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help with Gaggia Color Red
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Discussions > Espresso > Q and A > help with Gaggia...  
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jtav
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Joined: 18 Aug 2013
Posts: 7
Location: Toronto
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Sun Aug 18, 2013, 6:53pm
Subject: help with Gaggia Color Red
 

Just bought this machine, and I have newbie questions (so please take it easy on me).

Is it possible to make a good crema using illy dark roast (pre-ground) because my shots are coming out pretty "watery". My questions range from how much coffee should i use, to how much water should i pour, to which basket should i use? there really isnt much info on the baskets in manual .. i have taken pics of what came with the machine (attached). i know the far right basket is for the ESE pods.. but which is the single and which is the double? if i wanna just have one cup of espresso am i using the single or double basket?

i dont want to have to go out and buy an expensive grinder and beans .. i don't want that route i understand that this is the "proper" or best way to achieve a great tasting shot... but will i be able to pull a nice crema shot with preground coffee? i had a saeco veneto machine that pulled some great crema shots with preground.. but this machine not doing it.. i have tried various preground and various baskets. cannot get it to pour as my cheap saeco believe it or not.

will it work better with illy (or any brand really) ESE pods? i did buy the machine because it had that option .. again dont want grinder or beans, i want the preground/pods can this be pulled off? if so some tips please.. i can videotape what im doing maybe that will help diagnose what im doing wrong?

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jtav
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Joined: 18 Aug 2013
Posts: 7
Location: Toronto
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Sun Aug 18, 2013, 6:59pm
Subject: Re: help with Gaggia Color Red
 

also do i use the "diffuser nozzle" or "frothing jet device" (attached picture) for ALL baskets (single/double/ESE pods)? the manual states i do.. the loose paper that was included says I don't. which is it?

i have tested with or without and dont really see a difference in the shots.. a youtube video i watched shows that if you dont use it, it makes a mess.. which didnt occur for me.

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D4F
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Joined: 15 Mar 2012
Posts: 2,015
Location: USA
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Gaggia Classic PID
Grinder: Baratza Forte-AP
Posted Sun Aug 18, 2013, 7:37pm
Subject: Re: help with Gaggia Color Red
 

Jtav, welcome to CG

The Left basket is a double, the center is double "perfect crema" and the right is single "perfect crema" basket.  The "perfect crema" baskets work with the diffuser.

jtav Said:

Just bought this machine, and I have newbie questions (so please take it easy on me).

Posted August 18, 2013 link

You probably have read enough from your statement to know that "perfect crema" is fake crema created by the device.  The least expensive grinder recommended for espresso is the Baratza Preciso for $239 refurb from Baratza.  You need freshly roasted coffee, with in 15 days, and freshly ground, 15 minutes, for good crema and espresso, and I suggest a great site to read.

http://www.frcndigital.com/coffee/HowToEspresso.html  

    #12 Easy Guide to better Espresso at Home.

That is what you did not want to hear, so I will also try to answer your question.  If you do not have a capable grinder you can and should use the "perfect crema" baskets and diffuser.  You should be able to get about equivalent to your Saeco and perhaps not much better.  Grinder and fresh beans will limit getting better.  I am not sure about pods, but if I were to try, it would be in the single basket.  Most of us use the double basket and stick with that instead of trying to learn 2 doses, grinds and techniques.  Perhaps with "perfect crema baskets," or pressurized, that will be more similar with either double or single.

Please read the Easy Guide above and it will help you get started with the espresso journey :)

 
D4F also at
http://www.gaggiausersgroup.com/
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jtav
Senior Member


Joined: 18 Aug 2013
Posts: 7
Location: Toronto
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Mon Aug 19, 2013, 6:03am
Subject: Re: help with Gaggia Color Red
 

Thanks D4F for clearing up my basket confusion!

I haven't tried shot using the single perfect crema, thought that was only for the ESE pods. I will test that.

How much coffee ground should I be putting into these baskets? Does it matter? The manual says one scoop... But most videos show them being filled to rim. Do I have to use tamper? If so how would I know what 30lbs of pressure is?

