Coffeenoobie Senior Member Joined: 11 Dec 2011 Posts: 3,036 Location: PNW Expertise: I like coffee
Espresso: N S Oscar Grinder: K30 & Vario W
Posted Thu Nov 28, 2013, 12:36pm Subject: Re: Help needed please
I don't own one and few here will, however, I would start with videos that show you how to use it. I am sure there are some on the web. Then I would look up how to clean it I am sure there are maintenance guide lines on the manufacturer's website.. Then get some good fresh coffee beans. Beans less than 2 weeks from roast date (not sell by) and not oily (oily can clog your machine) and try a few shots. I believe you have a built in grinder.
Buying advice: GRINDER GRINDER GRINDER. Don't cheap out on the grinder.
Posted Thu Nov 28, 2013, 4:48pm Subject: Re: Help needed please
For quite a few reasons, that coffee machine cannot ever make good espresso. Chief among them, (a) it uses a pressurized portafilter; (b) the pump produces too much pressure; and (c) there is no way for the user to control temperature in a meaningful and consistent way. The first thing can be changed easily enough. Pump pressure can be adjusted on some machines, not on others, and I'm not sure about the Westinghouse. The third is fatal -- at least as far as making real espresso.
That machine does NOT include a grinder. You'll either need to use pods, or buy a grinder capable of grinding espresso -- about $300 for a barely adequate, new, motorized grinder. $300 may sound like a lot, but consider that the least expensive, "pretty good" grinders for french press, run around $200; and espresso grinding is a far more difficult engineering problem.
Everything considered, I'd say your best bet is to give the machine a thorough cleaning (according to the user's manual), then try it with pods. While pod espresso made in a pressurized pf isn't -- properly speaking -- espresso, sometimes you can get something pleasantly espresso-like.
If you can't make pods work for you, I don't think the Westinghouse is worth the expense of investing in an adequate grinder, or the trouble involved in using one. Forget it and use something else.
SStones Senior Member 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 Thu Nov 28, 2013, 7:50pm Subject: Re: Help needed please
Just buy some pre-ground espresso and see if the thing works. As everyone's pointing out, it'll never be a great espresso machine, but it'll probably work. It's not supposed to be great, it's supposed to have halogen lighting, stainless steel and look okay in "The kitchen atmosphere". If you like the espresso it produces with a pre-ground espresso from your grocery store, then keep using it. If it gets you into being an espresso machine owner, buy a decent grinder to make the first noticable improvement to the quality, then when you want to really improve things, buy a good espresso machine. Stick around this list, plenty of opinions.
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