What is the "CHANNELING" phenomenon?

Channelling nel caffè by Kanuni Coffee

We have seen in previous articles how important it is to follow a series of precautions step by step get a good Espresso, and now the time has come to talk about one of the little known aspects among "mere mortals", that is the phenomenon of "CHANNELING" or to put it in much simpler terms the phenomenon of channeling!

What's it about?

It's very simple! When our coffee cake is not well distributed or well compacted or perfectly "flat", then in this case the CHANNELING phenomenon can occur, that is the water that comes out at a certain pressure from our coffee machine, finding some "preferential ways", will follow those paths, creating an irregular extraction of our coffee and therefore an uneven extraction in the cup, with an uneven result, with different levels of extraction which can give our coffee a bitter, burnt taste, an excessive acidity and therefore a coffee that is certainly unsuccessful!

How to avoid the CHANNELING phenomenon?

We can follow some precautions, as already mentioned in theprevious article on Espresso, to ensure that the probability of this phenomenon occurring is greatly lowered or even completely eliminated; let's see it together:

    1. first let's make sure have grinded correctly our coffee beans or take one already perfectly ground mixture for our Espresso!
    2. Thoroughly clean the filter holder and the filter from any previous coffee residues;
    3. we pour the correct amount of ground coffee into our filter holder, perhaps after having already made several dosing tests;
    4. let's try to distribute our coffee inside the filter holder, moving the hose or slightly banging it on our work surface! Small note on the distribution of coffee:
  • have created a very interesting and useful tool, already widely used in America, to distribute our coffee perfectly and in a completely "planar" way, used more and more often also in world competitions:
    • this is a "coffee distributor / leveler" or English better called as "coffee distributor & tamper or Dual Head Coffee Leveler" and similar ...
      • In practice it consists of an adjustable cylinder or double cylinder, with a special diameter purchased based on the size of your filter holder, which has the function of distributing, during its manual rotation, and leveling our coffee inside the filter holder and sometimes even to press it directly in a single gesture! Fantastic isn't it? :-)

Once our coffee has been perfectly distributed, or with the help of this new tool or simply with our manual skills, we must now press it while keeping our tamper in a vertical position as much as possible and therefore perpendicular to our work surface! Help yourself with your arm, pay attention to the inclination and position of the tamper itself, then start first to turn it and at the same time to press your coffee cake, taking care neither to exaggerate nor not to press it too much (ideally the pressure should correspond to 15 / 20 Kg of vertical force ...). 

Obviously the success of this whole series of operations will be given by obtaining a balanced, homogeneous coffee, with a silky and uniform cream, neither too watered nor too burnt! Let me be clear, it is not certain that any other defects are a consequence of other phases that are not perfectly executed or of a coffee that is not exactly balanced or adequately preserved, but certainly the experience and tests that you will perform with your coffee machine will help you to obtain a coffee always better and closer to perfection!

It goes without saying that starting from an excellent blend, therefore from a superior quality and always fresh roasted coffee like that of Coffee Code, it will certainly already be a good start! 😄 ☕️


by Code Coffee

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