Back to the Grind.

My mind has been shifting from thinking about competition back to focusing on our store. That fueled by the conversations help during the conference, and I’ve got some ideas, realizations, and ambitions turning about.

There was a moment where I heard James Hoffmann mention that he had an idea for a grinder, but couldn’t find anyone to build it for him. Now, at first, my initial reaction (during the weekend) was why do we need a new grinder? We’ve got these epic Robur-e’s. What more do we need?

Then, I got back on a real bar… and was forced to come face to face with the problems I deal with daily. We make hundreds of drinks, and it’s an intensely difficult labor of love to keep those drinks tasting as delicious as possible. We fight heat from all directions… Especially, in our grinders. That’s when I realized that I tasted multiple espressos from different machine company booths… all with interesting textures and mouth-feels… and no one is addressing the actual problems that I have.

I’m wondering how many baristas would react to Hoffmann like I did? Where, without a solution in sight, we push the thought of an ideal grinder, with minimal heat retention, out of our heads. It seems that we’ve gotten so hooked on exploring the new (pressure profiling) that we’ve forgotten about the problems that have been plaguing us for years…

Don’t get me wrong… I’ve never experienced an espresso like Jeremy Summer, of Synesso, served me at their booth. But, I’ve got a fantastic machine. It makes incredible espresso from about 6AM till 10 AM. Then, a battle begins between fighting soaring temperatures in the grinder and the groups. As of now, the best solutions I can pursue is to obtain two robur-e’s and to switch grinders during the midday… Which, maybe some companies can afford, but that’s a difficult investment for a small cafe to make.

My shift, today, starts at 2PM. The morning rush will just be wrapping up, and I will immediately set to work evaluating the espresso. It will be good. But there will always be a part of me that is jealous of the opening crew and what they get to experience. Please, someone, make us all a grinder that will alleviate this!

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2 thoughts on “Back to the Grind.

  1. well adjusted grind was producing tasty espresso by the time i made it in…
    even if i sullied it a bit (with some righteously textured milk).
    the millenium falcon fired out a bomb cup of brazil too.

    nice to formally meet you today, you’ve been making my drinks for a minute now.
    cool that ur moving down here, would’ve been cooler to have you on the block though!
    I told the lease lady you were set on the other spot and she was bummed.

    hit me up atwatercoffeeco@gmail if you need any nods on the new hood,
    and definitely come thru spring and hang out when you get settled in.

  2. Ryan,
    I’ve been thinking about this alot this year. I’ve actually come up with an idea that i have no money or experience to pull off personally. In recent years we have pulled from other fields of engineering for grinders/machines in order to stabilize our equipment and/or manipulate our results. What if we took a cue from the computer industry in their approach to cooling.

    They have begun to sell tightly sealed liquid cooling systems that simply contact the motherboard at critical point delivering refrigerated liquid that passes over those points to cool them. We could easily fit this system into a grinder. Best of all, it is completely controllable to the degree. What if you set the temp on your grinder as well as your machine? Just a crazy idea, but crazy ideas sometimes work

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