Bringing back the Teflon PF Debate

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Bringing back the Teflon PF Debate

Postby James Hoffmann on Mon Jun 30, 2008 12:13 pm

Ok - I know we've been through this before, but I want to bring the discussion back.

All the machines at WBC had teflon pfs and steam wands and despite myself I have to say that I really liked them. I know Tim W. loves his and a few other people have them. Would anyone recommend them? Who here has played with them since the last time they were brought up?

Is it a way to clean single espressos? (As in - dirtless without having to go naked)
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Re: Bringing back the Teflon PF Debate

Postby Alistair Durie on Mon Jun 30, 2008 1:16 pm

The only downside I can think of is if someone abuses them, like using some steel wool and taking off the teflon finish. Otherwise they seem like a great idea. Who is currently manufacturing them?
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Re: Bringing back the Teflon PF Debate

Postby Vince Piccolo on Mon Jun 30, 2008 2:18 pm

I've been very hesitant to use any Teflon products especially after numerous studies linking Teflon and Cancer and other birth defects.

I don't know about all of you but when Dupont ( I believe the originator of Teflon) starts to tell everyone Teflon is safe I don't believe them.

I think all parts that touch water should be made of surgical grade steel.


http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/8404384/
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/magazine/3697324.stm
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Re: Bringing back the Teflon PF Debate

Postby Alistair Durie on Mon Jun 30, 2008 2:26 pm

I too would be concerned as I've read a lot of articles about it, though understood that Teflon was only particularly hazardous at very high temperatures (400f+). I would not recommend using Teflon pans to cook at high heat.

Fully stainless portafilters that are nicely polished would be great, though I don't know if anyone is making them?
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Re: Bringing back the Teflon PF Debate

Postby Mark Prince on Mon Jun 30, 2008 2:55 pm

Alistair wrote:I too would be concerned as I've read a lot of articles about it, though understood that Teflon was only particularly hazardous at very high temperatures (400f+). I would not recommend using Teflon pans to cook at high heat.

Fully stainless portafilters would be great, though I don't know if anyone is making them?


Dude over at Re-Entry on Main in Vancouver had stainless steel PFs custom made for his Synesso. He was very secretive about where he sourced them. I'd like to get some made for the Linea.

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Re: Bringing back the Teflon PF Debate

Postby Alistair Durie on Mon Jun 30, 2008 2:59 pm

I'm pretty certain those came from David Schomer, who had a limited run of those made. I'm not sure if they are still available.
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Re: Bringing back the Teflon PF Debate

Postby Tim Dominick on Mon Jun 30, 2008 4:47 pm

I think the teflon health issues are a combo of high temperatures as Alistair mentions and the possibility that you can chip or scratch small amounts off as you scrape and stir in a frying pan. This might become an issue as time passes and the portafilter becomes shopworn.

I would agree that anyone getting aggressive with a scouring pad could mess one up quickly, also not sure how they would react to cleaning solutions.

What about a porcelain coating?

As an aside, Mark why are people so secretive about where they get things machined? Sorry, just irks me when people get protective about that kind of stuff.
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Re: Bringing back the Teflon PF Debate

Postby Brett Hanson on Mon Jun 30, 2008 10:58 pm

I, too, share the consumer paranoia about teflon. I'm less concerned about the heat since we're not getting very far past 200f. I'm more concerned about common activities around the teflon pfs and steam wands causing bits of teflon to scrape off- sharp edged metal pitcher against wand, basket retention ring digging in to the pf each time the basket is pulled, etc. The mastrena is rocking a temperature resistant plastic wand with integral digital thermometer- I've been very happy with it.
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Re: Bringing back the Teflon PF Debate

Postby Aldo1 on Fri Jul 18, 2008 5:34 am

James Hoffmann wrote:Ok - I know we've been through this before, but I want to bring the discussion back.

All the machines at WBC had teflon pfs and steam wands and despite myself I have to say that I really liked them. I know Tim W. loves his and a few other people have them. Would anyone recommend them? Who here has played with them since the last time they were brought up?

Is it a way to clean single espressos? (As in - dirtless without having to go naked)


If you don't mind my asking, why is the teflon appealing? Is it the cleaning or the oil-repelling property? tia.

I am not familiar with the heat-retention or distribution of teflon, but I have to say, I find the concept of porcelain, as someone suggested above, aesthetically and emotionally appealing.
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Re: Bringing back the Teflon PF Debate

Postby Brian Ludviksen on Fri Jul 18, 2008 4:45 pm

All of the Teflon (or Portaflon) coated portafilters that I've seen have spouts that are not coated. Does anyone think this could inhibit the benefits of a coated portafilter? I can't help but think that a bottomless portafilter is the only way to avoid any negative effects of espresso running down the bottom of a portafilter and through the spouts.
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Re: Bringing back the Teflon PF Debate

Postby gscace on Tue Aug 05, 2008 8:10 am

Brian Ludviksen wrote:All of the Teflon (or Portaflon) coated portafilters that I've seen have spouts that are not coated. Does anyone think this could inhibit the benefits of a coated portafilter? I can't help but think that a bottomless portafilter is the only way to avoid any negative effects of espresso running down the bottom of a portafilter and through the spouts.


The one I have has normal spouts on it. I sort of shrugged my shoulders and went "Huh?".

My guess is that in commercial service the teflon brand PTFE coated portafilters prolly will get screwed up by some nimrod taking a belt-sander to it in order to clean it. When the service conditions include folks with some sensitivity to mechanical stuff (the norm here at Espresso Research Headquarters for World Domination), I expect there to be no problems. Sure makes the pfs easy to keep clean. A rinse in soapy water seems to do it for the type of low intensity service I give to it.

FWIW I also have a polished stainless steel pf which is also very easy to keep clean as well.

It might be worth taking a look at PTFE and acceptable temperature and use conditions for it in food service before forming conclusions as to its suitability. Seems to me that PTFE gets used for lots of things in food that we don't think about. Perhaps it's the combination of excessively high heat and abrasion that is the real problem, if it exists. I'm a gonna go explorin on da web and see what i can learn.

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Re: Bringing back the Teflon PF Debate

Postby Chris Baca on Tue Aug 05, 2008 3:22 pm

I was so down for these teflon pf's when I we first got ours and I have a bunch of teflon coated cookwarethat I use at home so I wasn't really scared of them. However, we now have a stainless steel pf that is my new favorite. It keeps things just as clean as the teflon and has thinner walls than a stock pf so it's quite a bit lighter which is lovely for fatigue issues. Plus my hippie co-workers don't have to be scared of it. My only gripe is that yeah...the spouts aren't stainless so they still get funky. So the teflon is old and busted and stainless is the new hotness.

Oh, its a LM piece.

W3RD.
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Re: Bringing back the Teflon PF Debate

Postby andynewbom on Wed Aug 06, 2008 7:16 am

we alos got a handful of sweet stainless steel PFs in various types for our bevy of LMs. We love them. we have been using them in our training lab for a few weeks and they stay spotless and are for sure lighter on the wrists.

Yeah Barista loving companies! :D
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Re: Bringing back the Teflon PF Debate

Postby James Hoffmann on Wed Aug 06, 2008 7:28 am

Where are these available from? I quite fancy one!
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Re: Bringing back the Teflon PF Debate

Postby Jason Haeger on Sat Aug 09, 2008 1:07 pm

James Hoffmann wrote:Where are these available from? I quite fancy one!

I concur.
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