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Could you give me some advice on why my coffee isn't coming out great?
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mattlindsay
Senior Member


Joined: 22 Apr 2014
Posts: 6
Location: UK
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Sat Apr 26, 2014, 4:08am
Subject: Could you give me some advice on why my coffee isn't coming out great?
 

All,

First time poster.

I'm having problems getting a good shot from my Gaggia. I've taken an (apalling) video in the hope that someone might be able to view it and offer some advice.

Click Here (www.acartoofar.co.uk)

If it helps, I realise that my grind is a big problem (I had to get the coffee used in the video from a local shop because my burr grinder seems to be all over the place).

Probably my biggest concern that you might be able to help on is to advise on what speed I should be EXPECTING to deliver a shot into the grinder glass shown, using a the basket that I have (is it a 14Oz AKA 'double'?)

I'd appreciate any comments/help you can provide.

Many thanks

Matt
(p.s. woops - just realised that there might be a better forum for this, which is just about espresso. Can a Mod move it for me please?_
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D4F
Senior Member


Joined: 15 Mar 2012
Posts: 1,981
Location: USA
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Gaggia Classic PID
Grinder: Baratza Forte-AP
Posted Sat Apr 26, 2014, 2:24pm
Subject: Re: Could you give me some advice on why my coffee isn't coming out great?
 

Matt, welcome to CG.

You appear to have a Gaggia Classic.  New or used, and how long have you had it?  The basket does not look the same as the ones that came with my US machine - a single and a double pressurized, and a double non-pressurized.  Pressurized or "perfect crema."  The inside of the basket reminds me most of the single pressurized.  The bottom, from the inside view appears to an inserted disc.  Does the basket have two bottoms and the outside one have a single central hole?  If so, it is for use with the perfect crema device in the portafilter.  I can't match the part number unfortunately.

Your tamper is not the correct diameter of 58 - 58.5 mm.  It appears to leave a non-tamped ring at the edge all the way around.  That make the puck more likely to have channeling and fast uneven flow. Tamping multiple times might be a little better to complete the tamping, but the only real solution is a fitted tamper and one even tamp.

The timer did not help much for the video.  Timing by hand was about 15 - 16 seconds and the timer did not seem to show that.

Coffee for espresso should be roasted within 15 days of use, and used within 15 minutes of grind.  After that is becomes stale.  Flow and crema can be affected, not just flavor.  Also, you need to weigh and quantify the amount of coffee used to find a reproducible amount.

A couple of good resources for starting and terminology

http://www.espressomyespresso.com/

    12 - EASY GUIDE TO BETTER ESPRESSO AT HOME

The parts diagram and a diagram on the perfect crema device.

http://www.partsguru.com/GaggiaClassicCoffee.html

The "perfect crema" device makes fake crema and poor espresso.  That said, its purpose if for the non-user to rapidly get something that resembles espresso, and may well be better that many shops make. You may need to use it until you have freshly roasted beans with appropriate grind and used within 15 minutes of that grind.  That is not a recommendation to use it, but to solve the other problems.

Please read the references is not familiar.  Hope that this is helpful and a start for you :)

 
D4F also at
http://www.gaggiausersgroup.com/
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calblacksmith
Moderator
calblacksmith
Joined: 25 Nov 2007
Posts: 7,672
Location: Riverside, Ca, U.S.A.
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: ECM Vene. A1, La Cimbali M32
Grinder: Azkoyen Capriccio, Major
Vac Pot: 40s era Silex
Drip: Msl. Com. brewers
Roaster: gave it a try, decided no
Posted Mon Apr 28, 2014, 7:46am
Subject: Re: Could you give me some advice on why my coffee isn't coming out great?
 

Mod note, moved post.

 
In real life, my name is
Wayne P.
Anything I post is personal opinion and is only worth as much as anyone else's personal opinion. YMMV!

