Posted Mon Dec 27, 2010, 4:13pm Subject: Pressurized filter basket?
So I received a Delonghi EC155 for christmas from the Mrs. Not my first choice, but hey, I am a noob, so I figured this might be a good way to get started at least.
I pulled a few shots for the first time this morning for a couple of latte's - they tasted decent, better than the Starbucks stuff for sure, but not quite as good as those sourced from my local coffeehouse. As I pulled the shots, I saw an abundance of "crema" - and for some reason, it just seemed fake. I took a look at the portafilter and the filter basket, and they looked different than most I have seen pictures of or in person before. Here's what I found (I couldnt figure out how to embed pictures inline):
My question is this - are these plastic bits a system to pressurize the PF to create the fake crema? Should I run the filter in the basket as it looks in the last two pictures, and would I get better results this way? Curious what some of the experts out there think...thanks in advance!
You definitely have a pressurized portafilter, and looks like you figured out how to de-pressurize it. The pressurized basket hides flaws in the shot due to improper grind or stale beans, by introducing a whirlpool action and infusing air into the brew, making your 'enhanced' crema. Removing the pressurization tidbits is sort of like falling down the rabbit hole. All bets are off. Make sure you have fresh coffee, roasted within 15 days of roast and ground within 15 minutes of use. You'll probably find you will need to grind much finer when using a regular basket.. I read once it's easier to work from too fine and loosen the grind rather than being too coarse and trying to tighten it in. Good luck!
Thanks - got around to trying it with the basket "modification" - and it looks like it is working a bit better. I get 2oz in around 27sec and it had pretty good flavor in a latte (I know, I know - but that is where I am at.) I would recommend this super easy mod to other EC155 owners! This is with a 1 click from the finest grind on my Baratza Maestro Plus.
This is with crap espresso beans that my wife bought in a pinch a couple of days before Christmas - will be trying my excellent local roasters' expresso soon (http://www.sustainablecoffee.com/).
The original p/f basket with my Hamilton Beach was very similar, only it did not have the adjustable gizmo thing (technical term) under it. Word of caution, the rubber gasket will split easily after 5 or 6 cleanings. Remove the steel mesh filter carefully.
The pressurized portafilter that came with my Saeco was the same way. I have been using a non-pressurized PF and definitely prefer it. I used the pressurized PF once when I was in a hurry making my wife a Mocha. Even she noticed the difference. And that was in a Mocha! When you go away from pressurized you definitely have a lot more variables that you have to worry about! When you get a good tasting shot (happens more often than not) it is definitely worth it!!
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