razor488 Senior Member Joined: 15 May 2013 Posts: 4 Location: Fort Worth Expertise: Just starting
Posted Wed May 15, 2013, 6:41pm Subject: Please help with Breville Barista Express
I am brand new to expresso making and I am having a hard time getting a property balanced shot. I purchased the Breville Barista Express and all of my shots are under extracted.
The manual says to increase fine, increase grind amount, and increase tamp pressure to correct an under extracted shot. I am using a single wall, two shot filter. My grind is set to level 2 (the finest setting) and the grind amount is at the 3-4 O Clock position. I used a lot of pressure to tamp the grounds into the filter but still everything is under extracted. After tamping the grounds are a little below the top of the rim.
I wondered if it was the water temp as the beans I am using say to use 198 degrees... This machine lets you increase/decrease the water temp from default but I don't know what the default temp is to start with... as a result I wouldn't know how much to increase the temperature by.
Can anyone please help me figure out why all of my shots are under extracted? I have wasted an entire bag of great beans already trying to figure this out!
Thanks a lot for the help.
p.s. I have watched several videos of people making expresso with this exact machine and I copied their settings exactly.... STILL no luck!
Contrabass_Bry Senior Member Joined: 3 Jan 2013 Posts: 19 Location: Omaha Expertise: I love coffee
Espresso: Breville BES900XL Grinder: OE Pharos
Posted Thu May 16, 2013, 5:36am Subject: Re: Please help with Breville Barista Express
Not Barista Express specific, but you mentioned that the coffee (after being tamped with great pressure) is just a little below the rim of the basket. This could be part of your issue. if the coffee "puck" is seated too firmly to the shower screen, it may be fracturing the puck. Thus, water taking the path of least resistance, speeeds thought these cracks instead of filtering though a consistent bed of coffee.
So try dialing back the amount of coffee while still utilizing the finest grind setting and see if that does't change things. If not, then it's possible the grinder is incapable of grinding fine enough (quite plausible).
You didn't mention much about the coffee. Was it roasted within the last 2 weeks? Was it a particularly light roast? These factors can also contribute. A lot of folks find that they need to grind finer as the beans go stale and lighter roasted beans will take up less area volume than darker roasted beans given the same weight (not sure how the BA's griner operates-ie. timer, volumetric or weight based dosing.)
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