Posted Sat Aug 9, 2003, 12:01am Subject: Rocky is the Champ! Now I Can Make REAL Espresso
Hi, In the few short weeks since finding this web site, I have gone from making bitter shots that could only be consumed with milk and/or lots of sugar to being able to really enjoy espresso in my own home.
As I detailed in my first post here, it all started with swapping my pressurized portafilter for a non-pressurized PF. I quickly discovered my Braun grinder was not up to snuff. After agonizing for a week or so about paying as much for a grinder as I did for my espresso machine, I decided to jack up the credit card and buy a Rocky.
I received my 17lb new toy yesterday and spent some time modding the doser vanes with electrical tape (credit to Randy Glass - thanks Randy). It was 11pm by the time I was ready to start dialing in the grind, but I had to get up early the next morning, so I decided to go for decaf beans. After about 6 or 7 different setting adjustments, I was getting rotten shots - bitter and not much crema. Decided to pack it in for the night, and wondered if I just spent mega $$$ on a grinder that could not do much better than my cheapie Braun.
Woke up this morning, swapped the decaf beans for regular espresso roast, backed off the grinder setting by one click as my last shot the night before choked my machine, and viola - pure gold. Best espresso I have tasted outside of a cafe.
I guess I need to work on the decaf. I tried again tonight, but could not come close to anything drinkable. The beans (swiss water decaf house blend from JJ Bean in Vancouver) are MUCH more dark than JJ's espresso roast. Maybe they are too dark for espresso.... I was keeping all other variables (amount of coffee and tamp pressure) constant and was only adjusting grind setting. Maybe I will play around with tamp pressure tomorrow. Otherwise I guess I will need to stick with normal beans and resign myself to staying wide awake well past midnight.
Thanks for everyone's help and recommendations. Despite my decaf issue, I am very pleased with the calibre of coffee that I am now able to make.
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