Hey BX crew,

I have been having a blast playing around with different brew parameters on the new Trifecta. Anyone else have one and want to compare extraction notes? I am LOVING this machine!!!

Joshua
BGA NW.

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I work for Prima Coffee and we started selling the Trifecta not too long ago. On Wednesday, Bunn
brought us a demo unit to play with for a few hours. I wasn't incredibly impressed with the standard
recipe, but when I started playing a little more it resulted in a good cup.

I tried as best as I could to mimic the brew process for a 10oz Aeropress. I used 25 grams of coffee
for a 10oz cup, used a fairly fine grind somewhere between espresso and what I would use for a V60.
I set the Pre-wet to 1 second, but thinking back, I should have set it a lot longer. I didn't want “pre-
infusion” really, but more of a pause time before any turbulence kicked on. I set the pre-infusion to
100%; needless to say, 1 second wasn't enough time to dump all 10oz in so I ended up with “pre-
infusion” anyway. I set the fill pause to 30 seconds to allow the grounds to bloom before the turbulence.
I set the brew time for 3 minutes with turbulence on for 2 seconds and turbulence off for 10 seconds.
Turbulence power was at 5 and press out power was at 7. Press out time was at 30 seconds to give me a
4 minute total brew time.

Needless to say, with my blunders in the pre-infusion stage, this wasn't the brew process I had
intended. Surprisingly however, the resulting cup was not bad at all. Very full bodied, but clean. The
coffee was one that we had not been impressed with previously; it had a grassiness, no acidity, and was
just a little bland, but this time around it was very flavorful with a sweetness and some citrus notes.
This was my first time using the Trifecta. I'm sure that with more time to dial in, that coffee would
have tasted even better. I'm impressed overall with what the Trifecta can do. The two advantages I see
over manual slow-brew methods are as follows:

1 ) The ability to save up to 26 different presets: Going off of memory with manual slow-brew
methods is usually less exact and certainly less convenient. Further, the ability to have
consistency in the execution of the different parameters is valuable. No matter how hard I try to
keep my Aeropress or V60 brews consistent, they are always just a little different than the last,
which isn't necessarily bad, but it is certainly good to have consistency when you are dialing in
a specific coffee and trying to maximize the quality in the cup.

2 ) The ability to walk away while it brews: It may take just as long as any other manual method
overall, but with other manual methods, the barista is usually unable to walk away and get other
things done while the coffee brews. I would imagine that makes it much more practical to offer
by-the-cup coffee for busy shops.

Jared Rutledge asked who is selling it. Well, you know I have to say that Prima Coffee is. We have
tried to put as much helpful information as we could on our listing (including specs, parts list, recipe
guide, and flyer). You can find it here: http://prima-coffee.com/content/trifecta

Also, one of the other Prima employees, Matt Galyon, wrote about his first impressions of the Trifecta
here: http://prima-coffee.com/content/bunn-trifecta-first-impression
Hey Peter. Not sure if Joshua is still around or if he took off...

Does it seem like Bunn (or anyone else) has some info to help a new Trifecta user work through all of these brew parameters? I'm seeing lots of reports of people playing with them, sounds like lots of tweaking going on, lots of trying to get a good cup... I'd hope that it would work ok out of the box?

Looking forward to more info on this brewer as it gets into more hands.
Brady,

It certainly does work ok out of the box. The factory settings will yield a decent cup, but the parameters are easy to change and with someone who understands the concepts behind other by-the-cup methods they should be able to get a very good cup after just a few trial and error tweaks. Bunn does have a recipe guide that includes their default settings and spaces to record your own notes as you tweak. That seems like the most helpful resource. I had a lot of fun trying to dial in the coffee I had and I imagine that will be part of the appeal for a lot of people. It is a bit daunting at first with all those parameters, but once you start getting your hands dirty you figure it out pretty quickly.

You can find the recipe guide here: http://prima-coffee.com/sites/default/files/spec_sheets/trifecta_recipe_guide.pdf

Brady said:
Hey Peter. Not sure if Joshua is still around or if he took off...

Does it seem like Bunn (or anyone else) has some info to help a new Trifecta user work through all of these brew parameters? I'm seeing lots of reports of people playing with them, sounds like lots of tweaking going on, lots of trying to get a good cup... I'd hope that it would work ok out of the box?

Looking forward to more info on this brewer as it gets into more hands.
Hey guys! I'm still here. I have been on the road a bunch but I will attempt to get to Mike's technical questions this week. 

Much coffee love!

Joshua
BGA NW

Peter Sieg said:
Brady, It certainly does work ok out of the box. The factory settings will yield a decent cup, but the parameters are easy to change and with someone who understands the concepts behind other by-the-cup methods they should be able to get a very good cup after just a few trial and error tweaks. Bunn does have a recipe guide that includes their default settings and spaces to record your own notes as you tweak. That seems like the most helpful resource. I had a lot of fun trying to dial in the coffee I had and I imagine that will be part of the appeal for a lot of people. It is a bit daunting at first with all those parameters, but once you start getting your hands dirty you figure it out pretty quickly.

