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Thread: Stovetop question from a newbie..........

  1. #1
    Senior Member LFM60's Avatar
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    Stovetop question from a newbie..........

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    I have just spent a while browsing your forum and there is a lot of useful information here.

    A question for my first post, if I may.

    We owned an espresso machine for a while and it was inconsistent, being at the lower end of the price range (to be expected). It was occasionally good but more often than not, not good. Could have been operator error although I followed the same technique each time.

    As much as I'd love to get a good quality home espresso machine (ECM or similar) not everyone here shares my enthusiasm to spend the $$$$$

    In the meantime, I have bought a new Stella Lucido 6 cup stainless stovetop pot to try to make a decent coffee. The first couple tasted metallic which I expected seeing that the instructions said to throw the first ones away.

    i have made a few since and disappointingly, the coffee smells burnt as it fills the upper chamber. I store the beans in the fridge and grind them just before I use them. Have heard differing opinions there about storing in the fridge versus not. It is heated on a medium heat (at about 4. The maximum is 9) on a ceramic cooktop, not induction. I'm sure that the smell is a burnt one, not a bitter coffee one.

    Any suggestions?

    Thanks in advance.
    Last edited by LFM60; 20th October 2016 at 10:55 PM. Reason: Added the word stovetop to title

  2. #2
    Senior Member Gavisconi007's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LFM60 View Post
    I have just spent a while browsing your forum and there is a lot of useful information here.

    A question for my first post, if I may.

    We owned an espresso machine for a while and it was inconsistent, being at the lower end of the price range (to be expected). It was occasionally good but more often than not, not good. Could have been operator error although I followed the same technique each time.

    As much as I'd love to get a good quality home espresso machine (ECM or similar) not everyone here shares my enthusiasm to spend the $$$$$

    In the meantime, I have bought a new Stella Lucido 6 cup stainless stovetop pot to try to make a decent coffee. The first couple tasted metallic which I expected seeing that the instructions said to throw the first ones away.

    i have made a few since and disappointingly, the coffee smells burnt as it fills the upper chamber. I store the beans in the fridge and grind them just before I use them. Have heard differing opinions there about storing in the fridge versus not. It is heated on a medium heat (at about 4. The maximum is 9) on a ceramic cooktop, not induction. I'm sure that the smell is a burnt one, not a bitter coffee one.

    Any suggestions?

    Thanks in advance.


    Hi LFM60.

    For around $550 you can get a Bacchi which is a stove-top but it is different to all other stove-tops in that it makes espresso under pressure. I own one and can vouch for the quality of the build and the taste of the coffee it produces. Way better than a normal stove-top which just percolates the coffee.
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  3. #3
    Senior Member LFM60's Avatar
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    Thanks Gavisconi007. Your info appreciated.

    I'll check it out

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    Don't let the whole lot of water perc through, and when you take it off heat, (if its not too much of a pain) sit it on ice. It stops it from cooking and makes for a smoother cup in my opinion.
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    Quote Originally Posted by LFM60 View Post
    I have just spent a while browsing your forum and there is a lot of useful information here.

    A question for my first post, if I may.

    We owned an espresso machine for a while and it was inconsistent, being at the lower end of the price range (to be expected). It was occasionally good but more often than not, not good. Could have been operator error although I followed the same technique each time.

    As much as I'd love to get a good quality home espresso machine (ECM or similar) not everyone here shares my enthusiasm to spend the $$$$$

    In the meantime, I have bought a new Stella Lucido 6 cup stainless stovetop pot to try to make a decent coffee. The first couple tasted metallic which I expected seeing that the instructions said to throw the first ones away.

    i have made a few since and disappointingly, the coffee smells burnt as it fills the upper chamber. I store the beans in the fridge and grind them just before I use them. Have heard differing opinions there about storing in the fridge versus not. It is heated on a medium heat (at about 4. The maximum is 9) on a ceramic cooktop, not induction. I'm sure that the smell is a burnt one, not a bitter coffee one.

    Any suggestions?

    Thanks in advance.
    G'day LFM60

    Most likely cause of burnt taste - overheated and burnt the seal. Probably 80% of cases at an educated guess. Only fix is to replace the seal.

