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Do you blow on your puck?
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Discussions > Espresso > Q and A > Do you blow on...  
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davidrivers
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davidrivers
Joined: 15 Apr 2007
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Posted Tue Jun 29, 2010, 11:34am
Subject: Do you blow on your puck?
 

I imagine that the professional baristas among us probably don't do this, or I would hope so.  However, I brew espresso exclusively for myself at home, and I can't help not blowing on my puck after I tamp and knock it, to remove the grinds that have settled atop my puck.  I even wipe off loose grinds on the rim of the filter basket and edge of the portafilter, wondering if this effort even makes a difference.

I have seen others flip over the puck-compacted portafilter in the air, as if to let gravity remove stray grinds.  I have never gotten used to doing that, afraid I might dump the contents of the filter basket (but I suppose this really shouldn't happen if the contents are sufficiently tamped).

I have seen references to "polishing" the puck.  This is what is meant by that, right?  How do you "polish" your puck?  Does it even matter?

 
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David Rivers
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Ciclisto
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Posted Tue Jun 29, 2010, 1:29pm
Subject: Re: Do you blow on your puck?
 

I don't blow on it, but I do polish it.  I don't know if it matters.  I tamp, wipe the rim (that does matter, I think, to ensure a good seal on the gasket), then put the tamper back in and just rotate it a bit with light pressure.  It looks nice and neat and smooth, and I have no idea if that makes any difference.
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wbaguhn
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wbaguhn
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Posted Tue Jun 29, 2010, 11:11pm
Subject: Re: Do you blow on your puck?
 

Turning the portafilter upside down almost never spills anything for me, even with a fairly light tamp.  Try it - one basket of coffee isn't that expensive.  If it dumps, you can always make another - it only takes a minute.

I don't blow on my coffee puck.

I also don't suck the extra air out of the plastic bag my sliced bread comes in as I close it up.
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clumeng
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Posted Tue Jun 29, 2010, 11:48pm
Subject: Re: Do you blow on your puck?
 

davidrivers Said:

I can't help not blowing on my puck after I tamp and knock it, to remove the grinds that have settled atop my puck.  I even wipe off loose grinds on the rim of the filter basket and edge of the portafilter, wondering if this effort even makes a difference.

Posted June 29, 2010 link

Everyones ritual is different and I seriously doubt that there is a difference in the cup either way. Curious though, the only reason to knock the PF is to get the loose grounds off the side. You should do a second tamp after that to get the puck to look nice.

Note that many don't knock as we are concerned that we might disrupt the integrity of the puck we just tamped which could impact the shot.

Cleaning the rim I think does decrease the amount of crud you have to clean in the group over time.

PS
Sorry...

Must hold in....

But...

Thatswhatshesaid!!!

Back to Jr high
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JonR10
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JonR10
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Posted Wed Jun 30, 2010, 4:26am
Subject: Re: Do you blow on your puck?
 

Seems almost like an inappropriate question.......


davidrivers Said:

...and I can't help not blowing on my puck after I tamp and knock it, to remove the grinds that have settled atop my puck.

Posted June 29, 2010 link

Knocking after tamping generally does more harm than good, so probably the best advice is to avoid ever knocking after tamping.
Blow if you must, but generally I'll just invert the portafilter over the knockbox and then swipe the basket rim before locking in.

A few loose grounds on top of the puck or on the basket wall won't make any difference in the cup.

 
Jon Rosenthal
Houston, TX
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davidrivers
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davidrivers
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Posted Thu Jul 1, 2010, 3:24pm
Subject: Re: Do you blow on your puck?
 

wbaguhn Said:

I don't blow on my coffee puck.

I also don't suck the extra air out of the plastic bag my sliced bread comes in as I close it up.

Posted June 29, 2010 link

Ha! I do both.

I'll give the PF-flip a shot, though. Thanks for the encouragement!

 
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http://davidrivers.name
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wfallon
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Posted Thu Jul 1, 2010, 7:30pm
Subject: Re: Do you blow on your puck?
 

I actually sometimes do!

I find that its the easiest way to clear stray grounds off the rim of the portafilter - I could care less about the stray grounds in the portafilter, since as said above they don't impact the shot. I tend to run a bit on the clumsy side, and have managed to stick a finger in the puck a couple times while trying to wipe the rim - that'll ruin the puck... If I'm preparing for others or even usually in the company of others I'll just to a palm swipe over the rim of the basket instead.

Lol - I also do tend to try and get the air out of plastic baggies when sealing them.... I sense correlation here.....
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Iluvdabean
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Posted Sat Jul 3, 2010, 8:45pm
Subject: Re: Do you blow on your puck?
 

I follow this guys method... :)

Click Here (www.youtube.com)
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TheMummaFamily
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Posted Sat Jul 3, 2010, 9:45pm
Subject: Re: Do you blow on your puck?
 

I feel like I just got RickRolled, lol.  I loved that vid a couple of years ago when I saw it so much that as soon as I saw him in that chair I laughed.  Hehe.

To the op,
I am guilty, yes, but trying to stop.  It just seems like the best way!

 
"Three of the four elements are variable, but the fourth one has to be adaptable, knowledgeable and intuitive."  Mark Prince Click Here (www.coffeegeek.com)
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calblacksmith
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calblacksmith
Joined: 25 Nov 2007
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Location: Riverside, Ca, U.S.A.
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Posted Fri Jul 9, 2010, 9:16am
Subject: Re: Do you blow on your puck?
 

Short answer, no

I use a 1" natural bristle paint brush to clean the PF before locking and loading. I long ago stopped knocking the PF in any part of the process. I just fill the PF, level with a chop stick to fill in any low spots, tamp and brush the rim of the PF clean, lock and load and pull. No WDT, no fussing about and the results work well for me. YMMV.

 
In real life, my name is
Wayne P.
Anything I post is personal opinion and is only worth as much as anyone else's personal opinion. YMMV!

Feed the newbs, starve the trolls and above all enjoy what you drink!
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