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Thread: Living with Presso: ongoing review

  1. #1
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    Living with Presso: ongoing review

    I thought Id start a thread I could post my experiences as a new Pressite in Perth.

    Day 1: (home) single test brew Chicco Doro Espresso first crack/g vac-pack double-espresso, made into latte.
    Day 2: (work) Chicco Doro again, perhaps a dozen free double-espressos to company colleagues. Very strong espressos, most reviews were "a kick in the pants".
    Day 3: (home) Fiori Mocha 1kg bought. Ground with new EM0480 at 12. Too fine, required double-pull on Presso. Next ground at 16, seems about right, lots of resistance/pressure, holding the arms until the steam/crema top ends. 2nd pull squeezed nothing extra, so I think the grind is right, I will try one step coarser at 17. I had an espresso and its the first Ive had that I could drink right away that wasnt burning my tongue so I could actually taste it. It is so concentrated which is lovely after coming from large volume stovetop.
    Breakthrough for gf--I suggested instead of diluting it with hot water, that we leave the PF from the initial shot in, pour some more double-shot level hot water into the Presso, and pull a second weak double in with the first. She liked this even better than the water dilution.
    Day 3: (work) Chicco Doro still 500g+ left. I tried the double shot with warmed milk for flat white. Tasted. Added the second shot of water through the same used grind like the gf did, and I too loved the milder result! I added 1/3rd teaspoon of sugar. Suddenly my cheap first crack/g kick-in-pants espresso tasted as lovely as the good stuff! My low standards obviously have a long way of refinement to go.

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    Re: Living with Presso: ongoing review

    Day 4: (home) I like the simplicity. Still many methods of adjustment for each coffee to experiment with.
    Day 5: (home) Running out of grind, I hit the original stuff that was too fine. A heap more pressure required, and a bit more residue from the finer grind. I counted 10 seconds with the arms raised and the water infusing the coffee. The released brew took another 10 seconds for the majority, with the last of the crema taking a while to drip off.
    I cant wait to get a glass cup set so I can see the coffee better, and try the different espresso styles. The ristretto sounds good for keeping the drink warm for longer rather than just a quick shot.

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    Re: Living with Presso: ongoing review

    Interesting work in progress Stoveboy. Keep up the diary, enjoying it! :)

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    Re: Living with Presso: ongoing review

    Day 6: (home) I had a morning double espresso again, not my routine but this time I hydrated first after sleep at least. Same as the last time, not burnt or bitter, it is the Fiori Mocha but I would need some more experienced cuppers to be able to help articulate what I am tasting. I thought instead of going and paying for a crap coffee somewhere, Id try to make a bad one, to better appreciate the good.
    After the double espresso, I ran two presses of double-shot water through the same grind, and added milk. I got a really weak coffee that reminded me of dripolators, and I really hate those things. To remedy this, with my pancakes I made a good proper fresh double shot with the extra doubl-shot on the same grind which has worked well, and continues to please me, half a sugar and 1/2 cup warm milk. Yum.
    Day 7: (training) OK not starting out as a a Presso report, but irionically after my hated weak dripolator bad-test yesterday, the training company have two drip machines. I can see the convenience for them, but it really is tasteless weak something that is easy for any pallette. I did keep drinking it over the instant blend43 (which I admire for at least it has a distinguishable taste) because it was so weak I knew I wouldnt be getting any great quantity of caffeine from it. It was good to dip biscuits in, and not a loss when I lost a whole biscuit in the bottom!
    The worst thing about today, is I was too tired when I got home to pull a Presso, and left it too late before I was ready/able to do it, so opted for a green tea instead. I look forward to Presso tomorrow!
    Onto Presso... my on-the-spot 3min training topic I chose the Presso, and I am considering making my competency based training assessment 20min final session on the Presso as a Skills-based variety (as opposed to knowledge based) so I could take my Presso in to the course, and have multi-sensory participation with the audience by having them actually trained in pulling a Presso espresso! I am thinking of digital video recording it for the CSers amusement and post it on youtube or the like. :) The trainer warned dont choose a topic because you know it, but because it can be delivered... so far what Ive thought about, I think I can pull it off, the main benefit being I can bring a backpack with the whole kit, and get total audience involvement, which means fully engaged and using the item Im training on.