Feed the newbs, starve the trolls and above all enjoy what you drink!
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calblacksmith
Moderator
calblacksmith
Joined: 25 Nov 2007
Posts: 7,672
Location: Riverside, Ca, U.S.A.
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: ECM Vene. A1, La Cimbali M32
Grinder: Azkoyen Capriccio, Major
Vac Pot: 40s era Silex
Drip: Msl. Com. brewers
Roaster: gave it a try, decided no
Posted Mon Apr 28, 2014, 7:50am
Subject: Re: Could you give me some advice on why my coffee isn't coming out great?
 

The filters on my PC will not let me access your vid.
A Pressurized Portafilter will not make real crema and will tend to make up for a poor grinder.
You can not use store ground coffee in anything OTHER than a PPF.
Your coffee is stale (ground coffee goes stale VERY fast, the rule of thumb is no more than 15 minutes from grind to shot. Many can taste the difference in less time than that.
A two ounce double shot from 14 to 18 g of coffee should take ~25 seconds.

 
In real life, my name is
Wayne P.
Anything I post is personal opinion and is only worth as much as anyone else's personal opinion. YMMV!

Feed the newbs, starve the trolls and above all enjoy what you drink!
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mattlindsay
Senior Member


Joined: 22 Apr 2014
Posts: 6
Location: UK
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Mon Apr 28, 2014, 12:45pm
Subject: Re: Could you give me some advice on why my coffee isn't coming out great?
 

Guys, your answers have been fantastic, many thanks.

They've set me off down a number of interesting paths, some of which I think are going to hit the bank account for sure! I'll take some of the points in turn, but mostly, thanks so much for your time in answering them.

You appear to have a Gaggia Classic. - Yep, spot on.

New or used - Had it from new

and how long have you had it? - About a year and a half now. I'm guessing its probably due to be descaled?

The basket does not look the same as the ones that came with my US machine - a single and a double pressurized, and a double non-pressurized.  - It's a UK model. I'm not quite sure what you're referring to, but I've taken some pictures (which I'll put in the next reply) if you wouldn't mind taking a look at them?

Pressurized or "perfect crema."  The inside of the basket reminds me most of the single pressurized.  The bottom, from the inside view appears to an inserted disc.  Does the basket have two bottoms and the outside one have a single central hole?  If so, it is for use with the perfect crema device in the portafilter.  I can't match the part number unfortunately. - I think this is all true Sherlock :D The basket looks like it has two 'skins' and there's a little black plastic thing I insert into the portafilter that stops it squirting out all over the kitchen!


Your tamper is not the correct diameter of 58 - 58.5 mm.  It appears to leave a non-tamped ring at the edge all the way around.  That make the puck more likely to have channeling and fast uneven flow. Tamping multiple times might be a little better to complete the tamping, but the only real solution is a fitted tamper and one even tamp. - This is also true (and I've included a picture. Do I need to look to buy myself a tamper that fits exactly? The article you linked to certainly seems to suggest that.

The timer did not help much for the video.  Timing by hand was about 15 - 16 seconds and the timer did not seem to show that. - Yes, I think you're about right. I seem to think I should be aiming for about 26 seconds right?

Coffee for espresso should be roasted within 15 days of use, and used within 15 minutes of grind.  After that is becomes stale.  Flow and crema can be affected, not just flavor.  - Yep, that article you linked to seems to suggest this too. Looks like I need to find myself a local roaster!

Also, you need to weigh and quantify the amount of coffee used to find a reproducible amount. - I struggle with this idea. I was told that running your grinder until empty can damage the burrs, so putting in a weighed amount of beans seems dangerous. What's the workaround for this?

A couple of good resources for starting and terminology

http://www.espressomyespresso.com/

   12 - EASY GUIDE TO BETTER ESPRESSO AT HOME

The parts diagram and a diagram on the perfect crema device.

http://www.partsguru.com/GaggiaClassicCoffee.html

The "perfect crema" device makes fake crema and poor espresso.  That said, its purpose if for the non-user to rapidly get something that resembles espresso, and may well be better that many shops make. You may need to use it until you have freshly roasted beans with appropriate grind and used within 15 minutes of that grind.  That is not a recommendation to use it, but to solve the other problems. - Point taken. Yes, I've always found that it makes a sort of 'bubbly' crema, ratehr than the thick reddish brown creamy crema. I didn't realise that it was the combination of the double basket and the plastic widget that does that!

