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Thread: Newbie - Confused on Upgrade Path from Via Venezia to Silvia or Beyond?!?

  1. #1
    Senior Member Crema_Lad's Avatar
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    Newbie - Confused on Upgrade Path from Via Venezia to Silvia or Beyond?!?

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Hi Guys and Gals
    Have been reading so much info on the site - such a great forum of fellow coffee lovers to share tips and information...

    Forgive me if already asked 1000 times (and PLEASE refer me to any relevant posts - i did search but didnt quite anything on exact topic/models).but need some guidance on upgrading my 3yo Saeco Via Venezia (its actually the Starbucks Barista model, but believe this is just the Saeco rebranded)... I also have the Starbucks Barista Burr Grinder (rebranded DeLonghi).

    I was sold on this machine originally as it pulled a great shot ..visually...but cant say Ive ever had a great shot taste wise. OK, drinkable shots but nothing to the level I was expecting (dreaming, longing for....!!)

    I am more a latte vs espresso drinker when using the machine so have never fiddled with the variables of the espresso shot itself, but even in the lattes etc I always seem to need a double even triple shot to actually get some real flavour coming through, with some real mouthfeel etc. *Otherwise my drinks are rather weak and overly milky ..a far cry from the better Cafe experiences Ive had and one day wish to emulate (and better!) at home...

    Friends and family say I make great coffee and they ask for it - poor things, I just dont think they know any better *:P *or humour my wannabe barista aspirations *:-[

    Ive used various beans (including a few sponsors) ..but to be honest I never get as good a shot (definition of good is not brilliant as per above!!) as when I use Starbucks Beans...yes I know and can sense the cringes *:-[

    I prob havent played with the Grinder enough to vary it for each new bean - whereas am used to the standard setting that goes OK for the Starbucks beans. *I suspect this is a large part where I have gone wrong all this time *:(

    Consequently I have hardly used the machine in the last 12 mths and instead grind fresh coffee for a drip machine - again S/Bucks seems to do it for me - nice oils, caramelly feel and great flavours in a long cup of coffee (taken black with 1 sugar). *Again ive tried to replicate my desired cuppa using some great local coffees (freshly ground coarse grind for filter) but *my results are watery, lacking flavour and no pull or mouthfeel (almost caramelly if that makes sense..presume it is the oils that remain in the brew?) which I seem to get consistently from the Starbucks grind (alternate btwn House Blend and Gold Coast).

    I just aint doing it right eh??????

    Sorry for all the background but wanted to set the scene - as in doing much research on this site I was thinking of upgrading to the highly recommended Siliva and (for now) keeping the current grinder (I believe its OK - not brillant, but passable - correct me if Im wrong).

    THing is whilst I know *the Silvia to be a superior machine to mine, and with some practice and loving (like marriage - HA!) it will return same .. as in some GREAT coffee, *but on the other hand Im thinking its really around the same price point (the VV cost me @ $600 ) and is more a side step than upgrading to the next level.

    In other words I shouldve bought the Silvia 3 years ago and I would now be talking about upgrading IT rather than the VV.

    OR...is it possible with alot more TLC could I actually get some decent coffee out of the VV and keep her a bit longer?

    Ive had my eye on the Vibiemme Dobomar Super Lever, or even the Diadema Unico Splendor (very stylish to boot!) but think Im looking 2-3 steps above my next step and way out of upgrade budget....

    Is there anything in between that will bring me to Nirvana?!

    I was thinking of working with a budget of $1200-$1500 on a machine.. I know there is a common vein out there to recommend upgrading to t a great grinder vs spend budget all on machine but as per above hoping my existing one would support the higher quality machine for the short term.

    Am I confused, delerious, lost...all of the above? :-/ :-? :-[

    Can anyone steer me back to the road of logic and ..ultimatley a cafe quality shot that doesnt just LOOK good but tastes FANTASTIC!!!!

    Appreciate any/all feedback!

  2. #2
    TC
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    Re: Newbie - Confused on Upgrade Path from Via Venezia to Silvia or Beyond?!?

