Slayer: Professional Espresso


At Slayer Espresso in Georgetown

At Slayer Espresso in Georgetown

So for starters, I must admit that this trip to Slayer was, to say the least, highly anticipated, but was also instigated on Twitter. Oh How I Love Thy Tweets. Look over here to see what I’m rambling on about on Twitter.      (—–>)

@CoffeeAndBikes let me know that he and @TommyMakesTapes were making a trip to see @SlayerEspresso in Georgetown. @SarahDooley ended up joining the crew shortly before we dived into the grinders. I promise that’s the last of twitter…






I really wanted to make sure I knew as much about Slayer before I jumped onto a machine and went to town. Besides reading blogs, tweets, and watching videos…there really wasn’t much I could do to fulfill that information void on Slayer. I knew there was something missing to whatever it was that I sought. I didn’t want to be another person who “played” on the Slayer and said, “Wow, it was cool. You need to try this.” I wanted to fully grasp and understand ‘Slayer’ itself, so when I first arrived to the Georgetown I didn’t want to touch the machine. I told Eric Perkunder, one of the many innovative minds at Slayer, that I wanted to know everything about the machine and their approach to coffee including their motivations before ever touching the machine. It wasn’t to critique or judge them on though, I wanted to thoroughly grasp their full approach to coffee. I didn’t want the sales pitch. After touring the “studio” and being entirely too anxious to pull shots, we made our way to the grinders. 

In order to get the full effect on the machine’s capabilities, I brought a wide variety of coffees, including:

49th Parallel Coffee Roasters (Vancouver, B.C.)- Epic Espresso

49th Parallel Coffee Roasters (Vancouver, B.C.)- Organic Ethiopian Yirgacheffe- Beloya Microlot #7

Four Barrel Coffee (San Francisco, CA)- Ethiopian Kaleb Kocherie

Four Barrel Coffee (San Francisco, CA)-Kenya Thunguri

Four Barrel Coffee (San Francisco, CA)- Burundi Bwayi

Ritual Coffee Roasters (San Francisco, CA)- Sweet Tooth, Mutwewathi-Kenya

Ritual Coffee Roasters (San Francisco, CA)- I’m forgetting one.

Ecco Coffee (Santa Rosa, CA)- Ethiopian Yigacheffe- Beloya Microlot 15

Intelligentsia Coffee & Tea (Chicago, IL)-Nicaragua Flor Azul (roasted over 13 months prior and unopened, vacuum sealed)

49th Parallel Coffee Roasters- (Vancouver, B.C.) Kenya Nyanja Estate AA Auction Lot #480 Nairobi Coffee Exchange (roasted 10 months prior and unopened, vacuum sealed)

Stumptown Coffee Roasters (Seattle, WA)- Guatemala Cup of Excellence,  Finca El Injerto-Pacamara


We were locked and loaded. We tossed the coffee in and were on our way. I’ll spare you the hoards of paragraphs preaching the flavor profiles on everyone of these coffees and how amazing every single shot was. We were now heavily caffeinated. I dialed in on the coffees to how I know they should taste ‘normally’ and then drastically adjusted everything I could; my tamper (c-ripple, Ameri-curve, Flat base), the tamp handle (standard Reg Barber, Radical Pro Reg Barber),dosing, dose and tamp (35 to 85). I must say that all the aforementioned is entirely useless for you to know. The beautiful thing about Slayer is it’s simplicity in design and function. There is a beautiful “mirror bar” that runs the entire length of the machine. No matter what I did to alter the human

Slayer's view from the "mirror"

Slayer's view from the "mirror"

variables that factor into a “proper” espresso extraction, I still had to do one thing, watch my shots and act accordingly. I believe this is a huge oppurtunity for all coffee professionals and enthusiasts. This tool allows us to put another aspect of understanding into our profession with ease.Every shot and every “flaw” can be adjusted accordingly with the proper knowledge and understanding of espresso extraction. 


Slayer's "mirror".

Slayer's "mirror bar".

Let’s say I’m dialed into my espresso using the following variables:
23.5 grams
6 sec pre-infusion
20 sec extraction
1.25 oz
Anfim Super Caimano Grinder
Serch Timer Mod.
                   Slayer Espresso Machine
                         6 bar pre-infusion
                         10 bar extraction

 I get a rush on bar and, knowing my personal tendency to tamp harder the busier I am, let’s say that I ignore that factor and I don’t act accordingly to what I would do at the shop on the La Marzocco GB/5. Instead, I’m going to just proceed to pull shots. Every time, watching my shots only  in the high polish stainless steel bar. Since there are no digital readouts visible on the machine, my only time reference is that which I see in the espresso. The pre-infusion visual queues are prolonged, therefore so are my extraction visual queues. In theory, my shot times would slowly increase and my espresso would still be consistent. The only variable that’s changing is time. I’m not saying that if you throw on a “mirror” to your machine that you suddenly have a Slayer, there’s obviously so much more. What I’m trying to show is the motivations and innovations behind that which Slayer stands for.  Amongst it all, they embrace that which matters most; the coffee. They allow barista to use everything available to them to best represent the coffee and truly bring quality back to the coffee bar. The service of espresso on this machine, both in taste and function, is unsurpassed to any I’ve experienced.


Why have this blog, you ask?

The purpose of Slayer is to share information, stories, and developments from the world of professional espresso. We want to explore it all-the coffee, the Culture, the people, the equipment, technique, and philosophy, the things that define the world of espresso when it is taken to a professional level. We want to hear from those in the specialty coffee industry who may at this very moment stand at the top of their game with tremendous depth of experience and expertise. You may already have a creed firmly in place around your Art based on years of exploration and practice. We want to know how this is working for you-so we can learn from it.

Slayer is also for everyone who just wonders if there is a better way. What comes after perfection? What lies on the other side of Caffe Artigiano, David Schomer, PID, FB80, Fair Trade, Cup of Excellence, and all the dreams of an organic, authentic, Coffee Universe now circulating and seemingly just beyond our grasp? Whether we call ourselves this or not, the players in this industry are really coffee argonauts, students, on a journey of discovery and personal improvement around this one special thing- professional espresso-which remarkably offers us a context to improve not just the coffee, but possibly the World.

Everyone, welcome aboard!”

Quote taken from


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3 Comments on “Slayer: Professional Espresso”

  1. Sam Withers
    07/13/2009 at 1:26 pm #

    Damn. Looks good. Big ups to Slayer.

    • 07/14/2009 at 2:36 am #

      Thanks Sam! I hear you’re going to be heading down there one day, let me know when you’re available!

  2. Merry
    08/03/2009 at 5:49 am #

    See: BtVS

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