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    Re: Living with Presso: ongoing review

    One of our customers in China has the "you Tube" thing down pat: A few examples that are perfectly timed:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fntodFgah9Q

    Have a look!

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    Re: Living with Presso: ongoing review

    Great video indeed. I got a strange look from my wife as I played it with the sound on when she was in the room near me ;) It does sound a bit suss if you arent watching it :)

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    Re: Living with Presso: ongoing review

    Quote Originally Posted by Presso link=1169640939/0#4 date=1170147022
    A few examples that are perfectly timed:
    Day 8: Thanks Cameron. I looked at the three vids, I noticed he/she doesnt hold it down for the bubbling light crema at the end, but releases the pressure on the arms which gives a "psstch" pressure release out the top/not through the coffee. They also seemed to go on for over 30seconds, I dont think mine go 20seconds of real flow. Should I be using a finer grind for more pressure/longer brewing?

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    Re: Living with Presso: ongoing review

    The pursuit of the ULTIMATE CREMA(said in a gravely pirate voice) is perhaps over rated, It was on one thread of coffeesnobs that I read the advice to someone attempting to make the perfect pour: Take three shot glasses, use one for the first ten seconds of a pour, the second for the second ten seconds and so on...it was a bit tricky with the PRESSO but I was amazed at the difference in mouthfeel/sweetness, not to mention volume in each shot glass.

    The grind that Henry uses is very fine, he weighs each PF before pulling the shot and interestingly enough has has some amazing results with a convex tamper altough the ones you saw were with a flat base tamper much like the PULLLMAN TAMPER that we offer on our site, matched perfectly to the PF specs.

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    Re: Living with Presso: ongoing review

    Day 9: (home) my first real experimentation time with espresso, trying to do ristretto. This thread lacks photos, so here is the gear:


    This was nearly full PF with double shot of water, I pulled too much, so Id say a double ristretto in the egg cup rather than an espresso because in the regular cup is the rest of the pull.


    Double the coffee (full PF), with half the water (1 espresso level), resulting in a ristretto (?) in the egg cup. The regular cup I was just running remainder water through for a macchaito. white


    Here is the grind from the second attempt. Needs to be finer (at 16 on EM0480, go back down to 12) to get more pressure and longer extraction like Henrys youtube vids.


    I thought my egg-cup ristretto was decent. The first double reminded me of one my friend made on his 3.5bar Breville machine. The second real ristrotto was really short and strong, I now understand what "body" of a ristretto is compared to a double espresso which Ive had a couple times before. I need to use the reducer to use the right coffee for single water shot to try have a single espresso, and then remove the reducer for double coffee to see the difference.


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    Re: Living with Presso: ongoing review

    u dont seem to have much creama there.. i was wonderinf what tamper you r using??

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    Re: Living with Presso: ongoing review

    yeah as mentioned this grind is too coarse, crema fizzles out quickly, so for that and longer extraction need to grind the next batch finer again. the tamper is the presso scoop/tamper.

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    Re: Living with Presso: ongoing review

    Day 12: (home) Grinding directly into the PF now, finer down to 12 on the EM0480. Made a double espresso, much longer extraction now and stronger flavour. Needing to wash that down, I decided to try replicate a cafe purchase, and succeeded!

    First heated the milk 30sec, mixed in the 1/2teaspoon sugar now so no stirring required later.


    Probably could have just put the sugar in, and frothed, assuming the sugar would be mixed with the frothing. Put the frothed glass into Presso for the double-shot espresso.


    Coffee in, looked neat, watching the ongoing wave motion in the glass between the layers was neat.


    The white froth was no good, so I was able to shake the espresso around to consume it, gently mixing the layers so it ended up just right.


    It tasted lovely, and could have been any of the cafe coffees Ive had this week while lunching in the city.
    8-)

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    Re: Living with Presso: ongoing review

    You seem to be getting the hang of the Presso. Thank you for all the photos - there are a lot of us who are interested in Presso and arent able to check it out. :)
    GreenBeanGenii likes this.

