maxcheese Junior Member Joined: 22 Oct 2013 Posts: 2 Location: Longueuil, Canada Expertise: Just starting
Posted Tue Oct 22, 2013, 6:10pm Subject: Problem with my brew, Help please!
I own the basic Breville espresso maker. I cannot seem to get a proper extraction out of it. The portafilter will hold roughly 15 grams of grain for a double shot. To my understanding, 2 ounces should be poured in about 25 to 30 seconds. However, the drip takes about 15 seconds for a double. I grind my grain very fine with a burr grinder. I'm wondering what I'm doing wrong.
Although, it seems I'm like 2-3 seconds away from the 'blonde stage'. Is it possible that some machines extract faster than other ?
canuckcoffeeguy Senior Member Joined: 22 Aug 2013 Posts: 45 Location: Burlington, Ontario, Canada Expertise: I love coffee
Espresso: Soon! Grinder: Hario Ceramic Mini Slim Vac Pot: I have a Dyson vacuum, but,... Drip: Bialetti Brikka moka pot
Posted Thu Oct 24, 2013, 4:21am Subject: Re: Problem with my brew, Help please!
Sounds like your biggest problem is your grinder. I don't think it's adequate for espresso grinding at all.
As for a true espresso grinder grinder, Coffeegeek members have great advice. All experienced home baristas have experienced that a grinder is more important than your espresso machine. You need a grinder that will allow for very small and fine adjustments to your espresso grind. As many on this site will tell you, you'll get much better espresso with a good grinder and cheaper espresso machine, than a really expensive espresso machine paired with a bad grinder.
Even a good hand grinder will give you much better results.
Here's the grinder guide on Coffeegeek about the importance of a grinder: click here
calblacksmith Moderator Joined: 25 Nov 2007 Posts: 6,834 Location: Riverside, Ca, U.S.A. Expertise: I live coffee
Espresso: ECM Veneziano A1 Grinder: Many different commercial Vac Pot: 40s era Silex Drip: Milita, Bunn&Curtis... Roaster: Cast iron pan, gas burner
Posted Thu Oct 24, 2013, 6:42am Subject: Re: Problem with my brew, Help please!
Welcome to the board.
Sorry to be a Debbie Downer but....
Can you return both the machine AND the grinder?
We would love to be able to help you get great espresso, easily much better than Starbucks (a very low quality bar to jump over) but espresso is an expensive hobby and while you need not refinance the house to get good gear, you need to spend something.
That is a thermoblock machine, the very lowest rung on the ladder that is able to be called an espresso maker. The maker is known for kitchen appliances, not quality espresso machines and both it and the grinder are discontinued. I would bet that it has a pressurized portafilter on it, machines in that class don't come any other way. With a PPF, it is supposed to get something resembling espresso but it isn't. The reason they put PPFs in those machines is it is a given that the user will not have a good grinder and most likely will use stale coffee too.
Quality espresso grinders are expensive. A hand cranked grinder good for espresso is $50 to $100 while one with a motor starts around $300 average quality espresso grinders run $500 while better ones are over $1K
Fresh coffee is defined by less than TWO WEEKS FROM THE DAY IT WAS ROASTED if there is a best by or a use before date on the bag, it is hopelessly stale. Stale coffee will not offer enough resistance to flow of water to brew in a proper extraction time, the PPF is supposed to help though.
With a budget of about $500, we can get you into some starter gear, pretty basic stuff but at least it will be able to pull good shots.
In real life, my name is Wayne P.
Feed the newbs, starve the trolls and above all enjoy what you drink!
qualin Senior Member Joined: 30 Jun 2012 Posts: 628 Location: Calgary, AB Expertise: I love coffee
Espresso: Izzo Alex Duetto 3 Grinder: Mazzer Mini Elect. Type A Vac Pot: Looking to buy Drip: Manual Roaster: Considering?
Posted Tue Nov 5, 2013, 1:33am Subject: Re: Problem with my brew, Help please!
Maxcheese, welcome to the forum!
I realize that this thread is a bit old, but I thought I should probably pipe up.
I wish I had something constructive to say, but both the grinder you have and the machine you are using have some very serious limitations which prevent you from making espresso the way that it is typically made on more expensive equipment.
Thinking about proper espresso extraction figures just simply don't apply in your case with the equipment you have for a bunch of reasons. I could get into them, but I won't.
To make espresso using proper extraction times, you need to replace both your machine and grinder with equipment which can actually make it properly. Unfortunately, that means that you need to spend at least $300 on a grinder which is capable enough to grind for espresso. You should also spend at least $500 on a machine which has a single boiler instead of a thermoblock and uses an unpressurized portafilter. That puts you around the $800 range for a proper espresso setup. Of course, that figure also assumes that you are purchasing new equipment. If you feel comfy buying used equipment, The used equipment forum here can get you into used equipment for considerably less than that.
I'm sure that's not something you wanted to hear and I apologize if you feel that we're disrespecting you. Your Breville and DeLonghi grinder are still producing coffee, but it's just not what we consider to be Espresso. What you are making is something similar to Moka Pot coffee. It's still very strong coffee, but it will lack a lot of the full body, taste and mouth feel of true espresso.
So, instead of focusing on shot times, just do your extraction and enjoy your coffee until either your grinder or your machine packs it in. When you want to get serious about espresso, please read the sticky at the top of the Espresso Machine thread and carefully go through the entire thread before making your decision on a new grinder and machine. If you are still perplexed, please don't hesitate to ask questions in the forum or just respond to this thread.
I wish you the best of luck and please don't get discouraged. A lot of us on this forum started out with equipment similar to yours and we upgraded as we went along because we wanted more in our cup and we got fussy over time. (Or at least I did.)
Garbage In, Garbage Out, for every step of the process. From Beans to grinder, grounds to machine, coffee to cup.
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