Results 1 to 30 of 30

Thread: Introducing myself and my machine ;) Hi all!

  1. #1
    twisted.mellow
    Guest

    Introducing myself and my machine ;) Hi all!

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Hi everyone,

    My name is Ian and Im a coffeeholic :)

    I recently purchased (it arrived today) an EM5900 / EM0450 grinder bundle. Ive never actually made espresso before, and am eager to learn everything there is to know.

    Needless to say my first efforts at lattes this morning was pretty poor. The first shot I pulled could barely get the water through (grinder set at about 12, but I think I tamped it too hard), and the water didnt seem very hot.

    The second shot flowed a little better, but was still a bit slow I think. We ended up drinking this one - but it was not very strong at all! Not sure what to do there, It was level with the group before I tamped, and then about 3-4mm after tamping (double shot basket). I cant really fit any more coffee in there, so why is it not strong enough?!

    And, my milk was not hot enough... clearly my hand is not able to recognise the temperature very well... I think I might need to pick up a thermometer :/

    Anyway, going to give it another go this afternoon... let you know how I go.

    For now, look forward to chatting with you guys coffee wise!

    Cheers,

    Ian (coffee fan, drummer and Lego loon)

  2. #2
    twisted.mellow
    Guest

    Re: Introducing myself and my machine ;) Hi all!

    Oh, and ordered the single walled baskets from Breville on eBay about 10 minutes ago. Heard on a good forum somewhere that they are better :D

  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Posts
    497

    Re: Introducing myself and my machine ;) Hi all!

    Welcome to CS.

    Numbers on grinders are largely meaningless to anybody but you, every grinder is different, the zero points are not calibrated and will change over time.

    Are you using a double wall filter currently? (Im not sure what the 5900 ships with, the way to tell is to look at the exit point on the filter basket, if there is only a few holes, commonly one, you are using a double wall filter) if so tamping will make little or no difference to the results in the cup (or so I understand, Ive never used double-wall baskets, I went straight to a commercial group), if your coffee tastes "weak" try grinding finer.

    If you can afford it, some espresso training would be a good move, several sponsors have training courses available.

  4. #4
    twisted.mellow
    Guest

    Re: Introducing myself and my machine ;) Hi all!

    Hi jbrewster, yes - Im using double wall filters. As mentioned, got some single walls on the way so hopefully that will help. There was supposedly some barista training that came with the 5900 bundle, but I cant see anything about it in the literature. I will look around where I am located (near Coffs Harbour, Mid-North Coast of NSW) to see what courses are available :)

  5. #5
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Posts
    497

    Re: Introducing myself and my machine ;) Hi all!

    I recall hearing something about "Sunbeam Espresso School" or something like that, might be worth some googling.


  6. #6
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Posts
    13

    Re: Introducing myself and my machine ;) Hi all!


    Hi twisted.mellow, I live up the road a bit at Grafton, got a few coffee bushes growing at a mates place down towards your way up behind Sandy beach. If you ever need any coffee seedlings give us a buzz and Ill drop em round next time Im in Coffs visiting relos. :)

  7. #7
    twisted.mellow
    Guest

    Re: Introducing myself and my machine ;) Hi all!

    Hi backyardbean - growing my own coffee is probably taking WAY further than I can manage at the moment! One step at a time :D

    Well, did my second lot of coffees this afternoon... A stronger brew, and much hotter milk, so some progress! Still ending up with a very loose, wet puck though... is there a reason for this?

  8. #8
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Posts
    497

    Re: Introducing myself and my machine ;) Hi all!

    Quote Originally Posted by 3F3C22383F2E2F65262E2727243C4B0 link=1341377630/6#6 date=1341382386
    Still ending up with a very loose, wet puck though... is there a reason for this?
    Thats endemic to pressurised baskets, once you switch to the single-wall basket that shouldnt happen if youve the right dose.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Barry O'Speedwagon's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    PRL
    Posts
    2,659

    Re: Introducing myself and my machine ;) Hi all!

    Quote Originally Posted by 2B28362C2B3A3B71323A333330285F0 link=1341377630/0#0 date=1341377630
    Hi everyone,

    My name is Ian and Im a coffeeholic :)

    I recently purchased (it arrived today) an EM5900 / EM0450 grinder bundle. Ive never actually made espresso before, and am eager to learn everything there is to know.

    Needless to say my first efforts at lattes this morning was pretty poor. The first shot I pulled could barely get the water through (grinder set at about 12, but I think I tamped it too hard), and the water didnt seem very hot.