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    Re: Living with Presso: ongoing review

    Quote Originally Posted by segrave link=1169640939/0#9 date=1170288431
    u dont seem to have much creama there.. i was wonderinf what tamper you r using??
    Segrave I have the finer grind going now and extraction is improving, but crema still fizzling out.

    Day 13: (home) Similar, but this time half glass of milk, no sugar


    Decent long extraction again, pressure kept right to the end so when I release the arms there is the "psstch" like in Harrys youtube videos.


    By gently shaking it around I was able to consume the seafoam around the edges ending up with the holy macchiato!


    Side shot of the liquid levels. It tasted great again, nicer this time with more milk and without the half-teaspoon sugar I thought.


    One wasnt enough, so I did another flat one, starting with this double espresso. I re-shot the same grind to make it longer instead of adding plain hot water. Then a wait and cold milk, no sugar, had something like an iced coffee.


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    Re: Living with Presso: ongoing review

    Hi Stoveboy,

    Dont be too concerned about the persistence of your crema.

    Here is a shot of a shot from the Brisbane Bean Bay Pick up yesterday. One of the snobs had her first go at the PRESSO.

    The grinder was a high end machine capable of excellent consistency, without that you are basically pushing crema up hill with a toothpick.

    Have you tried the experiment: remove each of three cups from the stream of espresso at even intervals, taste the difference during the extraction.


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    Re: Living with Presso: ongoing review

    Cameron is there any issue with keeping the PF locked less than full turn at the perpendicular/middle position? Should it be turned all the way to the left to the stop? The videos/images Ive seen from the promo vids look like its in the middle, and the picture of it on the cover of the instructions look middle as well.
    I havent got any problems, but thought Id ask as it looks like in that pic you have it further to the left.

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    Re: Living with Presso: ongoing review

    Hmmm - maybe I should post some of my presso shots. . .

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    Re: Living with Presso: ongoing review

    Hi Stove boy,

    Regarding the PF: I send it home firmly.

    After a year or so your PRESSO will look like mine(if it has travelled as many Ks and pulled as many shots). The PF will be able to travel further around because the silicone shower will have an impression of the PF left. When this happens, give me an email and Ill send another shower.

    Here is the CSer who had her first pull of the PRESSO yesterday.


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    Re: Living with Presso: ongoing review

    ! yeah that is me already Cameron - I had 2 months with my Faema out of action and Presso did all the work. My PF locks hard left now already so Id love another shower.

    I wondered about that so I left the PF off the presso when it was not in use so it would make a pressure channel permenantly from just sitting there.

    Just pulled a shot 5 minutes ago and will post a pic up once I have it off the camera.


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    Re: Living with Presso: ongoing review

    and. . .


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    Re: Living with Presso: ongoing review

    Great shots, Grendel, particularly the first one. :)

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    Re: Living with Presso: ongoing review

    Very good photos, it must be a timer as it definitely takes two hands to handle a whopper, and the presso ;)

    I intended to have a coffee 8:30pm, but somehow now its 10:30pm decided to put it into the gfs thermos mug for her drive in the morning, since Im going to try wake up at 5:30am like she is. At least it wont go to waste, technically :(

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    Re: Living with Presso: ongoing review

    Quote Originally Posted by grendel link=1169640939/15#18 date=1170585861
    ! My PF locks hard left now already so Id love another shower.
    There is a shower on its way to you as you read this Grendel!

    I popped in some of the Yirrga that I roasted last night aswell. It should be ready to cup by the time you get it.

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    Re: Living with Presso: ongoing review

    Ta mate - much appreciated!

    I had Mrs Grendel on the camera, because yes, it takes to hands to Presso.

    Ive been thinking of shifting the presso to work - but then I need another grinder and a. . .

    :)

    The aquisition chain for coffee never ends!

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    Re: Living with Presso: ongoing review

    Have just recieved two, yes two, Presso machines.

    One for me to play with and take camping, and the other as a boat warming present for some friends who have just moved into a 32 foot double ender ketch mored on the Hobart water front.

    Have been playing with mine, ground some Oomph beans in my Mazzer at the same setting I use for my Giotto.
    Resault was not inspiring, very little, pale, creama that dispered quickly.

