At the end of January, we fired up our brand new Slayer 1-Group for the first time. The sleekly designed machine with its signature cast aluminum X’s looks incredibly handsome on our bench. But we’re not just into looks. It’s what’s on the inside that counts.
So what’s on the inside? For starters, a gear pump, huge boilers (3.3L for the steam, 1.1L for the group) and a saturated brew group with a pre-heat coil and auto-bleed functionality. The temperature and pressure are both adjustable via a black glass touchscreen. There’s also a vast array of customization options available for those wanting to personalize their machine’s exterior to suit their environment.
What makes Slayer different from other machines is the pre-brew function that allows a particular style of flavor profiling. The flow rate is changed during extraction rather than pressure. By introducing water at a lower flow rate at the start of the shot water slowly infiltrates the grounds and allows time for the coffee to bloom and carbon dioxide gas to escape.
A standard espresso machine might have a flow rate of 190mL per 30 seconds. The pre-brew flow rate on the Slayer is set to 60mL per 30 seconds as a starting point. A precision needle valve controls the flow rate and can be changed by lifting up the cup tray and adjusting a valve.
Operating the machine is simple. Pull the beautiful Peruvian walnut brew actuator to 6 o’clock to initiate pre-brew. To kick the extraction up to full flow rate move it further along to seven thirty. The shot timer displays separate times for the pre-brew and full brew which is a handy feature for tracking consistency between your shots.
Slayer has several different profiles it recommends for its users. They all require a super-fine grind and use various combinations of pre-brew, full-brew and sometimes post-brew to extract different sensory characteristics from your coffee.
The ‘Slayer Shot’ is designed to mimic a manual lever espresso machine and bring out sweetness and a thick, syrupy mouthfeel. The extended pre-brew profile highlights fruity notes in the coffee while a declining pressure shot mutes acidity. Then there is the ‘Bump’ shot which is supposed to be used for freshly roasted coffee but we thought it worked well on our week-old Lovejoy too.
Imagine the flavors you could extract from your favourite espresso blend, or from the single origin roasts you usually enjoy as a pour-over. The Slayer takes espresso to the next level. The possibilities are endless.
We’ll be posting more detailed posts soon. Come check out the Slayer 1-Group in our Portland showroom, and let us know any questions we can answer!