Low pressure on Black Eagle


The fourth wave is already here. It's about serious science in coffee. Water analysis, sensory research, changing pump pressure. Let alone the recent grinding paper.

For me, the most exciting from above is lowering pump pressure. The very act is no big science. But the research conducted by several professionals makes it science-backed.

Mat North, Michael Cameron, Matt Perger have inspired baristas all over the world. Including me. I wanted to give it a try.

But I work on Victoria Arduino Black Eagle. The machine with difficult access to its inside. Interactive menu allows you to change pressure of steam wand, but not the pump. Manual provides you with instruction to make a cappuccino, but there's nothing about pump.

An insight
Have you ever wondered about the knob under drip tray, on the left side? It took me entire night to get struck by an insight. The knob is precisely under the pump.

It occurs that changing pump pressure on Black Eagle is easier than changing grind size on Mythos 1.

Black Eagle is the perfect choice for playing with variables. Pump pressure, temperature or extraction yield can be changed so easily it's a shame not to do it.


Benefits
Tastier espresso, higher consistency and respect from fellow baristas. And that's it.

Dialing in is about finding balance. You can find balance in uneven extraction. To exemplify, hitting 20% extraction with 9 bar pressure. But you will hate your espresso after few times.

I got a coffee described as very sweet, with notes of lemon, peach, jasmine and caramel finish. The problem is, for 3 months of working with this coffee I never went past lemon and jasmine. I was dealing with astringent, harsh, bitter and overwhelming aftertaste, doing my best to get the lemony one. "Has some sweetness" meant balanced extraction. The body was watery.

Until the day I lowered pressure to 7 bars. Lemony start, followed by jasmine and sweet mango with syrupy finish. The mouthfeel is round and creamy. The new espresso cuts through milk much better too.

In terms of consistency I waste much less shots. Channelling still occurs but it's pretty rare. Making workflow on busy morning smoother.

Lower pressure helps especially with a guest coffee ground in EK43. No matter how tasty shots you can pull on EK, the grinder is not designed for espresso during busy times. If you know what I mean.

When it comes to respect from other baristas, just give them your espresso. 

Photo - Niall Kennedy


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