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looking for help to get a thick espresso consistency
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Discussions > Espresso > General > looking for help...  
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MerleApAmber
Senior Member


Joined: 13 Nov 2012
Posts: 203
Location: Atlanta
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Breville BES900
Grinder: Baratza Preciso + Esatto
Vac Pot: Yuma
Drip: bah-humbug
Roaster: Hot Top 2K P
Posted Sun May 26, 2013, 11:49am
Subject: Re: looking for help to get a thick espresso consistency
 

Ben,
It's so good to hear you choose not settling for just o.k.  The Isomac looks like a lovely system and the guys here are absolutely steering you right regards bringing the grinder up to the "A" game. I hope you find what you're looking for soon.

I've been impressed with the way folk here and over at HB are thoroughly reviewing the HG One.  I don't know if the foot print or the fact it is a hand grinder would fit, but the other side (at least for me, considering the purchase) is top flight grinding burrs and infinite adaptability to the coffee you would want to prepare. Yes there is a cost, but, when you bought the Zaffiro you knew that going in.

</ looks around a bit embarrassed; don't mind me, I'm just the newbie on the block wanting to say 'hello.'
Best, Chris
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benthetiger
Senior Member


Joined: 25 May 2013
Posts: 7
Location: Paris
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Mon May 27, 2013, 12:58am
Subject: Re: looking for help to get a thick espresso consistency
 

I certainly appreciate all of the input, viva the forum!

I will pick up a new grinder this week and get back to my tests!

Just for info, the Vario (425 euros) seems more expensive in Europe than in the US so I am probably heading for a Macap M4 stepless w/o doser which I can get for 350 euros.
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Burner0000
Senior Member


Joined: 28 Jul 2011
Posts: 1,090
Location: Cambridge, Ontario Canada
Expertise: Professional

Espresso: Rancilio Silvia, VFA Expres...
Grinder: Macap MX/VFA N1464/Kyocera...
Drip: Manual Drip, French Press
Roaster: Behmor 1600 / Sonofresco
Posted Mon May 27, 2013, 4:58am
Subject: Re: looking for help to get a thick espresso consistency
 

Have you thought of installing a PID under the machine?  IME (In my experience) I have found that too high a temp scorches the grinds while pulling.. I know La Pavoni needs VERY fine grinds.  Have you tried pulling a heavily tamped shot very slowly?  Sounds like everything else is in order.
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calblacksmith
Moderator
calblacksmith
Joined: 25 Nov 2007
Posts: 7,864
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 Tue May 28, 2013, 8:16am
Subject: Re: looking for help to get a thick espresso consistency
 

Hello
As you have found, the grinder is very important. In general, the better your grinder, the better the espresso. Used COMMERCIAL grinders last a very long time and are straight forward in care and restoration. In MY opinion, t think a used commercial grinder is the best value out there but they are large so not every one has room for them.  My interest is in the commercial units and I am more than happy to help you any way I can. Others are more familiar with the Vario and the home designed grinders.

Any questions,...... JUST ASK!

 
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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benthetiger
Senior Member


Joined: 25 May 2013
Posts: 7
Location: Paris
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Wed May 29, 2013, 9:40am
Subject: Re: looking for help to get a thick espresso consistency
 

Just to keep you all up to date of my adventures:  following your input I bought a Macap M4 stepless with doser.  It arrived today and my first use makes it very clear that my previous grinder (Saeco) was not at all up to snuff.  The Macap grind has a fineness that is far beyond the Saeco, there is no clumping (I now realize that the Saeco made chunks) and espresso flavors are deliciously more pronounced than previously.

I have a lot of dial-in learning to do but I can tell I am on the right track!

Just a couple of initial observations, none of which are a surprise to me because all of your reviews indicated the same:

  • The doser makes a bloody mess
  • There is a tremendous loss somewhere in the process:  about 75g of beans yielded 3 shots
  • Fineness adjustment is all relative because there are no fixed markings

Anyway, thank you all again for the help.  I will report back shortly and may ask for more help if I still can't get a decent crema.  I am optimistic though...

