What is the message behind technical standards
This from a company that, at the time, employed no engineers and had no understanding of the process of pre-infusion, temperature profiles or the importance of metal composition in the constructions of espresso machines.
Comparison between the United States and Italy
The United States lacks industrial experience
With few exceptions, we in America lack this institutional history. Our efforts rely upon trying to understand the technology with which we are presented. We have consultants, authors and coffee bar owners trying to unravel the technology developed by engineers in Italy who have worked for decades to perfect the art of espresso. Italians first patented espresso machine technology in 1906 and have built an industry to refine and perfect the process. The same historical perspective of how best to brew American coffee here is represented in Italy. The engineers I have worked with more often than not assess a machine by looking at the espresso, observing whether it’s too hot or cold, or whether the pressure is set improperly by the characteristics of the shot. Years of experience have replaced the need for testing. I have seen this lack of enthusiasm for the particulars of espresso machines on the part of Italian representatives interpreted by American observers as a lack of concern for the technology; that the Italian attitude about refining and perfecting the process of extraction has become lax and unconcerned. Noting could be further from the truth.
Espresso machine manufactures often have competing interests to the simple mechanical process of making espresso. They also have to look good, as they are often the primary feature of an Italian espresso bar. They must also be reliable and viable to produce. From gold plated, eagle perched works of art to simplified piston driven machines, most manufacturers offer a range of machines suitable for a variety of markets. What we see here in the United States is often a small subset of the production from a typical manufacturer.
Existing technical standards
Easy to understand, not necessarily gospel
Brew Pressure control/Pre-infusion
Spring loaded accumulation chambers
Pressure bypass regulators
Stainless Steel vs. Copper vs. Brass vs. Water
What About Tamping
We devised this simple method to measure the tamp pressure into a ridgeless 14 gram double basket Using the base of a standard 57mm tamp, we applied varying degrees of pressure to the puck and photographed the results. We did not employ any complicated distribution techniques; we simply dropped the portafilter on the counter to settle grounds and removed the excess coffee from the basket to ensure the same volume of coffee for each shot. Essentially, this is how we make coffee here every day.
Gregory Scace, Barry Jarrett, Bill Crossland, John Sanders
Specification: The brew temperature shall describe the thermal conditions of water immediately upstream of the simulated coffee cake using two terms, the average brew temperature observed during the brewing cycle, and the one-shot stability. Brew Temperature shall be expressed in degrees plus or minus the stability (for example – 201.5 ± 0.8). In the case of manual data collection, the average brew temperature shall be the temperature observed most often during a specific simulated brew cycle, ignoring temperature observations during the first three seconds of the cycle. Ignoring results during the first three seconds negates the effect of thermometer lag on the result. The one-shot stability shall be one half of the difference between the highest and lowest observed temperatures over the brewing period, negating temperature readings in the first three seconds. For automatic data collection, the average brew temperature may alternatively be the average of all temperature readings during the brew cycle except for those occurring in the first three seconds. The one-shot stability may alternatively be two times the standard deviation of the temperature observations, ignoring observations occurring in the first three seconds.