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Experimental coffees and research

03. Our Research

Experiment #138

Brewing|Aug 13, 2016

Levy Tamp vs Pergtamp

Tamping is one of the crucial steps to espresso preparation. Last week, we set out to test two different aspects of tamping; the levelness of a tamp, the tamper's base size and their effects on the resulting espresso. If you haven't already read it, you can check it out below! This time, we are doing a direct comparison between the Levy Tamp and the Pergtamp.
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Experiment #152

Brewing|Jan 23, 2018

Does Grinding Frozen Coffee Beans Impact Brewing & Taste?

A number of baristas in the recent World Barista Championship have been making use of Christopher Hendon's research. He found that coffee beans frozen to -79C and below reacted differently to the grinding process concluding that grinding cold results in a narrower particle size distribution, and reduced mean particle size. But how does that impact the taste in the final cup?
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Experiment #155

Brewing|Jun 2, 2018

Experiment #155 : Coffee Extraction and Sugar Levels

In many of our experiments, we are always searching for ways to increase coffee extraction without introducing unpleasant bitterness and anstringency. One of the main reasons for this is because higher extractions tend to results in sweeter, more flavourful coffee. Recent research and tests have disocvered that full and proper extractions help to result in sweeter tasting coffees. Is this accurate? How does coffee extraction relate to sweetness i
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Experiment #134

Brewing|May 4, 2016

What Exactly is the Ristretto? How do we brew it?

There are many variations to the espresso. One of the most commonly ordered variation is the Double Ristretto. Traditionally defined as a very strong or concentrated espresso, the ristretto is typically an espresso with a 1:1 Brew Ratio, while double just means a double shot.In our experience however, we have come across 2 different methods or brewing ristrettos; the Three Part Extraction theory and the fixed 1:1 Brew Ratio method.
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Experiment #137

Brewing|Jul 23, 2016

The most important article about Tamping you'll ever read

Tamping is one of the crucial steps to espresso preparation. Many baristas have been taught to tamp evenly with 30 pounds of pressure and to ensure tamping levelness. Today there are also different tampers from flat bases to concave to ribbed surfaces and even different base sizes. This week we set out to test two different aspects of tamping; the levelness of a tamp, the tamper's base size and their effects on the resulting espresso.
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Experiment #159

Brewing|Nov 15, 2018

Experiment #159: King of Espresso Distribution, Round 2

Since our last experiment with The King of Distribution Techniques, there have been numerous new distribution tools released. Here is an updated review of the winner from round 1 vs 3 new tools!
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Experiment #140

Brewing|Sep 10, 2016

Pre-infusion and it's impact on espresso

This week we will take a look at pre-infusion (pre-brew) and it's result in the espresso. Pre-infusion can come in many forms, from soft infusion to hard infusion to variable pressures and different lengths of time. We will be testing multiple pre-infusion techniques over the coming weeks but first, let's define some of the different pre-infusion variables that are commonly used in the coffee industry.
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Experiment #133

Brewing|May 3, 2016

The Basic Espresso Recipe

The basic fundamental behind coffee is that only roughly 30% of coffee is water-soluble. Out of this 30%, only about 20% are actually desirable and tastes good. The goal behind every coffee professional is or should be to extract as much of these good and delicious parts of the coffee whilst minimizing the extraction of the undesirable parts of the coffee. Now that we know that we should all...
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Experiment #135

Brewing|May 19, 2016

Think You're a Good Barista? Try this 1:3 Brew Ratio Test!

1:3 Brew Ratios have become increasingly popular over the last few years. Matt Perger of St. Ali in Australia has been championing the idea of higher brew ratios for awhile now, Tim Wendelboe routinely serves 1:3 Brew Ratios for Espressos at his shop, so does Five Elephant, our own home-grown Oriole Coffee and many more. What is the reason behind 1:3 Brew Ratios' increasing popularity and why isn't everyone brewing it?
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Experiment #141

Brewing|Oct 11, 2016

Putting it together: Pre-infusion on a low overall brew pressure

We've tested different brewing pressures, we've tested different pre-infusion timings and pressures; now it's time to put them all together! These days, we pull our espressos with a pre-infusion between 9-16s and full brew pressure at 7 Bars at the shop. Does pre-infusion at this lower brew pressure setting make a difference in extraction percentages? Or will it prove to be equally insignificant as compared to the standard brew pressures?
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Experiment #142

Brewing|Nov 16, 2016

Hot or Cold? The Best Temperature for Brewing Espresso

For the past few decades, temperature stability has been a major goal for many espresso machine manufacturers and also one of the deciding factors of the quality of an espresso machine. There is without a doubt, a huge emphasis placed on temperature in the brewing process of espresso. So how exactly does temperature affect espresso and the brewing process? What is the final impact on the extraction of the coffee when brewed using different temp..
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Experiment #157

Brewing|Oct 10, 2018

Experiment #157 : Grinder Temperature and Extraction

For awhile now, we've experienced a streak of inconsistent timings with our espresso brewing. Shot timings changed radically every couple of shots after calibration which had our whole team scratching their heads. We've set out to discover the reason behind this mystery.
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Experiment #139

Brewing|Sep 4, 2016

Espresso Brewing Pressure: Is 9 Bars really optimal?

Almost all semi-automatic espresso machines are calibrated and set by default to brew at roughly 9 bars of pressure. Lucky for us, we use the Slayer espresso machine, one of the few espresso machines out there that allows for easy tweaking of the brew pressure. This week, we will be setting out to test the impact of brewing pressure on the resulting espresso and it's extraction percentage.
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Experiment #136

Brewing|Jun 26, 2016

The King of Distribution Techniques

One of the commonly discussed variables in espresso preparation is distribution techniques. There are many techniques and methods for distributing the grinds in the portafilter basket but which one truly gives the better espresso? We decided to conduct a little experiment to find out for ourselves once and for all. Which is the King of Distribution Techniques?
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