Clover: stirring technique

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Clover: stirring technique

Postby Peter G on Thu May 04, 2006 6:02 am

Hey yawl-

In using the clover, I have discovered that stirring technique has a big impact on cup quality. I have heard through the grapevine that Alistair has come to the same conclusion. This makes sense: with the short brewing time, any difference in turbulence should have a dramatic effect on extraction.

So anyway, I've been experimenting with stirring styles. Anecdotally, my favorite goes like this:

1. As the water fills, I use the stirring device to gently make sure the coffee is wet. There is no actual stirring at this point, just slight agitation.

2. About 18 seconds before the piston engages, I start to stir rapidly in a counterclockwise direction. The stir is very circular, the point is to create a whirlpool effect.

3. When the piston engages and the coffee extracts, the groundsburger is pyramidal or humped.

My theory is that this gives a more auniform extraction, which empahsizes complexity in the cup.
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Postby Robert Goble on Thu May 04, 2006 9:08 am

This whole third wave openness!

In times of yor, this technique would have been akin to a state secret. The clover would have been put in a special room with a black curtain. I know that the Elysian baristas have experimented with a variety of different stirring and agitation techniques. Not sure what the current one is though I suspect that it is something similar if not the same.

Any word if Clover 2.0 or 3.0 will include some agitation/stirring mechanism?
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Postby jmc on Thu May 04, 2006 11:45 am

YoPete,
Hmmmm, a humped puckburger you say?
How many times are you stirring? And what are you using to stir with?
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Postby Peter G on Thu May 04, 2006 11:53 am

NOSECRETSNOSECRETSNOSECRETSNOSECRETS

I'm stirring just enough to get the whirlpool really moving (3-4 times "around the world")

I'm stirring with the dayglo silicone spatula that came with my clover 1.2.

This is a controversial technique at the CCC. Normals stir casually and without any skillz.

My stirring technique is unstoppable.

pg
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Postby Mike Paras on Thu May 04, 2006 11:55 am

Well, wasn't the original clover designed to provide it's own agitation with the spray pattern of the water? I wonder if the potential to get different cup quality depending on different stir techniques is a disadvantage?

I would love to request a humped groundsburger next time I get some clover coffee, but I'm afraid I'd get arrested. :)
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Postby Alistair Durie on Thu May 04, 2006 12:06 pm

you're doing it all wrong peter.

good effort, but keep trying!
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Postby Peter G on Thu May 04, 2006 12:15 pm

That's it, alistair. I hereby challenge you to a clover stir-off. We'll call it "put up or shut up II". Oh wait, there never was any "put up or shut up I".

Alternatively, we could wait until clover gets integrated into the USBC and I will whup you in brewed coffee, cafe au lait, and signature drink.

I repeat: my stirring technique is unstoppable.

pg
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Postby jmc on Thu May 04, 2006 12:21 pm

Oh snap, they sent you a dayglo spatula with your machine? You must of ordered the Clover LX.
Alistair, could you please let me know what type of stirring apparatus you prefer?
I was, gulp, liking the results from 8 gentle stirs during the spraying time, my burgers were coming out perfectly symmetrical and puck-like though...
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Postby Peter G on Thu May 04, 2006 12:45 pm

I got the dayglo spatula cuz I gots the Eddie Bauer edition. That, the LX, and the Sport all come with the spatula.

You should've sprung for the package. Whatever- kinda geto, Jay.

I guess pyramid groundsburger is east coast.

Mikep, Clover 1.0 had a spray pattern, 1.2 has direct injection single-jet.

pg
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Postby Alistair Durie on Thu May 04, 2006 1:04 pm

meet Jake, Clover barista.

Image

you got nothin' on our Clover skillz.

a.
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Re: clover stirring technique

Postby Jeff Givens on Thu May 04, 2006 5:32 pm

Peter G wrote:2. About 18 seconds before the piston engages, I start to stir rapidly in a counterclockwise direction. The stir is very circular, the point is to create a whirlpool effect.


Should our friends in the southern hemisphere stir in the opposite direction, or is it the same? :wink:
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Postby Alistair Durie on Fri May 05, 2006 1:29 pm

ok so, i won't explain the elysian technique quite yet, but i'll tell you whats the matter with yours...

other than using a completly barbaric instrument for stirring, your second action of turbulence although interesting and well meaning, is flawed. for the most effective vaccuum press with a filter pause of less than 5.8 seconds @12oz, the puck must finish flat for the highest potential filtration. clearly this cannot be achieved with your silly whirlpool method.

think "vibration". :wink:
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Postby nick on Fri May 05, 2006 3:00 pm

alistair wrote:think "vibration". :wink:

OMFG.

Alistair's using a dildo to stir his Clover!
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Postby malachi on Fri May 05, 2006 5:31 pm

Eva Solo stirring device.
"criss cross" action.
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Postby Peter G on Sat May 06, 2006 6:28 am

Funny, I sometimes use my evasolo stirring device as well. Only, it seems a little short.... plus I like the silicone "bumper" feel of the spatula. I'm not sure barbaric is the word, tacky perhaps, but barbaric?

Alistair, the hump is the key to my technique!!! I think that the coffee extracts more at the edges and less at the center (think overextraction and underextraction) when the piston engages. I think it produces more complexity in the cup. I have done SOME blind experimentation and I believe this to be consistent.

And, if you're going to tell me you put a vibrator in your clover..... who's calling who barbaric?

let the good times buzz

pg
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Postby Alistair Durie on Sat May 06, 2006 2:11 pm

the Cuisipro 8" Flat Silicone Whisk.

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coming soon to a Clover near you.
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Postby Steve on Sat May 06, 2006 2:15 pm

I want a clover please !

mumble grumble no where to go a try the clover mumble grumble over here :(
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Postby James Hoffmann on Sat May 06, 2006 3:42 pm

There better be a Clover somewhere at the show in Bern or I am going to go postal.

So sick of hearing about how great it is, without being able to taste it.
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Postby Kyle Glanville on Sat May 06, 2006 3:57 pm

Clover will be there... they are sponsors for the WBC, I believe.
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Postby James Hoffmann on Sat May 06, 2006 4:05 pm

Huzzah!
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Postby jakethecoffeelover on Sun May 07, 2006 1:09 pm

Peter G, your stirring technique is unstoppable... it's just heading in the wrong direction :)

My main objective is to break up all clumps, remove all coffee grounds from the walls of the extraction chamber, and to prevent fines from settling to the bottom. The specifics of my technique, for t3h pwnage purposes, must remain secret for the time being. In the mean time, I hope you find relief in the fact that someone, somewhere, is making better coffee than you. 8)

Oh, it's on.
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Postby jmc on Wed May 10, 2006 4:51 am

Just out of curiosity, does anyone other than CEC, have two identical machines up an running next to each other?
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Postby rocketshotrigo on Fri May 26, 2006 3:44 pm

:roll: jakethecoffeelover: a stirring account of technique! The stir really seems to be the crux of the matter. Earlier attempts at whirlpooled vortices rob the finished product of flavour.

Some settling before piston time allows for a more discerning flavour profile, in my clover experiences.
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Postby jakethecoffeelover on Fri May 26, 2006 4:35 pm

Rod, I'm just trynna stir shit up :lol:

P.S. Totally unrelated to flavour: Peter G's technique yielded a flying saucer shaped puck... it was quite comical... See for yourself.

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Postby Richard Hartnell on Fri May 26, 2006 8:58 pm

Maybe some sort of instantaneous, percussive device could be used to agitate the grounds internally and disrupt the mound.

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