I'll look over the link you provided to! Thanks for that.
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D4F
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Joined: 15 Mar 2012
Posts: 2,015
Location: USA
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Gaggia Classic PID
Grinder: Baratza Forte-AP
Posted Mon Aug 19, 2013, 9:59am
Subject: Re: help with Gaggia Color Red
 

As above, stick with the double, or pressurized double, and learn that.  Tamp is mostly for leveling with pressurized.  If you are going to try anything with dose, you need to determine dose meaning weigh.

You can check pressure pushing down on a bathroom scale, but if you are using pressurized, tamp = leveling.

Similar posts

http://coffeegeek.com/forums/espresso/questions/639660

I have no "pod" experience and would just read the manual, though that seems to be moving down the food chain :)

 
D4F also at
http://www.gaggiausersgroup.com/
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jtav
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Joined: 18 Aug 2013
Posts: 7
Location: Toronto
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Tue Aug 20, 2013, 6:50am
Subject: Re: help with Gaggia Color Red
 

D4F Said:

As above, stick with the double, or pressurized double, and learn that.

Posted August 19, 2013 link

when you say double (which is the first image in original post of the 3 baskets).. what is the difference between that and the double "crema" basket? when would i use the two?
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calblacksmith
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calblacksmith
Joined: 25 Nov 2007
Posts: 7,781
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 Tue Aug 20, 2013, 7:26am
Subject: Re: help with Gaggia Color Red
 

jtav Said:

Just bought this machine, and I have newbie questions (so please take it easy on me).

Posted August 18, 2013 link



I will but I will still be honest.

jtav Said:

Is it possible to make a good crema using illy dark roast (pre-ground) because my shots are coming out pretty "watery".

Posted August 18, 2013 link

No, never, ever, not gonna happen.

jtav Said:

My questions range from how much coffee should i use, to how much water should i pour, to which basket should i use? there really isnt much info on the baskets in manual .. i have taken pics of what came with the machine (attached). i know the far right basket is for the ESE pods.. but which is the single and which is the double? if i wanna just have one cup of espresso am i using the single or double basket?

Posted August 18, 2013 link

Single shots use from about 7 to 9 g of ground coffee as measured on a scale. A double shot is from 14 to as much as 20 g for some of us, as measured on a scale.

Define one cup of espresso. A single shot is 1 fl oz and a double shot of espresso is 2 fl oz a "cup" of coffee is between 6 to as much as 24 fl oz, so ........ what is a "cup" of espresso?

jtav Said:

i dont want to have to go out and buy an expensive grinder and beans ..

Posted August 18, 2013 link

Most don't but few get into this game understanding that the grinder is MORE important than the machine and without quality, fresh whole beans, you don't stand a chance.

jtav Said:

i don't want that route i understand that this is the "proper" or best way

Posted August 18, 2013 link

Depending on desired results. If your goal is Chain coffee store quality (green mermaid?) you MIGHT get there with fresh pods and some work on your part. Getting better than chain store coffee is very easy to do and once you have it, you can't drink that dreck again. So, how high are you aiming?

jtav Said:

to achieve a great tasting shot... but will i be able to pull a nice crema shot with preground coffee?

Posted August 18, 2013 link

NO, never, ever, not going to happen, ground coffee for espresso is stale in about 15 minutes from the time it was ground and fresh whole bean coffee is less than two weeks from the day it was roasted. Every second the clock ticks on ground coffee, you are loosing quality and a byproduct of a quality shot is crema but that is not the goal, it is an indicator. Very small things have big affects on espresso and a huge thing is the age of the coffee and X 1000 when it is ground. No pre ground coffee will not give you a good shot.

jtav Said:

i had a saeco veneto machine that pulled some great crema shots with preground.. but this machine not doing it.. i have tried various preground and various baskets. cannot get it to pour as my cheap saeco believe it or not.

Posted August 18, 2013 link

.

Yes, I do, the "better" you get with equipment, the more that small things make a difference. The Saeco uses a pressurized system, this gives you something to drink from stale, pre ground coffee beans, not good quality but something to drink anyway.

jtav Said:

will it work better with illy (or any brand really) ESE pods? i did buy the machine because it had that option .. again dont want grinder or beans, i want the preground/pods can this be pulled off? if so some tips please.. i can videotape what im doing maybe that will help diagnose what im doing wrong?

