If I had a Synesso

Posted on February 12, 2008 by

If I had a Synesso, I’d experiment with dedicating one of the groups to straight shots. I’d knock the temperature way down, and start playing with 7, and 14 gram shots. I would of course use a dedicated grinder for the dedicated group, and I would continue to use the other group(s) to continue up dosing and pulling approximately 20 grams at 198 degrees for milk based drinks.

But I’d like to experiment more with 7 and 14 gram straight shots. If I had a Synesso.

(UPDATE: I do have a Synesso!  Want it?)

  • http://21streetcoffee.com Luke

    Funny you posted this… we have two group Cyncras in each of our shops, and I recently took our backup Mazzer (a mini) and dialed it in single shots. Currently I’ve only played around with Intelli’s Kenya Kangocho Lot as a SO espresso, but I’ve busted out the 7 and 14g baskets just for this purpose. Since we only have the 2G machines, it’s hard to take temperature up or down too far from our sweet spot, but it’s one of those things I keep telling myself I’m going to do someday… after we close.

    BTW 198 also happens to be the temp we’re using for the Black Cat- although we’re using a 21g dose. Good stuff and nice website.

  • http://shotzombies.com/ Mike White

    Luke you’ve been poppin up all over my meta radar lately. Hmmm…

    Yeah if I had a synesso, it would have to be a three group to experiment on a live bar. We have one upstate in our hometown but that doesn’t help me at all. All i’ve got to play with is a GB5, FB80, and E-61 Legend. Poor me I know…

    Let me know if you end up following through on the experiments with the Black Cat. The results could be beneficial flavor wise as well as financially…

  • http://www.twitchy.org liz

    Brian from Counter Culture has one for sale. Though I have a feeling your post was somehow specifically targeted. (Easter Bunny?)

  • http://shotzombies.com/ Mike White

    I don’t really want a Synesso, i’m quite happy with our current lot of equipment. I was just musing about what i would do if i had one.

  • http://www.twitchy.org liz

    What would you do if you had a pony?

  • http://shotzombies.com/ Mike White

    I’d give him to you to raise in your backyard.

  • http://www.twitchy.org liz

    The easter bunny and that pony are going to pull some killer shots back there!

  • http://www.counterculturecoffee.com BLud

    Yes, I do have a Synesso for sale.

    I’ve also been lucky enough to play with two of the best machines on the market that offer varying group temps: the Synesso Cyncra and the Nuova Simonelli Aurelia. Even though I’m an independant-boiler fan, the Aurelia is one fine HX machine.

    Here’s the two experiments that I found interesting with these machines:

    1. Like Liz, the idea of using each group for a specific bean or blend. SOE weren’t my exact approach, but the idea was there. My experimentation ended in my lab, so I’d love to hear about any commercial applications of this.

    2. Using a three group machine with temps at 197, 200 & 203 (F) I found that I could really get my mind around a single bean or blend. In other words, using these machines made it easier for me to figure out at which temp my espresso fared best.

    PS: If I had a pony I would start shooting bootleg “My Little Pony” films for Youtube.

  • http://shotzombies.com/ Mike White

    Brian i’m less interested in designated groups for SOE’s and more interested in getting my mind around “traditional” shots as they compare to the more common and accepted “norm” of using bigger baskets. In my short 8 years with Gimme, i’ve never really toyed with less than 17 grams. It’s unfortunate, i know, and a disservice to myself really. But better late than never. Of course I see the potential value of having an SOE group at any given time, it’s just not my primary motivation for thinking along these lines.

    what’s up with that Synesso of yours? and i find it interesting that the Aurelia has been gaining some ground in the court of public opinion lately.

  • http://www.counterculturecoffee.com BLud

    Speaking of dosing weights, I once experimented with the Aurelia with Nuova Simonelli’s chief engineer Lauro Fioretti and he was shocked by my heavy dosing (upward of 19 grams). For his “Italian” style of extraction, he replaced the .6mm flow restrictor with a .5mm and used 15 grams for 30 ml. It is a completely different style of taste but I have to admit I like it. It didn’t sway me from my heavy dosing, but it was very insightful nonetheless.

    The Synesso that I’m selling was originally purchased by Open City in DC and later by Ninth Street in NYC. I picked it up from NSE to see if CCC would be interested in using them. Alas, we opted to stick with La Marzocco machines so I am left with a great Synesso that has no home.

    And you’re right about the Aurelia getting some good light in the industry. I even hear that the Canadians are using them! Good for Nuova Simonelli, it’s a good machine.

  • http://shotzombies.com/ Mike White

    Italian style indeed. That’s precisely why I want to experiment.

    thanks Brian! Good luck with that Synesso…!

  • http://21streetcoffee.com Luke

    “Luke you’ve been poppin up all over my meta radar lately. Hmmm…”

    Sorry, I have been feeling ill the past few days and I guess it was contagious.

    In all seriousness, I will try to get some quality time with my equipment and post some thoughts on my interblog.

  • http://21streetcoffee.com Luke

    Here’s an update…

    So I got the single basket out and pulled some shots of Intelli’s new DT Rwanda- Zirikana. I started out at 197F but found the shots were sweeter as I took the temp up. I landed on 204F, with 7g and a pretty fine grind. I cut the shots off around 18s. It was good, definitely bright, but syrupy and sweet. That’s all I had time for before we got busy again.

  • http://shotzombies.com/ Mike White

    awesome Luke, thanks! Why’d you start at 197? Try 187!

  • http://21streetcoffee.com Luke

    I’ll get back to you, but it seemed like the lower temps tended to produce blonder shots. I kept dialing the grinder finer but only when I started taking the temp up did the brighter notes start to come out. Also my teeth got pretty brown and I decided I should take a break.

  • http://shotzombies.com/ Mike White

    Luke there’s also some question about the limitations caused the physical characteristics of the single basket. Conventional wisdom (as far as I know) states that the disrupted flow of water as it heads south, hits the wall, and is redirected towards the center of the basket has an adverse reaction on the puck. Any thoughts on that?

  • http://21streetcoffee.com Luke

    Mike… the puck was pretty soggy/muddy, probably due to the increased headspace. for reference, when using our normal 21g baskets the puck is pretty dry coming out and has a consistent texture/density. I would guess that with our preinfusion and the headspace there is a lot of movement/swishing around of the grounds inside the pf. With the smaller opening at the bottom of the basket I would also assume a region of higher pressure exists as everything tries to squeeze out of the smaller basket bottom. The headspace plus this converging flow opens up the possibility of more channelling (I would think) than if you kept everything kind of tight and locked in together. If the basket were shallower and didn’t have the ridges you would probably have a more consistent and controllable extraction and it would be easier to compare apples to apples. Just my $.02.