ST. ALi // Specialty Coffee

Kris on Slayer…

Posted in ST ALi. // Latest news by mattjohn on October 26, 2009

Now that the Slayer is running at full steam lets let all on the outer channels, in

To begin with I’d like to say that first and foremost the coffee that the slayer produces in unrivalled. With the right bean and the right barista the results are incredible! Whether it’s a single origin or a blend the taste is amplified three-fold. No…wait…I shouldnt even describe the flavour enhancements in such an amber light.

The Slayer is able to reproduce the flavours found through cupping, in espresso. It is a tasting MACHINE. All we want to do all day is drink more Slayer espresso! The machine does not just replicate the cupping flavours, it amplifies them all.

Say, for example, one of our single origins at the moment, Costa Rican Herbazu. The profile we are getting when cupping is fresh lemon acids with a light choc finish. When the same coffee is put through the Slayer the lemon acids upfront are bright, fresh and tingly. The chocolate finish dominates the back palate being rich and full.

As with cupping the way to get the best flavour in the cup is to use lightly roasted coffee. Usually if such a light roast coffee has been put through the espresso machine the results are extremely acidic. Espresso tasters may sample this occasionally but only for sensory knowhow and is not regarded by many as pleasurable.

The Slayer on the other hand has changed our view on this!

We put a lightly roasted Columbian Curazao through the machine last week and the results are to be admired. We start off at the same brew temperature as our regularly roasted coffee and the espresso delivered is obviously Slayer, but the acids are way too high.

After many tastings and increase of temperature to that point that it does not ‘dull’ the espresso, the results are incredible. A mouthful of tropical fruit from this naturally processed Columbian. Awesome.

This has been practised by many in the past on their tempurature controlled (and stable) espresso machines but the results from a coffee of such a light roast have still been very acidic. The Slayer through its stepped infusion which we’ve set at 4Bar (we think, as we dont have a scase devise. The 4Bar reference is from the brew gauge) levels out the acids and, especially as a long black delivers a beverage well worthy of serving.

And Slayer through milk!? Helllllo!

Because the flavours are enhanced so, the espresso cuts right on through the dairy and makes even a black drinker smile:)

You can actually taste the notes of a blend coming throught the milk. Our Whiteman blend which is named so because little white boys drink with milk:) tastes of tropical friut with a full rich body and choc finish.

But you must be careful. Like with the Costa Rican Herbazu, the lemon acids are so fresh that the milk coffee tastes ‘wack’.

The dose we’ve been using is quite low compared to past practised espresso dosing methods. As we saw (and were advised by) from Slayer “try a low dose and fine grind”. This dosing and grind method works extremely well, amplifying the flavours and balance of any coffee. Dont get me wrong, dosing the same as usual on the Slayer still gives amazing results(the best I have seen) but those flavours that are contained within a single origin or blend are amplified and the flavours are incredibly layered and distinct. Obviously there is a limit to this low dosing method. If one goes too far the resulting espresso has harsh and cutting attributes.

When dosing the lower dosed basket you need to be incredibly precise and deliberate with distribution and tamping as there is more chance of a channel ruining your shot. This is not a bad thing and only makes us all better baristas.

We run a Robur E for the Hardcore blend which is named so because apparently black coffee drinkers are ‘hardcore’:) The blend is fruity big, sweet and clean.

The Robur E is great as the regularity and control of grinds dispensed makes altering dose and grind a breeze.

We run a Robur for the single origin of the day and dose using the Scottie Callaghan dosing tools which scrape off the desired amount of coffee. A bit slower dosing technique than the E but still very effective.

We have found that the best tasting shots have been coming from shots that are around 45 – 50 seconds long.

Activating to the lower pressure infusion until the coffee forms a ring showing around the basket bottom with dotted extraction over the rest of the basket face(which takes 18-22sec) to full brew(around 25sec) to lower pressure infusion(3-5sec) to off.

We had a problem with an o-ring that was being torn inside the group valve. This problem has been rectified by Slayer and all groups are up and running at full speed.

Slayer tells us a coffee-house in San Fransisco is doing 800+ coffees a day and have no problems. We are two weeks into the upgrade and noooooo leaking! Very happy campers at Ali:)


Slayer met its arch nemesis a few weeks back..the lead singer of Megadeath! And boy was the showdown one for the ages! That sleek, black, intimidating stance of steel and X-stone versus the long, ranga flowing mullet curls(to be admired by all) coupled with that 80 glare!

Peas, Kris



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