A directory of my articles by topic

This is a collection of collections of stories. I have stories on espresso, work, school, myself, my family, LEGO’s, and Photography. I hope this page helps navigating my list of stories.

A Collection of Espresso Articles

A Collection of Work and School Stories

Personal Stories and Concerns

LEGO Story Splash Page

Photography Splash Page

Coffee Data Science

Further down the layered shot rabbit hole

The sudo-staccato technique is a great substitute for an actual staccato espresso shot, but I have had difficulty increasing the extraction yield. I’ve been cutting the spent puck and measuring the left over coffee, which has shown that the coarse and mid-layers are extracting less than the finer layer. As a result, I’ve been looking at how to design this shot to be better, and the result is the Double-Double Sudo-Staccato. It would be a Double-Double Staccato if I used a sifter to make the two different layers.

First, I started to modify the grind size for the mid and…

Coffee Data Science

Further evidence to suggest fines migration doesn’t happen

There is a theory in espresso that very fine particles (fines) migrate during a shot which can then potentially clog the filter or go into the cup. However, I don’t think fines migrate, and I think I have also found out why.

Idealized scenario of coffee grounds where fines migrate in the open spaces. All images by author

In my previous experiment to explore this concept using chalk, I didn’t find any evidence that fines migrated. However, I didn’t have a great explanation for why they didn’t migrate, but I did not observe the phenomena.

Even before this chalk experiment, I had evidence that fine migration didn’t impact taste or the filter based on the existence…

Coffee Data Science

Adjusting settings until it gets weird

When I bought a Niche, I didn’t think I would end up this deep down the rabbit hole, but here we are. I’ve been designing some layered shots made easier by an electric grinder, and I wanted to have a better understanding of how grind setting affects particle distribution.

Typically, these types of curves will compare grinders at one setting. However, I wanted to characterize grinder performance beyond one setting. I’ll start with 5 settings that are pretty close to each other for espresso, and then I’ll look at much coarser settings.

Coffee Data Science

Overflowing with coffee data

I got a Acaia Pyxis scale a few months ago, and I started logging shots. I wanted one for two reasons: more accurately measure the output weight and examine flow rate. My Kim Express doesn’t have much room for a scale, so I needed something small.

After pulling over 200 shots with this scale (232 to be exact), I’ve compiled some data to help understand espresso. However, I didn’t find any metric from the flow or continuous weight data that was a great predictor of performance. …

Coffee Data Science

A closer look

A few months ago, James Hoffman started a discussion about re-grinding coffee beans. The aim was to grind coffee coarse and then regrind the coarse grounds finer. I initially did this, but I didn’t see a difference. However, part of the original challenge was having a manual grinder, which makes this type of experiment challenging.

While looking at particle distributions, I wanted to have another look to understand if regrinding changed the particle distribution and how.

I started with a Niche grinder, and I looked at Setting 50 for the coarse setting. This already had a very bimodal distribution. I…

Coffee Data Science

Titan Grinder Project: A Review

In the coffee community, there has been a discussion for years about coffee grinders, in particular, flat burr vs conical burr. There hasn’t been a decisive answer, but many moons ago (2007), on the Home Barista forum, a review was done for multiple grinders.

All images by author

However, the review is split over multiple posts in their forum, and the end results aren’t obvious. I am particularly interested in the data in terms of grinders compared to one another. Even their analysis comparing grinders is split over multiple pages of a single thread in text representation only (no charts).

I’ve been doing some…

Coffee Data Science

Two things happened recently: I bought a Niche Zero, and I developed an image based method for particle distribution measurement. As I was cleaning out my Rok grinder for a well-deserved retirement or relocation, I thought I could easily do a comparison amongst grinders across a few grind settings to see how they perform.

All images by author

I have four grinders, listed in order of purchase:

  1. Hario
  2. Rok
  3. Lume
  4. Niche

I bought a Hario grinder at first because I was being cheap, and I didn’t realize it wasn’t a good grinder for espresso. Then I got a Rok, and it’s been my mainstay…

I’m a little sad.

I used to remember the old days with nostalgia a mix of nostalgia, regret, and a longing for the best things of days past.

Now, I’m sad that I can’t remember so well anymore.

My adolescence was 20 years ago, and when I try to remember, I feel like I’m grasping for straws.

I can see the people, but their faces are blurred.

I can see the memories, but they aren’t videos anymore, just still images.

I can see the pictures, but I can’t feel the emotions.

I feel melancholy, not for wanting to re-live or re-feel that past, but…

Robert McKeon Aloe

I’m in love with my Wife, my Kids, Espresso, Data Science, tomatoes, cooking, engineering, talking, family, Paris, and Italy, not necessarily in that order.

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