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Horrible coffee out of cheap espresso machine (lol)!!! Help!
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Discussions > Espresso > Q and A > Horrible coffee...  
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Tomate
Senior Member


Joined: 19 Sep 2013
Posts: 15
Location: berlin
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Thu Oct 17, 2013, 2:24pm
Subject: Horrible coffee out of cheap espresso machine (lol)!!! Help!
 

Hey guys!
My situation: i have a pretty low budget espresso machine (Ariete café novecento) and even though i know i can't get much out of it i just keep having terrible shots! I'm buying beans from Bonanza so i know is not the coffee itself. I'm trying to grind and tamp as good as possible, following most of david shomer's approaches but i still don't get it. My specific question here is: Between the portafilter and the basket itself there's the coffee emulsion disk and another rubber disk, they of course fill the gap between basket and portafilter. When i remove the emulsion disk i get amazing crema that stays forever but it taste really awefull, although the color is quite similar to the right one. On the other hand when i use the disks there's not much crema, the taste is very strong but way less bitter than the other one. So what do you recommend guys, keep looking with or without the emulsion disks? I was trying to emulate the bottomless portafilter when removing the disk but apparently doesn't work.
I thought the horrible bitter taste without the disk was because the coffee is in direct contact with the portafilter material which could be very bad metal and therefore giving this taste. I don't know, HEEEEEELP!!!!!
Thanks a lot!

T
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frcn
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frcn
Joined: 23 Dec 2001
Posts: 3,394
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 Oct 17, 2013, 4:04pm
Subject: Re: Horrible coffee out of cheap espresso machine (lol)!!! Help!
 

1 - How do you know that the beans are:
a - high quality
b - properly roasted
c - fresh
 {I am not familiar with those beans}
2 - What grinder are you using?
3 - Can you post a video?
4 - Depending on the answer to #2, we may advise to stop using the enhancing parts of the portafilter.

If we can't help, the machine would make a nice table lamp with one of the levers as a switch!   ;-)

 
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Tomate
Senior Member


Joined: 19 Sep 2013
Posts: 15
Location: berlin
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Thu Oct 17, 2013, 4:20pm
Subject: Re: Horrible coffee out of cheap espresso machine (lol)!!! Help!
 

Thanks for the reply
I know they are like the best of the area, own experience and what people sais.
1 - The beans are properly roasted at their micro roastery in Berlin, beans are brought from small farms in Guatemala, Ethiopia, El Salvador.
Some of them have cup of excellency! And i assure you they are as fresh as they can be, they do not use been older than 10 days roasted, also the roasting date is on the package and they are far from being old!
2 - The grinder is a major issue i have to say, even though it makes the job it was recommended by some major baristas here (for home purpose) it is a very cheap one (€ 20). I just bought it because i have a hand grinder for Chemex but it doesn't grind fine enough. But i can tell the blades are sharp and when it comes to fine grinding it makes a fairly even job for the price!
3 - i will try to make a video but i have a very bad device for capturing. Let's see how it goes.
4 - mmm

Actually i haven't think about the lamp option, it is indeed a very good one!!! :)
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frcn
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frcn
Joined: 23 Dec 2001
Posts: 3,394
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 Oct 17, 2013, 6:01pm
Subject: Re: Horrible coffee out of cheap espresso machine (lol)!!! Help!
 

From that, I would need to know what grinder it is specifically. The grinder is far more important than the espresso machine for a lot of reasons. it could be that you just found one of them. An "economy" espresso machine can make decent espresso when paired to a quality grinder. It does not work well the other way around. From your information I do suspest the grinder is a big part of the problem. If it is creating too much dust then the coffee will be very bitter.

 
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Tomate
Senior Member


Joined: 19 Sep 2013
Posts: 15
Location: berlin
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Fri Oct 18, 2013, 4:35am
Subject: Re: Horrible coffee out of cheap espresso machine (lol)!!! Help!
 

mmm, that might be right! I own a Severin grinder, here the link:

Click Here (www.severin.de)

i guess it wouldn't be bad to invest a bit more on a better one!

Thanks a lot Frcn!!
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canuckcoffeeguy
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canuckcoffeeguy
Joined: 22 Aug 2013
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Location: Burlington, Ontario, Canada
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Bezzera Magica, Mypressi...
Grinder: K10PB, Vario, Hario Slim
Vac Pot: I have a Dyson vacuum, but,...
Drip: Bialetti Brikka, Bodum...
Posted Fri Oct 18, 2013, 5:12am
Subject: Re: Horrible coffee out of cheap espresso machine (lol)!!! Help!
 

As for a grinder, Coffeegeek members have great advice - - that a grinder is more important than your espresso machine. You need a grinder that will allow for very small and fine adjustments to your espresso grind. As many on this site will tell you, you'll get much better espresso with a good grinder and cheaper espresso machine, than a really expensive espresso machine paired with a bad grinder.

Here's the grinder guide on Coffeegeek about the importance of a grinder in espresso making:

click here CG grinder guide
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Tomate
Senior Member


Joined: 19 Sep 2013
Posts: 15
Location: berlin
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Fri Oct 18, 2013, 5:42am
Subject: Re: Horrible coffee out of cheap espresso machine (lol)!!! Help!
 

Yeahp! you're right! thanks a lot and as soon as i have more budget i'll get decent grinder!
Thank you all guys!
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frcn
Senior Member
frcn
Joined: 23 Dec 2001
Posts: 3,394
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 Fri Oct 18, 2013, 5:47am
Subject: Re: Horrible coffee out of cheap espresso machine (lol)!!! Help!
 

Tomate Said:

mmm, that might be right! I own a [
Click Here (www.severin.de) grinder

Posted October 18, 2013 link

.
There is the problem, or at least about 80% of it. Those we refer to as "whirley blade" grinders, and they are more appropriately called chopper. While OK for nuts, they are terrible for most coffee preparation methods, and the worst for espresso. They create a lot of "dust" (very fine particles) and will add a lot of bitterness to the coffee by the time you grind fine enough. In the US these sell for about $10-15 or so. Replacement burrs for a very good grinder here sell for about three times that, and the cost of ten of those would not replace the burrs in my grinder.

Beyond that, espresso is all about controlling the variables and then making very small changes in search of the perfect cup. The two places where those changes are most often made are two the size of the particles (the grinder setting) and the amount of coffee used in the portafilter. You have virtually no control over the grind size with that machine. Particle size distribution is also a factor. Those create particles through a far too large range for espresso.  

Until you replace that you will be frustrated. I suggest asking here before purchase for guidance in the purchase.

 
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Tomate
Senior Member


Joined: 19 Sep 2013
Posts: 15
Location: berlin
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Fri Oct 18, 2013, 6:08am
Subject: Re: Horrible coffee out of cheap espresso machine (lol)!!! Help!
 

Got it! thanks man, i'll ask for some advice to buy a nice (and hopefully affordable!) grinder!
Cheers!

T
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Tomate
Senior Member


Joined: 19 Sep 2013
Posts: 15
Location: berlin
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Fri Oct 18, 2013, 7:03am
Subject: Re: Horrible coffee out of cheap espresso machine (lol)!!! Help!
 

What about this one?

Click Here (www.amazon.de)

I got a very cheap deal on local eBay, nothing fancy but it works probably with burrs and not blades. I'll ask on the gear forum anyways!
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