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Just got a grinder, disappointing results
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Discussions > Espresso > Q and A > Just got a...  
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moosepucky
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moosepucky
Joined: 6 Jun 2009
Posts: 155
Location: USA
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Pasquini Livia 90 auto
Grinder: Super Jolly - Forte BG -...
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Roaster: Hottop KN-8828-B
Posted Tue Jul 9, 2013, 9:42am
Subject: Re: Just got a grinder, disappointing results
 

For years I was in the same boat.  Sirena (Starbucks) pressure basket machine and a Baratza grinder.  Like you, I found that I got better results with store bought drip grind (or grinding beans @ #30 on the Baratza).  No tamping with a pressure basket, there is no point.  Toss in the coffee and make it reasonably flat.  I even stopped "trying" to steam milk and went to filling the cup half way up with whole milk and tossing it in the microwave for 40 seconds.  Half coffee, half milk, with plenty of sugar and it was fine (for me at that time).  Three minutes (yea, 3 min) from power on to finished cup.  NOW  it is 45 minutes warm up.  weigh the beans, preheat then dry the portafilter, grind into the portafilter, tamp, run the machine for 10-15 seconds to get the steam out and back to brew temp (HX), attach, brew, and steam the milk...  My 3 minute OK cup of coffee has turned into a 1 hour (+/-) adventure....  but it does taste better :)

There is not much you can do with a pressure  basket machine other than just keep using it with store bought pre-ground coffee or grind beans for a drip machine (med grind).

Either understand it and live with it or move on to something else

If you do decide to move to equipment that is more sophisticated, be prepared to invest more time into preparing your coffee.

Research and ask LOTS of questions before you make a purchase.  You may even want to keep your pressure basket machine for those mornings when you need a FAST cup of decent coffee.  I did and I am glad of it :)
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coffeefreak2112
Senior Member


Joined: 8 Jul 2013
Posts: 3
Location: Sacramento
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Tue Jul 9, 2013, 11:12am
Subject: Re: Just got a grinder, disappointing results
 

I can't thank you all enough for your help and advice thus far.  Good news is I was able to return the Capresso grinder, and found a nice price on a Skerton grinder at Amazon.  I also went down to a very good local shop and purchased some recently roasted beans 7/7/13 - (Dharma espresso blend) that I know are fresh!  I am pretty OCD on things, so I think brewing espresso is right up my alley. I can see how this rabbit hole could go all the way to China haha.  

Jim
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CMIN
Senior Member


Joined: 14 Jun 2012
Posts: 1,512
Location: South FL
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Crossland CC1
Grinder: Baratza Preciso
Posted Tue Jul 9, 2013, 12:49pm
Subject: Re: Just got a grinder, disappointing results
 

]

coffeefreak2112 Said:

I can't thank you all enough for your help and advice thus far.  Good news is I was able to return the Capresso grinder, and found a nice price on a Skerton grinder at Amazon.  I also went down to a very good local shop and purchased some recently roasted beans 7/7/13 - (Dharma espresso blend) that I know are fresh!  I am pretty OCD on things, so I think brewing espresso is right up my alley. I can see how this rabbit hole could go all the way to China haha.  

Jim

Posted July 9, 2013 link

Get a .1g digi scale too at Amazon, this is what I have Digi Scale and cool as it's small and you can use the lid to tare out and hold the beans to weigh. That way you'll know your dose each time and the hand grinders have like 0 retention so it'll be accurate after grinding. These baskets on the Bar32/EC155 are small, way smaller then normal size double or single baskets, my double on my CC1 is like twice the size of the Bar32s lol. Pry around 10-12g dosed doubles max or something like that, can't remember.

Pressurized portafilters force water/coffee through tiny hole, so what your getting isn't really espresso or real crema, but it'll be better then anything you get at Charbucks lol. Eventually if you want you can replace the baskets with a Krups one or other to fit and then play around with grind and tamping more. The pressurized PFs on low end machines are there to help people starting out who just use preground, or stale beans, or don't have a capable grinder etc... helps negate those deficiencies. Generally you don't even have to tamp, maybe just use the a light press with the built in tamper just b/c of how the pressure clip works, I remember if I tamped too hard I could choke the bar32 out and if I didn't tamp or very lightly did at the same grind I could pull coffee. You'll still want to clean the basket though as the clip can get gunky and start sticking which I had happen, here's what it looks like disassembled:
Click Here (i146.photobucket.com)

But with fresh beans and the Skerton you'll be fine with the EC155, and if you decide to upgrade machines or go depressurized, there are mods you can do to stabilize the Skerton when actually grinding for espresso (EC155 you'll want to be coarser so it doesn't choke out).
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emradguy
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emradguy
Joined: 31 Mar 2011
Posts: 3,311
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 Tue Jul 9, 2013, 7:15pm
Subject: Re: Just got a grinder, disappointing results
 

brianl Said:

Stop trying to scare the newbie. You wont get a significant noticable difference untill after those guidelines. In fact, you wont really even be getting the optimal flavor until after about 4 days after roast. Now the green beans i'm not as familar with but I know whats in season and what isn't when i look at beans, haha.

Posted July 9, 2013 link

sorry, but not trying to scare him.  I'd call it enlighten, but maybe there's a better word?  I think most people would like to know the truth.

...and the OP doesn't seem to be scared off at all. In fact, it looks like he's on his way to making some good spro at home!


CMIN Said:

But with fresh beans and the Skerton you'll be fine with the EC155, and if you decide to upgrade machines or go depressurized, there are mods you can do to stabilize the Skerton when actually grinding for espresso (EC155 you'll want to be coarser so it doesn't choke out).

Posted July 9, 2013 link

I'm not aware of any mod for the Skerton besides the OE lower bearing that's designed to improve it's function for very coarse grinding to use with a press pot.  I'd be interested to hear more on modding it for espresso.

.

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