    19% of the remaining 20% is due to overdosing and the seal not sealing properly as a direct result. Most common sign: Steam is escaping around the seal when trying to get a cuppa.

    BTW, for about $200 you can get a Rommelsbacher "espresso deluxe" which is basically a German engineered electronic (very high grade) stainless automatic version of the beast you have. Literally any idiot can drive one (speaking about the unknown abilities of other users, not your good self).

    For my money, the next best alternative is a real espresso machine (SB 6910 upwards) which varies from $200 secondhand (... take your chances) or around $500 "on special". Anything above that level - the sky is the limit.

    Hope this helps.


    TampIt
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    Senior Member LFM60's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shortblackman View Post
    Don't let the whole lot of water perc through, and when you take it off heat, (if its not too much of a pain) sit it on ice. It stops it from cooking and makes for a smoother cup in my opinion.
    Thanks shortblackman.

    I make sure I take it off the heat but haven't tried the ice idea. Will give it a go.

  7. #7
    Senior Member LFM60's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TampIt View Post
    G'day LFM60

    Most likely cause of burnt taste - overheated and burnt the seal. Probably 80% of cases at an educated guess. Only fix is to replace the seal.

    19% of the remaining 20% is due to overdosing and the seal not sealing properly as a direct result. Most common sign: Steam is escaping around the seal when trying to get a cuppa.

    BTW, for about $200 you can get a Rommelsbacher "espresso deluxe" which is basically a German engineered electronic (very high grade) stainless automatic version of the beast you have. Literally any idiot can drive one (speaking about the unknown abilities of other users, not your good self).

    For my money, the next best alternative is a real espresso machine (SB 6910 upwards) which varies from $200 secondhand (... take your chances) or around $500 "on special". Anything above that level - the sky is the limit.

    Hope this helps.


    TampIt
    Thank you TampIt.

    I wasn't expecting to get replies tonight. Thank you all so far.

    It is possible I burnt the seal. I made the mistake the first time of having the cooktop on 7 instead of 4.
    I have been careful not to overdose so that's not it.

    I'll look at the Rommelsbacher as well. :-)
    Last edited by LFM60; 21st October 2016 at 09:07 AM.

  8. #8
    Senior Member LeroyC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LFM60 View Post
    Thank you TampIt.

    I wasn't expecting to get replies tonight. Thank you all so far.

    It is possible I burnt the seal. I made the mistake the first time of having the cooktop on 7 instead of 4.
    I have been careful not to overdose so that's not it. More likely the seal.

    I'll look at the Rommelsbacher as well. :-)
    Is it a rubber or silicone seal? I would've thought it'd be silicone. If it is you won't have burnt it and it won't be the problem.
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    Senior Member LFM60's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LeroyC View Post
    Is it a rubber or silicone seal? I would've thought it'd be silicone. If it is you won't have burnt it and it won't be the problem.
    It's silicone LeroyC. Thanks for your reply.

    Thinking it's the beans.

  10. #10
    Senior Member LeroyC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LFM60 View Post
    It's silicone LeroyC. Thanks for your reply.

    Thinking it's the beans.
    Probably technique actually. I'm busy at work at the moment, but when I get a chance I'll either write some basic instructions or post a link to some.
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    Senior Member LFM60's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LeroyC View Post
    Probably technique actually. I'm busy at work at the moment, but when I get a chance I'll either write some basic instructions or post a link to some.
    Thank you LeroyC.

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    do you fill it with hot or cold water?

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    Senior Member LFM60's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Libertyrx1 View Post
    do you fill it with hot or cold water?
    i have tried both with no discernible difference Libertyrx1.

    What's recommended? Most of the videos I've seen say cold water.

    I use filtered, by the way.
    Last edited by LFM60; 21st October 2016 at 04:25 PM.

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    I used to use cold filtered water but as of more recently, i now use hot water. By using hot water, it means it perculates subtstantially quicker and means the grinds sitting in the basket are spending less time on the heat
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    Senior Member LFM60's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Libertyrx1 View Post
    I used to use cold filtered water but as of more recently, i now use hot water. By using hot water, it means it perculates subtstantially quicker and means the grinds sitting in the basket are spending less time on the heat
    Thanks for the advice Libertyrx1.

    Will try hot water again. I'll get it right sooner or later.

