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Discussions > Espresso > Q and A > Noob needs help...  
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BrandonPHX
Senior Member


Joined: 14 May 2013
Posts: 4
Location: Phoenix
Expertise: I like coffee

Posted Sun Nov 17, 2013, 11:29pm
Subject: Noob needs help getting started
 

Hi Everyone,

I recently bought an espresso machine, but need help getting started. I was hoping to get an idea of what settings to start with.

I bought a crossland cc1 with a bottomless portafilter, barazza vario-w and I picked up an espresso blend from Cartel Coffee. I realize I will need to experiment to get everything dialed in, but was hoping to get a starting place for the following items:

Grind size
Weight
Water temp
Preinfusion, if any
Time

If anyone could help, that'd be great.
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NobbyR
Senior Member
NobbyR
Joined: 10 Jul 2011
Posts: 2,049
Location: Germany
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Poccino Opus One, Ariete
Grinder: Eureka Mignon Istantaneo
Vac Pot: N/A
Drip: Melitta Linea Unica de Luxe
Roaster: N/A
Posted Mon Nov 18, 2013, 12:00am
Subject: Re: Noob needs help getting started
 

You should aim for a percolation time of 25 3 seconds for a shot, no matter if it's a single or a doppio, but I would advise you to start with the double shot basket, because it's easier to handle than the single. Extraction time is influenced by dose, grind size, distribution, and (to a lesser degree) tamping, in which all of these parameters interact. The required fineness of coffee grounds is influenced by dose, variety and age of beans, roast, humidity, and (again to a lesser degree) tamping, which also interact. Therefore it's very important to work consistently.

First of all, use a scale to measure your dose, because a difference of 0.2 g makes a difference in extraction as well as in taste. Distribute the grounds evenly, and tamp level with consistent force. For a newbie, the easiest way to achieve a consistent tamp is to tamp as hard as you can each and every time and work with that. Then you have to dial in your grinder, i.e. find the right setting that gives you the correct extraction time. Here's a video by SeattleCoffeeGear that shows the basic process.

I wouldn't start experimenting with preinfusion until you get good hang of the whole workflow.

 
***
"This drink of the Satan is so delicious that it would be a shame to leave it to the infidels." (Pope Clement VIII on coffee, when he was urged to ban the beverage)
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Burner0000
Senior Member


Joined: 28 Jul 2011
Posts: 1,089
Location: Cambridge, Ontario Canada
Expertise: Professional

Espresso: Rancilio Silvia, VFA Expres...
Grinder: Macap MX/VFA N1464/Kyocera...
Drip: Manual Drip, French Press
Roaster: Behmor 1600 / Sonofresco
Posted Mon Nov 18, 2013, 7:57am
Subject: Re: Noob needs help getting started
 

BrandonPHX Said:

Hi Everyone,

I recently bought an espresso machine, but need help getting started. I was hoping to get an idea of what settings to start with.

I bought a crossland cc1 with a bottomless portafilter, barazza vario-w and I picked up an espresso blend from Cartel Coffee. I realize I will need to experiment to get everything dialed in, but was hoping to get a starting place for the following items:

Grind size
Weight
Water temp
Preinfusion, if any
Time

If anyone could help, that'd be great.

Posted November 17, 2013 link

Grind size about the size of sugar. If you  pinch it and it molds in between your fingers your in espresso grind territory.
Weight 14-16g is ideal for a double. A double is the best basket to start with
Water temp 200'F - 204'F.  Once your dialed in for grind and pulling decent shots then adjust temp to your taste. Bitter = burnt
Preinfusion, if any Leave this for now until you get everything else sorted out
Time 25-28 sec total time

Finally use a firm tamp.  I used a regular weight scale to get used to pushing for around 20 lb pressure.  If your lazy you can get tampers that you can set to make a clicking noise when you hit a set amount of tamp pressure.

Enjoy the CC1 & Vario! Both great machines!
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NobbyR
Senior Member
NobbyR
Joined: 10 Jul 2011
Posts: 2,049
Location: Germany
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Poccino Opus One, Ariete
Grinder: Eureka Mignon Istantaneo
Vac Pot: N/A
Drip: Melitta Linea Unica de Luxe
Roaster: N/A
Posted Mon Nov 18, 2013, 8:12am
Subject: Re: Noob needs help getting started
 

Burner0000 Said:

Grind size about the size of sugar.

Posted November 18, 2013 link

I think this advise can be a little misleading. Do you mean powdered sugar or rock candy? ;-P

NobbyR: Brauner_Kandiszucker.jpg
(Click for larger image)

 
***
"This drink of the Satan is so delicious that it would be a shame to leave it to the infidels." (Pope Clement VIII on coffee, when he was urged to ban the beverage)
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Burner0000
Senior Member


Joined: 28 Jul 2011
Posts: 1,089
Location: Cambridge, Ontario Canada
Expertise: Professional

Espresso: Rancilio Silvia, VFA Expres...
Grinder: Macap MX/VFA N1464/Kyocera...
Drip: Manual Drip, French Press
Roaster: Behmor 1600 / Sonofresco
Posted Mon Nov 18, 2013, 8:26am
Subject: Re: Noob needs help getting started
 

NobbyR Said:

I think this advise can be a little misleading. Do you mean powdered sugar or rock candy? ;-P

Posted November 18, 2013 link

Sorry powdered sugar.
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frcn
Senior Member
frcn
Joined: 23 Dec 2001
Posts: 3,426
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 Mon Nov 18, 2013, 9:29am
Subject: Re: Noob needs help getting started
 

On my website www.EspressoMyEspresso.com, check out this article: 12 - EASY GUIDE TO BETTER ESPRESSO AT HOME

 
Visit My Website
www.EspressoMyEspresso.com
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boar_d_laze
Senior Member


Joined: 21 Nov 2006
Posts: 1,313
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 Mon Nov 18, 2013, 12:17pm
Subject: Re: Noob needs help getting started
 

frcn Said:

On my website www.EspressoMyEspresso.com, check out this article: 12 - EASY GUIDE TO BETTER ESPRESSO AT HOME

Posted November 18, 2013 link

How many ways can I say it?  +1; Very Much +1; + Very Much 1; whatever. Read the article.

Randy, aka "frcn" is an outstanding source of information.  One of the few no BS, really good on-line espresso teachers.

Not that I always agree with him, though.  I want to add some stuff, more in the way of giving you a framework for understanding espresso which will help you work out your own best metrics than the metrics themselves.  However, I'm afraid of overwhelming you, and the EASY GUIDE is a really great start  So read Randy's article, nose around his site a little, and -- if you still have questions then we'll get to them.

Start with the insight (early in the article) that because espresso is a food the ultimate arbiter is taste, and you can't go far wrong.  

BDL
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BrandonPHX
Senior Member


Joined: 14 May 2013
Posts: 4
Location: Phoenix
Expertise: I like coffee

Posted Tue Nov 19, 2013, 4:22pm
Subject: Re: Noob needs help getting started
 

Thanks for the tips everyone! I feel a bit more confident in not blowing up my kitchen now.

One more question. How many beans do you keep in the grinder hopper? Should I only add enough for the day, or should I fill it?
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calblacksmith
Moderator
calblacksmith
Joined: 25 Nov 2007
Posts: 7,842
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 Nov 19, 2013, 5:35pm
Subject: Re: Noob needs help getting started
 

I will keep from 3 to 5 days worth or a pound or two. I order 5 pounds at a time. I may put in two  pounds the day they get here an I freeze the rest and use them at about a pound at a time after that.

 
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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