A shower screen with new filtration technology for professional and home espresso machines called the Matrix is gradually launching from Italy. Caffé Italiano has managed to secure an initial, limited number of this amazing product
Made from a porous stainless steel material, the Matrix shower screen is described by the makers as providing tens of thousands of channels as small as 4-5 microns wide through which water flows towards the bed of ground coffee, as opposed to offering an array of much wider holes and layered metal mesh, as found in traditional screens and filters.
While its channels evenly distribute the water on its way to the ground coffee, the fineness of the Matrix also acts as a pressure damper, causing some back-pressure on the flow and leading to greater uniformity of pressure throughout the shower on the coffee.
This results in better-tasting extractions with less channeling and drier pucks when done. The fineness of the screen also causes some CO2 to separate from the water, further enhancing crema, which in turn better coats the palate with oils and diminishes the perception of acidity.
The idea is to use a highly organised, packed bed of micro-spheres made of stainless steel 316 which works both as a filter and a gicleur to assure a steady and even flow of water above the coffee puck.