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    My 2 cents.
    Burned as-in cooked in water that's too hot?
    Try fiddling with the grind (just a bit coarser than espresso), how much you put in the basket (full to top of basket but not pressed in), and how much heat you apply (heat as quick as you like till it starts to come out, then turn it right down) until you get the coffee to come out fairly slowly but steadily.
    You don't really want boiling water going though.
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    Senior Member LFM60's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tjwhite View Post
    My 2 cents.
    Burned as-in cooked in water that's too hot?
    Try fiddling with the grind (just a bit coarser than espresso), how much you put in the basket (full to top of basket but not pressed in), and how much heat you apply (heat as quick as you like till it starts to come out, then turn it right down) until you get the coffee to come out fairly slowly but steadily.
    You don't really want boiling water going though.
    Thanks Tjwhite.

    The grind is fairly right I think and level, not tamped.
    Will heat more slowly on low to medium.

    I make sure it comes off the hot plate before the water boils.

    Getting there...........

    Will do some serious experimenting tomorrow, Sat morning.

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    Np.
    btw - We use gas here so have fairly responsive heat control. It maybe that the method of turning it down won't be so effective if the heat doesn't actually go down...
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  19. #19
    Senior Member LFM60's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LeroyC View Post
    Is it a rubber or silicone seal? I would've thought it'd be silicone. If it is you won't have burnt it and it won't be the problem.
    Looked at this today and the gasket is white rubber and it smells like burnt coffee! Definitely not silicone.

    Will try to get a silicone replacement.

  20. #20
    Senior Member LeroyC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LFM60 View Post
    Thanks Tjwhite.

    The grind is fairly right I think and level, not tamped.
    Will heat more slowly on low to medium.

    I make sure it comes off the hot plate before the water boils.

    Getting there...........

    Will do some serious experimenting tomorrow, Sat morning.
    No, don't heat slowly. You want to heat as fast as you can without boiling the water. All cooktops will be different so it's just trial and error to work out the sweet spot for your particular stove.
    This video shows almost the exact technique that I use. Thanks to the excellent James Hoffman. (I hope it's ok to post this vid mods. Apologies if it's not). The only thing that I do differently really is I take it off the heat a bit sooner than they did, I've found it's best to avoid the bubbly stuff altogether. And rather than run it under a tap I sit it in a bowl of cold/ice water.

    Check it out - https://youtu.be/rpyBYuu-wJI
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  21. #21
    Senior Member LFM60's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TampIt View Post
    G'day LFM60

    Most likely cause of burnt taste - overheated and burnt the seal. Probably 80% of cases at an educated guess. Only fix is to replace the seal.

    Hope this helps.


    TampIt
    Yep. It is.

  22. #22
    Senior Member LeroyC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LFM60 View Post
    Looked at this today and the gasket is white rubber and it smells like burnt coffee! Definitely not silicone.

    Will try to get a silicone replacement.
    White nitrile rubber is fine, but silicone is better. If you burnt a batch early on it may not have done your gasket much good. Give it a soak and clean in detergent then a good rinse and see how it comes up. I still use rubber gaskets as it's all I can get to fit my pot. They just need to be replaced more often than silicone.

  23. #23
    Senior Member LFM60's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LeroyC View Post
    No, don't heat slowly. You want to heat as fast as you can without boiling the water. All cooktops will be different so it's just trial and error to work out the sweet spot for your particular stove.
    This video shows almost the exact technique that I use. Thanks to the excellent James Hoffman. (I hope it's ok to post this vid mods. Apologies if it's not). The only thing that I do differently really is I take it off the heat a bit sooner than they did, I've found it's best to avoid the bubbly stuff altogether. And rather than run it under a tap I sit it in a bowl of cold/ice water.

    Check it out - https://youtu.be/rpyBYuu-wJI
    Thanks LeroyC.

    Will watch that now.

    I put it in a bowl of cold water to cool it down, as you suggested, when I made one this morning. Worked well.
    Good tip thanks.
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  24. #24
    Senior Member LFM60's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LeroyC View Post
    White nitrile rubber is fine, but silicone is better. If you burnt a batch early on it may not have done your gasket much good. Give it a soak and clean in detergent then a good rinse and see how it comes up. I still use rubber gaskets as it's all I can get to fit my pot. They just need to be replaced more often than silicone.
    I'll have a go at cleaning the gasket as suggested.
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  25. #25
    Senior Member LFM60's Avatar
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    Ok. Have just watched the YouTube video in your link LeroyC.

