At the London Gastronomy Seminars I was given a Mypressi Twist to play with by the UK distributor. Â 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. Â 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. Â I know I am hardly the first person to make this observation, but I think everyone who tries it is pleasantly surprised. Â 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. Â 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. Â What I think is most exciting about this is its potential for experimenting with extraction. Â We can only really (safely) use water in an espresso machine. Â My first thought was to reach for some whisky. Â I probably should have heated it up first, as it was not delicious cold – though the shot did still look pretty good. Â I then attempted a little macchiato using milk to brew the coffee. a. Â 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. Â But there was potential!
This makes me quite excited about its possible use in barista competitions. Â 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. Â 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. Â You could use espresso and push it through something else to extract flavour into it. Â 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…..
OK – so 4 shots of espresso fit pretty nicely into the top chamber. Â And the espresso seems to pull in a fairly normal (if slightly slow way). Â This is a double espresso, brewed using 4 espressos:
The taste? Â Not so great, not as bad as I was expecting, but not so great. Â The texture was unbelievable. Â The point is that this is exciting! Â 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. Â There are no points for novelty.
The more I think about it, the more possibilities there seem – non-coffee applications too. Â Cocktail people would surely have a million more ideas than me. Â I still wonder though – what about pushing vodka through a basket of lemon and lime zest? Â 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. Â The Mypressi uses a 53mm basket. Â It didn’t take a giant leap of thought to dig out my device and start testing the brew temperature. Â I’d seen quite a lot of speculation online about it, and I can only post my limited experiments and findings. Â Here is a short video:
Preheating the water chamber is incredibly important. Â You could tell this was later on in my experiments from the starting temp of the scace probe, which may have influenced readings somewhat. Â Without preheating the temp was hovering around 80C. Â I am sure I could have heated the top chamber more and squeezed into the 90s. Â Nonetheless I think it is a pretty respectable brew temperature. Â 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. Â Out of curiousity I pulled a double on each simultaneously – same dose, same grind setting, same brew time. Â Here is the video, data on the shots afterwards:
Synesso shot: Â 18.5g coffee, 33.4g brew liquid. Â Extraction percentage 18.6%
Mypressi shot: 18.5g coffee, 42g brew liquid. Â Extraction percentage 18.9%
This is a single experiment, so it would be foolish to take too much from it. Â One could speculate that with the temperature issues the Mypressi will struggle to extract coffee as quickly as a hotter profile on a machine. Â 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. Â I’ll take more more readings with the ExtractMojo, see if the above experiment was repeatable. Â Would love to hear people’s thoughts, suggestions and ideas!