In your retail-commercial setups, how do you deal with brew temperature changes......... or do you...... if you have coffees that have different recommended/ideal brewing temperatures? This assumes you don't have a multi-group machine with individual temp control. The far end of the scale might be Malabar Gold at 205F and most other blends and SO's on or near 200F. Have any of you purchased smaller second machines?

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Many techs might tell you 200, as that's often an acceptable temp as shown by the barista competitions. I personally would recommend 198-199 before I would recommend 200. But a lot goes into play.

The two simplest solutions would be to use espressos that are much more
a) closer in recommended temp
b) forgiving

If you choose to use something on the extreme end of the scale, you really have to stick with the one espresso and maybe feature that espresso for the week, and then change to another. Otherwise, suggestions on brew temp are just that... they really don't account for dosing, how firm you tamp, pressure settings.. is it 8.7 or 9.2, etc. Taste, and taste some more, and then, taste again. Sometimes you will find that certain espresso are exceptional at various temps because each may highlight a different aspect. This will allow you to often find a shared temp that works great for multiple blends. But some espresso, for better or worse, need the machine to themselves.
John's parameters are good for espresso. It wasn't clear if you were asking about espresso or brewed coffee? 205 is where we have our Bunn thermofresh set at, and generally 199-204 on the Clover when brewing coffee.
Matt's right,

I just think of "Malabar Gold" as espresso and went with that.
Thanks for replying guys. I almost gave up on this topic. And yes, I was talking about espresso. Matt, maybe out of lack of respect for drip brewed, I figured brewed coffee to be one that I wouldn't mess with in a kiosk location. I'd get the best blend, set everything up, and not deviate. But back to espresso. I had a cap from John's Synesso on my recent trip to SLC, so I figured he's OK with this issue. He can set each group differently. I can only guess that the GB5 that Jon has at Bevalo, near you, can be reset quickly and flushed for a quick temp change. I've been working with Malabar for the last three years, and while I like the way it works with the milk, I've always felt orphaned from all the other blends and SO's because my S1 was set so high. Changing the temp becomes a pain, even though it's digital. And on that last trip to Barefoot Santa Clara a couple weeks back, it dawned on me that while everything they serve is great, I realized they were extracting SO's along with their house blends on just one machine. And then it dawned on me.......how do they do it if each blend and SO is more than a degree deviation? They've only got the Nuvo Simoneli? I did call them, and it sounded like they generate some temp control through control flushes. I think we'd all agree that the variables in specialty coffee are not only numerous, many are hard to quantify and monitor. What I'm hearing is that, for HX machines, "dancing around with flushes" is one solution. Unless someone has a secret solution, I have to believe that only with a second machine or individual group temp control can a retail location run two or more SO's or blends that deviate in recommended brew temp from the house blend. Why don't I see more shops with, for instance, a small single group or two group backup?
For me, it's price, and space - do not have the capital, or space, for a second machine. Would love one though!

It's probably an easier go with a HX machine rather than a set temp, such as a GB/5 or Linea, because you can flush to a certain approximate temperature (unless you had the HX pretty well mapped out with a Scace). Obviously a Synesso would be far easier. A 4 group Marzocco would be another option as well - seeing as they have the 2 separate brew boilers.

What I have wondered about is a shop having a GS3 specifically for SO shots or what have you - seeing as that has quite the small footprint. Or even a lesser prosumer machine with a PID. That would probably be my first viable option (prosumer), with a new Synesso being a close second, with financial concern overcoming my space issues, at this time.


