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Thread: My office espresso machine in on the blink! Help!

  1. #1
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    My office espresso machine in on the blink! Help!

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Hi all, I inherited a Breville Barvista machine at work ( paired with a Sunbeam CafeSeries burr grinder) and its been ok for a few months , I replaced the basket to a regular one ( 58mm Krupps) instead of the double walled one. Coffee has been ok from it. Nothing amazing but its a cheap machine. It now does not make drinkable coffee!!
    I have tried 3 kinds of beans, descaled the machine , flushed through litres and litres of water but still each shot I produce is so sour/bitter that I cant drink it.

    I thought it may have been getting to hot , maybe a failed thermostat? But I also tried to pull a shot soon after I turned it on not to give it time to overheat. Still the same result!

    Anyone got ideas please?


    thanks

    Dale.

  2. #2
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    Re: My office espresso machine in on the blink! Help!

    Is the CafeSeries grinder the EM0480?

    Where do you get your beans from, and how long ago were they roasted? Unless theyre from a roaster you can see (ie. not mass-roasted) they could vary from batch to batch.

    Also, each batch will require a slightly different grind point, and that changes every few days as the beans age. Your single-wall basket will be less forgiving of any grind, dose and tamp issues. Do you have access to a naked pf? This will show up extraction issues.

    How much coffee do you extract in how many seconds?

    If the burrs are worn on the grinder it could also be producing different particle sizes, burning some and under-extracting others.

    Hope this gives you a starting point - Im sure the solution is somewhere in the answer to those questions!

  3. #3
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    Re: My office espresso machine in on the blink! Help!

    Individual Grinder Adjustment changed to suit each type of blend used?

    Correct grind / dose / tamp technique?

    A.

  4. #4
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    Re: My office espresso machine in on the blink! Help!

    Hi there - thanks for your replies.
    The grinder is the ES0480 - brand new - grinds quite well.
    I have adjusted the grind settings to try and get the 20 second shot as I try and use the same tamper pressure each time. And I use the same dosage - around 2-3mm from the top after tampering..

    My beans vary - someone gave me a bag of Lavazza beans - not the best I know but I have managed to produce semi decent coffee from them previously.

    I also tried some Republica single origin beans and also some Andronicus Fairtrade beans ( best before date 18/06/2011 and the numbers 0169 0313R2 and time 13:01)

    All produce the same acrid tasting stuff!

    Its all gone wrong recently - I had a good few months out of the Breville! Weird.

    Anyone recommend a capable replacement?

    Thanks again

  5. #5
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    Re: My office espresso machine in on the blink! Help!

    No naked PF by the way but I am going to try the original basket I got just to make sure ...

    Ta

  6. #6
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    Re: My office espresso machine in on the blink! Help!

    Hi, thanks for answering the questions, and I should say welcome as well :)

    The bean quality could be changing (there could be a few bad batches due to heat / humidity / storage etc before you buy them) or your technique is changing, which is less likely since you can vouch for it but still possible if youre not aware of the variables (for example, if you clean your grinder you may not be able to put it on the same mark as before).

    Stay away from beans that only have a "used by" date - try ones with a "roasted on" date. The best Lavazza I could find was already stale. The best before date is about 3 months after they were roasted IF they are stored out of oxygen, humidity, heat and light. Once youve opened the bag that time diminishes IMHO.

    Before upgrading and spending $1000 or so, order some beans from a BeanBay or a sponsor ($20 or so for 250g posted). Clean out your grinder, grind fine, tamp evenly, dont knock or bang or double-dose (see http://www.home-barista.com/naked-extraction.html - even though you dont have a naked pf it has some great tips).

    However the Barvista is a cheap machine so it may be failing slowly or loosing pressure or something... Make sure youre upgrade is worthwhile (thats what were here for!) and see the auction forum if you want to buy soon!

    HTH,



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