    Thank you.

    I removed mine sooner than they did and avoided the bubbly stuff, as you said

  26. #26
    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    Have you given any thought to using RTV Silicone Rubber?
    Make a mould using your original gasket and then use the mould, with the RTV Silicone, to create a new gasket...

    RTV SIlicone.JPG

    Have done things like this before and it works surprisingly well...

    Most RTV Silicones use Acetic Acid (vinegar) as the curing agent so before it should be used on the Mocha Pot, it must be allowed to fully cure until such time as no acid residue remains.

    Mal.

  27. #27
    Senior Member LeroyC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dimal View Post
    Have you given any thought to using RTV Silicone Rubber?
    Make a mould using your original gasket and then use the mould, with the RTV Silicone, to create a new gasket...

    RTV SIlicone.JPG

    Have done things like this before and it works surprisingly well...

    Most RTV Silicones use Acetic Acid (vinegar) as the curing agent so before it should be used on the Mocha Pot, it must be allowed to fully cure until such time as no acid residue remains.

    Mal.
    RTV is great stuff. I have a tube myself and just used some yesterday believe it or not!!




    That process is probably a bit unnecessarily complicated for replacing a moka pot gasket though. You should be able to buy replacement silicone gaskets off the shelf from somewhere like Myer if you can't get to a specialist coffee supplies shop. Bialetti still use rubber, but from memory Bacarat are silicone, are the same size as Bialetti and are available from Myer.
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    Senior Member LFM60's Avatar
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    Thanks Dimal and LeroyC for your input and to everyone else who has given advice.

    My wife is at Myer this morning looking for a silicone one, so will see what happens there. I have cleaned the white rubber gasket as much as possible and although an improvement, as good as it will be. Still smells a bit but nowhere near as bad.

    I think silicone will be the best choice if I can get one.

    The brand is a Stella Lucido 6 cup SS. It is new old stock so probably a couple of years old by now.

  29. #29
    Senior Member LeroyC's Avatar
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    All the best. Whatever you do don't give up, just keep trying to perfect things. I had two moka pot coffees at work today and they were both very nice. It's not quite as sweet and strong as a good espresso, but I managed to do a good job of making them so they definitely weren't bitter.
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  30. #30
    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LeroyC View Post
    That process is probably a bit unnecessarily complicated for replacing a moka pot gasket though.
    I'm not that au fait with the various Mocha Pots that are around to be honest.
    The process I outlined above was for a situation where a correct gasket was not available...

    Mal.

  31. #31
    Senior Member LeroyC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dimal View Post
    I'm not that au fait with the various Mocha Pots that are around to be honest.
    The process I outlined above was for a situation where a correct gasket was not available...

    Mal.
    Ah, I get ya now Mal. Let's hope that's not necessary, but I wouldn't be surprised if Stella have used parts sizing specific to their brand.
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    Senior Member LFM60's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LeroyC View Post
    All the best. Whatever you do don't give up, just keep trying to perfect things. ..............
    Thank you.

  33. #33
    Senior Member LFM60's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dimal View Post
    The process I outlined above was for a situation where a correct gasket was not available...

    Mal.
    Much appreciated Mal and if it comes to that, I'll be trying your idea.

    No good at Myer this morning. They had nothing.
    Waiting to hear back from the supplier tomorrow (Monday)

  34. #34
    Senior Member LFM60's Avatar
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    I bought a clear silicone seal from a kitchen shop a few days ago, but the outside diameter was about 2mm too small and would have leaked under pressure.

    Spent many hours on eBay and Google looking at all the Chinese, US, UK and Aust. sellers and not one had the correct I.D. and O.D. in silicone. Plenty available in rubber the correct size or silicone in the incorrect size.

    This decided me to get silicone gaskets cut to the size I needed. (here in Brisbane)

    57 mm I.D., 75 mm O.D. and 3mm thick. Pics below.

    The Stovetop is a Stella Lucido 6 cup so if someone is stuck for a gasket, I can post one to you.

