Milesy Senior Member Joined: 11 Jan 2012 Posts: 4 Location: Scotland Expertise: Just starting
Posted Thu Feb 2, 2012, 2:56pm Subject: Grounds for Gaggia Classic
Right I know I need to get my own grinder. I am at present saving so I can get a good one and not want to upgrade every month.
I know supermarket grounds are crap! I have experienced this first hand but please bare with me.
I have tried about 6 brand and they are all crap and under extract. Pour in about 7 seconds even with good distribution and hard tamping. I am going to point out a single exception which is Bei & Nannini ground espresso - This seems a very fine ground but too fine and it takes about a minute and a half to pour a double shot.
I got the idea today about going into Whittards of Chealsea as it is right next door to my office and getting them to grind for me. Now this is practical because I could do this every two days and have reasonable fresh ground coffee. They told me their normal espresso grind is a "4" on their machine. So they ground me a 3.5 and a 3 as I know my machine prefers them finer.
The results for both were pretty much identical. Both grounds seem pretty grainy still for my liking compared to the Bei & Nannini which is almost like Cocoa powder. Both ran through in about ten seconds and spat everywhere (bottomless filter). Afterwards the puck was soaking wet and like mud. What does this signify?
Posted Thu Feb 2, 2012, 6:14pm Subject: Re: Grounds for Gaggia Classic
I'm sorry that you don't want to hear this, but there is no way that you'll be able to get acceptable espresso out of preground coffee. Ignoring the issue that two day old ground coffee will be extremely stale for espresso, you're going to need a grind dialed in for your espresso machine in particular, which is most definitely not going to happen if you get someone else to grind for you at a store. Then there's the issue that coffee requires a different grind as it ages, which you won't be able to adjust for. Honestly, until you get a grinder, I'd just suggest sticking with a different method of preparation aside from espresso. Even though it still would be nowhere as good as freshly ground coffee, it'd sure be a lot more drinkable than what you're getting now.
MARIOBARBA Senior Member Joined: 26 Sep 2011 Posts: 126 Location: MONTREAL CANADA Expertise: I love coffee
Espresso: Ascaso DUO Prof TRONIC Grinder: Baratza Vario
Posted Thu Feb 2, 2012, 10:21pm Subject: Re: Grounds for Gaggia Classic
So, yes you should definitely get a grinder. Even an inexpensive hand grinder (Hario or Kyocera) would do. In the meantime you will be better off using the "crema enhancer" that comes with Gaggias. Back in the days of my pressurized PFs for a Breville Cafe Roma, I liked Lavazza Bar, Lavazza il Perfetto Espresso and Kimbo Espresso Napoletano for pre-ground. These were ground finer than other "espresso" coffees. You see Italians commonly call the coffee brewed in a Moka pot espresso. This coffee is ground coarser than espresso from an espresso machine. The coffees I mention are for misguided people with espresso machines or people saving up for a grinder. :)
I don't think anyone can offer advice on what setting you should have the coffee ground for you, since every coffee, dose, machine, basket, day, hour, weather, mood may require a different grind.
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