    Hi Crema lad,

    There are a few things that you can do:

    1. Get some training to learn how to use your machine and a good grinder correctly. If your machine still uses pressurised baskets- many holes on top, only 1-2 small holes on the base of the basket- get rid of them too for some depressurised baskets.
    2. Turf the grinder and purchase a real one
    3. Use fresh beans

    If you do decide on a new machine, your present budget will not let you get towards the machines that you want, so:

    Machines: look at VBM Domobar piccolo, Diadema Perfetta or perhaps a souped up Expobar Office SA

    Grinder: Bare minimum Rancilio Rocky. Better still, at least a Compak K3T...

    Most important is the training required to learn how to get the best out of them. Its clear that *$ havent helped you at all ::)

    You might keep an eye on this thread: http://coffeesnobs.com.au/YaBB.pl?num=1253783918 where the buyer has similar requirements to yours...

    I happy to assist if I can...

    Chris

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    Senior Member Crema_Lad's Avatar
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    Re: Newbie - Confused on Upgrade Path from Via Venezia to Silvia or Beyond?!?

    Hey, thanks Chris for being game to try and sort me out :-)
    Also for the link.. Ive also found some off forum info that has helped clarify things for me heaps. In review of my initial post I was pretty much all over the place!! *

    And *yes, think first step for me is to to a course and validate the little I do know and learn all that I do not about home coffee making...

    As my grinder doest pass muster seems my upgrade path needs tweaking! The new machine may need to be put on hold :(

    I had a laugh I know the grinder issue would come up! *Taking your advice on the Rocky or K3T, can you explain what the benefits these units and the *extra $$ will provide - maybe obvious to many but I bought my existing one at least knowing a burr grinder is a must have vs blade (they should be called choppers!).

    For home use (2 drinks at a time, occaisional larger groups 6-8 drinks at at ime) would a doserless version be way to go? *Can a doser version (which if understand correctly simply allows for grinding larger doses at a time vs on demand?) be used/converted to doserless if/as required? Not sure even if there is need to so poss mute question.

    Also looking up some backgrond info I note there were some quirks with the K3T - are these all resolved with the latest model? Are the issues showstoppers in use or reliablity? Would a NOOB even notice them *;)

    Which brings me to your question regarding the pressurised basket. *Sorry Im not 100% sure but *I think Ive got one of these beasts.
    Ive got a removable metal basket with lots of tiny holes. *Where this is inserted into it has a plastic (rubber?) plate in the bottom with one hole...then on the other side (where coffee comes through) is two metal *pour holes. *Does this make sense?

    If indeed pressurised... can it be converted else how do i replace completley?

    Will this dramtically improve shots (along with those lessons!!) on current *machine?

    If so I would defintiley give it a try - which will support argument to purchase of said grinder ASAP *[smiley=tongue.gif]

    Thanks again!

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    Sleep is overrated Thundergod's Avatar
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    Re: Newbie - Confused on Upgrade Path from Via Venezia to Silvia or Beyond?!?

    Quote Originally Posted by 59687F777B45567B7E1A0 link=1253805964/2#2 date=1253972124
    Which brings me to your question regarding the pressurised basket.Sorry Im not 100% sure butI think Ive got one of these beasts.
    Ive got a removable metal basket with lots of tiny holes.
    Hold it up to the light and look at the bottom.
    Do you see lots of holes letting the light through or only one?
    If only one, its pressurised.


    Quote Originally Posted by 59687F777B45567B7E1A0 link=1253805964/2#2 date=1253972124
    Taking your advice on the Rocky or K3T, can you explain what the benefits these units and the extra $$ will provide
    More consistent grinding therefore better tasting coffee.


    Quote Originally Posted by 59687F777B45567B7E1A0 link=1253805964/2#2 date=1253972124
    Can a doser version (which if understand correctly simply allows for grinding larger doses at a time vs on demand?) be used/converted to doserless if/as required?
    Yes. Used like, not converted.

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    Senior Member Crema_Lad's Avatar
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    Re: Newbie - Confused on Upgrade Path from Via Venezia to Silvia or Beyond?!?

    Thanks Thunderwood!

    I also answered question re filter - definitley pressurised :(
    but based on following thread (for pics for dingbats like me to follow!)

    http://coffeesnobs.com.au/YaBB.pl?num=1215413460

    it seems easily converted. Also found some US web sites offering parts and too funny , they sell the pressurized filter as if its a feature - enhancing the coffee experience vs RUINING it !!

