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Crap machine or crap technique.
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Discussions > Espresso > Q and A > Crap machine or...  
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Milesy
Senior Member


Joined: 11 Jan 2012
Posts: 4
Location: Scotland
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Sun Jan 15, 2012, 3:18pm
Subject: Crap machine or crap technique.
 

Hi everyone. I have purchased a gaggia classic and fitted the wand upgrade and have some questions which i am sure are not not the first time they have been heard. :)

I just can't see to pull a hot shot. I prime the machine, let it heat up and pull my shot. Even when I put my finger under the extraction it feels quite cool. How can I test the temperature is correct?

My second problem is the steaming for good microfoam.  I start with really cold milk and start steaming the second the light comes on. I can't seem to get that deep ch ch ch sound unti the temp is already approaching 100F. By the time it gets into the red the volume has only increased by about an inch. It's very creamy and glossy on top but just looks like hot milk underneath.

I need to fill my pitcher about halfway to get enough time to get this much foam. If I use any less milk it boils too quickly, but this is too much milk to pour a latte. Is it ok to pour some away to get enough for the pour? Or should I be able to steam any volume?
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rotwang
Senior Member
rotwang
Joined: 22 Sep 2010
Posts: 150
Location: New Mexico USA
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Gaggia Pure
Grinder: Pharos, KyM,  Sözen, PeDe
Vac Pot: nope
Drip: No..Cezve
Roaster: nope
Posted Sun Jan 15, 2012, 3:41pm
Subject: Re: Crap machine or crap technique.
 

Try heating up your cup with hot water and dump it out just before you pull the shot.  As for the steaming, try starting to steam the milk before the "ready" light comes on.  That way the heating element will stay on the whole time.
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JonR10
Senior Member
JonR10
Joined: 26 Apr 2004
Posts: 10,376
Location: Houston, Texas
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: E61 Legend, Livietta,...
Grinder: Robur, B-Vario-W
Vac Pot: Hario Tabletop, Yama...
Drip: Technivorm
Roaster: 1-lb US Roaster, Behmor 1600
Posted Mon Jan 16, 2012, 4:29am
Subject: Re: Crap machine or crap technique.
 

In addition to the advice above, you may need to letthe machine preheat longer.  
Let her heat up for at least 15 to 20 minutes and have the portafilter in the group during the whole time.

 
Jon Rosenthal
Houston, TX
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Milesy
Senior Member


Joined: 11 Jan 2012
Posts: 4
Location: Scotland
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Thu Jan 19, 2012, 2:02pm
Subject: Re: Crap machine or crap technique.
 

Thanks

I am not getting much consistency with my results.

Two different pre ground expresso coffees pull completely differently. (no grinder yet)

The bei & nannini is courser and more airy and takes ages to drip out, and has little crema.

The Lavazza is finer and denser, but when I pull it the cup fills in less than ten seconds.

With the steam....

Surely the fact that the milk can reach boiling point very quickly would say it is a technique problem rather than steam power?

I can do nice microfoam for a capp or machiato which spoons off lovely and tastes lovely, but I can not get the latte milk under control. I try stretching less and then whirlpooling the milk and at the end it has risen and looks like a lovely thick glossy cream on top, but is just hot milk underneath. When I pour into the espresso it just completely mixes into a ugly white coffee and then the little foam comes out at the end.
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frcn
Senior Member
frcn
Joined: 23 Dec 2001
Posts: 3,355
Location: Northern California
Expertise: Professional

Espresso: Vibiemme Domobar Double
Grinder: Mazzer Kony, Baratza...
Vac Pot: Hario, 2 Cory pots, 1 Cory...
Drip: Behmor Brazen, Bunn A10 mod...
Roaster: computer controlled Hottop,...
Posted Thu Jan 19, 2012, 3:26pm
Subject: Re: Crap machine or crap technique.
 

Milesy Said:

Two different pre ground expresso coffees pull completely differently. (no grinder yet)....

Posted January 19, 2012 link

>:-O

 
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www.EspressoMyEspresso.com
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calblacksmith
Moderator
calblacksmith
Joined: 25 Nov 2007
Posts: 7,675
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 Fri Jan 20, 2012, 8:36am
Subject: Re: Crap machine or crap technique.
 

honestly, your biggest issue is the one you don't pay much attention to, your lack of a grinder.
Stale coffee and improper size in the grinding will make a huge difference in the shot. 15 days from the day the coffee was roasted and it is pretty much plant food as far as espresso goes. Drip brew will get a little more from the coffee but for espresso, you are done. Canned or preground coffee.... forget about good or even drinkable espresso.

 
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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OlivO
Senior Member


Joined: 18 Jan 2012
Posts: 17
Location: Toronto
Expertise: Pro Barista

Espresso: La Marzocco GB/5
Grinder: Mazzer Maj
Posted Fri Jan 20, 2012, 9:09am
Subject: Re: Crap machine or crap technique.
 

They're right about the grinder.  The only amelioration is to up the dose or down the dose to control flow rate, and even then you don't have much wiggle room.  If you can't afford a grinder, buy a cheap digital gram scale that goes to tenth accuracy.  If you get a grind size that roughly gets you to where you need to be, then up or lower your dose by using the scale for measurement.  Now,  you may get many tiny clumps in your coffee since it is pre-ground.  Use the Weiss paperclip/butterknife technique to help you out.  I'm sure someone has posted something on this somewhere.  

Letting everything heat up is a must; there's a lot of metal there to heat.  If you can't leave the machine on overnight, get an outlet timer that turns the machine on at the time you want (I assume 5am).  Most hardware store have these.

Right now, without a grinder, you have to learn to move freely in a harness.
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Ccup
Senior Member
Ccup
Joined: 13 Feb 2009
Posts: 166
Location: australia
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: rancilio silvia
Grinder: rancilio rocky
Drip: na
Roaster: Behmor 1600
Posted Tue Jan 24, 2012, 7:03pm
Subject: Re: Crap machine or crap technique.
 

The group head should be pouring hot water around 90 degrees, I am aussie so I dont work in Fahrenheit sorry, The steam wand should be working at a hotter temp to create steam.

Check your machine is extracting at the right temp.

Let your machine warm up for 20 mins!

don't use to much milk for your latte you need to use just the perfect amount. Account for milk expanding and froth.
The nilk should reach about 60 degrees, I like 50, again I am sorry I am not FH

You need a grinder to get the grind right, pre ground coffee is always to coarse.
Finer grind means slower shot.

If the milk froths fast and gets hot fast thats good, just stop frothing at the right time, dont froth to long you will burn the milk.
Milk that is frothed fast is good.

Good luck with it keep trying!

 
"A good cup of coffee starts with a seedling."
Snaggle.

www.snagssharkteeth.com
http://stores.ebay.com.au/Snaggles-Shark-Teeth
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