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Discussions > Espresso > Machines > Hello everyone!  
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fozzybear
Senior Member


Joined: 12 Aug 2013
Posts: 15
Location: Ottawa
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: ECM Manufacture Technika IV
Grinder: Mazzer mini
Posted Wed Sep 18, 2013, 6:28am
Subject: Re: Hello everyone!
 

As others have stated, it's probably not your machine.  A couple of suggestions:

- Get a grinder as you need to be able to adjust the grind to suit your machine, your taste and the beans.  I adjust my grind continually as beans age, or when I change from one bean to another.  
- Don't overfill the portafilter.  A newbie temptation is to tamp in too much coffee (to get more flavor?).  Don't.  Load the portafilter with loose ground coffee, scrape off the excess (don't simply tamp it all in) and then tamp in whatever remains.   (yes, weighing your dose will result in more consistency, but this should be a good start)
- clean your portafilter immediately after use, otherwise the tiny little holes plug up, and your machine has to work harder to push the espresso through.  

You may have plugged the pf already.  There are a couple of options for you:
- take a pin and manually poke out each hole in the basket until its clean (laborious to the nth degree)
- burn the grounds out.   Place the basket on a gas flame for several minutes periodically tapping it out
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emradguy
Senior Member
emradguy
Joined: 31 Mar 2011
Posts: 3,165
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 Wed Sep 18, 2013, 6:36am
Subject: Re: Hello everyone!
 

you 100% sure it's airtight?  I ask because the fridge generally is considered the worst place to store coffee, due to the amount of moisture in the air inside of it.  Most people would say, keep the container in a cool, dark place - like inside of a cabinet - rather than the fridge.  Of course, since your container is opaque, the "dark place" part doesn't really matter.

As Wayne pointed out, the lack of fresh coffee is at least part of what's killing your experience.  You really should try to find a good grinder, and much, much better beans (they are definitely available in the UK).  If you can give us a budget, we can make some grinder recommendations.

As your machine seems to operate normally when only running unhindered water through it (if I understand you correctly), your problem definitely lies on the pf side of the equation.  That means beans/blend, grind or dose...possibly even all three.  A grinder, good fresh beans and a scale will work wonders for you.  For some great reading, see Randy's website (frcn, above) www.espressomyespresso.com Look specifically at article 12, under the how to section.  It's called Easy Guide to Better Espresso at Home.

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


Joined: 18 Sep 2013
Posts: 8
Location: Wigan, UK
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Wed Sep 18, 2013, 7:23am
Subject: Re: Hello everyone!
 

Hello again. Just tried making one with the single espresso filter, I followed the delonghi tips. Using 1 levelled spoonful for one espressos and 2 levelled spoonfuls for a double espresso, It still only dribbled out. I tried running it with just water and it was fine.

It's strange how the 2 successful tries yesterday were fine. Today, they're not. I've tried starting the espressos first, then the steaming process and vice versa, still the same results.

I hope it's something silly but I can't think of anything that's changed. Possible blockage? I'm sure it'd dribble with water too. I thought I'd packed the coffee too much, I've tried a lighter touch, and still the same results.

Again, thank you for your help.

Tom.
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zenith
Senior Member


Joined: 18 Sep 2013
Posts: 8
Location: Wigan, UK
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Wed Sep 18, 2013, 9:37am
Subject: Re: Hello everyone!
 

Emradguy, thanks for your reply again.

I've tried all different doses. It's strange how it was working fine yesterday and this morning it wasn't working properly. I've cleaned the rubber seal just in case it was an airtight problem but still no avail.
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calblacksmith
Moderator
calblacksmith
Joined: 25 Nov 2007
Posts: 7,864
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 Sep 18, 2013, 10:35am
Subject: Re: Hello everyone!
 

The "creama enhancer" is what we call a pressurized porta filer. This is a device that prevents the flow of water from moving too fast. It is designed so you can get something to drink from improperly prepared and ground coffee. The grind needs to be adjusted constantly, as the beans age, the required grind changes. I suspect that you had this coffee ground for espresso. This may be too fine for the machine to process both finely ground coffee and the pressure restriction device.

You say that with no coffee, the water seems to flow correctly. I then suspect my above statement. Most often when people use these machines, they just use whatever ground coffee is on the shelf of the supermarket, this is then a drip grind and will offer very little resistance to the flow of water so the pressure restriction device slows things down a bit for you.

As coffee ages, you normally need to grind finer and finer so your older today coffee, not working as well as yesterday causes me to suspect that something else is going on, my guess is the dose of coffee.

If you have any caned drip coffee in the house, try making some "espresso" with it and tell us how it goes.

 
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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zenith
Senior Member


Joined: 18 Sep 2013
Posts: 8
Location: Wigan, UK
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Thu Sep 19, 2013, 9:06am
Subject: Re: Hello everyone!
 

Hello again.

I've tried with only half a filter full and still the same results. I'm going to get a new pack of different coffee when I finish work see if that's any better. I hope it is!!

Thank you for your help!
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zenith
Senior Member


Joined: 18 Sep 2013
Posts: 8
Location: Wigan, UK
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Fri Sep 20, 2013, 3:57am
Subject: Re: Hello everyone!
 

Just a quick update. Got some lavazza coffee from Asda (black espresso packet) just to see if it was the coffee and it was! Up to now it seems to be fine.

Thank you all for your help and answers. Really is appreciated.

Tom.
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DeanOK
Senior Member
DeanOK
Joined: 24 Sep 2012
Posts: 693
Location: OK
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: QM Vetrano 2B
Grinder: Vario W
Posted Fri Sep 20, 2013, 6:33am
Subject: Re: Hello everyone!
 

zenith Said:

Just a quick update. Got some lavazza coffee from Asda (black espresso packet) just to see if it was the coffee and it was! Up to now it seems to be fine.

Thank you all for your help and answers. Really is appreciated.

Tom.

Posted September 20, 2013 link

I don't think you are grasping an important concept. If you really like espresso, your going to have to buy a good grinder. While a pressurized portafilter is more forgiving, the only way to dial in a great shot is to be able to grind freshly roasted coffee just before you pull the shot.

I have two different espresso machines in my kitchen right now. I weigh my coffee into the basket within .1 grams and use the same amount in each machine... I have to grind finer for one machine than I do the other. If you are serious about good espresso and you plan on staying with this long term, you will need a good grinder.
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zenith
Senior Member


Joined: 18 Sep 2013
Posts: 8
Location: Wigan, UK
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Fri Sep 20, 2013, 3:11pm
Subject: Re: Hello everyone!
 

DeanOK Said:

I don't think you are grasping an important concept. If you really like espresso, your going to have to buy a good grinder. While a pressurized portafilter is more forgiving, the only way to dial in a great shot is to be able to grind freshly roasted coffee just before you pull the shot.

I have two different espresso machines in my kitchen right now. I weigh my coffee into the basket within .1 grams and use the same amount in each machine... I have to grind finer for one machine than I do the other. If you are serious about good espresso and you plan on staying with this long term, you will need a good grinder.

Posted September 20, 2013 link

I appreciate the help you've given, thank you. Eventually I will grade to a stand alone grinder I haven't got one at the minute and I do plan on getting one.

At the minute I'm just running a espresso machine with pre ground espresso. I'll upgrade my kit eventually. I understand the importance of freshly ground coffee.

Thank you for your help!

Tom.
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