calblacksmith Moderator Joined: 25 Nov 2007 Posts: 7,312 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 Jun 28, 2012, 1:04pm Subject: Re: Nuova Simonelli MDX grinder questions
Do you have the automatic version, the one that has a micro switch next to the chute in the doser to turn the grinder off after filling the doser? I remove those switches and convert those grinders to semi manual grinders as a matter of course. If you do not have the switch or are willing to take it off if you do have one, you have MUCH better access to the chute to clean it out.
The grounds tend to bunch up in the chute (and on the SJ too) so if you do not clean them out each time you grind, they can fall into the doser in a fairly uneven method and your grounds in the doser can and likely will be not what went in the grind chamber.
Ask if you want any more info, I really do like the MDX grinder, it works well and tends to be a good deal in the used market. Perhaps not quite as stylish as the SJ with it's all metal body (the bottom of the MDX is plastic) but it is a solid performer.
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!
Posted Thu Jun 28, 2012, 8:52pm Subject: Re: Nuova Simonelli MDX grinder questions
I hear your frustration. I still haven't had a good espresso shot to compare mine to, but I've learned that what a good latte and cappachino taste like to me. And I can make those with my machine. I might be one of those heathens that doesn't care for straight espresso, but I keep on tasting before adding soy milk.
When I started it was so overwhelming. There's "do this" and "do that" and the temperature has to be exactly 201.25555 degrees F--I finally had to say "NUTS!" to all of that and latch on to something that wouldn't make me crazy. For me, it was 30g in 30 sec extraction that was gloppy and tasted decent in milk. I could wrap my brain around that. From there I figured out how to temp surf, what underextracted and overextracted tasted like, and that as the beans go past their "sweet spot" in age the grind setting changes.
Another choice that really helped me was to pick one bean to learn on. Yeah, different beans grind differently. Another variable too many for me. I settled on Klatch's WBC World's Best Espresso after working my way through way too many different beans. I want to try other beans, but I'm learning how to be consistent before I change up the bean variable.
I took to heart what some people have written in this forum: the best espresso is what tastes good to you. If I have a super cup, then that's a bonus and a sign that I'm learning.
Hang in there, don't be so hard on yourself, and perhaps pick one thing in the process to focus on to start.
piuforte Senior Member Joined: 24 Mar 2005 Posts: 100 Location: Niagara, Ontario Expertise: I love coffee
Espresso: Dalla Corte mini, Quickmill... Grinder: MAHLKÖNIG K-30 Vario,... Vac Pot: No Drip: NO Roaster: No
Posted Sat Jun 30, 2012, 8:30am Subject: Re: Nuova Simonelli MDX grinder questions
bekeld, my strategy as well. With my dalla Corte and my taste preference I like 40 - 45 gram coffee-in-cup in 30 sec.. Usually the dalla Corte basket holds 14.5 grams again that depending on the beans. Once I get that consistent, then I could adjust temperature.
One of the best things I did was get a good scale (.1) for weighting the beans and the shot glass. That really helped me zero in on my shots by making sure I was comparing apples to apples. Also, learning what the water dance looks like on an Oscar because it over heats the water in the HX if the oscar is sitting more than a few minutes between pulls. I was pulling too hot for the first couple of weeks. I ended up turning down my pstat because I am doing shots more slowly at home and I wanted to purge less over heated water. Do yourself a favor and get a couple of pounds of beans so you don't run out just as you dial it in. Redbird is a good deal for 5 lbs. I use zip loc freezer bags you can pump air out of. Also, I hated the single basket that came with Oscar. I really like my VST baskets.
Buying advice: GRINDER GRINDER GRINDER. Don't cheap out on the grinder.
I don't want to be a downer, but the idea of a "perfect espresso shot" or "god shot" is over used, especially in the home espresso context. As mentioned earlier in the thread, it's more important to make coffee that you enjoy drinking. If you pull a shot and immediately want another after drinking it, its good espresso. I have had exactly one shot of espresso that I would tentatively call a "god shot", and it's an experience that I have to constantly force out of my mind so that I can just enjoy the coffee that I'm drinking. I consider myself lucky to have had one "god shot", and frankly, espresso is more enjoyable the further away I get from that shot.
thanks Wayne, I grind about 15 gr (weigh it into the PF afterwards) then empty the doser chamber, but not the chute. Good point. I will try that. The fit of the bean hopper lid is so 'perfect' that sometimes I close the lid quickly to push out some ground coffee out of the chute.
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