Ben
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CMIN
Senior Member


Joined: 14 Jun 2012
Posts: 1,391
Location: South FL
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Crossland CC1
Grinder: Baratza Preciso
Posted Wed May 29, 2013, 10:05am
Subject: Re: looking for help to get a thick espresso consistency
 

benthetiger Said:

Just to keep you all up to date of my adventures:  following your input I bought a Macap M4 stepless with doser.  It arrived today and my first use makes it very clear that my previous grinder (Saeco) was not at all up to snuff.  The Macap grind has a fineness that is far beyond the Saeco, there is no clumping (I now realize that the Saeco made chunks) and espresso flavors are deliciously more pronounced than previously.

I have a lot of dial-in learning to do but I can tell I am on the right track!

Just a couple of initial observations, none of which are a surprise to me because all of your reviews indicated the same:

The doser makes a bloody mess
There is a tremendous loss somewhere in the process:  about 75g of beans yielded 3 shots
Fineness adjustment is all relative because there are no fixed markings

Anyway, thank you all again for the help.  I will report back shortly and may ask for more help if I still can't get a decent crema.  I am optimistic though...

Ben

Posted May 29, 2013 link

Grinders like that, especially commercial ones, have huge grind retention (which makes them kinda poor for home use unless you want to waste a lot of $ and beans purging fresh every morning or hours later for more shots etc). But some grinders can be modded to make it more simple for single dosing, not sure about the Macap there but you could search online and see. 75g seems like a lot though for retention, are you sure thats what you measured? How much were you dosing or planning for each shot (i.e. 16g a shot etc?).

But yeh, now you can see the difference, low end grinders can grind fine sometimes into talcum powder but that doesn't mean they work for espresso. Espresso grinders can grind finer and finer but maintain consistency and the right particle size with little/no fines.
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emradguy
Senior Member
emradguy
Joined: 31 Mar 2011
Posts: 3,172
Location: Houston
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Duetto II; Twist v2
Grinder: M Major, Macap M4, Pharos,...
Drip: Espro presses; Aeropress
Roaster: H-B "List of Favorites"
Posted Wed May 29, 2013, 11:40am
Subject: Re: looking for help to get a thick espresso consistency
 

I don't have near the mess or grind retention with my M4s...though I'm sure that has something to do with the fact that I use a bottomless pf which allows me to slide the basket off to the left, where all doser grinders tend to throw. Regarding the lack of markings, unless you bought a really old used machine, you ought go look again. The M4 has numbers and intervening marks on the top of the collar that sits outside the base of the hopper. Look down from the top and you should see them. Have to say though...I never use them. Once you get the grind about right you turn the worm drive little by little to finish the dial in and then modify from there based on how your shots are flowing.

 
.
Always remember the most important thing is what ends up in your cup!
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benthetiger
Senior Member


Joined: 25 May 2013
Posts: 7
Location: Paris
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Thu May 30, 2013, 12:28am
Subject: Re: looking for help to get a thick espresso consistency
 

to clarify, the grinder's collar does indeed have markings (although there are no graduations between markings which are 1 inch apart) but as far as I can tell there is nothing on the grinder body to align the markings with unless you select a random screw as a reference point.  i assumed this is what all of the reviews were talking about...it's certainly not the biggest deal but have i overlooked something?

for the retention, yes i put in 75g and got 3 overstuffed baskets of grounds.  i am not (yet) as scientific as many of you so i have not weighed the baskets but they are filled as recommended in most of the videos i have seen and when i tamp at 40 the level descends to the inner ring of the basket.  so i am assuming i am in the 20g per basket range?  this would mean 15g lost in the chute somewhere...perhaps this is with initial usage and the loss will reduce from here on?

thanks
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calblacksmith
Moderator
calblacksmith
Joined: 25 Nov 2007
Posts: 7,864
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 Thu May 30, 2013, 9:31am
Subject: Re: looking for help to get a thick espresso consistency
 

Having never used that grinder, I can't say but with the other commercial grinders I have used, the doser is MUCH cleaner than a doserless, even of the same grinder. Grind retention? I keep a chopstick next to the grinder in my tools, a quick swipe in the chute and all is well with the world and there is very little retention in any of the Mazzers I have. YMMV!

 
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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