not as as conductive as a split, leaving one out can reap horrific outcomes. terrable terrable coffee. o dear...

cans of compressed air are probably the coolest invention mankind has come up with in a while. let me know how it works.

also, i tried kicking up the machine to 202.2, but i did an awful job of monitering the diffrence, so ill try again this week.

thanks for all the input. lets keep rocking!

Matt, I have tried this before once or twice, usually with bad results. I think it goes without saying that it will all depend on the coffee you are using, your grind, water temp, tamp, dose, etc. But I will definitely play around with it. At the end of the day, if the proof is in the cup, then who cares? I commend your thinking outside the box. Question everything. Then question it again.
Um... maybe not. From the label on the compressed air can:

"Intentional misuse by inhaling contents can be fatal. Use in a well-ventilated area.

First Aid:
Inhalation - move to fresh air
Skin - flush skin with water
Ingestion - seek medical attention immediately.

Chemical components: Difluoroethane"

Where'd they get this air? Jupiter?

Sounds like use on something meant for human consumption is a VERRRYYY BAAAAD IDEA!!! Maybe an air compressor? A quick spritz with ice-water from a spray bottle before the wipe-clean?
if this whole thing works out i think i would have a bunch (20) of extra baskets around. after i knocked out the puck i would send the basket to the sink to be scrubbed and dried. i'd have nice- clean- dry- room temp baskets sitting on a towel (or maybe on an upside-down hopper lid) waiting for me to pop in while i flush my group head. it would probably cost a few hundred bucks up front, but the baskets will be around for awhile.

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