Low pressure on Black Eagle

The most exciting thing in coffee at the moment 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. The interactive menu allows you to change the pressure of the steam wand, but not the pump. Manual provides you with instruction to make a cappuccino, but there's nothing about the pump.

An insight
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.

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

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

In terms of consistency, I waste much fewer 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.

Photo - Niall Kennedy


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