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Need Help With Breville Barista Express Settings Please!
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Burner0000
Senior Member


Joined: 28 Jul 2011
Posts: 1,082
Location: Cambridge, Ontario Canada
Expertise: Professional

Espresso: Rancilio Silvia, VFA Expres...
Grinder: Macap MX/VFA N1464/Kyocera...
Drip: Manual Drip, French Press
Roaster: Behmor 1600 / Sonofresco
Posted Tue Apr 23, 2013, 1:32pm
Subject: Re: Need Help With Breville Barista Express Settings Please!
 

So from what I saw the gauge was showing you weren't getting enough pressure. The flow looked a bit fast as well.  I would try tamping harder. Don't be afraid to really press down on it.  I sometimes do several tamps for good shot quality depending on the bean type and roast level.
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CMIN
Senior Member


Joined: 14 Jun 2012
Posts: 1,377
Location: South FL
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Crossland CC1
Grinder: Baratza Preciso
Posted Tue Apr 23, 2013, 1:45pm
Subject: Re: Need Help With Breville Barista Express Settings Please!
 

jonbik Said:

here is a video. Click Here (www.youtube.com)    i used the end of my starbucks espresso beans and a unpressurized double shot basket. THIS TASTED LIKE CRAP!

Posted April 23, 2013 link

thats what will happen with stale beans and a built in grinder with a real espresso basket. Never use Starbucks anyways, they over roast (more like char) their beans and they are long since stale, when you buy their beans your wasting money on beans roasted 2-6+ months earlier.

When you get your Fair Mountain order in, you'll see a night and day difference vs Charbucks even with using the pressurized baskets.
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OttoMatic
Senior Member


Joined: 24 Feb 2013
Posts: 78
Location: Colorado
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Brewtus IV-R
Grinder: Mahlkönig K30 Vario,...
Drip: Capresso MT500+
Roaster: Cast iron dutch oven
Posted Tue Apr 23, 2013, 2:03pm
Subject: Re: Need Help With Breville Barista Express Settings Please!
 

At about 1:10, it looks like you may not have enough coffee in the basket, but it's hard to tell from the angle.  You put the camera down during the tamp, so I couldn't see how deep the tamper went into the basket.  Try to figure out when the coffee hits the screen and you'll have a good fee for how much you could get in there.  Do your normal thing, but put a nickel on top of the coffee before you insert it into the machine.  Lock it in, and then remove it without brewing.  If there is no impression from the nickel, add a little more coffee and do the test again.  Repeat until you figure out what a full basket looks like.  I probably wouldn't brew with that coffee, but rather dump it onto a scale and see what it weighs.  That can be a starting point for a dose amount, though different coarsenesses of grind will have different masses and fit differently into the basket -- but it's a good reference point.

Your shot was light in color and too fast, as has been mentioned.  There are two ways to slow things down:  grind finer or increase the dose.  Tamping pressure, in my opinion, will have little effect in changing your flow rate.  

One other thing that I've found very important is to have an even distribution.  It's best analyzed with a bottomless portafilter, but you can infer some info from a spouted PF as well.  I just want to mention this, though I don't think it's your primary problem.  Primary problem is old beans, then grind & dose.
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jonbik
Senior Member


Joined: 21 Apr 2013
Posts: 28
Location: McLean
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Tue Apr 23, 2013, 2:08pm
Subject: Re: Need Help With Breville Barista Express Settings Please!
 

Both the fair mountain coffee beans and the hario slim grinder are coming tomorrow. Thank you for the nickel idea. I will try that. Can you set the grind on the hario slim?
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jonbik
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Joined: 21 Apr 2013
Posts: 28
Location: McLean
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Tue Apr 23, 2013, 2:09pm
Subject: Re: Need Help With Breville Barista Express Settings Please!
 

Is the rancilio silvia any different in quality from the barista express?
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jonbik
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Joined: 21 Apr 2013
Posts: 28
Location: McLean
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Tue Apr 23, 2013, 2:12pm
Subject: Re: Need Help With Breville Barista Express Settings Please!
 

So i will grind coffee with the hand grinder, weigh the coffee, and do the nickel thing
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biochemgawd
Senior Member


Joined: 26 Mar 2006
Posts: 85
Location: Canada
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: BDB
Grinder: Vario
Posted Tue Apr 23, 2013, 2:59pm
Subject: Re: Need Help With Breville Barista Express Settings Please!
 

jonbik Said:

So i will grind coffee with the hand grinder, weigh the coffee, and do the nickel thing

Posted April 23, 2013 link

I have the Hario Slim grinder that I use for travelling. It has a great burr set and can go finer than you need but not enough adjustability for long-term use.

