1. Put the professional or pressurised basket into the portafilter. If you are using pressurised basket, press the portafilter spouts with the help of the silicone o-ring onto the portafilter. The basket is simply placed into the portafilter; there is no spring clip to hold it in place.
2. Add 12-20g ground coffee into basket. Make sure you use the correct basket - Please visit 'Robot Baskets' for more information.
3. Tamp the coffee firmly and evenly by using the tamper (original or levelling tamper) that used to compress the ground coffee in the basket. Do not need to go too crazy, a firm fingertip tamp is all that is required - levers machine are very forgiving of tamping. Please find more detailed technique on channeling espresso on the internet.
4. Firmly press the filter screen or filter paper onto the coffee. DO NOT drop it only, press it too. You need to use filter paper on lower does (less than 12g). They are very important and use to placed on top of the tamped coffee and acts as a shield to the coffee when you pour the water in. Without it you will just make a big mess.
5. Add hot water just off the boil. Fill up to 5-8mm below the rim of the basket. Be careful, the basket and the portafilter becomes hot now.
6. Lift the Robot's lever arms up as high as they can go. Hold the arms tight and make sure the piston is at its highest position. Be careful not to flip the metal sleeve to the front if you are having the Barista Robot! To familiarise yourself with locking in the portafilter into the main body, you can practice without a basket in place.
7. Insert the portafilter (with basket) into the main body. Make sure both portafilter tabs are inserted into the main body. Line up the handle with the left leg, lift up then across to the right.
Updated September 2021: Paul introduced a new technique on inserting the portafilter. Please click here for more information.
8. Firmly press the lever arms down with both arms to extract.
9. Done and enjoy your coffee.
How easy to make an espresso (No Tamping):
How exactly Robot works inside the basket:
The water temperature is a very important factor in producing good coffee. If you put boiling hot water (99.5°C) into the room temperature prepared basket, it will immediately drop by around 4°C, which will put you in the right area for making espresso.
The coffee itself, the basket, and the piston will all combine to remove heat from the brewing water, and so you can experiment with ways to raise the temperature of the water. Some ways are:
- Pull a dummy shot with no coffee in the basket. Only for pressurised basket.
- Pull a dummy shot with old coffee/spent puck in the basket.
- Pre-heat the basket and portafilter in a cup of hot water for 10-20 seconds before adding the coffee.
- Use the naked (bottomless) portafilter rather than with the portafilter spouts on which will help mostly with raising the coffee in the cup temperature. Only for professional basket.
Here are some videos about the temperature of the espresso when using the Robot. We do not find it is necessary to 'pre-heat' the parts but it is up to you.
K-type thermocouple - No pre-heat:
Scace type (Espresso Machine Thermofilter) - No pre-heat:
Scace type (Espresso Machine Thermofilter) - WITH pre-heat:
“Puckology” - Espresso Puck Analysis
Puckology is simply analysing the spent coffee puck after a shot has been made. Whilst it is by no means scientific, it can provide useful feedback regarding the preparation of the coffee before brewing and extraction during brewing.
With the Robot, however, spent puck analysis is not possible because the results are very misleading. After pulling the shot and then raise the arms again to remove the water, this draws air from below the basket, up through the coffee. It will therefore dislodge the puck or even form a crack in the cake.