Barista Magazine

OCT-NOV 2017

Serving People Serving Coffee Since 2005

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AAAAND WE'RE BACK! Our fi rst "High Mainte- nance" column was written for Barista Magazine's October + November 2016 issue, so we've made it a whole trip around the sun! We're stoked that we've been able to keep this column going for so long now. We couldn't have done any of this without the amazing support we receive from Sarah and Ken of Barista Magazine—we love you guys! Thanks to all of you fi ne folks who read the column, send in questions, and offer words of encouragement: We appreciate you! We are also very excited to announce that our service company, Black Rabbit Service, in Portland, Ore., has opened our new training lab. If you're ever passing through our city and want to tour our service shop, host a coffee event, or sign up for a class, get in touch. Information is available on our website, www.blackrabbitservice. com. Now enough of the mushy stuff and shameless self-promotion—let's rock. Fall is our favorite time of year! People are hyped on regional competitions; pumpkin-spice lattes are back; and things are starting to feel routine again after a fun and hectic summer. It's the perfect time to check in with your local techs about making sure your equip- ment is tip-top going in to holiday season. When's the last time you changed the burrs on that bulk grinder? Are your water fi lters fresh and fl owin'? Steam valves ready for all those PSLs and Peppermint Mochas? Maybe you don't know what you need, but we're sure you have some questions. So let's get in to it! When should we change the burrs on a grinder? Is there a visual assessment we should be doing? There are defi nitely some tell-tale signs for when you should change your burrs. The fi rst thing you will start to notice is that you need to make grind size adjust- ments more often. The dose will become more incon- sistent if you're using a model with a timer. If you are noticing these symptoms, and if you are comfortable taking the grinder apart (always check with a tech, or your shop's manager or owner fi rst), unplug the grinder and have a look inside the burr chamber. Once you have the burrs exposed, make sure to clean them off with a brush or vacuum so there are no grounds in your way. Then slowly run your fi nger along the outside cutting edge on both burrs. You should feel the metal catch- ing the lines on your fi nger like a sharp kitchen knife would. If your fi nger moves across the burrs with little to no resistance, you know it's time for a fresh set. All manufacturers publish their products' burr life expec- tancy. In fact, we keep a handy cheat sheet that we created because there are so many different types of burrs/makes/models. It's a great tool for reference, but we've noticed that most people start to get frustrated with having to make all the adjustments and deal with dose issues at about the halfway point. For most of the cafés we work with, we recommend replacing the "regular" burrs twice a year, and the decaf burrs once a year. There are defi nitely more scientifi c ways to help ILLUSTRATION BY PHIL MARKEL 100 barista magazine

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