I'm trying to take a close look at our waste on espresso and wanted some help from others who may have solved this issue.
We use a super jolly manual in the usual way (grind, dose, settle, up-dose, level, tamp) but always have a 10/15 gram pile of waste on the port-a-filter rest, bottom of the grinder and counter every 8 to 10 drinks. I'm currently collecting this for a few shifts to gauge what our total per day waste is but I'm fairly sure it runs in the 1/2 pound range.
While we don't truly clear the hopper and grind each and every shot to order (if there is a rush we will grind for each shot but not clear the hopper chamber between in shot) we do grind to order if it's slow.
Finally, my question;
In this kind of situation would an electronic, not a doser/chamber, style grinder help with this?
It seems all of the waste is created by the settling, up-dosing (to a slight crown or overfill that is then finger leveled) and not by dumping the hopper clear for each shot.
Our Cafe's use swift grinders currently, but i know that when I was still working at the cafes when we made the switch, we had our waste estimated at nearly 1 pound a day after saving grounds for two weeks every day. I also remember that where i saw the most waste was when the coffee fell out of the grind chamber after not completely dispensing the coffee loaded into it. I seem to think that your reference to an electronic grinder would be something like those nice new Malkonig's? i have only been able to use them once, and it was back in October of this year, but they were a pretty sweet unit.
Moving to the swift for us estimated our savings at $1800+ a location per year.
One word for you: Schectermatic. It's the quick and easy way to eliminate most messy waste from the Super Jolly. Not available in stores, only online, it's a great gift for Christmas. Yours now online for only $FREE! Google it.
The Schectermatic must have lost it's patent long ago. It's been the mod of choice and in place on my SJ since shot #1. We of course took the green route and made ours with a rolled up rectangular piece cut from an old one gallon plastic milk jug-yes, works great.
But, alas, there is still that nasty, sloppy, costly mess that results mostly from the "settle" portion of my technique. The suggestion made about the electronic grinder was that a deeper triple basket could be used, eliminating the need for the settle and level portions of my routine. I'm just not convinced that a portafilter can be properly loaded without at least some "finger swipe" type leveling and settling.
BTW, does your version of the Schectermatic ever catch on the dosing chamber gate such that it "clicks" and has to be pulled down a touch?
That is a good idea with the milk jug. I was toying with having a little sheet metal piece fabbed up that would pick up the holes where the "factory-installed tamper" used to be. Something a little nicer than a cut-up index card.
That is a neat idea with using the triple basket and going without the level technique. I've heard some say that that the timer needs to be adjusted when the grind is adjusted, but not sure how true this is.
I wonder if you just used the triple basket if you could eliminate the updose step and lose less in the level step? Maybe some small process tweaks could get your waste down a little as you contemplate other steps? Ideally, you'd have only enough waste to cover the couple of shots used to "reseason" your baskets after your purocaff/portafilter cleaning... so 50 grams give or take for a 3 group. That's a pretty aggressive goal, but something to shoot for?
I'm trying to get a picture of what you guys are talking about. Are you saying that because the grinds spill around a bit when dosing, you're essentially fabricating a "funnel" with a milk jug top between the grinder and the basket?
That's right. It doesn't have to be terribly long, just sticking down maybe a half an inch or less - so short enough to not be in the way when removing the portafilter. It helps counteract the "Mazzer kick" of grounds off to the left side. Not completely foolproof, but certainly an improvement. My current one is made with index card though, so its really a cheap knockoff of a Schectermatic, not the genuine article :)
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