You can find the recipe guide here: http://prima-coffee.com/sites/default/files/spec_sheets/trifecta_recipe_guide.pdf

Brady said:
Hey Peter. Not sure if Joshua is still around or if he took off...

Does it seem like Bunn (or anyone else) has some info to help a new Trifecta user work through all of these brew parameters? I'm seeing lots of reports of people playing with them, sounds like lots of tweaking going on, lots of trying to get a good cup... I'd hope that it would work ok out of the box?

Looking forward to more info on this brewer as it gets into more hands.
If any of you are in the Chicago area, Chava is currently running both a Clover and Trifecta.

I had the opportunity to have a side by side trial of the same coffee on both of these wonderful machines.

Granted Chava is still in the stages of getting use to the Trifecta(but so is everyone that has it)

Check it out.
Just a small comment on this . . . While at the World Tea Expo Bunn was showing this off as a method of brewing tea. They were working with a number of tea providers there and attempting to dial it in for loose leaf work. Apparently they impressed a number of people with the possibility of using it in a tea bar or as (i believe) a dual use machine in a tea or coffee shop.
Mike Sabol said:
Joshua, I don't think too many people have had the chance to play with the Trifecta. Since you have, can you give us some insight into the machine? How does it taste in comparison to french press or melita or hario or clever? What's it made out of? Can you take some panels off and post some pics of the insides? Does it have a water tank or does it heat the water on demand? How long does it take for the water to change temperature? What generates the bubbles? How long does it take to change the parameters? How many parameters do you have access too? Does it use off the shelf parts from Bunn's other machines or is everything custom made? How is the software loaded and updated? Can it connect to the internet? Will it break if it falls over? Is it 120vac or 208vac? How heavy is it? What is the amp draw? How many cups can you make per hour? How long does it take to pay off $4000 if you only make 3 cups an hour with it? Can it replace a bulk drip brewer? Is the coffee that much better than a Clever Dripper that a struggling coffee shop should spend the extra $3980 to get one? Can a person walk right up to it and make a decent cup or is there a learning curve? How much training would it require for a cafe staff? Can you work the bar and still handle the Trifecta or will someone else need to handle the Trifecta orders?

Right now the market only has questions. You are in a position to give us some real info.


Mike,

Here are the answers to your questions, a few of the technical questions were answered by Bunn but the majority come from my time spent with the machine:

How does it taste in comparison to french press or melita or hario or clever?
- Tastes very similar to an aeropress. On a finer grinder or longer brew time, there are some fines that make it through giving it a similar mouth feel/body as a French press. There are more observations on the First Look I wrote up on prima-coffee.com blog.

Can you take some panels off and post some pics of the insides?
- There are two main access panels.
- The top lid, which can be lifted straight up after removing 2 screws under the top section next to the LED's. The black plastic splash panel is removable. Simply remove the drip tray to access 2 screws.
- See the parts manuals on the trifecta listing on our website http://prima-coffee.com/content/trifecta

What's it made out of?
- Aluminum covers most of the machine. There is a plastic covering around the display on the front. The brewing chamber is a thick plastic cylinder and the brewing handle is also plastic.

Does it have a water tank or does it heat the water on demand?
- It has a 20 oz. hot water tank to brew quickly and efficiently.

How long does it take for the water to change temperature?
- Because of the minimal size of the tank and 1450 watt heater recovery is complete by the end of the brew cycle.

What generates the bubbles?
- A DC air pump.


How long does it take to change the parameters?
- You can cycle through the parameters and change them right after you brew. We didn’t notice any type of wait or hold-over time between brews for us.

How many parameters do you have access too?
- 11 – Josh in his previous comment said 13 but he must have included grind size and weight.
- These eleven parameters are: Brew Water Temperature, Brew Volume, Pre-Wet (time it takes to fill the grounds with the given water volume for pre-infusion), Pre-Infusion (% of total water volume that you want used to pre-wet the grounds), Fill Pause (how long you let it pre-infuse), Brew Time, Turbulence On (how long the air-bubble agitation lasts), Turbulence Off (how long between turbulence cycles), Turbulence Power (1-10 scale), Press Out Power (1-10 scale), and Press Out (how long the press out is).


Does it use off the shelf parts from Bunn's other machines or is everything custom made?
- Most of the electronics, valves and pumps are standard parts. The housing is obviously unique.

How is the software loaded and updated?
- Remove the front plastic splash panel and attach a USB programmer via a serial ribbon cable. A 2 minute operation.

Can it connect to the internet?
- No

Will it break if it falls over?
- Although due to the fact that these haven’t been around long and are just beginning to make it out on the market, I don’t know any other coffee brewing machine that wouldn’t break if it encountered a substantial fall. I assure you that this is one heavy and solid unit, it would take a lot to knock it over.

Is it 120vac or 208vac?
- 120v is default but there is a 230v model.

