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Is there hope for the rancilio de hts2 at my store?
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Discussions > Espresso > Machines > Is there hope...  
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thepilgrimsdream
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Joined: 16 Dec 2013
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Location: Philly
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Posted Fri Jan 3, 2014, 10:45pm
Subject: Is there hope for the rancilio de hts2 at my store?
 

I got a barista job at a local coffee shop/store. I have a decent frame of reference for a good shot of espresso from some of the higher end shops and roasters near me.

First of all, our grinder is an old Brasilia, but seems to make a decent enough grind to get some decent crema. Apparently one of there servicemen calibrated it and our espresso machine recently. I don't think we have the greatest espresso beans either

So anyway, our espresso has a funky smell, horrible bitter taste, does not make good crema(if any crema). The grouphead screens need to be replaced, but the serviceman could not get them off. I found out last week that no one has cleaned the machine with a blind filter for 7 years!! I was almost horrified. It is my second month working and I am the new guy and everyone says the machine is fine. I can't take it apart. I am the new guy. Is there anything I can do besides running cleaner in a blind filter everyday?
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fnacer
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Posted Fri Jan 3, 2014, 11:28pm
Subject: Re: Is there hope for the rancilio de hts2 at my store?
 

Back-flushing will help keep things from getting worse. But the crud that had welded those screens in place is going to take a lot more than that.

Did the serviceman try drilling the screws and prying the screens and dispersion plates off?
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GVDub
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Posted Sat Jan 4, 2014, 8:26am
Subject: Re: Is there hope for the rancilio de hts2 at my store?
 

Does this also mean that the gaskets haven't been changed in 7 years?

It seems as if, from the lack of maintenance and "it's just fine like it is" attitude, that the shop owner takes no pride in the coffee and/or has no palate. If I were looking to make a career in coffee and wanted to use a barista position as an opportunity to learn about the business and expand coffee knowledge, I'd be looking around for a shop where management cares enough about the coffee they serve to not shrug off a machine in dire need of service. I'd also find out why everybody else thinks the machine is "fine." Because if they don't know better and/or keep themselves up to date with what their competition is serving, you're not going to learn anything there except what not to do.
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emradguy
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Posted Sat Jan 4, 2014, 9:43am
Subject: Re: Is there hope for the rancilio de hts2 at my store?
 

+1

Find a new job in a cafe where the people care enough to maintain the equipemnt, buy good quality fresh beans and improve their skills.

Then maybe call the health department to go inspect the place you're working at now.

I think there's about a 0.00000001% chance that back flushing with detergent is going to solve your problem. That screen has to come off and it's probably going to take a complete group disassembly and overhaul to get the machine into proper working order. The other employees are operating in a binary world...working fine means the machine heats up and runs enough water through the group to draw shots, and they are able to steam milk, and not working fine means they are unable to get water through the group and/or steam.

 
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Coffeenoobie
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Posted Sat Jan 4, 2014, 10:38am
Subject: Re: Is there hope for the rancilio de hts2 at my store?
 

Clean machine is needed, the coffee oils burn and go rancid and affect the taste.   I would probably find a new place to work if you care about the espresso.

 
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CMIN
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Posted Sat Jan 4, 2014, 11:45am
Subject: Re: Is there hope for the rancilio de hts2 at my store?
 

That machine pry needs a complete tear down after 7 years with not even a backflush that entire time. Bet the Grinder has never been cleaned or checked either, no wonder the coffee is so bad. Sounds like a coffee shop that has no idea what coffee is lol, but they've been there all those years.... People actually come in and order espresso or drinks? Bet the steam wand is gunked up with milk aka bacteria haven.
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thepilgrimsdream
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Posted Sat Jan 4, 2014, 3:27pm
Subject: Re: Is there hope for the rancilio de hts2 at my store?
 

Thanks all. I talked to my manager and the serviceman is coming next week. I will make sure it is cleaned until he is willing to drink tea with the water out of there.

My situation right now is there are no good coffee shops within the 20 mile radius of my house. I am engaged to be married in June. My evening jobs are slow this season(photography and music teaching etc). Finances are tight. But the train is a straight shot into the city to Aaron Ultimo's shop. I doubt I may not have a very high expertise level, but if he is willing, I'd love to learn for the best, so I plan on stopping by next week to ask.

Coffee really is one of my strongest passions, my friends are always looking forward to my fresh roasted aeropress/frenchpress coffee. I feel ashamed to give them a cup of anything less than that. I have always prided myself in trying to do things to the best of my ability and to learn and further myself and others. I honestly don't feel like there is any striving or desire to better the product from anyone other than me.

I am willing and would gladly look for a better place, but in my current situation it all comes down to if the income outweighs the travel expenses
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CMIN
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Joined: 14 Jun 2012
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Posted Sat Jan 4, 2014, 4:21pm
Subject: Re: Is there hope for the rancilio de hts2 at my store?
 

It won't be an easy wipe up and clean job, it will pry have to be torn apart and parts sit in solution to descale especially after 7 years of no maintenance. If the coffee actually smells bad like you said, that's pretty bad, don't think I've ever smell bad brewed coffee. Are the beans fresh? Grinders are pretty easy to clean and take apart, can pry actually do that yourself, might need a burr change after that many years too with no cleaning.
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fnacer
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Joined: 25 Feb 2007
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Location: Denver
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Espresso: Salvatore E61, Vivaldi Mini...
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Roaster: Behmor 1600
Posted Sat Jan 4, 2014, 11:31pm
Subject: Re: Is there hope for the rancilio de hts2 at my store?
 

I am not sure a complete tear down is necessary to address the taste issue. The cause is most certainly at the group head which, which, if memory serves right, can be removed by taking out two bolts and disconnecting two copper lines. Once that's done getting things cleaned or replaced becomes trivial.

If you haven't done so, be sure to take a peak under the basket in the portafilter. That is one place you can clean that will definitely improve the taste of the shots.
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calblacksmith
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calblacksmith
Joined: 25 Nov 2007
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Location: Riverside, Ca, U.S.A.
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Posted Sun Jan 5, 2014, 12:25am
Subject: Re: Is there hope for the rancilio de hts2 at my store?
 

If it has not been back flushed in 7 years, there is an excellent chance that it has not been descaled nor the filters changed in the water treatment system. To that, no crema, my first thoughts are beans left over from the Bronze age!

Clearly the servicing company does not have high standards and the owner may not have a clue about what is needed and if he has been in charge the whole time, you, being the new guy, will have an up hill battle to convince the owner that anything needs to change.

I see a lot of used equipment, a lot of it is in the condition you say yours is in, the problem is much bigger than you might guess.

As to what to do? Well see what changes you can make and then decide if you are going to just roll with what the situation is because you need the money or if you are going to look someplace else with better, ...... habits. Good luck.

 
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Anything I post is personal opinion and is only worth as much as anyone else's personal opinion. YMMV!

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