    IMG_0309.jpgIMG_0310.jpg

    Now to work on my technique..............
    Last edited by LFM60; 27th October 2016 at 11:14 PM.
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    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    Great outcome mate...

    Mal.

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    Senior Member LFM60's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dimal View Post
    Great outcome mate...

    Mal.
    Thanks Mal.

  37. #37
    Senior Member LFM60's Avatar
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    I really do appreciate all the ideas that have been put forward by everyone.

    Now to let this topic rest so that someone else can get a word in.

  38. #38
    Senior Member 3rutu5's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LFM60 View Post
    I bought a clear silicone seal from a kitchen shop a few days ago, but the outside diameter was about 2mm too small and would have leaked under pressure.

    Spent many hours on eBay and Google looking at all the Chinese, US, UK and Aust. sellers and not one had the correct I.D. and O.D. in silicone. Plenty available in rubber the correct size or silicone in the incorrect size.

    This decided me to get silicone gaskets cut to the size I needed. (here in Brisbane)

    57 mm I.D., 75 mm O.D. and 3mm thick. Pics below.

    The Stovetop is a Stella Lucido 6 cup so if someone is stuck for a gasket, I can post one to you.

    IMG_0309.jpgIMG_0310.jpg

    Now to work on my technique..............

    Hey mate, I have the 10 cup version, its served me well over the last 5 years. I got my seals from caffebianchi where I bought mine unit from. Got about 6 of them...being in Brisbane have you tried going to dibellas as the have spare seals but for bialettes. I did walk into a roaster at Southport and they has the Stella percolators there as well.

  39. #39
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    I use to get burnt flavours though my stovetops but that was because I have gas cook tops and the temp was too high. I run mine on the lowest setting and turn it off once I hear it starting to gurgle

  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by 3rutu5 View Post
    Hey mate, I have the 10 cup version, its served me well over the last 5 years. I got my seals from caffebianchi where I bought mine unit from. Got about 6 of them...being in Brisbane have you tried going to dibellas as the have spare seals but for bialettes. I did walk into a roaster at Southport and they has the Stella percolators there as well.
    Hi 3rutu5

    Thanks for your reply. I haven't been to diBellas but will remember that for next time. Interesting that a roaster on the Gold Coast has the Stella stovetop. I got mine sent from a small shop in Melbourne.

    The silicone seals I got made at Qld Gaskets at Salisbury.

  41. #41
    Senior Member LFM60's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 3rutu5 View Post
    I use to get burnt flavours though my stovetops but that was because I have gas cook tops and the temp was too high. I run mine on the lowest setting and turn it off once I hear it starting to gurgle
    Things have improved with a couple of changes in technique. I boil the water first and only half fill the lower chamber. Also I make sure to catch the coffee before it starts to boil which is not always easy and then sit it in cold water to stop the brewing process.

    Not perfect, but better.

    Electric ceramic cooktop here, so I have the heat on 3 (9 is the maximum). Works ok.

    Thanks again for the input, 3rutu5

  42. #42
    Senior Member LFM60's Avatar
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    Behmor Brazen - $249 - Free Freight
    I made 2 coffees today with my Stella SS 6 cup stovetop. They were mochas, one had 60ml coffee and one 30 ml coffee, heated milk and 20 ml chocolate sauce in each cup.

    The beans were roasted by a friend on 28/11 and smelled superb so was excited by the prospect of a good coffee.

    I preboiled the water and put about 300 ml in the bottom of the stovetop, ground the beans on about 10 or 11 (em0440 sunbeam) and filled until level not tamped.

    Put it on the cooktop (electric) on about 4 (9 is maximum) and waited what seemed like about 7 to 10 mins. I didn't exactly time it.

    The coffee looked a nice and rich brown colour and flowed out slowly. I made a point of not letting it boil and when it was about 2/3 full took it off the heat and put the stovetop in cool water for a short time before pouring.

    I had high hopes and it smelled better than usual but the taste was meh.

    I may be too fussy but it is nowhere near the standard of coffee shop coffee and may never be, knowing that my stovetop and a commercial espresso machine are poles apart.

    My wife says I am too much of a snob - possibly is true. It looks like a good quality espresso machine and grinder might be the best solution.

    Also have watched a few videos on the Bacchi. I wonder how good they are?



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