Espresso, Dub and the Slayer 2.0

The second of a series about the espresso culture at Papi y Papi, a retail shop in Natchez, Mississippi specializing in coffee, cigars and chocolate. The first post is here.

Background of the water used at Papi y Papi

The water of Natchez is tested daily in regards to pH, chlorine and fluoride. In 2013, Natchez Water Works, owned by the City of Natchez, won an award for the  Best Water in Mississippi. The water is from four wells in the Lower Catahoula Formation Aquifer and one well in the Catahoula Formation Aquifer. The water at Papi is naturally low in calcium, which minimizes scaling.
Water is complex, and  rarely possesses the same characteristics over long periods of time. It can change seasonally or because of man-made changes that may not be noticeable unless testing is in place. The water at Papi y Papi was tested and found to be of very good quality, although very slightly alkaline.

Regardless of water quality, every coffee machine requires a filter, and every water filter requires rinsing before it is used. Not doing this important step means that residue or loose fibers can damage the machine and void the warranty. Improper water treatment resulting from poor filtration is the  most frequent cause of espresso machine damage.

Papi uses the SX2-21 Everpure water filter that reduces sediment down to 0.5 microns and reduces chlorine, taste and odor at the rate of 1.5 gpm for 15,000 gallons. Although the water of Natchez is noted for its low calcium-carbonate, Papi also uses a ScaleX2,  is a chemical free technology that inhibits the formation of scale. Untreated scale can build up, making the inside of a machine look like a cave full of white stalagmites and stalactites! 

The Slayer EP Steamer

From the Slayer website:

Unlike the classic paddle system featured in the current Slayer Steam X model to activate volumetrics, what Maico describes as “a programmed electronic dosing of espresso output”, the Steam EP features nine-bar pump extraction with push-button volumetric activation. This is activated with two push buttons that presents four programmable settings per group. Users can customize different volumetric selections, for example a double ristretto and double espresso, or a group head flush and manual extraction. It also includes the option to activate a pre-wetting function. With this setting, much like pre-infusion, users can pre-wet the coffee, like blooming, prior to extraction from zero to four seconds, and determine how long to delay before the extraction starts. This customizable feature allows the barista to control what specific characteristics of the coffee to extract.
From what Dub has said to myself and to customers:

Espresso: the Coffee and the Dosing

Coffee: Honduran lightly roasted

Dosage: 30 grams (subject to change)

Prewet: 4 seconds

Temperature: 201

Extraction time: 35 seconds

The process and specs are constantly being checked and refined. Variables like barometric pressure and humidity require constant monitoring and adjustment.

The Slayer, with its programmable controls and consistent heat controls, allows a barista to finetune variables as efficiently as possible. With the Slayer, a barista can create, as much as possibly, a signature style, and most importantly, do so with consistency.

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