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I have never had an espresso
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Discussions > Espresso > General > I have never had...  
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wsikes
Senior Member
wsikes
Joined: 3 Oct 2011
Posts: 396
Location: West Virginia
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Gaggia Classic
Grinder: Promac MD-64 AT
Drip: Bunn
Roaster: Behmor
Posted Fri Apr 27, 2012, 6:47pm
Subject: Re: I have never had an espresso
 

The machine came in Thursday and I will probably be pulling some shots tomorrow.  The pressurized portafilter that came with it is in bad shape... not as bad as it was before I soaked it overnight in hot water, but still pretty rough inside the pf.  I may soak in in some sort of solution tomorrow if I get any good advice what sort of solution.  I don't think I want to take the white (brown now) plastic insert out of the ppf, but I may have to.  It is loaded with coffee gunk.  If I pull some shots tomorrow I will let everybody know how awful they are... lol.
I had to order a drip tray grate, milk frothing pitcher, shot glasses, and on and on ad nauseum.
This Rabbit Hole is deep!

 
Bill
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IMAWriter
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IMAWriter
Joined: 4 Jul 2002
Posts: 5,891
Location: Brentwood, TN
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Bezzera Strega
Grinder: Forte, OE Pharos,...
Vac Pot: Adcraft SS, Yama 8 cup
Drip: Brazen, Kalita, Chemex,...
Roaster: Behmor 1600+, CO/UFO combo
Posted Fri Apr 27, 2012, 7:27pm
Subject: Re: I have never had an espresso
 

William, Baratza now makes an inexpensive replacement for their Maestro..forgot the name, but it will do espresso grind, and it's only $129.

Call or email Saeco, and you can purchase a non pressurized PF, or you can modify yours with a dremel tool. There are threads here regarding that as well. THIS is a MUST, for TRUE espresso cannot be made on a pressurized PF/basket, regardless of what anyone may say.
You can make good espresso in your machine. Make sure you thoroughly clean it, checks for leaks, and READ THE MANUAL!!

Download a pdf manual if not with your machine. This machine is basically the same as a Starbucks Athena, I believe.
It's very important you follow the instructions, as you MUST bleed the steam wand when the brew light goes out, to relieve false pressure.

There is a longtime member, Maryann Mumma (mummafamily)who has seriously modified her machine.
You might try Googling her posts.

You should also purchase a decent metal tamper...I believe it's 53mm.

YOU CAN DO THIS!!

I do feel that it would be a great first step to sample GREAT espresso from a GREAT cafe.
I'd try a macchiato first. It has a small "dollop" of foamed milk, and will soften the blow, so to speak. :>D

Then they a straight shot.

 
Rob J (LMWDP #187)
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wsikes
Senior Member
wsikes
Joined: 3 Oct 2011
Posts: 396
Location: West Virginia
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Gaggia Classic
Grinder: Promac MD-64 AT
Drip: Bunn
Roaster: Behmor
Posted Sat Apr 28, 2012, 3:00am
Subject: Re: I have never had an espresso
 

Thanks for the nice thoughtful response, Rob.  I believe you may be referring to the Baratza Encore grinder... I have been looking at it, as well as the other Baratza's.  I agree with you about the open portafilter... I already bought a tamper and have been talking to the girls at SeattleCoffeeGear about a portafilter.  I will try the pressurized one for a bit, but I really do want to use a non-pressurized one... I hear the crema is much better.  I'll let u know how it all turns out.

 
Bill
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Coffeenoobie
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Coffeenoobie
Joined: 11 Dec 2011
Posts: 3,036
Location: PNW
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: N S Oscar
Grinder: K30 & Vario W
Posted Sat Apr 28, 2012, 11:10am
Subject: Re: I have never had an espresso
 

Well, is it coffee yet?? I am all buzzy waiting for your report. (yes I am happy to have my espresso this morning)


Oh and I was worried I would not know good espresso from bad when I started because I have never liked coffee unless it was just staining/coloring my milk.  Well, I am surprised how fast I can tell a good shot from a bad and I can tell the beans I like better than others. I never thought I would have a good palate because of my lack of nose and not being able to drink it straight.  But I am doing way better than I thought. Since you like coffee yours should be better than mine.

 
Coffeenoobie

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wsikes
Senior Member
wsikes
Joined: 3 Oct 2011
Posts: 396
Location: West Virginia
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Gaggia Classic
Grinder: Promac MD-64 AT
Drip: Bunn
Roaster: Behmor
Posted Sat Apr 28, 2012, 1:18pm
Subject: Re: I have never had an espresso
 

Coffeenoobie Said:

Well, is it coffee yet??

