Posted on March 27, 2006 by Mike
After using “naked” “chopped” and or “crotchless” portafilters for the last year or so, we’ve recently made a move towards returning to the original double spout style. Initiated by Chris’s endless passion for improving shot quality, we’ve gone retro for almost a full week now in an attempt to isolate some funky feelings we’ve been having about our shots. Though spurred by Chris’s desire to make himself work harder for the elusive perfect shot, the experiment has proved beneficial to others here at Gimme Coffee in Brooklyn as well. The very first thing I noticed when Chris pulled me a shot last week was the noticeable drop in temperature on my tongue. Since our boiler had been tweaked fairly recently by the technical savant Tomas, it can be safely assumed that the Mirage had been operating at the correct temperature. But the few degrees drop that the extra inch and a half of metal under the spout induced post extraction struck me as particularly pleasurable. I suddenly realized that the shots we had been pulling before did indeed seem to be a bit too hot. The flavors were somewhat less muffled by my brains reaction to heat, and more subtle flavors of the beans reemerged, all the while maintaining our desired water temperature. On the other hand Chris’s theory that he would have to work harder for each shot has been proved correct. From a purely physical standpoint it is much harder to pull consistent shots with the unforgiving double spout judging your every tamp, twist, and pull. Shots sometime stream lazily from one side while reluctantly dripping from the other, or pour furiously from both ends in unforgiving torrents, filling the demitasse preemptively in well under 30 seconds. These changes occur easily in the course of just a few shots forcing me to struggle to maintain focus and consistency while dosing, distributing, and tamping. As an effort to raise the level of consistency, this is definitely the way to go. Yes you may have to discard a few more shots during your shift, but the level of consciousness induced for every single shot you pull will definitely increase.