    The second shot flowed a little better, but was still a bit slow I think. We ended up drinking this one - but it was not very strong at all! Not sure what to do there, It was level with the group before I tamped, and then about 3-4mm after tamping (double shot basket). I cant really fit any more coffee in there, so why is it not strong enough?!

    And, my milk was not hot enough... clearly my hand is not able to recognise the temperature very well... I think I might need to pick up a thermometer :/



    Cheers,

    Ian (coffee fan, drummer and Lego loon)
    Welcome Ian. I think one of the mobile coffee cart firms in Coffs does small group / individual training. Shouldnt be hard to find them if they still do it. I know my sister was going to do one of their courses a year or so back, but not sure how it turned out.

    BOSW (grew up in and around Coffs, guitar...strictly rythym...silly enough to play at the Hoey).

  10. #10
    twisted.mellow
    Guest

    Re: Introducing myself and my machine ;) Hi all!

    Hi BOSW... I will out the mobile coffee cart thing for sure.

    Unfortunately, the Hoey Moey is a bit of a dive these days. Gets quite rough on Friday and Saturday nights. Certainly not a venue Id want to take half decent music gear to! :)

  11. #11
    Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Tassie!
    Posts
    30

    Re: Introducing myself and my machine ;) Hi all!

    When you are texturing your milk, try holding the palm of your hand on the side of the jug. When it is to hot to continue holding your palm flat against the side, take your hand away and turn off steam about 3 secs later - always works for me - however Im not familiar with the EM5900. ( I have a LaCimbali M21 Junior.)
    If it isnt hot enough just count more seconds in your head!
    Milk jug thermometers are fairly inacurate, I have seen differences of 10 degrees between thermometers!


  12. #12
    twisted.mellow
    Guest

    Re: Introducing myself and my machine ;) Hi all!

    Well, I tried again this morning - wet puck, weak coffee, luke warm milk :(

    However, this afternoon :D

    Packed more coffee into the group (only leaving about 1.5mm gap at the top) with a good solid tamp, and using a milk thermometer that I picked up at lunchtime had nice hot milk :)

    Ive gone from the missus saying "hmmm... coffees a bit weak" or "the milks not very hot, but keep trying!" - she now said this afternoon "bring me one of these everyday" :D

    Still eager to try the single wall filters, and now have to master the art of microfoam, but progress is being made :)

  13. #13
    Senior Member Barry O'Speedwagon's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    PRL
    Posts
    2,659

    Re: Introducing myself and my machine ;) Hi all!

    Quote Originally Posted by 6E6D73696E7F7E34777F7676756D1A0 link=1341377630/9#9 date=1341442428
    Hi BOSW... I will out the mobile coffee cart thing for sure.

    Unfortunately, the Hoey Moey is a bit of a dive these days. Gets quite rough on Friday and Saturday nights. Certainly not a venue Id want to take half decent music gear to! :)
    It wasnt a very salubrious place in the late 80s either ;) I think it calmed down a little in the 90s when the guys from the New England Hotel in Armidale bought it....but seems to have reverted to type.

    Good to hear you are making progress on the coffee front.

  14. #14
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Posts
    8
    Well, making more progress with the coffees... My single wall filters arrived - they don't seem to make much difference to me really, but I haven't tried a finer grain coffee yet. Also haven't had much time to experiment either

    Milk frothing is going a lot better - managing a fairly good microfoam, and picked up some thermal cups for when the missus or I travel (they look like take-away cardboard cups).

    Next thing to work on - foam artwork I want to be able to make those cool leaf patterns!

  15. #15
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Posts
    497
    Chances are you'll have to grind significantly finer for single wall filters, grind doesn't really effect double wall filters, but it is critical for single wall filters.

  16. #16
    Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Posts
    51
    Just wondering, where are you getting your coffee beans from? If grinding finer doesn't work with the appropriate dosing and tamping, it could be the beans being not fresh enough. I use a very low end Breville machine, and I know with a single wall filter I can make coffee that tastes better and richer than many of the cafes out there. Also, try to let your machine warm up for 15 minutes after turning it on before you start making your first coffee. Even though it's a thermoblock machine it will still make quite a lot of difference when the entire machine is nice and warm.

