Until last week my espresso at home has been provided by a stovetop maker and supermarket coffee (Im sorry, I didnt know any better then). I did know that a decent grinder was needed to start with, and so my wife was going to get me one for Fathers Day. However, she saw the offer for a free grinder with the Sunbeam EM6910 and asked me if I would prefer that instead. I had seem a couple of tests where a Sunbeam machine around the $600 mark came out top ranked, and so after researching these forums briefly, Im now the proud owner of an EM6910 and waiting to hear from Sunbeam re: my grinder and coffee appreciation course (a pretty good result for a Fathers Day gift, and its still not Fathers Day!)
Ive had a week of experimenting and lurking on this forum, and Ive learnt an awful lot from a number of threads. But I now have a question I would like to ask. Obviously I dont have the grinder yet, and so had to rely on some ground coffee from the local Merlo cafe - I made sure to ask for commercial grind.
However, the first couple of times I tried the single floor portafilter the pour was very fast and the pressure gauge got nowhere near the optimum range. So I tried the dual floor filter, and have gotten very nice coffee out of it all week (at least for my palate - and my guests - no bitterness at all.) Seeing how easy it is to get decent coffee out of this machine has made me feel pretty angry at the number of poor coffees I have been served in various restaurants/cafes - but thats another story.
I read a whole lot more last night and saw a number of comments suggesting I should throw the dual floor filters out, and wondered if I perhaps didnt tamp the grinds firmly enough. So I packed it as best I could with the single floor double filter this morning - and again got a fast pour with low pressure. I also had been relying on the automatic timing of the shots until now - today I saw very quickly that this was blonding after not so many seconds and so shut it down. The resulting shot had little crema, and tasted watery and what I thought was bitter.
So my conclusion is that my grind must be too coarse for the machine. Does that seem a reasonable conclusion? Is there anything else that might be going on? The temperature setting hasnt been moved from the default.
I also havent seen an explanation of why the dual floor filters are so bad: is it simply because it implies inferior coffee?