🎯Burr Alignment; 🔬Electron Microscopes;

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July 11 - Issue #75

Barista Hustle

Views and news about the brews. Unique and relevant information for coffee professionals and enthusiasts.

My apologies to anyone who has tried to email me recently, I’ve been migrating baristahustle.com to shiny new servers. All https, much faster, and ready for when I drop the impending Superlatives coffee subscription!
Please reach out again if I haven’t replied!

Burr Alignment Tool: Not Necessary
🎯 I’ve been playing around with burrs quite a lot recently for some new projects. I can’t tell you about the projects, but I can share what I’ve learnt about alignment.
Remember that alignment tool I was developing? Turns out what it does (radial alignment) is way, way less important than the burrs being parallel.
This is excellent news because 1) you don’t need an expensive alignment tool and 2) parallel alignment is actually really easy!
Mat North from Full Court Press posted a photo series for Mythos burr alignment on the BH Facebook group. It works the same for all flat burrs.
If you ask really nicely I’ll do one for the EK43 as well.
Electron Microscopy of Coffee Grinds
🔬 This might be my favourite post of all time on the various BH platforms.
Grigori Beridze has access to an electron microscope, so he ground the same coffee at an espresso setting on both an EK43 and a Robur, covered the grinds in 50 nanometers of gold (for reflectivity), and got to work.
The results are kind of mesmerising. The level of detail is insane. Please send Grigori thanks for his hard work!
While browsing through:
  • take note of the scale on each slide (10um = 1/100th of a millimetre).
  • think about just how difficult it is for water to penetrate the large grounds’ maze of cellulose, extract the flavour right in the middle, and get back out into the brew…
  • compared to how much surface area there is on the small and large grinds that gets extracted straight away. 
Facebook Group Post with discussion.
Grigori’s original post (no BH group membership or Facebook account required).
Also, here’s a guide to looking at coffee under an electron microscope by Monika Fekete of Coffee Science Lab. Super interesting stuff, and should help you appreciate and better understand Grigori’s images.
Where Machines Could Replace Humans
🤖 McKinsey has embarked on a years long project to analyse every kind of work and the feasibility of machines/software to automate it. See the report and the interactive “is my job in peril” dataset.
Some relevant quotes for you:
“Technical feasibility is a necessary precondition for automation, but not a complete predictor that an activity will be automated.”
“Even when machines do take over some human activities in an occupation, this does not necessarily spell the end of the jobs in that line of work.”
“73 percent of the activities workers perform in food service and accommodations have the potential for automation, based on technical considerations.”
BH Community
See You Next Week!
I’ll be spending the week sweating, hoping all those envelopes of coffee make their way to their new owners! What are you up to? Anything interesting happening in the coffee world?
To the boundaries of coffee,
Matt Perger
Barista Hustle
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