    I think I will give this a go tomorrow and see how a non pressurised shot compares to my previous efforts...

    Hopefully I am on the right road....at last.

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    Senior Member Crema_Lad's Avatar
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    Re: Newbie - Confused on Upgrade Path from Via Venezia to Silvia or Beyond?!?

    P.S. My wife has given up on me... she went out and bought a basic NESPRESSO machine today...had tried it at girlfriends place and then told proceeded to tell me it was far better than anything you had made... :o :o :o

    Oh the shame, the embarrassment !!! :-[ :(


    The challenge is ON! ;D Minus the S/bucks beans to boot ;)

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    Senior Member greenman's Avatar
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    Re: Newbie - Confused on Upgrade Path from Via Venezia to Silvia or Beyond?!?

    Quote Originally Posted by 1425323A36081B3633570 link=1253805964/5#5 date=1253975993
    P.S. *My wife has given up on me... she went out and bought a basic NESPRESSO machine today...had tried it at girlfriends place and then told proceeded to tell me it was far better than anything you had made... *:o :o :o

    Oh the shame, the embarrassment !!! :-[ :(


    The challenge is ON! *;D * *Minus the S/bucks beans to boot ;)
    The poor deluded woman!!! :o :o :o :oNespresso............noooooooooooooo!!!! :( :( :( :( :(

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    Re: Newbie - Confused on Upgrade Path from Via Venezia to Silvia or Beyond?!?

    At least she hasnt set the bench mark to high ;D

    If she thinks Nespresso is good she will definitely like fresh coffee from an unpressurized basket then again she probably likes coffee from Glorius Janes. ::)

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    Senior Member Koffee_Kosmo's Avatar
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    Re: Newbie - Confused on Upgrade Path from Via Venezia to Silvia or Beyond?!?

    My advice is
    Just be patient and you could pick up a pre loved HX with quality grinder combo from a CS member

    You wont look back

    KK

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    Senior Member Crema_Lad's Avatar
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    Re: Newbie - Confused on Upgrade Path from Via Venezia to Silvia or Beyond?!?

    Quote Originally Posted by 495C4B4B40434F402E0 link=1253805964/6#6 date=1254002934
    The poor deluded woman!!! Shocked Shocked Shocked Shocked
    Quote Originally Posted by 7D5A4F402E0 link=1253805964/7#7 date=1254007609
    At least she hasnt set the bench mark to highGrin
    Fair points both of you ;-p I think Ive been a bit deluded with the brilliant LOOKING crema all this while...have pulled apart the group handle this morning, there is springs and levers and all sorts of shite in there!!! Will be interesting to do my first shot later today.

    I did succumb and have a NESPRESSO this morning (made by wife http://coffeesnobs.com.au/Smilies/embarassed.gif[smiley=embarassed.gif]) and i have to admit it was not tooooo bad.... which just makes me realise HOW BAD the coffee was from the Via Venezia to this point.

    AND...how GOOD it can get...will make wifey wish she held out a little longer hee hee... :D

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    Senior Member Crema_Lad's Avatar
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    Re: Newbie - Confused on Upgrade Path from Via Venezia to Silvia or Beyond?!?

    Quote Originally Posted by 40646D6D6E6E5440647866640B0 link=1253805964/8#8 date=1254010655
    My advice is
    Just be patient and you could pick up a pre loved HX with quality grinder combo from a CS member

    You wont look back

    KK
    Thanks KK! Good advice - do such combo deals come up often? Just need to keep checking the for sale forums yeah?

    I am also interested in finding out some of the CS member deals the sponsors can provide..at least on the grinder. Im still doing so much reading and learning...so brakes are on opening the wallet at this point ::)

  12. #12
    Senior Member Koffee_Kosmo's Avatar
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    Re: Newbie - Confused on Upgrade Path from Via Venezia to Silvia or Beyond?!?

