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Gaggia Classic Noob. Video inside.
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Discussions > Espresso > Machines > Gaggia Classic...  
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Craigo5000
Senior Member


Joined: 12 Mar 2013
Posts: 6
Location: Manchester UK
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Mon Mar 25, 2013, 3:15am
Subject: Gaggia Classic Noob. Video inside.
 

Hi guys,

I've recently purchased a Gaggia Classic since it was on offer at a good price.

I've played and made acceptable latte with it but the espresso shot extraction is very fast. I'm using the supplied double basket with only a shot of Gaggia pre-ground 100% espresso coffee, perfect crema device. I let the boiler come up to temp for 6 minutes, warm the PF and cup, drain them, tamp down my scoop nice and level in the basket and quite firm with the supplied plastic tamper, wait for the boiler light to go out again and then pull the shot.
See my video:
Click Here (www.youtube.com)

8 seconds for a double to be poured from a single scoop is WAAAY too fast! What's going on?

I plan on getting a decent burr grinder, weighted tamp and bottomless PF, but for now I'm stuck with pre-ground from the supermarket, my plastic tamp and "perfect crema" device. How can I improve my extraction with my current set-up or even slow it? Do I need to fill the double basket with a double shot and throw half of it away in order to gain good extraction and also tamp more firmly?

Also, the Panarello as much complained about as it is, is actually quite easy to froth milk with. I've found if I take the end off and move the o-ring down the lower lip and then replace the end, it effectively blocks the airflow from entering the device and allows you to surf and control airflow like a standard wand.

Any help appreciated.
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emradguy
Senior Member
emradguy
Joined: 31 Mar 2011
Posts: 3,226
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 Mon Mar 25, 2013, 3:44am
Subject: Re: Gaggia Classic Noob. Video inside.
 

Craigo5000 Said:

I've played and made acceptable latte with it but the espresso shot extraction is very fast. I'm using the supplied double basket with only a shot of Gaggia pre-ground 100% espresso coffee, perfect crema device. I let the boiler come up to temp for 6 minutes, warm the PF and cup, drain them, tamp down my scoop nice and level in the basket and quite firm with the supplied plastic tamper, wait for the boiler light to go out again and then pull the shot.

Posted March 25, 2013 link

Your video isn't that helpful, because it doesn't show you preparing the basket.  However, from what you've said, there are several problems.  First, your machine needs to warm up longer.  Give it a half hour for all the components to come up to temp and stabilize. Even though the lights indicate it's ready at 5 minutes, it not. Second, yes, you need to use a full double dose with a double basket and toss the excess, if there is any.  Putting only a single dose in a double basket leave too much space for the grounds to float around, rather than stay as a puck.  Third...see below...you've pretty much said it yourself (like you did with the shot dose).

Craigo5000 Said:

I plan on getting a decent burr grinder, weighted tamp and bottomless PF, but for now I'm stuck with pre-ground from the supermarket, my plastic tamp and "perfect crema" device.

Posted March 25, 2013 link

Do this ASAP!

Craigo5000 Said:

How can I improve my extraction with my current set-up or even slow it? Do I need to fill the double basket with a double shot and throw half of it away in order to gain good extraction and also tamp more firmly?

Posted March 25, 2013 link

Yes! Well....except for the tamp more firmly part.  It's only important to tamp consistently, the firmness doesn't matter much at all, as long as it's the same every time.

Craigo5000 Said:

Also, the Panarello as much complained about as it is, is actually quite easy to froth milk with. I've found if I take the end off and move the o-ring down the lower lip and then replace the end, it effectively blocks the airflow from entering the device and allows you to surf and control airflow like a standard wand.

Posted March 25, 2013 link

Excellent!  You may not be the first to do this, but you're the first I've heard of.  You would probably still be much better off if you did the Silvia steam wand mod that many, many others have done.  There are some really good posts about it...try using the search tool.  You might want to narrow the search hits by adding the author D4F to the search.   He's pretty much a local resident expert of late on the Gaggia Classic.

 
.
Always remember the most important thing is what ends up in your cup!
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Craigo5000
Senior Member


Joined: 12 Mar 2013
Posts: 6
Location: Manchester UK
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Mon Mar 25, 2013, 4:28am
Subject: Re: Gaggia Classic Noob. Video inside.
 