    Went down town to see if the hand grinders that I had ordered at the same time had come in, not yet, and took the time on the walk to think about how the machine worked and how to get better coffee.

    As has been talked about already the air that gets trapped under the piston is the basic problem, so I thought about how to "burp" the machine, I came up with the following method.

    Fill the PF and put in place, fill the glass water holder and raise the arms, top up the water holder with more water and move the arms up and down a little bit so the piston is moved but the o ring doesnt roll over the holes, this allows the air caught above the water to get out.
    When the bubbles stop, press the arms down.

    When I did this, the pressure generated increased a lot, and got a shot with good creama that persisted.

    I need to perfect the technique required as the wooden boat show is on in Hobart this weekend and my friends need an edge to stand out from the crowd, and what better than good coffee.

    I havent played with the little milk frother supplied with the machine, as I have my Giotto at home, and both I and my friends on the boat have Bellman machines http://www.coffee-makers-espresso-ma...instovtop.html.

    Time will tell.

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    Re: Living with Presso: ongoing review

    This guy in the state has put a lot of time into perfecting his PRESSO.

    He is a Journo from NY NY.

    Give it a look:
    http://ben.szobody.com/in.mov

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    Re: Living with Presso: ongoing review

    That video was a absolute ripper... loved it!! 8-)

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    Re: Living with Presso: ongoing review

    I want to start a competition; PRESSO HOW TO.

    Send in your take on the PRESSO for a chance to win ............(something, I dont know what)

    Ben has graciously sent me the video, I plan to load it to our site later next week with details of the competition..

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    Re: Living with Presso: ongoing review

    Hilarious vid! ;D

    My ADSL dropped out this week so I have some more pics to add soon.

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    Re: Living with Presso: ongoing review

    The Pressos (Both of them, as I took mine down a couple of times as well) were a great sucess with the wooden boat people at Hobarts Wooden Boat Show.

    It will be interesting to see how many of the people who said that they were going to buy one actually do buy one.

    To me the quality of the coffee is paramount, but to some of the recipients it was the look of the machine that impressed most.

    I am still playing with the grind and tanp as the gring that suits my Giotto is too fine for the presso.

    Water temperature has an interesting affect on the coffee, creama seemed to get better as the water cooled off.
    When I was doing three or four coffees but didnt reboil the water between repacks the later coffees were better?

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    Re: Living with Presso: ongoing review

    Quote Originally Posted by Andy-Gadget link=1169640939/15#29 date=1171315723
    the wooden boat people
    Do they have little wooden pets?

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    Re: Living with Presso: ongoing review

    my ADSL is back, but my PCs os hdd has died, not the data drive thankfully.

    In the meantime an essential update - I have used the LCD temp gauge to monitor water temp, and found kettles and work boiler do not provide near 100 boiling temp as I assumed.

    89degC is pretty much the best I can get once in a pre-heated presso and hot off the kettle or out of the boiler. If I keep a large preheated pot of boiler with fresh boiled water, it holds it longer closer to 90degC, but effectively find I am pulling shots with 89degC at best/most.

    This is one of the Jaycar upto 150degC LCD displays I bought half a dozen 6 or 7 years ago, I have used them on motorcycle engine coolant and oil temperatures, car intercooler before/after temperatures, ambient PC desktop temperatures etc. and they seem pretty reliable, if a bit slow to respond, but that is down to the metal probe characteristics, but it stabilises and responds to 0.1degC changes as the water temp cools.

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    Re: Living with Presso: ongoing review

    Theoretically it would be possible to get one of those small cup elements that you can get for camping and raise the water temp when it is in the presso - not sure what would happen to the polycarbonate if you touched the hot element to it though.

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    Re: Living with Presso: ongoing review

    heehe, I typed that idea, but removed it from the post as I debated myself whether the 2-3degrees difference would be noticeable and worth the element method etc. Also could just use a kettle like my mums that doesnt turn off automatically (faulty), but its all getting away from the Presso simplicity.

    I thought Id make a note of it though because I always let the water "cool" a bit after boiling the kettle, assuming it was near 100, and wait for it to get near 92. The temp probe is eye-opening so now I dont wait, except to add boiling water to pre-heat Presso longer while grinding, heating the milk, etc.

