Just got back from the Chi town Spro down hosted by intelligentsia and played around with a synesso and was introduced to the concept of pre infusion for espresso ...


I'm curious to hear from people who have tried it or currently use it or swear by it or whatever ...

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I would like apply what is seen in the portafilter after the extraction in older linea's with a screw that sticks down. Without overdosing you can avoid touching the screw and after the extaction there is an indention. Or dose and tamp then tap the coffee out on the counter next to a used puck and compare, expansion has happened. This is seen after a french press or a chemex. Absorbtion and therefore expansion as we call it. The principle is seen on those skilled with a lever, slowing the action and pressure by slowing the lever recoil release with your hand.
Mike said:
I would like apply what is seen in the portafilter after the extraction in older linea's with a screw that sticks down. Without overdosing you can avoid touching the screw and after the extaction there is an indention. Or dose and tamp then tap the coffee out on the counter next to a used puck and compare, expansion has happened. This is seen after a french press or a chemex. Absorbtion and therefore expansion as we call it. The principle is seen on those skilled with a lever, slowing the action and pressure by slowing the lever recoil release with your hand.
There is no doubt that "expansion" occurs. The question is not whether, but rather, when it occurs.
Chris, I pulled my original reply, only because I wasn't comfortable with my comments about Vivace using pre-infusion. Usually, when I'm trying to figure out what's best, I just call suppliers and users. In this case, I called Vivace on Yale, left a message with Brian, the manager. I hope he calls backs. My reason is because of what Jeremy at Synesso related to me.

After calling Vivace, I called Synesso direct. To paraphrase, Jeremy, in production and also a barista with some years of exp., said that he definitely considers it a nice option and one more thing to aid with consistent extractions. But he also related that not all users are employing it....which is exactly what we're hearing here.

As for Vivace and their Synesso machines, I found out that because of their concern for consistent water pressure, they aren't plumbed directly into the city line. So with lack of low-pressure water, they don't pre-infuse. Hopefully, Brian will call or email me back and give me some history. When I was there a couple years ago, not long after the opening, I remembered them using the pre-infusion position.....but maybe I'm wrong, or maybe they once did, and for quality reasons moved off the building line? Whatever David does, I'll assume that it's based on good engineering principle, and ultimately best product.
Phil Proteau said:
Chris/Dale- What did you learn about it at the Spro Down? Did you come away from it with a new level of understanding extraction, or are you left with more questions than answers?



... a little of column A ... a little of column B .

Intelligentsia's Roastery has both a one group synesso and a three group paddle LM like I said earlier the whole paddle thing is new to me ... as I'm all for putting as much control in the hands of an educated and empowered barista I dig the idea


Chris and Phil ... thanks for sharing.
This is an awesome discussion. I will just give some of my observations that we have seen tasting different roasters coffee on with different pre infusion settings.

Different machines have different pre infusion systems such as, electronic, manual, progressive or pressure ramp. Our company has chosen the pressure ramp with the chamber on the group head that Phil reffered to on traditional machines, manual on lever machines, and electronic on superautomatics.

Our experience is that pre infusion is less important with the beautiful fresh coffees of the high quality raosters in North America. Part of the reason is that all the good machines are jetted down to .6mm or .5mm flow rate and we dose between 18 to 24 grams. Just having the head space and the low flow rate with good dispersion yields great results. Adding more preinfusion may add a little more pre extraction and deeper wetting but I think it is quite negligible when proper technique is employed. I definitely believe the pre infusion would help an extraction with poor dispersion, crooked tamp, wrong grind, etc,

We do see a huge difference with aged European blends dosed at 7 grams. Night and day difference.

Having said this we do have some American raosters that swear by the pre infusion or some level of preinfusion to bring out the niuances in their blend. It is going to pull out a little more out of the coffee but if the coffee is really fresh it can gas.

On lever machines it is important to have incoming line pressure at 3 bar so that in the down position you are preinfusing. We were playing around with the boys form stumptown with an organic blend today on our lever arduino machine and we were only preinfusing for 2 or 3 seconds and it was fine. I am sure if we let the lever go quicker we wouldn't have seen a drastic difference.

One annoying thing about preinfusion with the ramp system is the machine tends to drip water after purging because it is draining the pre infusion chamber. Its not that big of a deal and well worth it if it makes your coffee taste better. The advantage of the ramp system is it is totally adjustable in cc's and consistent with no thought or timing required by the barista. The other huge advantage of the ramp up system is it works on all groups simultaneously which is not the case on some manual systems. In fact at coffee fest I saw a machine with 3 pumps so that they could manually preinfuse on all 3 groups simultaneously.

I hope I contributed to the discussion.
Nuova Simonelli said:
I hope I contributed to the discussion.

I'd say that you have. Thanks.
A good friend brought to my attention that many cyncra users are installing flow restricters to make the preinfussion step unneeded. I had a sales rep for nuova tell me tamping was un-needed and demonstrated by not tamping and pulling a watery gross excuse for a shot and handed it to me to taste and it was as bad as it looked. The three pumps have very little to do with preinfussion on the cyncra at coffeefest. And that machine was purchased by Ritual Coffee Roasters. Since different coffees respond differently,.. some like control and are working on profiling pressure and maybe closer than we know.
Mike said:
A good friend brought to my attention that many cyncra users are installing flow restricters to make the preinfussion step unneeded. I had a sales rep for nuova tell me tamping was un-needed and demonstrated by not tamping and pulling a watery gross excuse for a shot and handed it to me to taste and it was as bad as it looked. The three pumps have very little to do with preinfussion on the cyncra at coffeefest. And that machine was purchased by Ritual Coffee Roasters. Since different coffees respond differently,.. some like control and are working on profiling pressure and maybe closer than we know.

Do you know Andy Schecter?
Nope! friend of yours?
Jason Haeger said:
Mike said:
A good friend brought to my attention that many cyncra users are installing flow restricters to make the preinfussion step unneeded. I had a sales rep for nuova tell me tamping was un-needed and demonstrated by not tamping and pulling a watery gross excuse for a shot and handed it to me to taste and it was as bad as it looked. The three pumps have very little to do with preinfussion on the cyncra at coffeefest. And that machine was purchased by Ritual Coffee Roasters. Since different coffees respond differently,.. some like control and are working on profiling pressure and maybe closer than we know.

Do you know Andy Schecter?
Mike said:
Nope! friend of yours?
Jason Haeger said:
Mike said:
A good friend brought to my attention that many cyncra users are installing flow restricters to make the preinfussion step unneeded. I had a sales rep for nuova tell me tamping was un-needed and demonstrated by not tamping and pulling a watery gross excuse for a shot and handed it to me to taste and it was as bad as it looked. The three pumps have very little to do with preinfussion on the cyncra at coffeefest. And that machine was purchased by Ritual Coffee Roasters. Since different coffees respond differently,.. some like control and are working on profiling pressure and maybe closer than we know.

Do you know Andy Schecter?

Seriously?

Okay, well, since you aren't already aware...

http://www.portafilter.net/2006/03/pressure-profilin.html
http://www.portafilter.net/2006/03/pressure-profilin.html

This was pretty cool and I hope more has come of it. I do remember reading this a few years back. I hope it wasn't just thrown out as some cute toy and thought un-needed.
Mike said:
http://www.portafilter.net/2006/03/pressure-profilin.html

This was pretty cool and I hope more has come of it. I do remember reading this a few years back. I hope it wasn't just thrown out as some cute toy and thought un-needed.
Is this another attempt at a jab?

Pressure profiling is DRASTICALLY different than preinfusion.

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