Mypressi Twist

January 23rd, 2010

At the London Gastronomy Seminars I was given a Mypressi Twist to play with by the UK distributor.  I had been toying with buying one having seen the hype online, so this was a rather pleasant surprise.

I didn’t really get a chance to play with it til yesterday afternoon.  I’ve played with it some more today and this is just a quick summary of my thoughts and what I think is particularly interesting about it.

First off – it makes pretty good espresso.  I know I am hardly the first person to make this observation, but I think everyone who tries it is pleasantly surprised.  I think with a few adjustments to technique then you can get something better than any espresso machine in its price bracket, or up to two or three times its price.  If you like milk drinks though – then this may not appeal to you.

I pulled a couple of shots yesterday, and for shot number three my curiousity kicked in.  What I think is most exciting about this is its potential for experimenting with extraction.  We can only really (safely) use water in an espresso machine.  My first thought was to reach for some whisky.  I probably should have heated it up first, as it was not delicious cold – though the shot did still look pretty good.  I then attempted a little macchiato using milk to brew the coffee. 1.  In hindsight I should probably have used skimmed milk, as the full fat seemed to clog the extraction and the result was (simply put) not good.  But there was potential!

This makes me quite excited about its possible use in barista competitions.  In the past it has been completely illegal to put anything other than coffee in the portafilter (for good reason!) but this would let you infuse anything you like.  You’ll still need to pull and use 4 shots from the competition espresso machine but the applications within signature drinks are almost endless.

You could brew espresso starting with brewed coffee.  You could use espresso and push it through something else to extract flavour into it.  In fact, I am going to pause writing this post and check how many shots you can get in the water section of the twist…..

*time passes*

OK – so 4 shots of espresso fit pretty nicely into the top chamber.  And the espresso seems to pull in a fairly normal (if slightly slow way).  This is a double espresso, brewed using 4 espressos:

The taste?  Not so great, not as bad as I was expecting, but not so great.  The texture was unbelievable.  The point is that this is exciting!  I should add that points for creativity in competitions don’t come from using clever things, or having a wild idea – they come from using clever things, or wild ideas to create something tasty.  There are no points for novelty.

The more I think about it, the more possibilities there seem – non-coffee applications too.  Cocktail people would surely have a million more ideas than me.  I still wonder though – what about pushing vodka through a basket of lemon and lime zest?  What if you use CO2 instead of N20? What if? What if? What if?

I’ve gotten off topic! Back to using it to brew coffee:

I have what not many other people have – a 53mm Scace, back from my days at La Spaziale.  The Mypressi uses a 53mm basket.  It didn’t take a giant leap of thought to dig out my device and start testing the brew temperature.  I’d seen quite a lot of speculation online about it, and I can only post my limited experiments and findings.  Here is a short video:

Preheating the water chamber is incredibly important.  You could tell this was later on in my experiments from the starting temp of the scace probe, which may have influenced readings somewhat.  Without preheating the temp was hovering around 80C.  I am sure I could have heated the top chamber more and squeezed into the 90s.  Nonetheless I think it is a pretty respectable brew temperature.  I’d love to hear how people are getting max temp out of theirs.

I was also a little surprised that the dose and grind I had set on my Synesso seemed to work well.  Out of curiousity I pulled a double on each simultaneously – same dose, same grind setting, same brew time.  Here is the video, data on the shots afterwards:

Synesso shot:  18.5g coffee, 33.4g brew liquid.  Extraction percentage 18.6%

Mypressi shot: 18.5g coffee, 42g brew liquid.  Extraction percentage 18.9%

This is a single experiment, so it would be foolish to take too much from it.  One could speculate that with the temperature issues the Mypressi will struggle to extract coffee as quickly as a hotter profile on a machine.  The fact that it took almost 25% more liquid to get the extraction percentage to match (in the same time frame – with very different pressure profiles I might wager, sadly I only have a 53mm Scace 1.0 – not 2.0) would suggest that if you like shorter shots you may be better off dropping your dose and going finer, and if you want a heavier dose you may need to push a little more water through.

So far I’ve only spent a couple of days with it – but overall I’m quite impressed and looking forward to playing with it some more.  I’ll take more more readings with the ExtractMojo, see if the above experiment was repeatable.  Would love to hear people’s thoughts, suggestions and ideas!

  1. Tim Styles should trademark the term MilkPressi Twist  ↩︎

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