Thanks for the fast reply. I'll experiment with the double basket, coffee amount and level some more and also tamp consistency.

I probably will get the Silvia wand eventually, it looks an easy swap out to be fair. If only for the benefit of easier cleaning so I don't have to remove the silly end off the panarello and rinse each time. Regarding the Panarello, I inspected the inside of the removable piece and could see the single air notch inside. The red o-ring sits above this to seal the air and restrict flow through the notch only (but permanently). There are two lower grooves for the o-ring to seat which are lower than the air notch and these block all airflow when used. I know some get away with taking the end off and steaming milk, but you're reducing the length of the want using that technique. This way works well and retains the length at a cost of having to remove it to clean.

Thanks,
Craig
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tinytot2
Senior Member


Joined: 31 Dec 2012
Posts: 113
Location: Wisconsin
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: NS Oscar
Grinder: Vario W
Drip: Breville YouBrew
Posted Mon Mar 25, 2013, 7:32am
Subject: Re: Gaggia Classic Noob. Video inside.
 

Craigo5000 Said:

...

i'm using the supplied double basket with only a shot of Gaggia pre-ground 100% espresso coffee, perfect crema device.

Posted March 25, 2013 link

Can somebody answer if the "prefect crema device" a pressurized portafilter / basket?  If so, while 8 seconds is still too short, a pressurized basket will alway run faster.  The ppf on my Barista would run 10-15 seconds with the double basket.
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Craigo5000
Senior Member


Joined: 12 Mar 2013
Posts: 6
Location: Manchester UK
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Mon Mar 25, 2013, 8:27am
Subject: Re: Gaggia Classic Noob. Video inside.
 

Yes it's pressurized as it only has one hole for the coffee to exit the basket. The shot effectively exits the basket and is pushed through the rubber device and then exits the PF.

I'm looking at a bottomless PF right now on the internet and want to pull the trigger ;) Then I can hunt down a burr grinder.
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AntWilliams90
Senior Member
AntWilliams90
Joined: 4 Feb 2013
Posts: 61
Location: Warwickshire, UK
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Gaggia Classic
Grinder: Mahlkonig Vario Home
Roaster: Dieckmann Rostmeister
Posted Mon Mar 25, 2013, 9:22am
Subject: Re: Gaggia Classic Noob. Video inside.
 

Just a quick message to point out that under no circumstances should you use a bottomless portafilter with the supplied Gaggia Classic double basket. It makes a helluva mess!!
Splash out and get a VST 18g ridgeless!! ;)

I loathe the perfect crema device almost as much as I loathe Gaggia for now including it as standard, and without an optional plain basket.

 
As soon as you sit down to a cup of hot coffee, your boss will ask you to do something which will last until the coffee is cold.
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Coffeenoobie
Senior Member
Coffeenoobie
Joined: 11 Dec 2011
Posts: 3,052
Location: PNW
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: N S Oscar
Grinder: K30 & Vario W
Posted Mon Mar 25, 2013, 9:24am
Subject: Re: Gaggia Classic Noob. Video inside.
 

A hand grinder will give you better results than the super market grinder.  They can be had here for about $40 made in Japan.  I hear the Germans and swiss make good hand grinders also.  You might be able to find a good vintage one at a jumble sale.

 
Coffeenoobie

Buying advice: GRINDER GRINDER GRINDER. Don't cheap out on the grinder.

My coffee treasure map...
Click Here (maps.google.com)

Oscar trick out: http://s156.photobucket.com/user/GandBteam/story/14231
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D4F
Senior Member


Joined: 15 Mar 2012
Posts: 2,026
Location: USA
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Gaggia Classic PID
Grinder: Baratza Forte-AP
Posted Mon Mar 25, 2013, 6:06pm
Subject: Re: Gaggia Classic Noob. Video inside.
 

It seems that I logged in a bit late to be of much help.  As noted, use the double dose and that will slow the flow.  In the US we get 3 baskets, a single and double pressurized, and a regular non-pressurized double.  I have never tried the pressurized.

I started without a grinder and got fresh beans from a local roaster.  I got home in time to enjoy a good brew or two, but the quality went down hill fast from there.  When you get the burr grinder please read about it on the forum or ask about its ability to adequately grind espresso.  Many are labelled as espresso capable and are not sufficient.  In the US an adequate espresso grinder is about $250 at the bottom end, Baratza Preciso refurb.  Reasearch carefully.

