Photo by Hybel http://hybel.deviantart.com/
This morning I decided to put the Ross droplet technique (RDT) to the test and see if it is as effective at addressing static and grinds retention as I was led to believe. I wouldn’t say I was a skeptic, but certainly I had never had any need for, or interest in, trying it out. I saw a good discussion on Home Barista about using the method on some other grinders and was impressed with the before and after photos people had shared.
The ROK can take some getting used to. Give yourself plenty of time (and coffee) to experiment with it and you’ll find a method that works for you. Remember, the most important factors are the coffee and the grind.
The spout of a regular portafilter sure makes it look like your espresso is coming out in a nice neat stream, doesn’t it? It gives you the impression that everything inside the basket is as it should be. How nice. Isn’t coffee wonderful and easy? La la la.
Once you take the bottom off your portafilter you may discover that it’s an absolute shambles in there. Coffee may shoot every which way and land anywhere but in your cup. I’m sorry to report it’s not the naked portafilter that’s letting you down – you have some homework to do.
This is a demonstration of what an espresso shot from a ROK, looks like when your coffee is ground too coarse. Coarse coffee creates less of a barrier to the water and so doesn’t allow you to build enough pressure for good extraction. The water flows too fast and the resulting coffee will lack crema and taste weak / bitter. Continue reading