Bonsai on a lever –
Today I decided to try out Velton’s Bonsai Blend on my lever machine. I had a hunch that I would like it on the lever. There were a few reasons for this. The first one is that it is a very enjoyable blend. The second one is that my favorite pulls of Bonsai were when I pulled it at a relatively low dose – around fourteen and a half grams. Now lever machines have many virtues, but flexibility with the dose is not really one of them. The problem is probably just that at least with the most common ones that I have used you do not have many choices for baskets aside from the stock one. This means that you can only fit in so much coffee. You cannot switch to a basket with a different geometry or a triple basket to change the coffee’s traits. On a Pavoni I think the highest dose I have ever produced drinkable coffee with is probably below 16 grams. This means that if a coffee is best pulled as a 20.5 gram triple ristretto it just is not going to work on the Pavoni.
In spite of this I pulled my first lever shot of it yesterday and it was fine, but uninspired. I knew what the flaw was most likely going to be and it was of my own making – I let the machine get too hot and so there were bitter notes in the coffee that need not be there when pulled properly. Today I pulled my shot at a substantially cooler temperature (I do not have a good gauge of exact temperatures on the lever, but my guess would be that I might have dropped from 202 down to 198, but that is a fairly unscientific guess).
The first sip did not tip me off to what the conclusion would be. Then, however, as I drank it and after I drank it I loved it. I got more complexity and more of the fruit out of this shot than I had ever gotten on my pump machine. I finished the shot 10 minutes ago and can still taste the shot and am loving it. I am reluctant to eat anything right now because I am enjoying it so much. That is what happens with my very favorite shots. It isn’t as much how they taste at the start as how they linger after I am done.
Bonsai was already going in my regular rotation, but this cements that slot.