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Discussions > Espresso > Machines > La Marzocco...  
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TheGreatKrok
Senior Member


Joined: 6 Jun 2013
Posts: 9
Location: Vancouver
Expertise: I like coffee

Posted Thu Jun 6, 2013, 9:31pm
Subject: Re: La Marzocco machine help
 

It was like that just after I cleaned the head actually. That's why I'm thinking it's a broken seal.
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Freddo58
Senior Member


Joined: 16 May 2013
Posts: 36
Location: New Zealand
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Fri Jun 7, 2013, 1:11am
Subject: Re: La Marzocco machine help
 

TheGreatKrok Said:

It was like that just after I cleaned the head actually. That's why I'm thinking it's a broken seal.

Posted June 6, 2013 link

OK - it could be.  It can't be diagnosed over the net.  Have you removed the screen and looked at what's above?  Do they routinely clean/backflush with detergent?  Does the head seal leak with a blind filter?
If the manager's happy to sell 10 second extracted shots as "espresso", then they either don't care, or don't know.  Good luck trying to fix things - at least you obviously care.
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SStones
Senior Member
SStones
Joined: 24 Nov 2012
Posts: 477
Location: Canada
Expertise: Professional

Espresso: Giga 5, ECM Giotto, Rocket...
Grinder: Anfim Milano-Best
Vac Pot: No  :(
Drip: Some $30 thing from Walmart
Roaster: I buy pre-roasted.
Posted Fri Jun 7, 2013, 4:54am
Subject: Re: La Marzocco machine help
 

I don't know what your situation is and what you're allowed to do. If you would be allowed to take the showerface screen and group gasket off, replace them and get a couple extras as back-up for the future, you'd certainly be doing the company a favor, but I know that involves spending $20-30, and your shop sounds like a... Well, I don't have an acceptable word for it.
The gasket on a commercially operated machine should be changed often. Some would say six months, some would say "When the Barista knows it should". If your water from the flush isn't running somewhat evenly through the showerface you could clean it, but you might as well replace it. It doesn't cost anything and they get banged up in time with regular use.
Lastly, I will just restate what has already been mentioned. You need to keep practicing.  Don't adjust your grinder after each pull, brew three or four shots after the adjustment to be sure you're getting an accurate impression of whether the grind is to blame and needs adjusting. And practice. And practice more. Please don't think I'm insulting you when I say your boss should have hired someone with experience. Everyone had a first time at stuff, but if he's not going to leave it to you to learn the machine, he could have at least hired two baristas and had an experienced one there to give you advice.
So, keep practicing. Keep posting your progress. You'll get better and if you post things that seem weird, I'll bet this forum can point out potential problems with the machine.
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TheGreatKrok
Senior Member


Joined: 6 Jun 2013
Posts: 9
Location: Vancouver
Expertise: I like coffee

Posted Fri Jun 7, 2013, 12:49pm
Subject: Re: La Marzocco machine help
 

Thanks for all the advice. I'll keep doing what I can, and see if I can find some other people outside of work who can teach me.
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RichardCoffee
Senior Member


Joined: 2 Dec 2010
Posts: 127
Location: Long Beach
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: gaggia baby twin, mini...
Grinder: fiorenzato pietro 63mm,...
Roaster: weber grill with rk drum,...
Posted Fri Jun 7, 2013, 3:36pm
Subject: Re: La Marzocco machine help
 

TheGreatKrok Said:

We don't pack by hand (I wish we did, that would mean I might be at error), it's a machine.

Posted June 6, 2013 link

.  So are you using a Swift grinder that grinds and tramps on demand?  Your experience with it indicates it isn't working right. I actually don't remember seeing it discussed anywhere. I sure wouldn't want to pay $4800 for a grinder and end up with 10 second shots.

 
Bean2friends
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qualin
Senior Member
qualin
Joined: 30 Jun 2012
Posts: 662
Location: Calgary, AB
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Izzo Alex Duetto 3
Grinder: Mazzer Mini Elect. Type A
Vac Pot: Looking to buy
Drip: Manual
Roaster: Considering?
Posted Sun Jun 9, 2013, 1:06am
Subject: Re: La Marzocco machine help
 

An experienced Barista taught me something. They said that it is less of a commitment to adjust the dosage of the shot than it is to adjust the grinder.
Grind should only be adjusted if you simply cannot obtain a shot time within the time and dose you desire. It is a commitment to adjust the grind due
to grind retention of the grinder.

I wouldn't trust a grouphead that leaks. I'd be worried about it affecting brew pressure.