  17. #17
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Posts
    8
    Quote Originally Posted by oble89 View Post
    Just wondering, where are you getting your coffee beans from? If grinding finer doesn't work with the appropriate dosing and tamping, it could be the beans being not fresh enough. I use a very low end Breville machine, and I know with a single wall filter I can make coffee that tastes better and richer than many of the cafes out there. Also, try to let your machine warm up for 15 minutes after turning it on before you start making your first coffee. Even though it's a thermoblock machine it will still make quite a lot of difference when the entire machine is nice and warm.
    Hi oble,

    I am using a brand of coffee beans called "Sacred Grounds" - my boss's wife runs a cafe and they use these beans, which being quite impressed with flavour, bought a bag from them. To be honest, I haven't tried finer grinds with the new filters - did not think of re-adjusting that with the change of filter to be honest - this is something I will do tomorrow!

    I always try to let the machine warm up for 20 minutes or so - this became apparent to me very early on!

    Thanks for the advice - will give it a go next coffe

  18. #18
    Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Posts
    66
    Hi Ian

    I have a similar setup to you (older model grinder) and have been happily making coffees for the past 12 months.

    The EM5900 has some programming functions you can adjust - water temperature, steam rate etc. I have all of these set to maximum. The factory default is less than max.

    You are already pre-warming the machine, are you pre-warming the PF? I insert the PF into the machine ~5 mins before i want to make a coffee and like you, allow the machine to warm up for longer than a few mintues (normally in excess of 30 mins). This reduces any drop in temperature. Pre-warm the cups. Grind as fine as possible without blocking the machine up, the number is arbitrary and i find as the beans age the grind needs to be finer. Don't store the beans in the hopper, only add them as you need them. Store the beans in a bag with a 1-way valve to retain freshness. You say you buy beans from a cafe but how old are the beans? When were they roasted.

    I use a milk thermometer rather than the approach of using my hands to tell the temperature but being a scientist, my milk thermometer is calibrated against a lab grade thermometer.

    Fresh beans, freshly ground, through a well warmed EM5900 produces very nice coffee.

    Cheers
    DrSmurto

  19. #19
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Posts
    8
    I've tried a finer grind and seem to be getting weaker coffee :/

    The quest continues!

  20. #20
    Senior Member Barry O'Speedwagon's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    PRL
    Posts
    2,659
    Hi TM, the finer grind per se should not give you 'weaker' coffee. Perhaps you've left the dose the same and brewed less coffee, which when adding milk has caused greater dilution? Or if you lowered your dose (the amount of coffee in the basket) to accomodate the finer grind, the net effect might be in the 'weaker' direction?

  21. #21
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Posts
    8
    Quote Originally Posted by Barry O'Speedwagon View Post
    Hi TM, the finer grind per se should not give you 'weaker' coffee. Perhaps you've left the dose the same and brewed less coffee, which when adding milk has caused greater dilution? Or if you lowered your dose (the amount of coffee in the basket) to accomodate the finer grind, the net effect might be in the 'weaker' direction?
    Thanks Barry... I think it's actually a combination of the finer grind and tamping too hard. I've backed off the tamping a little and it seems to be much better.

    I have also been practising my frothing technique, and I poured what I would call a near perfect flat white yesterday - no fancy leaf design, but just the right amount of froth (around 4 or 5mm). I found the trick is to keep the steam head just under the milk until it gets to about 50 degrees, and then allow the small spurts of air into the milk - I then let it get to just under 70 degrees, then put the steam head in deeper to stop the frothing and to continue simply heating the milk (note, these are the temps on my thermometer, which is a cheap one so it may vary to other people's thermometers).

    The quest continues... Currently having about two coffees a day, and resisting more. This may turn out to be a losing battle. A friend of mine - and also my boss - both are coffee snobs and they are putting away about 5 or 6 coffees a day! The missus and I are already getting "latte bellies" from our two... :/

  22. #22
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Perth
    Posts
    1
    Hi there,

    I bought this machine last week and want to get some single walled baskets to. Can you please post the link so I can have a look and how did they fit? Also how much did this improve your shots?

    Thanks heaps.

    Tony

  23. #23
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Posts
    8
    Quote Originally Posted by kiwilad View Post
    Hi there,

    I bought this machine last week and want to get some single walled baskets to. Can you please post the link so I can have a look and how did they fit? Also how much did this improve your shots?

    Thanks heaps.

    Tony
    Hi,

    To be honest - I don't really think they helped the shot all that much. I just didn't notice the difference *shrugs*.

    But, if you want the link, there is some on eBay now... hang on...

  24. #24
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Posts
    8
    And... I got in trouble for trying to post an eBay link... Sorry! Didn't know

    Kiwilad, if you PM me your email address, I will email you the link.