I would start with the new beans and the built-in grinder at its finest setting  - grind enough to fill the portafilter and swipe your finger across the top of the portafilter to push the excess grounds into the sink. Tamp down evenly (but not too hard) and pull a shot. If you get 2oz in less than 25 seconds then move to the Hario grinder and start the same way. If you choke the machine or get a few drops only, then adjust the grinder one step coarser and repeat until you get 2oz in ~30 seconds.

You'll waste a few shots worth of espresso beans, but once you get the basic dose and grind worked out you should be VERY HAPPY with the results.

good luck!

John
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CMIN
Senior Member


Joined: 14 Jun 2012
Posts: 1,377
Location: South FL
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Crossland CC1
Grinder: Baratza Preciso
Posted Tue Apr 23, 2013, 6:58pm
Subject: Re: Need Help With Breville Barista Express Settings Please!
 

jonbik Said:

Is the rancilio silvia any different in quality from the barista express?

Posted April 23, 2013 link

Quality wise and internals, I'd say yes... but at it's current price it's way outdated and over priced, CC1 cost about the same and far outperforms it, has a separate thermoblock for steaming and built in full-PID control. But I wouldn't bother right now, your still learning, so with fresh beans and playing with the built in grinder and hand grinder and regular/pressurized baskets.... you'll be busy as is lol. You can still pull good shots on that machine, just really need fresh beans and good grinds.

Yeh with the Hario Slim I usually found a click or two that work (basically in between), so say one click is a bit too fast and the other is a bit too tight, I met in the middle and adjusted dose up or down, sometimes the click just worked perfect depending on the bean and dose. That little ceramic burr set grinds very nicely and evenly too at least when grinding fine, it has a wobble sorta when doing coarse grinds in which the grinder can be modded (which I did so have both uses)

I don't think you'll be able to single dose the built in grinder b/c of grinds retention (on the Preciso I can just tip it forward and purge the gram or two that's retained). But grind into a paper cup or something so you can weigh it out (tare out the cup so it only weighs the grinds), and do that multiple times and you should come to an average of what's being dosed in X amount of times. And do the nickel trick, that'll tell you if your overdosed too much.

Make sure it's warmed up too, least 30 minutes or so with PF locked in. The machine may say ready (like almost any machine) but that just means the boiler is ready, not all the metals and rest of the machine.
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jonbik
Senior Member


Joined: 21 Apr 2013
Posts: 28
Location: McLean
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Tue Apr 23, 2013, 7:08pm
Subject: Re: Need Help With Breville Barista Express Settings Please!
 

I'm not sure what you mean by single dose but I can program both a single and double shot grind amount with the built in grinder. I could have gotten the cc1 or Silvia but they didn't look like anything special. Also,  I was drawn into the breville machine because of the built in grinder.  
So before I put coffee in the portafilter,  just twist the portafilter into place and leave the machine on for 30 min?
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OttoMatic
Senior Member


Joined: 24 Feb 2013
Posts: 78
Location: Colorado
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Brewtus IV-R
Grinder: Mahlkönig K30 Vario,...
Drip: Capresso MT500+
Roaster: Cast iron dutch oven
Posted Tue Apr 23, 2013, 8:20pm
Subject: Re: Need Help With Breville Barista Express Settings Please!
 

Single dose means that you'll only put enough beans into the grinder as you'll immediately use.  So, you'd start with an empty grinder, and measure out 14g (or whatever) of beans on the scale in a cup or something.  Then you would drop those in the grinder and run it until it was empty.  You'd think that you have 15g of grounds in your PF then, but he's saying that that might not be true because there could be some grounds that are stuck in the throat or the internals of the machine.  There's also some concern (thought I don't make a terribly big deal about it myself) that the grounds that are in stuck in the machine are stale.  I wouldn't worry about this stuff right now.  I'd focus on getting a consistent mass of grinds into the portafilter (starting w/ 14 or 15g or so).

Once you start measuring the mass of the grinds that are coming out of the machine, you might find a huge variance on your single or double shot programs.  That is, if you did three doubles in a row, you might measure 13.2g, 14.1g and 14.8g.  Try it and you'll see.  If you get within +/-0.25g, I would be very surprised.   The moral of the story is to not rely on the timing function of your grinder, but to measure mass of the grounds in the PF -- at least until you're rather comfortable with all the variables.  I weigh almost every dose even though my grinder is pretty accurate.  For a triple it'll hit right around 23g -- 23.2, 23.3, 23.0, etc.  So long as I don't have to adjust the coarseness.  I can definitely notice a difference (in timing, color and taste) at the 0.5g variance, and perhaps even less that that.

About the warm up period -- yeah, just leave the PF in the machine when you first turn it on.  I just leave my PF in there (clean & dry) when the machine is off.  Mine turns on at 5am with a timer, so when I get up at 6am, it's all warm & ready to go.  I run a couple ounces of water through the machine with the empty PF in place, and I'm set.  Wipe out the now-wet PF, dose it up, tamp, lock and pull.  Yes!
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