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    Re: Living with Presso: ongoing review

    Ive lost track of the days with my PCs HDD crash, but the coffee has still bean roasting and Pressos calling the shots. ;)

    The home Presso has been run-in like an engine, moves much free-er than out of the box. I actually describe it to people like a piston, creating the compression like an internal combustion engine :) Home Presso probably averages 2.5 coffees a day while work Presso averages 1 coffee per day.

    I been roasting regularly with Breville Crazy Popper. People told me the coffee was nice, but very strong. I was roasting right through to 2nd crack, so it is an espresso roast. I tried milder by stopping at first sign of 2nd crack, and have had a couple milder roasts. The intended result was achieved, a milder coffee the gf prefers. I like it, but I also like the espresso strength kick, so my roast range has doubled to two varieties now :)

    Im grinding finer now so the Presso requires 3 pulls to extract the double espresso volume, the first pull gets about 30mL for a ristretto and crema without thinking, then the second pull that much again but blondes as I learnt from JavaB.

    The straight espresso and ristrettos arent naturally loved by my sweet-tooth pallette, but since using this home roast/grinding per shot/Presso brewing over my cheap/nasty pre-ground vac pack coffee in the stovetop, I dont use sugar, and try to differentiate the taste of the short blacks with each new roast... so Im slowly getting there :)


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    Re: Living with Presso: ongoing review

    Ive recently joined the Presso club and am similarly impressed with its capabilities. Theres not much (any) crema during extraction which doesnt bode well but the result is quite drinkable. I actually think I prefer its result for long whites than from the Silvia - doesnt have the same sharp edge, more like a drip filter taste.

    Also, looks like Im not the only person who knows how to use it. As least she can never say Dad Id love to make you a coffee rather than going out, but I just dont know how!

    Junior at work...

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    Re: Living with Presso: ongoing review

    She is gorgeous Greg - looks like you have a future barista champion on your hands!

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    Re: Living with Presso: ongoing review

    Congrats Greg :D
    I found I was grinding too coarse not getting a real crema, or good extraction. Now I grind fine enough, it is verging on a workout, but a grand short ristretto with the guinness effect if you look closely. A full double espresso with fine grind takes me 3 Presso pulls before the steamy ending.

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    Re: Living with Presso: ongoing review

    I guess theres a fair technique in lever surfing? Do you hold just enough pressure on the arms to get a bit coming out or go full pressure straight away? Do you hold the arms down when they lie vertically until the pressures all gone or let them kick back a bit?

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    Re: Living with Presso: ongoing review

    Henry has a pretty good feel for the pressure, see him here

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kz9ZGvj6G08&mode=related&search=


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    Re: Living with Presso: ongoing review

    Hey,

    Im wondering if the Presso portafilter would fit in a Solis SL-70? Those Presso PF sort of looks better then the original solis PF.

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    Re: Living with Presso: ongoing review

    What are the Solis dimensions? Ill check against mine.

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    Re: Living with Presso: ongoing review

    Its a 53mm and with 2lugs

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    Re: Living with Presso: ongoing review

    Quote Originally Posted by Greg Pullman link=1169640939/30#38 date=1174294331
    I guess theres a fair technique in lever surfing? Do you hold just enough pressure on the arms to get a bit coming out or go full pressure straight away? Do you hold the arms down when they lie vertically until the pressures all gone or let them kick back a bit?
    For me, full pressure straight away, for me not instantaneous - as soon as you can get the arms down so your thumbs can hold the frame sides to keep it clamped down. Bit of a weakling so I can feel the pecs and biceps working :)

    I only found all the pressure would be gone when I had too coarse a grind. Now it feels like forever for all pressure to end in a pull, so once the dripping slows to be splashy instead of a stream, reload for 2nd and 3rd pulls. Even the 3rd time once the foamy steam crema exits and the puck is dry, there will still be a little rise of the arms and "pshhh".

    Bens video appears like that, prior to watching his video I never had the grind fine enough for that to happen, all pressure would purge, so it wasnt really maximising the pressure. His vid also showed me how to make crema without destroying it by pulling until the steamy crema arrives - add more water than required, and only pull until desird volume is achieved. I love seeing the first stream black and then see it pale as the concentration decreases.