Once you get the seals replaced, then backflushing with detergent is absolutely mandatory as a troubleshooting measure. If you don't know when the
machine was backflushed last, assume it needs it now. Then backflush it thoroughly with water because espresso machine detergent tastes horrible.
Just make sure you check with your manager before you do something like that because it can take the machine out of service for a while. I would probably
say it is best done after business hours.

Try to keep everything as consistent as possible, ie. Use the same grouphead if you can, same grind, same dose and see what happens. When you change
things, it can lead to confusion. You should be getting the same or similar results with the same parameters.

If you think there is a serious issue and you know your manager won't address it, go straight to the owner. Your customers come first, everything else second.
If your manager fires you because you brought issues to light to the owner, then it is a clear indication your manager doesn't care about the customers and
you need to make the owner very aware of that. Don't whine, just be factual.

Again, this is all IMHO.. If I were in your shoes, that's what I do.

 
Garbage In, Garbage Out, for every step of the process. From Beans to grinder, grounds to machine, coffee to cup.
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TheGreatKrok
Senior Member


Joined: 6 Jun 2013
Posts: 9
Location: Vancouver
Expertise: I like coffee

Posted Sun Jun 9, 2013, 11:23am
Subject: Re: La Marzocco machine help
 

Thanks Qualin, I'll see if I can do a test with our second head and if I can clear it out. We backwash every day, but I haven't been cleaning the gasket (no one told me, wtf!) So I'm gonna do a heavy cleaning the next night I work.

I've been trying to talk to my boss, but I keep arriving to late, heh, my bad.

Oh, and the owner, is out of the country. T_T
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steven_meyer
Senior Member


Joined: 19 Jul 2003
Posts: 507
Location: San Bruno, ca
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Alex Duetto 3.0, ECM  Giotto...
Grinder: HG-One, Mahlkonig K-30 vario
Posted Sun Jun 9, 2013, 3:02pm
Subject: Re: La Marzocco machine help
 

TheGreatKrok Said:

but I can never get the same length shot, even side by side. I'm thinking it's the machine. I'll give a few examples:

Posted June 6, 2013 link

How about your fellow barista's? Are they having the same difficulty as yourself? there is a lot of well meaning advise here that may be correct or may more than likely be whistling   in the wind. But one thing is certain, it may get you fired.    You're a new employee, not very experienced. To start  raising issues  when you're not even sure what the problem is fool hardy at best.

If I were a betting man, I would bet that the issue may be your inexperience- lack of training that is the problem.
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qualin
Senior Member
qualin
Joined: 30 Jun 2012
Posts: 662
Location: Calgary, AB
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Izzo Alex Duetto 3
Grinder: Mazzer Mini Elect. Type A
Vac Pot: Looking to buy
Drip: Manual
Roaster: Considering?
Posted Sun Jun 9, 2013, 3:16pm
Subject: Re: La Marzocco machine help
 

I would agree with Steven.

There is no "I" in team. Your fellow baristas are your most valuable resource and they will lynch you if you mess with the settings of anything
without consulting with them first. The key to good teamwork is good communication. They need to know everything you are doing so they can
utilize the machinery to the best of their abilities as well.

The same barista I spoke to told me that before they do a shift change, the first thing they do is communicate with the next barista on shift
which parameters they're using on the machine. ie. 18.9 grams in, 32.6 grams out on 26 seconds at 200 degrees. Boom, done.

You must always follow the "Chain of command", so to speak. Team mates first, shift manager second, franchise manager third (If there is one)
and finally the owner. Of course, it all depends on the work environment you are working in as well. Going above peoples heads only serves to
make you look bad, especially when they have the capability to resolve your issues.

 
Garbage In, Garbage Out, for every step of the process. From Beans to grinder, grounds to machine, coffee to cup.
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Freddo58
Senior Member


Joined: 16 May 2013
Posts: 36
Location: New Zealand
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Sun Jun 9, 2013, 3:40pm
Subject: Re: La Marzocco machine help
 

steven_meyer Said:

If I were a betting man, I would bet that the issue may be your inexperience- lack of training that is the problem.

Posted June 9, 2013 link

Like or hate the product - that kind of situation should never happen at a McDonalds - or that company would have been a "gone-burger" decades ago.
The OP's lack of experience / training isn't the problem - the problem is the manager's apparent willingness to put someone without adequate training and experience in to that position, and then (apparently) not offer support.
It's no good for anybody involved.  The issue IS a management problem.
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