Coffee channeling is the instance whereby water finds its way through a crack in the espresso maker’s puck. The coffee extraction process will be uneven, and the espresso produced will be of low quality.
Some of the causes of coffee channeling include using too much coffee, and using an uneven tamp. If you want to learn what is Turkish sand coffee, be sure to check out our guide.
The main issue with coffee channeling is that it ruins the quality of your coffee. In this context, the main focus will be on how to solve the coffee channeling issue.
After repairing the coffee channeling issue, you will be in a better position to prepare quality coffee.
Channeling is usually caused by the pressurized water that comes about when you are preparing an espresso. The water can always pass through the areas that have low resistance levels.
The result will be coffee with a thin body, and it will also lack a suitable flavor. In this case, the ground coffee was not properly used, since the channeling was severe, so the espresso will not have an enticing taste.
How To Identify Coffee Channeling
The best way to identify coffee channeling is by using a naked portafilter. The main point to consider is whether the extraction process is taking place evenly.
When you notice that there is coffee channeling using the naked portafilter, you will notice that the flow of coffee will not be even at the center. Your main focus should be on preparing quality coffee.
Signs Of Coffee Channeling
The espresso shot usually starts quickly. The pressure is supposed to build up before the espresso shot can start to form. The espresso will not be viscous, and the taste will be terrible.
Also, the flavor of the coffee might lack some acidity and taste dull. The volume of the brewed coffee might be larger than expected. There may be many pin holes during the inspection process.
How To Get Rid Of Coffee Channeling
You should remove the wet puck and clean it. Make sure it’s dry before preparing coffee again.
Always use the correct dose of coffee. When the coffee basket is overfilled, over-extracting will take place. The gasket will also be dirty.
When you use a smaller dose of coffee, there is a higher risk of channeling, since a huge gap will be left.
Do not interfere with the tamper on the side when using the portafilter. There are many cracks that may be present, and the water can easily pass through.
Always use a leveler, so that you can form a flat surface for the water to pass through evenly.
You must ensure that you have exerted enough pressure when carrying out tamping. The amount of pressure applied should also be among one of the most important factors to consider.
You should not hit the filter holder, because it may fracture the coffee puck. The filter plays a key role in identifying whether channeling has occurred.
It is also advisable to pre-wet the coffee making machine. It is good to note that the low-pressure helps to improve the coffee extraction process.
The fine particles will not migrate and settle at the bottom, and the water flow will not be obstructed.
Regardless of the equipment that you use, you should always replace the portafilter and the gaskets with new ones regularly.