    Quote Originally Posted by 4F7E69616D53406D680C0 link=1253805964/10#10 date=1254014769
    Thanks KK!Good advice - do such combo deals come up often?Just need to keep checking the for sale forums yeah?
    Yes they come up on a regular basis so keep looking Or put up your own "Wanted" post

    Quote Originally Posted by 4F7E69616D53406D680C0 link=1253805964/10#10 date=1254014769
    I am also interested in finding out some of the CS member deals the sponsors can provide..at least on the grinder.Im still doing so much reading and learning...so brakes are on opening the wallet at this point
    They (the sponsors) are also posting specials all the time
    Some of the better specials that come up are of display units

    KK

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    Senior Member GregWormald's Avatar
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    Re: Newbie - Confused on Upgrade Path from Via Venezia to Silvia or Beyond?!?

    Unless the VV has changed, it has a pressurised handle, not a pressurised basket!

    The pressurised handle is easy to modify to non-pressurised and will make a great difference to the coffee--especially with well-ground fresh beans. There are threads here that show how to remove the pressurising gear from the handle (and the removal is reversible--from memory it is a spring and pressure plate).

    Since the Nespresso uses stale coffee it will not be much of a contest--unless your wife (like some others I know) prefers the taste of stale coffee. :P

    Greg

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    Senior Member Crema_Lad's Avatar
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    Re: Newbie - Confused on Upgrade Path from Via Venezia to Silvia or Beyond?!?

    Quote Originally Posted by 53667173437B6679757870140 link=1253805964/12#12 date=1254017458
    Unless the VV has changed, it has a pressurised handle, not a pressurised basket!
    Hi Greg, you are so very right!

    Sorry Im getting a bit mixed up with terminology but realised the guys were referring to the acutal basket, my mahcine takes it a step further with the whole freakin handle :-)

    I found other threads that explained how the VV uses this, and how easy it is to modify. I have just done so this morning and about to start a little testing. (the amount of gunk and residue in there was disgusting)

    I realise now I have an non pressurised handle/basket I need to tamp the coffee (freshly and finely ground) quite firmly (previously no tamping required) to allow the correct pressure build up and <hopefully> equivalent but natural crema and taste as a result. *

    The modfied handle is far from ideal , it still has the spring loading and lots of plastic where it passed through all the innards :-( *So if the results warrant it I will try to find a replacement unpressurised handle.

    Ill let you all know how i get on!


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    Re: Newbie - Confused on Upgrade Path from Via Venezia to Silvia or Beyond?!?

    P.S. Greg, nice kit in your signature, you must be making some fine coffees :)

    Is the Madcap 4M/D grinder good. The /D stands for digital yes - do you find this addition useful in domestic use?

    Also do you ever grind coffee for filter/plunger? Do the grinders. Madcap, Rocky, K3T etc lend themselves easy to grinding the higher volume needed to make 8-10 cups worth of coffee ..
    I suppose thats a silly question but they all seem setup to dose coffee straight into espresso machine handle...

    Thanks again....

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    Senior Member Koffee_Kosmo's Avatar
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    Re: Newbie - Confused on Upgrade Path from Via Venezia to Silvia or Beyond?!?

    Quote Originally Posted by 6554434B47796A4742260 link=1253805964/14#14 date=1254018557
    Is the Madcap 4M/D grinder good. The /D stands for digital yes - do you find this addition useful in domestic use?
    I have the M4D
    I believe it stands for both Digital & Doserless

    Quote Originally Posted by 6554434B47796A4742260 link=1253805964/14#14 date=1254018557
    Also do you ever grind coffee for filter/plunger?Do the grinders. Madcap, Rocky, K3T etclend themselves easy to grinding the higher volume needed to make 8-10 cups worth of coffee ..
    Speaking for the M4D
    It wouldnt raise a sweat and will do it in under 40 seconds

    KK

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    Sleep is overrated Thundergod's Avatar
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    Re: Newbie - Confused on Upgrade Path from Via Venezia to Silvia or Beyond?!?

    Quote Originally Posted by 6352454D417F6C4144200 link=1253805964/14#14 date=1254018557
    Is the Madcap 4M/D grinder good. The /D stands for digital yes - do you find this addition useful in domestic use?

    Also do you ever grind coffee for filter/plunger?Do the grinders. Madcap, Rocky, K3T etclend themselves easy to grinding the higher volume needed to make 8-10 cups worth of coffee ..
    I suppose thats a silly question but they all seem setup to dose coffee straight into espresso machine handle...
    I have a stepped Macap M5.