About Gaggia temperature.  The brew thermostat is sitting basically in the element and heats up much more quickly than any other part of the machine.  It controls the ready light.  Using a thermometer or thermocouple and PID will confirm that 15 - 20 minutes is about minimum to warm the machine.  The elements warm the brew stat and boiler that in turn warms the machine metal and water.  Most machines have an element in the water and them measure an external temperature.  Some measure water temperature with an internal probel  This can be cheated a bit if you really know how to control the temperature with the steam button.  Easiest is to warm 15+ minutes or put it on an appropriate amperage/wattage timer to warm it for you in the morning.

Get a double basket or two.  Singles are difficult ot brew even in a single basket.  If you are always wanting only singles, learn doubles and then singles.  While ordering baskets get a blind basket for back flush. I found a US source and got a good deal on the baskets all together.

The Silvia wand is the way to go for steaming.  V2 is a 15 minute install if you are slow.  V3 will not work without significant work and best with a lathe or machine shop.

Learn about OPV and how to set it.  The machne is much more forgiving if you lower the pressure.

The parts site below is very helpful.

Click Here (www.partsguru.com)

OPV adjustment

Click Here (coffeeforums.co.uk)(over-Pressure-Valve)-Gaggia-Classic

OPV adjust without gauge

Click Here (coffeeforums.co.uk)(over-Pressure-Valve)-Gaggia-Classic

More than you want to know, or help to put you to sleep :)

http://coffeegeek.com/forums/espresso/machinemods/571792

 
D4F also at
http://www.gaggiausersgroup.com/
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Craigo5000
Senior Member


Joined: 12 Mar 2013
Posts: 6
Location: Manchester UK
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Tue Mar 26, 2013, 4:16am
Subject: Re: Gaggia Classic Noob. Video inside.
 

Thanks for all that information - Ill get reading!

I'm in the UK and my machine came with a pressurized double basket and a single ESE pod basket which states isn't suitable for ground coffee. I don't have any non-pressurized baskets. I did get a box of hand-made fudge, two snazzy espresso cups and 250g of Gaggia 100% aribica ground though.

Ideally, I want to get a non-pressurized single, double and blank basket for back-flushing but where can I be sure to get those single and double baskets as "non-pressurized" and will I need to adjust the OPV when I start to use my non-pressurized baskets? I've looked on Happy Donkey but their information is lacking as to whether their baskets are pressurized or not. It simply states "58mm basket for Gaggia machine" and has no picture of the basket underside.

I was thinking about going bottomless but the only difference I can see is that I'll effectively lose the two spouts from my Classic PF? I understand the theory that less metal contact after extraction is a good thing, but in my world, I won't be able to taste the difference (I think!?)

In other news, I filled the double basket level last night, neatly shook the grounds level and then tamped nice and even pressure. This was in a 30 minute preheated machine in a hot and dry PF.  Extraction time was spot on at 25secs for 60mm of espresso with a huge amount of crema. It took around to 2.5 scoops to fill that double basket compared to when I'd use a single scoop in the double basket which is what the Gaggia manual instructs you to do if you only require a single shot.

Thanks.
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AntWilliams90
Senior Member
AntWilliams90
Joined: 4 Feb 2013
Posts: 61
Location: Warwickshire, UK
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Gaggia Classic
Grinder: Mahlkonig Vario Home
Roaster: Dieckmann Rostmeister
Posted Tue Mar 26, 2013, 4:27am
Subject: Re: Gaggia Classic Noob. Video inside.
 

I'm in the UK and I use the following sites;

Happy Donkey - Awesome customer service, great range of products, pretty much unbeatable on price for everything I've bought. Their baskets are the ORIGINAL Gaggia Baskets (i.e. not pressurised) so all 3 of these are what you were after.

Has Bean - A smaller collection of items, but cover more brew methods. They have the blank basket (58mm) you're after for 4.00 and the VST baskets, in all 4 sizes, and both versions (ridgeless or ridged) for 23.50 each.

 
As soon as you sit down to a cup of hot coffee, your boss will ask you to do something which will last until the coffee is cold.
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