    Cheers,

    Ian

  25. #25
    Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Posts
    66
    I use the Krups unpressurised double basket sold by one of the sponsors - Things Coffee (part of the Pullman group). Link

    Fits my EM5900 perfectly and the quality of the pour improved immediately. I found the pressurised baskets produced a more bitter, astringent shot. Using the unpressurised baskets gives a smoother shot.

    Ian - if you can't tell the difference between the pressurised and unpressurised baskets I'd be asking how fresh your coffee beans are? Does the bag you buy have a roast date on it (not a best before date)?

  26. #26
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Posts
    303
    FWIW twisted.mellow and kiwilad,
    my thoughts are as per one of the very first replies.
    thta is matching the grinder to your machine to your beans.
    before trying the suggestion below - remove one of the variables stated above
    and go out and get as fresh and as good a quality beans as possible - ie ensure they are freshly roasted and
    within a range of 3 to 6 weeks since roast.
    this will ensure you get to a trusted result and you can decide later what supplier of beans you source long term.

    The EMO450 / EMO480 are famous (here) for not being set up at the factory.
    Sunbeam (cust service) will supply shims to adjust lower burr, this raises it closer to the top burr set.
    And can put in range to allow the 'stepped adjuster' to work as designed.
    If this doesn't make sense think of it as a new car and the motor is rough and needs retuning to factory spec.
    IMHO I believe Sunbeam specify these grinders on the 'loose' side as its a 'safer' course to take than the opposite.
    My experience is that add 1 additional shim (only add one at a time, google 'how to' from this site) to the lower burr set equals 'upping' / going higher / repositioning the grind setting up In the steeped adjuster by 7-12 points ie if your now grinding on 4 then add shim adjuster up to 11 to 16 BUT cause your prob grinding to coarse try coming down to say 12 and then if not the shot result your seeking (ie double basket = 30ml in 30 sec) then next shot adjust grinder down to 11 or even 10 do another shot and compare.As you get close say 30 ml in 15 or 20 sec then
    only go 1 step at a time lower on the grinder.
    good luck

  27. #27
    Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Posts
    51
    Try a few things, in this sequence: source a different bean to see if it makes a difference (perhaps give the BeanBay a try?); if it tastes slightly better but still weak and watery, try grinding finer and finer; if the shot still lacks a little, try adjusting the dose--some baskets work better with about 14~15g of ground coffee, some with about 17~18g, assuming you're using a double basket.

  28. #28
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Posts
    8
    Quote Originally Posted by oble89 View Post
    Try a few things, in this sequence: source a different bean to see if it makes a difference (perhaps give the BeanBay a try?); if it tastes slightly better but still weak and watery, try grinding finer and finer; if the shot still lacks a little, try adjusting the dose--some baskets work better with about 14~15g of ground coffee, some with about 17~18g, assuming you're using a double basket.
    It looks as though I WILL have to try another type of bean now... my boss's wife just sold her cafe! Ah well... Apparently there is a roaster here in Coffs, so I might go and have a talk to him.

  29. #29
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Posts
    3
    I highly recommend the Bean Bay sampler pack - Bought it last week!

    Roasted on the Wednesday, delivered the next day to Newcastle, fresh and tasty! Only got a bag and a half left now - very satisfied with the variety!

  30. #30
    Senior Member iggs's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Brisbane
    Posts
    206
    ah the trusty em5900 - this machine served me well when I had it

    a few things

    a) there should be a serial number on the back of the machine. If you enter this onto the sunbeam coffee school website you should get a free lesson! (unless they've stopped this promo recently) Not sure about locations near you though?
    b) in terms of milk steaming, I found turning the steam pump to HOTTEST and WETTEST produced the best microfoam. It means the pump is working harder and spins the milk better. Also small quantities is smaller jugs work better - it doesn't really have the kick to steam half a 600ml jug properly i reckon
    c) as other's have said, freshly roasted beans should give you a very decent cup on the em5900 with single filters. Try some new beans and let us know how it goes!



Similar Threads

  1. Replies: 12
    Last Post: 19th December 2012, 07:49 AM
  2. Silvia competitor? Introducing GEE Espresso
    By TC in forum Brewing Equipment - Midrange ($500-$1500)
    Replies: 71
    Last Post: 27th April 2012, 10:51 PM
  3. Introducing myself
    By millydog in forum General Coffee Related...
    Replies: 11
    Last Post: 25th August 2005, 10:17 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •