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First trial with Rocket Cellini - Crema?
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ap8888
Senior Member


Joined: 26 Mar 2013
Posts: 6
Location: Ontario
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Tue Mar 26, 2013, 6:48pm
Subject: First trial with Rocket Cellini - Crema?
 

Hello,

I just got a Rocket Cellini. Unfortunately don't have a grinder right now so have to resort to pre-ground. The grinder at the store was on setting '3' which I understand is fine-to-medium and is typical for machines.

I experimented with varying levels of tamping -- really low, low, medium, high and medium high. However, in order to get a 25 second 1 ounce shot, I needed to tamp very hard (must be way over 30 pounds, judging from my measurements from previous experiments).

Can you take a look at the attached pictures and video, and offer your suggestions? I'm not satisfied with the robustness of the crema and think that perhaps the ground is too fine. Could this be the case? Perhaps the beans are old? In other words it looks like I need to tamp really hard to get a 25 second extraction, but the crema is underwhelming suggesting I'm overextracting.

I also tried a 15 second shot with significantly less tamping -- to be honest I was pleased with the aroma although sites online suggest this would be an "underextracted shot".

Thank you! Any suggestions would be helpful.

http://youtu.be/MKr4o-mHyQA





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IMAWriter
Senior Member
IMAWriter
Joined: 4 Jul 2002
Posts: 5,875
Location: Brentwood, TN
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Bezzera Strega
Grinder: Forte, OE Pharos,...
Vac Pot: Adcraft SS, Yama 8 cup
Drip: Brazen, Kalita, Chemex,...
Roaster: Behmor 1600, CO/UFO combo
Posted Tue Mar 26, 2013, 8:43pm
Subject: Re: First trial with Rocket Cellini - Crema?
 

ap8888 Said:

Hello,

I just got a Rocket Cellini. Unfortunately don't have a grinder right now so have to resort to pre-ground. The grinder at the store was on setting '3' which I understand is fine-to-medium and is typical for machines.

I experimented with varying levels of tamping -- really low, low, medium, high and medium high. However, in order to get a 25 second 1 ounce shot, I needed to tamp very hard (must be way over 30 pounds, judging from my measurements from previous experiments).

Can you take a look at the attached pictures and video, and offer your suggestions? I'm not satisfied with the robustness of the crema and think that perhaps the ground is too fine. Could this be the case? Perhaps the beans are old? In other words it looks like I need to tamp really hard to get a 25 second extraction, but the crema is underwhelming suggesting I'm overextracting.

I also tried a 15 second shot with significantly less tamping -- to be honest I was pleased with the aroma although sites online suggest this would be an "underextracted shot".

Thank you! Any suggestions would be helpful.

http://youtu.be/MKr4o-mHyQA

Posted March 26, 2013 link

My friend, pre-ground is NOT the way to go.
Get a grinder . That should have been your FIRST purchase. Around here, the mantra is GRINDER FIRST!!

Pre ground stales in the first 15 minutes.
Lets not make this a "which grinder to get" thread.
AG, I'd suggest perusing the CG Consumer Reviews/grinders.
When you've got grinder in hand, give it a few days , or 2-3 lbs or more to break in, then return to this thread to discuss you now excellent shots with your machine!
GRINDERS:
Check CG's Consumer Reviews/Grinders.
Don't settle for a cheap grinder. Also look on our BST forums, You can often save a lot purchasing from a member who is upgrading.

 
Rob J (LMWDP #187)
My Music Production web site:
www.robertjason.com
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emradguy
Senior Member
emradguy
Joined: 31 Mar 2011
Posts: 3,110
Location: Houston
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Duetto II; Twist v2
Grinder: M Major, Macap M4 x2, VDD...
Drip: Espro presses; Aeropress
Roaster: H-B "List of Favorites"
Posted Wed Mar 27, 2013, 5:48am
Subject: Re: First trial with Rocket Cellini - Crema?
 

Agreed.  You're getting about as good as you'll ever get with preground.  Unfortunately, that's the reality.  I not heard one person utter a sound one bit about getting anything close to good espresso with preground (with the exception maybe being a package of Lavazza or can of Illy opened for the first time immediately before puling the shot..and within about 5-10 minutes the rest of the coffee in that container is worthless).

