Thursday, September 27, 2012

How to adjust the temperature on a Francis Francis X1

Francis Francis X1 internals

This post is actually from January 2012 originally written by Hendrup, but I have rewritten it quite a bit and thought it would be a great read for people who struggle with their X1s in producing balanced shots.

Not many know that you can actually adjust the temperature on a Francis Francis X1. While the little machine isn't the greatest machine, being a really bad steamer and it's the lack of a three way valve, it's really not that bad at all. With a little tweaking and experience it is capable of brewing some delicious shots. Some Francis Francis machines are equipped with a PID (Proportional–Integral–Derivative) controller. In simple terms a PID is capable of controlling the temperature with a much tighter dead band (dead band being the top and low of the boiler temperature), than a traditional thermostat is. A thermostat in for example the Rancilio Silvia varies up to 20 degrees, while a PID only varies a degree or two. Some top of the line espresso machines have a adjustable PID control on the front of the machine, while that isn't the case on the X1, you can actually adjust the temperature.
I have searched the entire web (THE ENTIRE WEB) and haven't found a single solution on how to adjust the temperature on the X1 model, so I popped the hood on my own espresso machine and got going. I found my shots being overly sour, so I located the internal PID and adjusted the temperature up to about 95 degrees, which gave a much better balanced espresso. If you got a Francis Francis X1 and are brewing some sour or bitter shots it might be because of the water temperature. Here is a guide on how to adjust to temperature on a Francis Francis X1.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Facebook comments integration

It’s now possible to comment using your Facebook login, while the comments are still not used much on the site; I hope it will change in the future. If you would like the same thing on your blog I followed this tutorial:
And lastly don't forget our Facebook page, it's a great way to keep you updated!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

New design!

Yes, as you might have noticed I have changed the design. Actually I liked the old design, but there were some problems with both readability and scrolling bugs on Safari which 30% of the visitors use. The new and simpler design features a new and smaller top banner, which should contribute to a better exploration of the screen real estate. It also features a sidebar which showcases the most popular posts and later a label tag cloud. The design is based on the simple template, with is for me the perfect template as the focus is on the blog post and nothing else really. I have kept the colors relatively conservative making the banner pop without putting too crazy saturated colors in there. Lastly I have placed a navigation bar to make it quicker to find what you are looking for, I will begin labeling posts from now on. I hope you enjoy it, if not, please let me know.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Review: El Salvador Honey Processed Bourbon Cajamarca Single Estate

Green and roasted coffee beans

This coffee from El Salvador has been one of my favorite coffees for the last 6 months or so. The coffee has one of the most complex sweetnesses I have ever tasted, which tastes both like honey and sweet chocolate with a citrusy finish. But what really blows my mind is the coffees viscosity, which when roasted just right is almost like butter.
The coffee is honey processed, which is a process where the coffee beans isn’t washed clean before drying in the sun, it is thus dried with part of the pulp still on, which produces an instance sweetness in the coffee. This process is also known as semi-washed coffee.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

How to effortlessly steam milk using only one hand

Latte art

One of the things that seem to bring the most headaches to people when first taking their new machines out for a spin is how to steam the milk and create that smooth microfoam used for latte art. I have tried a lot of different techniques and made a lot of mess trying to perfect my microfoam.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Brew ratio

Why weighing the coffee is a more accurate way then measuring by volume? 

An espresso is typically defined as a small liquid extracted under pressure by an espresso machine at approximately 9 bars. For a single the volume is about 30 ml and 60 ml for a double. So far, so good, but there is a problem with this way of measuring and the nature of coffee especially in regards to espresso. 

Monday, September 3, 2012

Pop Chart’s Compendious Coffee Diagram

The chart masters over at Pop Chart Lab have just released an impressively comprehensive flow chart that diagrams the various elements required for all manner of coffee drinks. Including various types of grinders, brew methods, mixers, and the resulting beverages they create. The listed brew methods even include such new and notable options such as the Steampunk and Able Kone.

Overall, it’s one of the most accurate—and impressive—coffee illustations I’ve seen on the web. While obviously well researched, I noticed two glaring mistakes: the categorization of the AeroPress as an espresso maker and (most odd), connecting the “cupping” brew method to iced coffee. It may be too late for corrections, but either way, Pop Chart Lab will be printing 500 of them large scale, for wall hanging glory.

Zoom in and explore the full scale version at Pop Chart Lab