Posted April 28, 2012 link

Well... not sure what to call this first attempt... coffee??... probably, but not much of an espresso.  I started out with the grinder set on drip and tamped it lightly. It flowed way too fast (as expected) so I went ahead and let it go to about 5 ounces.  Bleech!  But at least I ran SOMETHING through the machine... and it came out looking like liquid caramel... not black like from my drip machine, soooo, I'm on my way!
Now I am going to grind finer until I get close to a 25 second pull.  I'll probably be climbing up the curtains before I get there... lol.
Note: Now I'm going to have to dump the grounds into my shiny new knockout box... shucks!

More later...

 
Bill
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wsikes
Senior Member
wsikes
Joined: 3 Oct 2011
Posts: 396
Location: West Virginia
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Gaggia Classic
Grinder: Promac MD-64 AT
Drip: Bunn
Roaster: Behmor
Posted Sun Apr 29, 2012, 7:08am
Subject: Re: I have never had an espresso
 

I don't think the pressurized portafilter is actually holding pressure... so, off to Plan B.  Today I will recalibrate to allow my Maestro Plus to grind even finer and see what happens.  Next, I will be taking the screwdrivers and the Dremel to the PPF and modding it to "clean it up."  Wifey already gave the go-ahead for a new grinder, but I'll try the Maestro Plus a little longer until I decide which way I'm going to go.  Last night I had some really good Americano's(?) and definitely enjoyed the fuller flavor than what I am used to drinking.  Is it just my imagination, or am I using up my coffee beans faster pulling shots than I was when I was only drinking drip?
More later...

 
Bill
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CeeZee
Senior Member


Joined: 16 Feb 2006
Posts: 88
Location: Wynnewood, PA
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Quick Mill Silvano
Grinder: Baratza Preciso
Drip: Technivorm
Roaster: Behmor, BM/HG, FR8, iRoast2
Posted Sun Apr 29, 2012, 7:59am
Subject: Re: I have never had an espresso
 

wsikes Said:

Is it just my imagination, or am I using up my coffee beans faster pulling shots than I was when I was only drinking drip?

Posted April 29, 2012 link

I always had the same question in the back of my mind so I finally went ahead and checked it out.

I measured the amount of coffee I use to make 10 "cups" worth in my Technivorm and then parceled it out using the 17 gram amount that I use to make a double espresso (I usually make a double). So for the brew I use a volume measurement and for espresso I weigh it. That said, I got three full double espressos with 14.5 grams left over. Slightly under 4 double espressos. I think we get about 5 mugs of coffee out of the 10 "cups" brewed so it's not much less using the coffee for espresso but it is less. In the mornings we would finish a pot of coffee and now we've each been drinking 2 espressos (as lattes). Over a week it would add up to about 20 grams more coffee when just making espresso.

What I'm really going through is milk! I drink brewed coffee black but have been making lattes with the double espressos. That adds up to 10 oz. extra milk per day (5 oz each). I actually had to switch from whole to 2% because I started to put on weight (I'm a small woman and it doesn't take much).
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wsikes
Senior Member
wsikes
Joined: 3 Oct 2011
Posts: 396
Location: West Virginia
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Gaggia Classic
Grinder: Promac MD-64 AT
Drip: Bunn
Roaster: Behmor
Posted Sun Apr 29, 2012, 8:22am
Subject: Re: I have never had an espresso
 

Very interesting, CeeZee... I would have thought that there would have been more of a disparity in the comparison.  I haven't weighed my coffee prior to pulling a shot but that is on my list of things to do in the next day or two.  I also understand the milk issue... my wife wants me to fix some lattes and she has virtually filled the fridge with assorted milks... lol.

 
Bill
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CeeZee
Senior Member


Joined: 16 Feb 2006
Posts: 88
Location: Wynnewood, PA
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Quick Mill Silvano
Grinder: Baratza Preciso
Drip: Technivorm
Roaster: Behmor, BM/HG, FR8, iRoast2
Posted Sun Apr 29, 2012, 11:57am
Subject: Re: I have never had an espresso
 

Of course this doesn't take into account the pours I throw away as I try to dial in the correct grind for the new espresso beans I just got! lol

Nor the pitchers of milk filled with failed microfoam frothing attempts! And the gallons of spring water that I now buy so I can keep my espresso machine free from scale.
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wsikes
Senior Member
wsikes
Joined: 3 Oct 2011
Posts: 396
Location: West Virginia
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Gaggia Classic
Grinder: Promac MD-64 AT
Drip: Bunn
Roaster: Behmor
Posted Sun Apr 29, 2012, 2:12pm
Subject: Re: I have never had an espresso
 

That's funny!  I know exactly what you are talking about and I feel your pain. I think I must have spilled enough grounds for another pull when I did my first pull the other night... lol.

 
Bill
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