Posted August 18, 2013 link

Illy.... remember what I said about time and espresso? Illy is made in Italy, (not a bad start!) then it sits in a wherehouse while it waits to be loaded into a cargo container. Then the loaded container sits on a ship to cross the ocean, then the conatiner sits waiting for customs. Then it is unloaded and shipped to another wherehouse, then it finally gets shipped to a store where it sits on a shelf for you to buy it. It has been months (if we are kind) since it was ground, the whole time aging.

Coffee is a food product. It may be easier to think of it in terms of being an apple. When you first cut the apple open, the flesh is clean, white, crisp and tasty. What happens if it sits on the counter for, say, 15 minutes? It turns brown doesn't it? Why? It is the chemical reaction to the O2 in the air, it oxidizes. The same thing happens to coffee but as it is colored brown to start with, you don't see it. Now cut your apple into thousands of very small pieces. This gives you a very large surface area. As the chemical reaction happens at the same speed but now the surface area is 1000s of times larger, how long does it take to turn that crisp, clean apple into spoiled mush that is only fit for putting in the garden soil? This is exactly what is going on with coffee and why you MUST grind it yourself before brewing, regardless of the brewing method, espresso is the tippy tippy top in hard to do brewing methods and is the most affected by the quality of the coffee grounds and their condition.

I am not being harsh with you, just laying the cards on the table. When I first came here, I could not justify a $30 "grinder", heck it is ONLY a grinder! The better, more consistent your grind, the better the result in your cup will be. The better the grinder, the better the grind. The machine? It mainly pushes hot water through the excellently prepared bed of coffee you provide it. Yes, better machines help to be more consistent and thus you to be more consistent and so each small thing you do, can and will affect the cup.

Low price starter machines take away from you the results of your actions by the use of things like pressurized porta filters. They don't really make good espresso but you get something to drink and for a lot of people, that is good enough. YMMV!

 
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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jtav
Senior Member


Joined: 18 Aug 2013
Posts: 7
Location: Toronto
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Tue Aug 20, 2013, 7:47am
Subject: Re: help with Gaggia Color Red
 

thanks that is very informative and i get it .. but what i dont get is if i go the beans/grinder way, what is the difference in the freshness.. i mean say i buy illy beans and grind, arent the beans the same staleness by the time i get them and grind them? are you saying i should find local beans? or does it not matter on the age of the beans, its the time of the grind that matters?
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EndTwo
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Joined: 13 Mar 2013
Posts: 89
Location: Denmark
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Apscaso uno steel prof
Grinder: Mazzer Major DR + Mahlkönig...
Drip: french press, ceramic v60...
Roaster: skillet
Posted Tue Aug 20, 2013, 9:34am
Subject: Re: help with Gaggia Color Red
 

Well, we have a guideline of 15 here... green beans are good for 15 months, from they were picked. Roasted beans, 15 days from roast. And last, as has been mentioned, ground coffee 15 minutes from the time they were ground. So for whole beans to make sense, as you'd figured by yourself, illy won't do. You need a local roaster who put roast dates on his coffee, not best before dates. And you need to either only buy what you can consume within that period or freeze your beans... or of course roast yourself but that's a whole different dimension of this hobby.
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D4F
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Joined: 15 Mar 2012
Posts: 2,015
Location: USA
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Gaggia Classic PID
Grinder: Baratza Forte-AP
Posted Tue Aug 20, 2013, 9:38am
Subject: Re: help with Gaggia Color Red
 

Grinding greatly expands the surface area and the beans "age" quickly, use in 15 minutes. You notice the aroma, the volatiles. The point is to start with beans roasted within about 1 week to 15 days, not old to start with.  See "rules of 15."  I was typing while the above was posted :)

jtav Said:

when you say double (which is the first image in original post of the 3 baskets).. what is the difference between that and the double "crema" basket? when would i use the two?

Posted August 20, 2013 link

Double vs double crema is non-pressurized vs pressurized.  Non-pressurized requires fresh, freshly ground beans and an adjustable espresso grind.

 
D4F also at
http://www.gaggiausersgroup.com/
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