    Along the lines of why I got 10kg of single origin to begin roasting, the Presso allows for very good consistency/repeatability, simplicity, elimination of variables, so I can focus on the coffee and tasting the roasting changes.

    Im a bit worried about drinking a coffee, looking at a computer screen and being dead tired and sleeping heavily - the addiction has jumped a step, and my green bean stock depletion rate is accelerating.

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    Re: Living with Presso: ongoing review

    Quote Originally Posted by Coffee Kid link=1169640939/30#42 date=1174306512
    Its a 53mm and with 2lugs
    The distance between lugs is 67mm, the inside dia of the basket is 50mm and the "lip" of the basket is 4mm and sits 2.5mm above the top of the lug.

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    Re: Living with Presso: ongoing review

    Quote Originally Posted by Presso link=1169640939/30#44 date=1174333548
    Quote Originally Posted by Coffee Kid link=1169640939/30#42 date=1174306512
    Its a 53mm and with 2lugs
    The distance between lugs is 67mm, the inside dia of the basket is 50mm and the "lip" of the basket is 4mm and sits 2.5mm above the top of the lug.
    Yep its the same

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    Re: Living with Presso: ongoing review

    Just thought Id add my name to the list of Presso owners.

    I bought mine through Cameron about 3 weeks ago (sorry I havent gotten back to you yet, I like to give things a good run in first). Im pretty much as stoked as I can be with it at the moment, most folk at work are quite curious about the chrome contraption and Ive even converted a few folk to the cause. I love the consistency in the shot, I never really realised it but the Breville at home has a strong gradient through the drink, which I dont have with the Presso.

    Unfortunately, Im also getting minimal crema and little pressure, which is because Im kinda stuck buying pre-ground coffee (buying the smallest bags possible and using it up quickly), which means Im limited to the shop settings, so the next bag will be as-fine-as-you-can-go.

    Josh D

  48. #48
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Posts
    121

    Re: Living with Presso: ongoing review

    Welcome to the clan ;) I was considering a budget Breville as my first machine.

    I also first used the vac-pack stuff I had from using the stovetop percolator. It would just drop straight through in one pull compared to the three pulls it takes with a good fine grind.

    Im keen to hear about the hand burr grinder when it arrives to Cameron.

    PS: Greg, when ground fine enough, you cant pull the arms down straight away, it takes time. I tried to put in all my strength but the pressure becomes too great and it bypasses/bleeds off at the seal or back through the piston.

    PPS: Greg, an idea for your tinkering, spacers between the base of presso, and the side pillars, to extend the height allowing taller cups. e.g. long-macchiatto cup, longer body, smaller surface area top seems to keep warm for longer than a regular mug. Of course it doesnt fit under, so if I use that, I brew into an espresso cup, and transfer to the other cup.

    edit: wow, this thread is up there as important topic in the new brew equipment sub forum, I couldnt find it for a while, bonus :)

  49. #49
    Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    95

    Re: Living with Presso: ongoing review

    Thanks.

    Oh, Im havent stooped to the vac pac. I buy from local coffee shops (Merlo the first time, Sugar and Spice the second and third times) towards the beginning of the week and take the remainder home for the weekend.

    Cameron will have a hand burr grinder? I am intrigued...elaboration? The primary reasons I dont have a grinder at work are noise irritation and yearly safety checks and extra care that electrical goods require (which Id rather avoid), which Im hoping a hand grinder will avoid.

    Also, where did Henry get his bottomless portafilter from? Naked Coffee use a bottomless portafilter for their coffee, so Im going to sus them out tomorrow to find out whether it tastes as good as it looks...

  50. #50
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Posts
    121

    Re: Living with Presso: ongoing review

    Behmor Brazen - $249 - Free Freight
    Cameron said in the Presso thread in the Equipment For Sale section that he is trialling a sample hand grinder while waiting on the main supplies.

    The bottomless is probably just the regular PF with the bottom hacksawed off. I read that it is aluminium PF that is chromed, so it should be easy to cut through with a fresh finetooth steel hacksaw blade.

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