    The Macaps are good grinders.
    As far as your domestic use question goes, a lot of non snobs would consider even my grinder overkill for home use.
    Dont worry about such things, get what you like.

    8 - 10 cups is nothing to my Macap and I have a doser which helps even more in that regard.

    Ill say it again, "a dosered grinder can be used like a doserless but not the other way around".

  18. #18
    Senior Member GregWormald's Avatar
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    Re: Newbie - Confused on Upgrade Path from Via Venezia to Silvia or Beyond?!?

    Quote Originally Posted by 6352454D417F6C4144200 link=1253805964/14#14 date=1254018557
    P.S. Greg, nice kit in your signature, you must be making some fine coffees *:)

    Is the Madcap 4M/D grinder good. The /D stands for digital yes - do you find this addition useful in domestic use?

    Also do you ever grind coffee for filter/plunger? *Do the grinders. Madcap, Rocky, K3T etc *lend themselves easy to grinding the higher volume needed to make 8-10 cups worth of coffee ..
    I suppose thats a silly question but they all seem setup to dose coffee straight into espresso machine handle...

    Thanks again....
    I like to think its my skill that makes the coffee. 8-) The nice equipment sure makes it easier! ;D

    I love the Macap, it is quiet and fast and has an adequate bling factor. For me the Macap was a worthwhile upgrade from a Rocky. I only grind for espresso on it--I use a Kyocera at work for the coarser grinds.

    Both Rocky and Macap have had no problem at all grinding enough for 8-10 cups.

    I wanted the micrometric chrome Macap, so at the time the D was the only model. Mine is set on continuous dose ("dose continua" actually :-[) and I just measure the correct amount of beans into the grinder, insert the handle (which starts the grinding), and grind until the machine is empty.

    As far as the handle is concerned, Id be removing as much of the extra stuff as I could. My taste tests tell me that the simpler and shorter the path the coffee takes from the machine, the better I like it.

    Greg

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    Senior Member Crema_Lad's Avatar
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    Re: Newbie - Confused on Upgrade Path from Via Venezia to Silvia or Beyond?!?

    Quote Originally Posted by 360A170C060710050D06620 link=1253805964/16#16 date=1254018971
    As far as your domestic use question goes, a lot of non snobs would consider even my grinder overkill for home use.
    Dont worry about such things, get what you like.
    More good advice! I am trying to be wary of the snob factor - at end of day I want a good machine that does the job. It can look good, but not critical, and whilst happy to spend a few extra $$ for the right machine...It needs to be for features Ill use and benifit from.. not just cause its shinier or is built with 5 screws instead of 4...(exageration *::)!!)


    Quote Originally Posted by 360A170C060710050D06620 link=1253805964/16#16 date=1254018971
    Ill say it again, "a dosered grinder can be used like a doserless but not the other way around".
    Im hearing ya! I have read that doser versions arent too good for home use as you wont want to be grinding any more coffee than what you intend to use ...but for filter grinding etc it could be useful. *Sounds a plan to have best of both worlds in this regard...

    Quote Originally Posted by 182D3A3808302D323E333B5F0 link=1253805964/17#17 date=1254020759

    I like to think its my skill that makes the coffee. 8-) The nice equipment sure makes it easier! ;D
    Oh but of course *;)
    And thats what I will need to keep in *mind - not to get to caught up spending big $$ to get the best of everything - it will amount to nothing if Im not up to the par also (I need to work on my own upgrade *;D)

    Thanks all, your feedback has all been really helpful....


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    Sleep is overrated Thundergod's Avatar
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    Re: Newbie - Confused on Upgrade Path from Via Venezia to Silvia or Beyond?!?

    Quote Originally Posted by 7F4E59515D63705D583C0 link=1253805964/18#18 date=1254023302
    I have read that doser versions arent too good for home use as you wont want to be grinding any more coffee than what you intend to use
    I only grind for one coffee most of the time.
    My doser doesnt make this any harder than with a doserless.
    In fact it may even be considered better because I can start the grinder, go get the milk from the fridge and fill the jug and then turn off the grinder ready for dosing.
    Try do that with a doserless unless your fridge is right next to the grinder and you are ambidextrous or a juggler.

