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Thread: HELP!!!

  1. #1
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    HELP!!!

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Hey guys, im new to this so go easy.

    Ok basically i have an old sunbeam coffee machine EM4800 that i got for free off a mate so its about 5 years old give or take. I just bought a new sunbeam EM0480 grinder so i can get the best out of my beans. OK so now that i can no longer blame my pre-ground coffee for the problem, why am i still getting poor shots of coffee? My usual routine starts off buy pre-heating everything, putting one scoop of coffee in the group, tamping lightly, and then putting the machine of for 20-25 seconds. I tried measuring the pours in 30ml shot glasses and finally got it down to the right timing. The problem is there is only a thin layer of creame and it doesnt look like the ones on youtube. The grinder recommends 12-16 grind level and im on 16. Is the problem with my tamping, the grind, or is my machine just not good enough? Also should i be filling up the group to the top and levelling off or just putting the one measured scoop in? Any help would be greatly appreciated

  2. #2
    Senior Member Coffee2Di4's Avatar
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    Re: HELP!!!

    Hi Metro and welcome.

    A couple of things immediately come to mind:-

    1. How fresh are the beans? Did you buy them fresh from a roaster, or even roast them yourself? If you bought them from a Supermarket, they are pre-staled and wont produce much crema. Even ones from some of the mass-market coffee houses are stale before you buy them. Find a local roaster, buy from BrownBay (top left for the link), or order online from one of the Sponsors to the left. Any purchased beans *should* have a Roasted On date and, three weeks from this date or so can mean that they are going stale.

    2. What sort of basket are you using on your 4800? Is it one with just one hole coming from the basket (pressurised) or does it have lots of holes (non-pressurised). A pressurised basket, which is what most of the cheap coffee machines have, are designed for supermarket bought pre-ground beans and are made so that it produces a fake crema by aerating the coffee before it comes out.

    If it is a pressurised basket, try and locate a non-pressurised basket, or adapt the one you have yourself (both of which have threads dealing with this in the Under $500 threads) and this, together with fresh coffee, should give you good crema and lovely tasting coffee.

    Once you have a pressurised basket and fresh beans, the next thing is your tamp. This shouldnt be a light tamp, but a good solid tamp. If you are using a plastic tamper, toss it away and source a decent tamper that fits the basket of your machine. Unless you grind really, really finely, a light tamp will only let the water rush through the coffee puck, which will minimise the extraction of the coffee. A pour should be around 30 seconds for 30ml give or take.

    Hope this helps.

    Cheers
    Di

  3. #3
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    Re: HELP!!!

    ahhhhh ok well i bough the beans today from gloria jeans and the chick said that they were freshly imported as in they got here today so hopefully its not the beans. I am using a pressurised basket that came with the machine and a plastic tamp. also when i take the group off there is a layer of water sitting on top of the puck. Is this right or should i fill the group up to the top as at the moment i am only filling it 3/4 as this is one scoop of the measurer that came with the machine.

    Thanks for all the help Di, its given me a few more things to check out and hopefully fix my dramas!

    Cheers

  4. #4
    TC
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    Re: HELP!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by 3139282E330336333F372F5C0 link=1246178228/2#2 date=1246179839
    ahhhhh ok well i bough the beans today from gloria jeans and the chick said that they were freshly imported as in they got here today so hopefully its not the beans. I am using a pressurised basket that came with the machine and a plastic tamp. also when i take the group off there is a layer of water sitting on top of the puck. Is this right or should i fill the group up to the top as at the moment i am only filling it 3/4 as this is one scoop of the measurer that came with the machine.

    Thanks for all the help Di, its given me a few more things to check out and hopefully fix my dramas!

    Cheers
    Metro Its DEFINITELY the beans...and could be a few other things as well...GJ stuff is generally very stale and low quality.

    Grab some from a sponsor or <<<<<<< beanbay and youll see a huge difference...

    2mcm

  5. #5
    Senior Member Coffee2Di4's Avatar
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    Re: HELP!!!

    No probs at all, my pleasure.

    Just a small one - her saying freshly imported doesnt necessarily mean freshly roasted by any stretch of the imagination, so it could still be the beans.

    Still, eliminate one problem at a time, and you should get an answer - grind, tamp and beans.

    Depending on how much coffee you drink, Id recommend roasting your own coffee from green beans. It can be extremely simple if you want it to be (ie; I do mine in a wok on a BBQ - 10 minutes from beginning to end) and its a heck of a lot cheaper. The beans you bought today probably cost you around $12.00 for 200g (Im guessing).

    For $25.00 you can get 2.5kg of green beans that will last for up to three years unroasted, so for $12.00 more and a little bit of effort, you get 10 times the amount of coffee!

    Ah, and now that youve settled yourself in to the site, start girding your loins for upgraditis - today a 4800, tomorrow a 6910, next year a $2k Heat Exchanger machine (from one who knows... ;) )

    Have fun and enjoy the ride!

    Cheers
    Di

  6. #6
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    Re: HELP!!!

    I looked into roasting my own beans but thought id just buy them as its my first "fresh" bean brew. I looked at getting a 6910 as i heard good reports but i just spent $175 on a grinder and the missus isnt going to be pleased if i tell her i need a new machine as well. Lets just say the 4800 may have a little "accident" in the near future......
    ;D

    Ill see if i can chase up some filters

    Cheers

  7. #7
    Senior Member Coffee2Di4's Avatar
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    Re: HELP!!!

    See, thats where Im lucky...I am the missus!!! :) And, of course, whats I say goes in our household (*looks around warily for husbands peaking over shoulders*)

    What you do is get your partner just as hooked as you are on fresh coffee, and it makes the justification so much easier - barely a peep from my husband when I just spend $2,100 on a new machine and grinder - having said that, I still dont know if he realises just how much I spent! All hail the 50% childcare rebate, I say! :D

  8. #8
    Senior Member GregWormald's Avatar
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    Re: HELP!!!

    Dosing:

    One scoop of coffee may not be right.

    Grind fresh beans.
    Fill basket and then tamp firmly.
    Put a 5 cent coin on top of the coffee.
    Lock basket in machine.
    Unlock and remove the coin.
    It should be pushed ONLY lightly into the coffee to guarantee the correct amount of grounds.
    Use this amount of coffee (by volume) and adjust the grind to get your 25 second pour for 30-50 ml--depending on how bitter you like your brew.

    Greg

  9. #9
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    Re: HELP!!!

    thanks for the tip greg ill give it a try. As for the missus well......ill throw in a few back massages and see how i go.

  10. #10
    A_M
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    Re: HELP!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by 7C7465637E4E7B7E727A62110 link=1246178228/8#8 date=1246183550
    thanks for the tip greg ill give it a try. As for the missus well......ill throw in a few back massages and see how i go.

    So where are you located ?

    Back massages only work in Summer and then the result is often only for a fleeting moment...


    Ya got to get something that dazzles them.. and that they think is ALL ABOUT THEM.... That why I let my lovely wife and friend of 21 plus years - go OS ;D ;) 8-)

    What she does not know wont hurt her... And when she does... Well it will be too late and I will just have to step up and cop it on the chin 8-)



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