Al Sterling said:
Thanks for replying guys. I almost gave up on this topic. And yes, I was talking about espresso. Matt, maybe out of lack of respect for drip brewed, I figured brewed coffee to be one that I wouldn't mess with in a kiosk location. I'd get the best blend, set everything up, and not deviate. But back to espresso. I had a cap from John's Synesso on my recent trip to SLC, so I figured he's OK with this issue. He can set each group differently. I can only guess that the GB5 that Jon has at Bevalo, near you, can be reset quickly and flushed for a quick temp change. I've been working with Malabar for the last three years, and while I like the way it works with the milk, I've always felt orphaned from all the other blends and SO's because my S1 was set so high. Changing the temp becomes a pain, even though it's digital. And on that last trip to Barefoot Santa Clara a couple weeks back, it dawned on me that while everything they serve is great, I realized they were extracting SO's along with their house blends on just one machine. And then it dawned on me.......how do they do it if each blend and SO is more than a degree deviation? They've only got the Nuvo Simoneli? I did call them, and it sounded like they generate some temp control through control flushes. I think we'd all agree that the variables in specialty coffee are not only numerous, many are hard to quantify and monitor. What I'm hearing is that, for HX machines, "dancing around with flushes" is one solution. Unless someone has a secret solution, I have to believe that only with a second machine or individual group temp control can a retail location run two or more SO's or blends that deviate in recommended brew temp from the house blend. Why don't I see more shops with, for instance, a small single group or two group backup?
Steve:

I did turn my S1 down to approx. 200F. I say approximate as I don't believe that even with the digital temp setting it actually presents 200F at the coffee puck, but it's close. I've taken my digital thermocouple and looked at the temp change during flushes. I find it does climb up to my setpoint, but I only see that after three flushes. I really don't trust my thermocouple placement or the fact that I don't have a coffee puck present; too many variables. But I can say that all of my extractions have improved, and even the Malabar tastes good.

My thoughts on a second machine were in line with your comment on the "prosumer" approach. However, the only small one-group I know of, available in the very low $2k range new is the Spaziale S2, which now includes NSA certs. I don't see many used one-groups out. And the ones I've seen in restaurants and small cafes are usually beat to heck.

Although brew temp seems to get most of the attention, it's interesting that in practice, and because most machines in service are HX types, temp adjustment seems to be more an "art form" than a science.
Hi Al,
What about the Dalla Corte range of machines - the mini & the super mini. The mini is an unplumbed manual fill machine, one boiler for steam only (no hoy water), one boiler for coffee water. The super mini is a plumbed machine, one boiler for steam and hot water, one boiler for coffee water. Both machines have a temp probe in the coffee boiler an is easily adjustable. The temp holds quite well form the coffee boiler set point to the group screen mainly due to the fact that it never passes outside the boiler during delivery. I like to set my temp to 94C or 201.2F for my particular espresso blend and roast (medium roast beans). I have checked the temp with a thermofilter that I made up and found the temp above the cake to hold to +/- 0.8C degree during extraction. Price wise I believe that the price is not too far off €1500 - €1800 (not sure what that is in $). I have a CMA Plus-4-you on the way to me for some testing. Will let you know my opinion soon. Damian
On a four group la marzocco GB5 or FB80 can you set each boiler to a different temp? Terry Z any comments?
Since posting the original question......... I've contacted Barefoot, and with their roaster Christian's great generousity, I've started roasting a new espresso blend that approximates their flavor. So far, it's tasting fantastic. More important to my temp concerns, I've set the La Spaz to that 200F point, and haven't changed it. My resulting extractions are sweet, little or no bitters going into the blond end of the extraction, and feel it's alot easier on the espresso machine. I can't believe it's good to leave the machines on 24/7 at such a high temp of 205 to 207F. (That's Malabar Gold's recommended brew temp) As for individual group temperature control, it is my understanding that only the Synesso Cyncra offers that at this time. When I spoke to Frankie Dist. in Seattle a couple years ago, they hinted that eventually, the upper end LM's would be built from the individual brew groups; all having their own boiler and temp controls.
I called my buddy Jon S. at Bevalo in Salt Lake City just now. He's running a GB5 2grp. He believes that if you order the four group, they offer individual temp control on each of the two groups. Sorta' like taking two 2groups and putting 'em in the same cabinet. Makes sense......... although I too would like to hear from Terry. (?)

adibben said:
On a four group la marzocco GB5 or FB80 can you set each boiler to a different temp? Terry Z any comments?

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