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Thread: Espresso makers

  1. #1
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    Espresso makers

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    [img][/img]I just want a good cup of coffee. I roast and grind (burr) my beans. I have been using a cheap 1 cup drip maker 650w. Coffee not very hot.* I recently picked up 3 espresso machines. I do not have a manual for any. Kenmore elite tsk-1818r2a, 1200w, Cooks tsk1842a, 800w and a DeLonghi Caffe Parma, 800w, see picture. I dont think I understand the machines especially the Kenmore. It is a pump machine with 2 baskets, 1 scoop and 2 scoop. Those baskets are double with lots of holes in the top section and 1 small hole in the bottom. I put a scoop in the 1 scoop and the coffee came out similar to a drip machine. Pretty weak and the grinds were very wet and not fully drained. Nothing close to espresso, although I only want coffee. The other 2 have baskets with lots of holes in the bottom. The DeLonghi, coffee comes out stronger and the grinds are almost dry. The Cooks the coffee is close to the DeLonghi, but the grinds are still wet. Looks like the same basket and same general construction. The Kenmore lists for about $170 and the other 2 less than $60. I would think the Kenmore would be the best. Can someone give me any ideas how to use these machines and why the Kenmore acts more like a drip machine. I do know I can tamp the DeLonghi the best.


  2. #2
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    Re: Espresso makers

    Okay, for starters, The Kenmore machine (Im guessing thats the one in the centre?) looks to be a similar sort of machine to the lower-end Sunbeam Espresso machines (say em3600, the portafilter innards look almost exactly identical) its possible that your grinder is not set fine enough grind for the machine.

    The soupyness of the puck after extraction is a side effect of the Pressurised "crema system" baskets. Letting the portafilter sit for a minute or two usually lets the soupyness drain away, though its annoying if youre doing multiple shots

    Also, You may find it difficult to get a good pour with the single basket, Most folks seem to just put them in the third drawer down and forget about em.

    Best mod for these machines though, is changing the basket for the Breville or Krupps unpressurised basket, but that might mean a bit more of an outlay for a better grinder if your current is not capable of fine enough

  3. #3
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    Re: Espresso makers

    Quote Originally Posted by 081711160B0C160B0F07620 link=1321597969/0#0 date=1321597968
    Nothing close to espresso, although I only want coffee.
    I know espresso is not the only way of making coffee, but these are espresso machines! If youre going to use such a machine, expect to keep your volume small - usually around 60mL (about 2 US fl. oz.) for the double scoop. Im guessing because for espresso, the pressure and temperature is about as high as you can go. If its cold, try heating the cups before-hand!

    What exactly do you want to make, and maybe we could recommend a different machine? Do you drink a whole mug of black coffee? White? cappuccino? What burr grinder do you have? There are cheap and nasty ones.

    Sorry if Im going over anything you know - just trying to think outside the "square"! I personally still enjoy a good plunger coffee made in a $15 plunger, even though I have an expensive espresso machine...

  4. #4
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    Re: Espresso makers

    First the auto reply email doesnt work.
    Im just looking for a standard cup of coffee 10oz not strong but hot. I mix about 60% decaf with 40% caffinated beans. Im no purest or connoisseur. I use a tiny amount of creamer and about 1/4 tps of sugar. I usually use a rounded teaspoon of coffee. The drip maker is ok but the water doesnt get as hot as the DeLonghi, which I have been using and I dont have to wait for it to finish dripping and I dont get residue as I do with the drip. I also have a press but only use it when traveling although I guess I could heat the water with an espresso maker. I guess what I wanted to know is how a cappuccino machine is supposed to work.
    "Most folks seem to just put them in the third drawer down and forget about em."
    If you do that how do you use the machine without a basket to hold the coffee? It came with 3, 1 cup, 2 cups and a pod holder which I didnt get. Possibly one thing is I use a 10oz cup and I think espresso is a much smaller cup, so I get weak coffee.

  5. #5
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    Re: Espresso makers

    It sounds like you arent putting enough coffee in there. As a rough guide you should be filling basket level with the top then tamping down 1-2mm. They wont extract like espresso if they arent filled.
    Also the single basket is designed for a 30mL shot, and the double for 60mL. If you want more water in your coffee do not run the shot for longer but top up with hot water after extraction.
    The Kenmore should be the most capable of those machines. I would not bother with the other two.

  6. #6
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    Re: Espresso makers

    Quote Originally Posted by 6B747275686F75686C64010 link=1321597969/3#3 date=1321637636
    "Most folks seem to just put them in the third drawer down and forget about em."
    If you do that how do you use the machine without a basket to hold the coffee? It came with 3, 1 cup, 2 cups and a pod holder which I didnt get. Possibly one thing is I use a 10oz cup and I think espresso is a much smaller cup, so I get weak coffee.
    Okay, when talking about putting the basket in the third drawer down, I was referring to the single-cup basket, not the double. the "cup" in this description is a misleading statement, it is actually referring to "shots" rather then full cups, Think of it as a whiskey, you drink that stuff by the oz glass, rather then any cup, Espresso Coffee is the same, What you are doing with all the varieties of espresso is making a cocktail, only with coffee, water, and/or milk rather then spirits.

    Espresso is a 1oz shot of highly concentrated coffee, You have an espresso machine, it is made to make espressos, not a full 10oz cup. In order to get a good coffee, you need to press the water through the grinds at a rate of 1oz in 30 seconds (or 2oz in the 30 seconds for the double basket)

    Methinks that you either need to do more reading of the manual for your machine, and watch some teaching videos of similar machines. this one is for a very similar machine to yours, and may help you with your coffee search.


    [media]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BkGAmDw2Ht8[/media]

    Last of all, for petes sake, Dont run the water through the puck in order to make your coffee like a drip, if you want a larger coffee, pour the shot into a larger cup and fill up with hot water/milk, filling the whole cup in one hit only makes the coffee taste terrible

  7. #7
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    Re: Espresso makers

    Good explanation. In my original question "I do not have a manual for any" and they are not online. I spent hours searching and only found others looking also.
    I was using a drip maker and switched to the DeLonghi some time ago because it was faster and the coffee hotter. I do not notice that it tastes worse than a drip. Im no connoisseur, but I dont like bitter coffee and I like it fresh. Since roasting my own I cant stand store bought grinds. My wife used the Cooks for tea today so she can have it and I guess Ill sell the Kenmore on Ebay. Also thanks for the video.
    Thank you

  8. #8
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    Re: Espresso makers

    Quote Originally Posted by 382721263B3C263B3F37520 link=1321597969/6#6 date=1321676441
    Im no connoisseur, but I dont like bitter coffee and I like it fresh. Since roasting my own I cant stand store bought grinds.
    sounds like your a closet-connoisseur :)

    The double basket should be strong enough for a full cup of black coffee. Fill it 3/4 full with hot water, then extract the black espresso on top. If its not hot enough, you may want to start with a kettle instead of the espresso machine for hot water. Then use the espresso machine for the shot on top.

    To get the variables right, try extracting into a small measuring cup - as mentioned you should get about 2oz in 30s with the double basket filled to the top, and pressed firmly.

    Let us know how you go :)



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