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Shots way too fast - should I be concerned with machine?
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Discussions > Espresso > Q and A > Shots way too...  
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nkbsbl
Senior Member


Joined: 11 Oct 2013
Posts: 17
Location: NJ
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Elektra Semiautomatica SX
Grinder: Baratza Vario
Posted Fri Oct 11, 2013, 1:24pm
Subject: Shots way too fast - should I be concerned with machine?
 

I just recently purchased the Elektra Semiautomatica (Bronze & Copper). It's a beautiful machine - I haven't even had it a week yet. Since I don't yet own a grinder yet (I will be purchasing one in the near future), I purchased pre-ground Lavazza to test the unit with. I was reading that shots should be pulled for roughly 25-30 seconds to produce a 1-2 oz shot of espresso (depending on single vs. double), but I'm having to cut mine off after maybe 8 or 9 seconds as it's already reaching 1-2 oz in volume at this time - and it's obviously watery, bitter, and w/ no "crema".

I read a lot on this forum, and I understand that pre-ground is basically sh** (too coarse/not fresh/etc), and that I will not obtain a high-quality shot until I follow the rule of 15s, and I properly grind, dose, and tamp/etc. Right now the machine just comes with a plastic tamper that I'm trying to make due with until I purchase a good one.

Regardless of the fact that I am not using fresh/fine grind and have a poor quality tamper, should I be concerned with my machine since the shots are being pulled so fast? Is it logical that this can be caused from the poor quality grinds/tamper? Or can I trust that once I purchase a grinder and better tamper they should improve drastically? The machine cost about $1,900 so I want to return it ASAP if there is cause for concern. By the time I'm able to purchase a quality grinder I will be outside the 30 day return window. Thanks for your help!!
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calblacksmith
Moderator
calblacksmith
Joined: 25 Nov 2007
Posts: 7,853
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 Oct 11, 2013, 2:06pm
Subject: Re: Shots way too fast - should I be concerned with machine?
 

Your problem is stale coffee that is not ground properly for your machine. PERIOD!

The grind is too coarse and as coffee ages and stales, it pulls faster so it has to be ground finer.

Nice machine and it should serve you well ..... once you get a grinder that can make the most of it. Plan to spend $500+ to even start to get the performance from that machine that it can give.
There is no magic in the tamper or tamping, all you are after is to be consistent. The plastic thing included with most machines is not able to give you a good feel but a good tamper starts and can be bought for about $35, designer models go up, WAY up from there.

Welcome to the board.

 
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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nkbsbl
Senior Member


Joined: 11 Oct 2013
Posts: 17
Location: NJ
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Elektra Semiautomatica SX
Grinder: Baratza Vario
Posted Fri Oct 11, 2013, 2:14pm
Subject: Re: Shots way too fast - should I be concerned with machine?
 

Hi calblacksmith,

Thank you very much for confirming that it is not the machine, but just the coffee. That makes me feel better. I am looking forward to purchasing a nice grinder, but since I spent so much on the espresso machine, I'm not sure I can spring right away for a grinder in that range - so I will be stuck with so/so espressos for the time-being :(

Thanks again!
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ddubick
Senior Member


Joined: 1 May 2012
Posts: 148
Location: Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Nuova Simonelli Appia 1Gr
Grinder: OE Pharos, Macap M5, Nuova...
Roaster: Behmor 1600
Posted Sat Oct 12, 2013, 7:26am
Subject: Re: Shots way too fast - should I be concerned with machine?
 

Just buy a hario skerton for now. Hand grinding isn't for everyone but it's sure a lot better than preground.
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takeshi
Senior Member
takeshi
Joined: 12 Oct 2002
Posts: 989
Location: Houston
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Alex Duetto 3.0
Grinder: Super Jolly
Roaster: Amaya Roasting
Posted Mon Oct 14, 2013, 10:20am
Subject: Re: Shots way too fast - should I be concerned with machine?
 

nkbsbl Said:

Since I don't yet own a grinder yet (I will be purchasing one in the near future), I purchased pre-ground Lavazza to test the unit with

Posted October 11, 2013 link

Already covered but this is what you should be concerned about.  Preground is stale.  Stale beans will cause fast extractions.  "How fresh are your beans?" will always be the first question asked if one mentions that an extraction is too fast.

As always, the grinder is more important.  Don't leave it as an afterthought.
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brianl
Senior Member


Joined: 1 Dec 2012
Posts: 488
Location: Chicago IL
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Quick Mill Vetrano DB
Grinder: HG One, OE Lido 2, Baratza...
Drip: Chemex/V60
Roaster: Behmor 1600
Posted Tue Oct 15, 2013, 6:28am
Subject: Re: Shots way too fast - should I be concerned with machine?
 

ddubick Said:

Just buy a hario skerton for now. Hand grinding isn't for everyone but it's sure a lot better than preground.

Posted October 12, 2013 link

Hario mini mill is cheaper! so now he has no excuse. $30 on amazon.
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nkbsbl
Senior Member


Joined: 11 Oct 2013
Posts: 17
Location: NJ
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Elektra Semiautomatica SX
Grinder: Baratza Vario
Posted Wed Oct 16, 2013, 10:49am
Subject: Re: Shots way too fast - should I be concerned with machine?
 

I'm actually very much considering the Rancilio Rocky Doserless grinder. From everything I've read, it sounds like it should be high enough quality for my machine.
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brianl
Senior Member


Joined: 1 Dec 2012
Posts: 488
Location: Chicago IL
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Quick Mill Vetrano DB
Grinder: HG One, OE Lido 2, Baratza...
Drip: Chemex/V60
Roaster: Behmor 1600
Posted Wed Oct 16, 2013, 10:55am
Subject: Re: Shots way too fast - should I be concerned with machine?
 

make sure you are reading current reviews. the Rocky is out of favor with most people here. Mostly, it's steps are too wide to be a viable option for most.
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boar_d_laze
Senior Member


Joined: 21 Nov 2006
Posts: 1,314
Location: Monrovia, CA
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: La Cimbali M21 DT/1 Junior...
Grinder: Ceado E92; "Bunnzilla"
Vac Pot: Royal Coffee Maker
Drip: Chemex + Kone; Espro Press
Roaster: USRC Sample Roaster
Posted Thu Oct 17, 2013, 4:50pm
Subject: Re: Shots way too fast - should I be concerned with machine?
 

Rocky is obsolete crap.  Don't buy.

BDL
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calblacksmith
Moderator
calblacksmith
Joined: 25 Nov 2007
Posts: 7,853
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 Oct 18, 2013, 7:16am
Subject: Re: Shots way too fast - should I be concerned with machine?
 

Well, I would not go that far as to say the above comment. It is way overpriced when new, that is for sure, if you can find a used one for around $100 it would be an OK starter grinder. There are lots of mods out there for them, mostly to get around the large steps in the adjustment system. There are also work around methods concerning the steps too, a piece of garbage, no but new, there are better ways to spend your money.

 
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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