    The doser therefore is a time saver.

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    Senior Member Koffee_Kosmo's Avatar
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    Re: Newbie - Confused on Upgrade Path from Via Venezia to Silvia or Beyond?!?

    Quote Originally Posted by 6458455E545542575F54300 link=1253805964/19#19 date=1254025250
    I only grind for one coffee most of the time.
    My doser doesnt make this any harder than with a doserless.
    In fact it may even be considered better because I can start the grinder, go get the milk from the fridge and fill the jug and then turn off the grinder ready for dosing.
    Try do that with a doserless unless your fridge is right next to the grinder and you are ambidextrous or a juggler.

    The doser therefore is a time saver. *
    Totally agree with TG as I have 2 grinders the M4D and a Mazzer Major

    When I first got the Mazzer I was considering a doser-less mod
    I have exactly the same experience of what TG has said about the fridge

    So I have decided to keep it as a doser with a few small mods that makes it better * :o I am a coffee snob after all
    You can see my set up here machine with both grinders and the Mazzer Major mods
    http://coffeesnobs.com.au/YaBB.pl?num=1250736066

    KK

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    Senior Member Crema_Lad's Avatar
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    Re: Newbie - Confused on Upgrade Path from Via Venezia to Silvia or Beyond?!?

    HELP!

    Ive started trials with my newly modified unpressurised handle which whilst brought on noticable changes, most are not at all favourable *:(

    SETUP

    • I have ground some fresh beans on the finest setting (prepared to tweak this as required). NB: Beans are not S/bucks and whilst not from a CS sponsor are from a local MEL roaster...
    • filled double basket, tapped to even dose.
    • to fill, tapped then levelled off with finger.
    • firmly (not sure how firm this shld be but I didnt apply excessive force).
    • and poured shot.


    RESULT:
    Shot started to pour within 5 secs and finished within 10-12.
    Nice crema but had to spit out upon tasting - bitter!

    I tried a few extra shots - ground some beans slightly less fine (but think I prob need to go other way?)
    Shots took slightly slonger to pour but still all finished by 15 secs....nothing like the 20-21 secs I hear is the standard.

    The crema was quite good, but none of the shots were drinkable. :(

    Could this mean my grinder cant grind beans fine enough, or is there another variable affecting my results *that Im missing?


  23. #23
    TC
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    Re: Newbie - Confused on Upgrade Path from Via Venezia to Silvia or Beyond?!?

    Yes CL- 99% chance your grinder is not up to task...

    Sorry :(

    2mcm

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    Senior Member Koffee_Kosmo's Avatar
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    Re: Newbie - Confused on Upgrade Path from Via Venezia to Silvia or Beyond?!?

    Hope this helps
    1) Grind to the consistency of table salt as a starting point, and adjust fine or course as required
    2) Tamp pressure is about 15 to 20 kg

    3) Tamp to the correct depth in the basket.

    The depth of the tamped puck should be just touching or a hairs whisker from the shower screen in the group head when the Porta Filter is locked on

    You can judge with a 5 cent piece by trial and error
    Use that depth level for future reference when tamping

    Yes CL- 99% chance your grinder is not up to task...

    Sorry Sad

    2mcm
    However I tend to agree with 2mcm

    KK

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    Senior Member Crema_Lad's Avatar
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    Re: Newbie - Confused on Upgrade Path from Via Venezia to Silvia or Beyond?!?

    Quote Originally Posted by 42666F6F6C6C5642667A6466090 link=1253805964/20#20 date=1254026306
    Totally agree with TG as I have 2 grinders the M4D and a Mazzer Major

    When I first got the Mazzer I was considering a doser-less mod
    I have exactly the same experience of what TG has said about the fridge

    So I have decided to keep it as a doser with a few small mods that makes it better * :o I am a coffee snob after all
    You can see my set up here machine with both grinders and the Mazzer Major mods
    http://coffeesnobs.com.au/YaBB.pl?num=1250736066

    KK
    Hey KK,
    Thanks. Great setup... 8-)

    My that Mazzer looks huge compared to the M4D... think would be overkill for my initial step up ..the wife would I think find a use for it and it would involve my head ;D ;D

    Regarding the fridge *- wouldnt you just have your milk jug ready prior to grinding (as they grind so quick)..or is this in the interest of keeping milk icy cold until ready to froth?