Given you sprung for a Rocket, perhaps you have $239 you can spare for a refurbished Baratza Preciso (sorry Rob, just had to throw that in)? As Rob said, read about grinders, and if you have questions about them start a new thread...but the Preciso is considered by most here to be the entry level electric grinder (which is why I threw that in).

Regarding your tamp pressure...if you think you tamped very hard, it was likely waaaaay over 30#.  If you have a bathroom scale, you can measure your pressure (and that's a great way to get an idea of what 30# feels like and practice doing it every time).  Until you get a grinder and actually use fresh coffee, forget about making good espresso and work on practicing technique, so that when you do get a grinder, you'll be ahead of the game.  For your tamp, it doesn't matter what the pressure is in the 20-70# range, but you need to be consistent.  Adjust your shots (bad as they will remain until you get a grinder) by altering dose of that stale preground stuff you bring home from the store. If it's too coarse (shot too fast) up dose, if it's too fine (shot too slow) down dose.

Read about technique (so you can learn and work on consistency) at www.espressomyespresso.com Specifically, read article 12 under "how to", titled Easy Guide to Better Espresso at Home

 
.
Always remember the most important thing is what ends up in your cup!
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calblacksmith
Moderator
calblacksmith
Joined: 25 Nov 2007
Posts: 7,772
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 Wed Mar 27, 2013, 5:58am
Subject: Re: First trial with Rocket Cellini - Crema?
 

I know you are thrilled at your purchase and honestly, that is a nice machine. Robert is dead on, the grinder is more important than the machine and to get anything even close to quality shots, you will need a good espresso grinder.
Stale store ground coffee even if it was just roasted that day, will not be up to snuff. It is hard to accept that coffee stales that fast, we have had pre ground canned coffee around us all of our lives, but I use the example of an apple to help you to understand. If you cut an apple open, how long does it take for it to start to turn brown? About 15 minutes right? The same thing happens to coffee, it is a food product that oxidizes when exposed to air. Now take your apple and cut it into a few hundred pieces. Each piece is going to oxidize on all surfaces and you can see that you have a much higher percentage of the apple oxidize at the same time, so much so that in very short order, you will not want to eat it.

The same thing happens with coffee but because it is brown to start with, you do not see it, the pieces are much smaller than in the apple example and in very short order, the coffee is spoiled.

Tamping is the LEAST IMPORTANT PART OF THE PROCESS! You will NEVER be able to tamp hard enough to equal the pressure that is placed on the coffee in the espresso machine, about 140 psi give or take a little. The tamp is only to present a constant and even puck to the flow of water, to remove channels for the water to flow through so that all the coffee is evenly extracted.

 
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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tglodjo
Senior Member
tglodjo
Joined: 16 Oct 2012
Posts: 209
Location: Jackson, TN
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: La Spaziale Mini Vivaldi II
Grinder: Baratza Vario, Virtuoso
Drip: Wave, V60, Chemex, Clever
Roaster: Behmor 1600
Posted Wed Mar 27, 2013, 11:47am
Subject: Re: First trial with Rocket Cellini - Crema?
 

ap8888,

First off, congrats on the Cellini. I own one and absolutely love. Secondly, everything that has been said here is true. These members are great helpers for your journey into home espresso. Listen to them. When I started, I planned on buying a $75 burr grinder. I thought those spending $500-$1,500(!) were crazy. As it turns out, however, the members at CG are correct. So I got a $200 Breville Smart Grinder thinking that's what I needed. I was wrong again. It was a good grinder, but not for espresso. I'm now using a Vario-W (got it refurbbed from Baratza) and I am making absolutely fantastic espresso. So, yes, as hard as it is to believe the grinder trumps the machine, it's true. Out of curiosity, where did you get your machine? Did they recommend a grinder? Did they caution you about getting the machine without a grinder? And lastly, are you able to budget for a grinder now?
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Jmanespresso
Senior Member
Jmanespresso
Joined: 18 Jan 2009
Posts: 2,109
Location: Westchester NY
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Alex Duetto II
Grinder: Compak K10 - Vario
Vac Pot: Yama-SY5/SY8/TCA5
Drip: V60, Beehouse, CCD
Roaster: Hottop B
Posted Wed Mar 27, 2013, 1:20pm
Subject: Re: First trial with Rocket Cellini - Crema?
 

