Espresso Shots on the Slayer Machine


Dec 12, 2008

Around a month ago, we were experimenting with the new Slayer espresso machine in our studio. The video shows our off the cuff reactions to what we were tasting.

Let me start with some history. I’ve been in the coffee business for 18 years importing, selling & servicing Italian espresso machines, and roasting coffee for 11 years (with my two brothers at Fratello Coffee Roasters in Calgary). Eric started with Starbucks in the early 90’s, moved to ESI, then started Treuh Italia (now called Synesso) with Dan in 2003. Dan started with ESI in the 90’s as well. Eric & Dan began working with us in 2006.

A year and a half ago, we set out with the ambition to build the worlds best espresso machine – but not for the simple sake of building another ‘machine’. Quite frankly, we were unsatisfied with the quality of the espresso we were extracting and believed that we could get more out of the coffee.

We experimented with PID & various pre-heat options to ensure accurate and predictable brew temperatures regardless of how busy your cafe was. – tasting the difference these old machines had on the coffee, then had the We experimented with old lever machinesspring tension measured to determine the pressure profile over the course of the shot. Generally, these shots had a smoother taste than the same coffee pulled on a machine @ 9bars. So we invented a way to vary the pressure of the brew water during the course of the cycle…believing that every espresso has its own unique characteristics and that if we can put a simple system in the hands of skilled roasters and baristas – that they will find the hidden flavors in the espresso.

This video shows our reactions as we play with a competition espresso we developed for Joel to use at the Canadian National Barista Competition. The coffee was designed to be used on a Simonelli Aurelia, 9 bars & 201F. It was a blend of Sumatra Tabu Jamu, Ethiopian Kembata & Brazil Sete Cachoeiras. We wanted a chocolate body through the middle with a nutty/syrupy mouth feel and a hint of blueberry from the Ethiopian. We wanted a forgiving coffee for the Aurelia, knowing that we would be dealing with temperature fluctiations of +/- 2 or 3 degrees. On the day of the finals, it took us 70 minutes of pulling shots to try and dial in the coffee…and the berry notes were gone. We had to use less coffee, slightly finer grind and were pulling a slightly blonded shot to get anything resembling what we were looking for. The pucks were soupy and the body was thin. When we tried this coffee on the Slayer, the body was thick & syrupy chocolate with peacan and in a capp you could smell the blueberry through the milk. It was everything we were looking for and it took us 3 shots to dial it in: Pre-infuse @ 3 bar till the water saturates the coffee – hit the coffee with 9 bars then let it decline to 5 over the shot all at 203F.

Anyway – check out the vid and remember: Its All About the Coffee !



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