I must he the 1000th newbie to ask the same questions over and over. Forgive me as Im a total newbie to espresso machines.
What Ive done so far:
- Given the machine a good scrub and descaled with a solution made from 1 litre of water and half a cup of CLR
- Unpressurised the portafilter
- Flushed fresh water through the steam wand and brew head to rinse off descaling solution
- Removed outer sleeve of steam wand leaving just the inner plastic sleeve with needle point hole
- Opened up the machine cover and removed/washed the tube that the pump uses to draws water from the reservior
- Tried to remove the other tube (which looks like is used to flow back from the pumped into the reservior) but had to stop because it felt like it might snap off. There was a bit of residue in this tube that I was unable to clean
- To prevent channeling I gave the screw in the brew head a half turn to loosen it up
This is what Ive tried to produced using the machine:
- went through a few cups of milk with the frother but only managed to warm the milk with a thin layer of bubbles on top
- Made 6-8 bad double shots of espresso
One of the issues I am having is not knowing how much steam the wand is supposed to produce. From memory when turning on the nozzle it starts sputtering for the first few seconds then produces visible steam which lasts for 5-10 seconds. Then I get barely visible steam which lasts for about 20-30 seconds until the boiler light turns off.
As for the espresso making part. I ground my supermarket bean (practice bean) on the finest setting but no shot flowed out due to clogging up. I adjusted the grind up a notch at a time and got a shot to flow out at the 5th notch. I believe I might have skipped the 4th. At the moment Im producing a bitter, bland and watery shot. I believe Im getting a 60 ml shot to pour in about 15-20 seconds. Way too short.
Im going to pick up a tamper tomorrow. Will this make any difference to the supermarket bean (Harris Colombian) with best before date July 2012?* Is it possible to know the roast date from the best before date?
I have a local roaster where I live west of Melbourne. Theyre not thqt well known but I might pick up some freshly roasted bean there.
Am I allowed to mention the name of roaster and/or parts supply shops on these forums.
Also, do I need to worry about cleaning the last tube that I couldnt remove?
Forgive me for the extremely long post.