Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Long Black, home

I'm working on my long black technique. I've always been a pull-the-shot-and-then-add-water approach, but I'm messing around now with the even-more-hyphenated pull-the-shot-into-a-cup-half-full-of-hot-water method.
Unfortunately, the thermostat light came on halfway through the shot. That's never happened before. Here's what's going on:
One of the idiosyncrasies of my coffee machine is that the thermostat, well, doesn't do what it should do. When the light comes on, it means it is heating up. You would think that when the light goes off, it's hot enough and we're ready to roll, right? Not really. When the light goes off, it will keep heating up for a while, and so it will actually be a bit too hot. When you turn the water on, it makes a "psssh!" (note the exclamation mark - that's important) sound that means the water is turning to steam straight away. That's too hot for our purposes: you don't want the water to be boiling when it hits the beans.
So one of the methods recommended by some guy on the internet was to wait TWO MINUTES after the light goes out. Sounds like a long time, huh? It is. I use that time to clean up the bench a bit, change radio stations, get the milk out of the fridge, etc. It's not wasted time, just re-organised time. Anyhow, after two minutes, it's espresso o'clock.
But today, during those two minutes, I pulled my half-a-cup of water out of the steam wand for the long black. Bad idea. That 100-ish ml of water sped up the cooling-down process in the boiler, and so when I came to do the actual espresso, the water wasn't hot enough, announcing itself in pale, unenthusiastic crema. I'd better do this stuff in a different order next time.

Okay, enough serious boring coffee machine talk. Here's today's Search Term (That Found My Site) of the Day:
curb your enthusiasm script kidney foundation
Not surprisingly, that guy spent 0:00 on the site.
Listening to Sly and Robbie's Raiders of the Lost Dub. Another fine example of the replace-one-word-with-"dub" tradition. In other news, I realised how much of a stupid fuckwit (there's that SFW acronym again) internet fanboy loser I sounded like when I said, "I listened to the 30 second previews on iTunes and I wasn't into it." Jesus. What was I thinking? Listening to the free previews hardly qualifies me to diss an album. For that privelege, I should at least download it and listen to it once.
So I downloaded Easy Star's Lonely Hearts Dub Band. My one sentence review would be, "The bits that work on Sgt Pepper's work great here too." I'll post a slightly more lengthy review on here soon.

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