5 and a half bars

Today I was brewing a whole bunch of coffees and played around with a few new things. I’d decided to play around with a lower pressure after seeing Matt Perger mention he’s been satisfied with pressure as low as 5 bars. So it was a flat 5.5 bars on a GS/3, no pre-infusion or any other variables. I’d previously been using 7 bars to good effect.

The results were amazing. The coffee was delicious and the consistency was incredible. Over 90 coffees I don’t remember having to re-pull a single shot. I’d hypothesize that this is due to the gentle brewing process meaning any flaws/inconsistencies aren’t exploited by the brew water to the same extent.

The only downside seems to be the extraction was lower than what I’d normally expect with the recipes I was using. This isn’t a big deal for the coffee I was using since it tasted at it’s best slightly lower, it may become an issue for coffees that benefit from being pushed further.

I’m sceptical on the benefit of pressure profiling, it’s just too much variability to play with without much link to what effect it has. Lowering pressure seems to be beneficial without over-complicating things. I know many other people, notably Maxwell at Colonna & Smalls, have spoken about the advantages.

I’d say it’s well worth playing with if you have the opportunity. See if you gain the same consistency improvements that I have.


5 thoughts on “5 and a half bars

  1. allstartedhere says:

    A lot of the benefits in consistency you’re seeing might be down to the softer start allowing the puck the saturate more evenly which reduces instances of channeling. You’d likely see similar with pre-infusion which would allow you to run a slightly higher pressure afterwards. You need to go a bit finer, but this helps to bring the EY back up.


    1. James Wallace says:

      I’ve played around with this alot in the past and didn’t find that to be the case. This was just in a cafe “let’s try this” type thing so I might revisit it and test it out more fully and methodically.


  2. Oton says:

    Would you please explain how and where do you adjust the pressure on the GS3? I mean: reading the pump gauge (free flow or with a blind basket?) or reading the pressure at the group? I see there is always 1 less bar at group…. Thanks.


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