There is no way around it.  If you don't want your new machine to be a useless paper weight, you need a capable grinder.  What you have now, is like having a car with no engine.  It looks nice, it feels nice, but as a car, you cant do anything with it.

Add a capable grinder, and fresh roasted coffee, and youll be on your way!

 
Follow Your Bliss

Coffee makes your constantly overcome your prejudices and re-evaluate your own "received wisdoms" when it comes to judging cup flavors. -Tom Owen, SweetMarias
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IMAWriter
Senior Member
IMAWriter
Joined: 4 Jul 2002
Posts: 5,875
Location: Brentwood, TN
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Bezzera Strega
Grinder: Forte, OE Pharos,...
Vac Pot: Adcraft SS, Yama 8 cup
Drip: Brazen, Kalita, Chemex,...
Roaster: Behmor 1600, CO/UFO combo
Posted Wed Mar 27, 2013, 1:36pm
Subject: Re: First trial with Rocket Cellini - Crema?
 

Thanks folks for excellent posts!
"emrad" is excused (lol), and it was a fine posting. Randy's site is a treasure trove of info, and a chronicle of his experience from noob to the present.
It's so tempting to get into which grinder.
So far you guys have rocked the house, and I'm sure our OP has gotten the message.
But if "ap8888" still hasn't gotten the message,
GET A GRINDER!!!!!!!!

 
Rob J (LMWDP #187)
My Music Production web site:
www.robertjason.com
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ap8888
Senior Member


Joined: 26 Mar 2013
Posts: 6
Location: Ontario
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Fri Mar 29, 2013, 6:42pm
Subject: Re: First trial with Rocket Cellini - Crema?
 

IMAWriter Said:

Thanks folks for excellent posts!
"emrad" is excused (lol), and it was a fine posting. Randy's site is a treasure trove of info, and a chronicle of his experience from noob to the present.
It's so tempting to get into which grinder.
So far you guys have rocked the house, and I'm sure our OP has gotten the message.
But if "ap8888" still hasn't gotten the message,
GET A GRINDER!!!!!!!!

Posted March 27, 2013 link

Thanks for the responses.

I ran a side-by-side comparison today with my old Saeco via Veneto and I must say the Saeco is A LOT more forgiving than my new Ferrari of an espresso machine, the Cellini.

Why is this? Same espresso, same amount of ground in each portafilter.... but the Cellini just doesn't offer the same amount of crema. Why is not as forgiving as my cheap and trusty Saeco?

ap8888: saecoveneto1.jpg
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D4F
Senior Member


Joined: 15 Mar 2012
Posts: 2,015
Location: USA
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Gaggia Classic PID
Grinder: Baratza Forte-AP
Posted Fri Mar 29, 2013, 10:06pm
Subject: Re: First trial with Rocket Cellini - Crema?
 

ap8888 Said:

.. but the Cellini just doesn't offer the same amount of crema. Why is not as forgiving as my cheap and trusty Saeco?

Posted March 29, 2013 link

The old trusty Saeco is pressurized PF unless you replaced it.  Fake crema.  I am sure that if you suffer through it you will be very pleased with the Rocket and real crema.  If not, I could try to find another Saeco and trade  :)

 
D4F also at
http://www.gaggiausersgroup.com/
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ap8888
Senior Member


Joined: 26 Mar 2013
Posts: 6
Location: Ontario
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Fri Mar 29, 2013, 10:12pm
Subject: Re: First trial with Rocket Cellini - Crema?
 

ap8888 Said:

Thanks for the responses.

I ran a side-by-side comparison today with my old Saeco via Veneto and I must say the Saeco is A LOT more forgiving than my new Ferrari of an espresso machine, the Cellini.

Why is this? Same espresso, same amount of ground in each portafilter.... but the Cellini just doesn't offer the same amount of crema. Why is not as forgiving as my cheap and trusty Saeco?

Posted March 29, 2013 link

I now understand that the Saeco uses a pressurized filter, creating crema artificially by pressure.

Thanks anyway!
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