How heavy is it?
- 41.7 lbs

What is the amp draw?
- 11.45 Amp

How many cups can you make per hour?
- Hard to estimate considering one can adjust the total brew time from anywhere from about 30 seconds to over 3 minutes. I would say an average total brew time would be around 2 mins 30 secs. Add in about 2 minutes of set up (grind, lock-in, select profile, and clean-up) and that brings it to about 4mins 30 secs of total time. For buffer time we’ll add 30 secs so calculate it at 1 brew every 5 minutes if you are going non-stop. That would get you 12 cups per hour. I’m sure that once someone has the hang of it then the cups per hour could go up to almost 20 or more.

Can it replace a bulk drip brewer?
- Yes, although you would probably want two or three machines. We’ve had one guy order three for us for his drip coffee bar already. I would recommend a higher price point per cup in relation to the specific coffee you are asking. This would work best if your market understands the correlation between specialty coffee lots and the higher price point they demand. If not, this may be a good excuse (partly because of the show it provides) to move them into paying more for specialty coffees.

How long does it take to pay off $4000 if you only make 3 cups an hour with it?
- Well we offer this for $3,742.50 so I’m going to go off of that price. Most shops that use the Trifecta will be offering the cup produced at a higher price point then a traditional cup of joe. They might even offer special lot coffees at different price points (a la Intelligentsia or Grumpy) which could be as expensive as $8 bucks a cup. I’ll pick a decent priced brew at $3 a cup and use the daily hours from a shop that is open from 7 A.M. to 9 P.M seven days a week. With these variables the total amount of time it would take to recover the cost of the Trifecta would be 30 days.

Is the coffee that much better than a Clever Dripper that a struggling coffee shop should spend the extra $3980 to get one?
- That’s kind of a loaded question and is somewhat comparing apples to oranges so I’ll try and answer it in two parts. First, as to cup comparison between Clever and the Trifecta it is somewhat a matter of preference. With the paper filter on the Clever you’re going to retain some oils and any fines. With the metal mesh filter on the Trifecta you will keep the oils and, according to your parameters, will probably get some fines that come through. Preference is preference; I love the Clever and I love the Trifecta. With the coffees I tried on the Trifecta I feel as if the cup it produces is just as good if not better than a cup I could brew on the Clever.

- As for the struggling shop buying a $3,742 machine, I would probably recommend this for medium-higher volume shops although you would be throwing out a lot of wasted coffee if you are brewing every 30 minutes on a drip machine and that wasted coffee cost could start to add up.

Can a person walk right up to it and make a decent cup or is there a learning curve?
- Yes and yes. As I stated in the First Look, you can set this thing on the default profile and get a decent cup, but to really pull out the best from each coffee it takes a bit of knowledge about the bean you’re using and how the different parameters affect that bean.

How much training would it require for a cafe staff?
- It depends on what you’re okay with getting by on. My assumption is that there would be one person (shop roaster, owner, coffee buyer) that would work with the machine and figure a profile he thinks works best with the coffees the shop is selling. He would then create a profile (you can have up to 26) for those coffees which the barista would just select and then brew. Ideally each barista would learn about the parameters and begin to slowly tweak the profiles on his own.
- You could also just set it on default and brew everything on it if you didn’t want to mess around with the parameters, but where is the fun in that :)

Can you work the bar and still handle the Trifecta or will someone else need to handle the Trifecta orders?
- Depends how high of volume a shop you are. If you can easily run the bar with one I don’t believe this machine would set you back. If you’re brewing by the cup on a v60 or syphon then you have to stay with the brewing method the whole time, but with the trifecta once you have dialed in the machine (or selected the profile you have saved for the coffee you are using) you can grind, lock it in and walk away until it is done.


Hopefully that was helpful

Cheers!

Matt
Also for those interested, the Trifecta's Installation and Operation Guide was just uploaded on our site. Here is a link to the PDF: Trifecta Installation and Operation Guide
We have seen some information about the Trifecta on the Bunn website (our company distributes their product). You can find videos, recipe guides, and other pdf files for this product on the bunn website at: http://www.trifectaexperience.com/
As distributors for BUNN we would be happy to supply anyone interested in acquiring one of these machines with a competitive quote that is under the figure bantered around in this discussion. Contact me for more information at www.sequoiacoffeeroasting.com

~ Kirk
While I was at the Counter Culture Training Center in Durham, NC, I got to try some Michicha in it. An excellent cup of coffee. However, I have some questions about the durability of certain parts, and I really thought that cleaning the machine was a bit convoluted. Someone made the comment that "it looks like a barista designed the machine, what with the portafilter, and all" and the reply was made that "no, it looks like someone WATCHED a barista, and then designed it". Comparing it to a Clover probably isn't really fair, but I think I would prefer the partial self-cleaning and design of the Clover over the Trifecta. Again, it did make a great cup of coffee. Just saying...
We will have a Trifecta at our lab at Coffeefest Seattle for anyone interested!

http://coffeefest.com/Event/WorkshopDetails.aspx?WID=27e3afe9-7d9c-...

Brady said:
Joshua, sorry to say that it looks like you're not going to find anyone to compare notes with here. Not too many here are in the position to buy a piece of equipment like this right now. Lots of curious folks though, me included. I do think Mike had some great questions and would love to see the answers. The info you've provided so far has been good. Thanks for sharing.
nice vid done here in nola.

http://vimeo.com/13239840

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