Rivulets & Pucks

Way back when D & I started getting geeky about our coffee, we did loads of research into the best at home machine, grinders, tampers, kit etc.  We didn’t go so far as to make a bead thermometre but you can bet if I had the tools to hand, or if I’d been back in Canada where i knew where to buy the stuff,  we woulda had one for sure! 

We got ourselves a proper tamper, a good machine and a decent grinder and it has served us well for many years.  We even took a baristo course and learned that when you have industrial machines with good strong boilers, you can froth milk into the sheeny microfroth in less than 10 seconds.   We had perfect pucks (no rivulets, perfect indentation of the grouphead), and were happily striving for the God Shot. 

Then DH started to take over as in house baristo, and I was happy to take a back seat,  reaping the benefits (like fresh made latte in bed) with none of the work. Recently as DH has gotten busier and busier with all the rights issues going on in the financial world, I’ve been left to my own devices in the morning, and left to pull my own shots.  And without the practice, I’m afraid my shots have gotten rusty. The pucks are less than perfect, in fact they are riddled with rivulets and cracks like a mini Grand Canyon.  Disaster.  No longer the near perfect sweet shots that, paired with some creamy frothy milk, needed nothing more than to be drunk.  Sigh  My shots are now alternating between sour (too short a shot/too cold) and bitter (too long a shot/too hot).   I’m happy to say my milk frothing has gotten back to old form, but I’m going to have to redouble my efforts at getting back to perfectly filtered shots if I’m going to ever have a chance at creating the God Shot.  Maybe I should make myself a temperature bead……or I could get one ready made like the Scace temperature portafilter below…

Scace thermometer

Or we could upgrade to the Valentina below… lurvely – plumbed in E61 – purdy!  Look at that steam wand! Perfect curves….



Or we could dream of the mother of all home machinese – the Marzocco GS3.  Mmmmmm.


2 thoughts on “Rivulets & Pucks

  1. GET THE MARZOCCO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    I, like you, have let John take over espresso-pulling duties, and my shots have also suffered severely as a result. My excuse is that I cannot possibly operate in less than ideal conditions… But as soon as our kitchen is set up, I am going to buy a bottomless Marzocco portafilter, custom machined for Miss Silvia. Hahaha, then we’ll see what beautiful shots will abound!

    Let me know if you need anything. I can order ANYTHING online and have it delivered for practically free now!

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