♻️ The Espresso Spiral; 🔒 Never change your grind size?; 🤓 I'm a real Scientician now!

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February 22 - Issue #55

Barista Hustle

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

The Espresso Spiral
♻️ A post on Fresh Cup Magazine’s site about long espressos spurred me to write some brief words about the trend towards long shots. I presented this as a talk at Prufrock last year, and have summarised it as a timeline. I’ve seen many businesses and even cities go through these steps in this exact order as they chase better espresso coffee. I’m sure you’ll be able to think of a brand that’s sitting on each one of these right now. 
0 - Old School
Traditional, normal espresso. Average strength and reasonably high extraction thanks to the more developed and soluble roasts.
1 - Exploration
Higher strength, slightly lower extraction. People wanted a little less roasty-ness and more syrupy/textural espressos so they roast a tiny bit lighter and pull their shots shorter.
2 - Differentiation
Low extraction, high strength. People try to differentiate themselves from traditional coffee brands. They’ll roast even lighter and pull excessively short espressos.
3 - Rebellion
Lower strength, super low extraction. “Anything remotely roasty is sacrilege” is the stance here. Underdeveloped roasts that aren’t soluble yield lower strength espressos and maintain the under-extraction of previous.
4 - Frustration
Slightly higher extraction, low strength. This is the all-too-common razor’s edge between roasts that are too light and too dark. Ever had coffee that’s too dark one week and too light the next? Everyone is trying to get more extraction by increasing roast development but but the low strength is highlighting roasty-ness. Very frustrating spiral.
5 - Extraction
Very high extraction, super low strength. After being frustrated by the ping pong match above, the roasters will opt for light rather than dark. Even longer espressos will be pulled to tease out a modicum of sweetness. Roasts are still underdeveloped, so the strength must be super low to accomplish anything.
6 - Excellence
There’s very few people sitting here. But I’m sure you can guess which spot on the graph it is. 
With proper roast development, good brewing practises and a healthy compromise between strength and extraction, some people find themselves happily back at 0 (but with a much more delicious end product).
NB - There’s certainly other progressions, but this one is most common in my experience.
"I haven't changed my grind size in 6 months"
🔒Pilot Coffee Roasters penned an interesting blog post about their experiment to leave the grinder be. I don’t agree or disagree with this. Pressure is something I’ve certainly been playing around with a lot recently, and some of this post has made me think. 

Applause is certainly deserved for getting off their asses and trying something new!
I'm a real scientician now!
🤓A paper I co-authored alongside Christopher Hendon, Maxwell and Lesley Colonna-Dashwood, Christian Klatt, Stephen Leighton (and others!) has been peer reviewed and accepted into a journal.
It focuses on grinding, and has some very real implications for grinder technology.

I will be penning a simple-English version of the paper as it could be a little dense for some international readers. Look out for it in this email as a simultaneous release to the paper itself. 
Dialling in your hot chocolate
🍫My shout out for hot chocolate recipes last week stirred up Jackson O'Brien so much that he wrote a whole post about it on his site ‘Spro Before Bros’. It’s detailed, getting into cocoa butter content and the pros/cons of ingredient choice. He also penned a piece titled 'How to Take Syrups, Sauces, and Specialty Drinks Seriously’ which hits the nail on the head.
Thanks to everyone else for your contributions and recipes! I’ll be putting it all together when I next get a moment.
MICE Product Innovation Award
🏆I’m head judging for the very first Product Innovation awards at the Melbourne International Coffee Expo next month. If you are/know of an exhibitor with an innovative product released in the last year, make sure it’s in the running! More details here.
Thanks for coming! (and thanks for going)
I’m spending the week in LA and will hopefully have some interesting insights about the coffee scene there to report in next week’s email.
Until then.

To the boundaries of coffee,

Matt Perger
Barista Hustle
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