Please read the references is not familiar.  Hope that this is helpful and a start for you :)

That's been a great start. Many thanks. Pictures to follow....
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mattlindsay
Senior Member


Joined: 22 Apr 2014
Posts: 6
Location: UK
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Mon Apr 28, 2014, 12:53pm
Subject: Re: Could you give me some advice on why my coffee isn't coming out great?
 

Added links to the picture of the parts in questionL

http://www.acartoofar.co.uk/coffee-apparatus/
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mattlindsay
Senior Member


Joined: 22 Apr 2014
Posts: 6
Location: UK
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Mon Apr 28, 2014, 12:53pm
Subject: Re: Could you give me some advice on why my coffee isn't coming out great?
 

What's a PPF?
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gimpy
Senior Member


Joined: 8 May 2007
Posts: 260
Location: Flagstaff, Az
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Old repaired Starbucks...
Grinder: Zassenhaus
Drip: the AeroPress, Clever Coffee...
Roaster: Behmor 1600 replaces (still...
Posted Mon Apr 28, 2014, 7:34pm
Subject: Re: Could you give me some advice on why my coffee isn't coming out great?
 

I'm thinking "pressurized porta filter"?

 
Frank, "Still the one"
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D4F
Senior Member


Joined: 15 Mar 2012
Posts: 1,981
Location: USA
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Gaggia Classic PID
Grinder: Baratza Forte-AP
Posted Mon Apr 28, 2014, 7:38pm
Subject: Re: Learning to brew with Gaggia Classic
 

PPF is pressurized portafilter. Pressurized systems include baskets, devices in the portafilter, and the perfect crema system.  Your photos are the black perfect crema device for the PF outlet and the double bottom baskets, part of the pressurized system.

Obtain a regular double basket, not pressurized and not ridged, similar to this, included for example.

Click Here (www.espressoparts.com)

Descale is needed, not necessarily related to current brewing.  If you get too much build up of scale, it may be very difficult to get it all out without opening the boiler.  Not rocket science to do, but avoidable.

Yes to a fitted tamper!

Yes to local roaster, though in US, mailed/shipped beans arrive within 3 - 5 days of roast.  Perhaps an option to local.

I run the grinder to empty after each single dose.  You need to know if a grinder is made for single dosing if that is what you do.  If for multi-dosing and beans stay in the grinder, then you need to know about retention of grind.  You can leave stale ground coffee in the grinder and drink it with the next dose :)  My volume is for me only most of the time, one dose at a time. What is your grinder/grinder plan.

Weigh coffee in and espresso output.  You may have read that espresso is 60 gms, 60 ml of liquid volume in 25 seconds and at 9 bar.  Many use 30 - 45 gms espresso instead of 60 gms.  Yes, timing is around 25 - 30 seconds but that is not an absolute time.  Search "blonding" and add that in with timing.  You can adjust dose and grind to get blonding to happen in the timing range that you are looking for.  Timing may be from turn on of the pump or from first drip and there are threads on that.  Consistency of method is important.

Your stock Gaggia Classic is running output at about 12 bar.  A little information on setting 9 bar on the Gaggia.

Click Here (www.gaggiausersgroup.com)

Keep posting if you want help.

 
D4F also at
http://www.gaggiausersgroup.com/
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D4F
Senior Member


Joined: 15 Mar 2012
Posts: 1,981
Location: USA
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Gaggia Classic PID
Grinder: Baratza Forte-AP
Posted Mon Apr 28, 2014, 8:04pm
Subject: Re: Learning to brew with Gaggia Classic
 

And some possible useful and overlapping information

http://coffeegeek.com/forums/espresso/questions/666502

 
D4F also at
http://www.gaggiausersgroup.com/
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