    I def like the idea of a doser grinder so as per Chriss initial recommendation will continue research in this vein. *Now just need to get my shots happening :P


  26. #26
    Senior Member Crema_Lad's Avatar
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    Re: Newbie - Confused on Upgrade Path from Via Venezia to Silvia or Beyond?!?

    Quote Originally Posted by 7F5B525251516B7F5B47595B340 link=1253805964/23#23 date=1254027412
    Hope this helps
    1) Grind to the consistency of table salt as a starting point, and adjust fine or course as required
    2) Tamp pressure is about 15 to 20 kg

    3) Tamp to the correct depth in the basket.

    The depth of the tamped puck should be just touching or a hairs whisker from the shower screen in the group head when the Porta Filter is locked on

    You can judge with a 5 cent piece by trial and error
    Use that depth level for future reference when tamping

    Yes CL- 99% chance your grinder is not up to task...

    Sorry *Sad

    2mcm
    However I tend to agree with 2mcm

    KK
    Cheers KK - sorry I shouldve mentioned it in my orig post but I found your recommendation and the 5c test in another thread (I do believe in self help, but appreciate all the direct responses here also!!)

    I have done this and 5c left imprint. * I also found after pulling the shot the grounds at the top were a little mushy but in most cases the rest came out as a brick as described elsewhere. I at least got a little excited with that as progress *;D *even if a little inconsistent...and certainly not codusive to a great shot overall.

    Ill tinker some more on texture...but seems my earlier question or thought that my current grinder would hold up has been answered well and truly.

    Oh wifey..darling.... I need to talk to you about something..... ;D ;) ::)

  27. #27
    Senior Member Koffee_Kosmo's Avatar
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    Re: Newbie - Confused on Upgrade Path from Via Venezia to Silvia or Beyond?!?

    Dont forget what millions of mothers have said to there children
    "Practise makes perfect" :D

    KK


  28. #28
    Senior Member Crema_Lad's Avatar
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    Re: Newbie - Confused on Upgrade Path from Via Venezia to Silvia or Beyond?!?

    Quote Originally Posted by 7D5950505353697D59455B59360 link=1253805964/26#26 date=1254029681
    Dont forget what millions of mothers have said to there children
    "Practise makes perfect" * :D

    KK
    No, the first shot should simply be brilliant >:(

    Joking! *But I admit defeat for today... *worked out 20kg of pressure on the scales - was more than I had been doing.

    ALso tried grinding beans to salt texture as starting point - but this worked out almost at the point where i grind coarse for drip...so def think my grinder aint going to cut it.

    Combined both in a shot that was the worst one yet!

    So a grinder purchase has out of trial and error become my No 1 priority. *I consider that progress made and am prepared for some more trial and error once I get it! *

    Until then I will have to suffer my wifes Nespresso machine *:o :o or at least stay on the drip filter for now.. :-/

    Thanks again all.

  29. #29
    Senior Member GregWormald's Avatar
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    Re: Newbie - Confused on Upgrade Path from Via Venezia to Silvia or Beyond?!?

    The main problem with inadequate grinders is the inconsistency of the grind, i.e. both coarse and very fine grinds in the same batch. This means that some coffee is under-extracted and some is over-extracted.

    Grind so youre getting your extractions in 20-30 seconds and then spread some grinds on a piece of paper and check that the grinds do not vary much in particle size. If they do vary a lot, the grinder wont do.

    Greg

  30. #30
    Senior Member Crema_Lad's Avatar
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    Re: Newbie - Confused on Upgrade Path from Via Venezia to Silvia or Beyond?!?

    Thanks Greg, but that is my main issue - cant get beyond 15sec extractions - grinder is on finest setting and tamping firmly (FIRMLY!)...

    I am quite happy to take this as validation of everyones feedback and grab a new Grinder as my initial investment. I started looking at the Rocky but over the w/end and alot of reading the MACAP M4 is looking good..

  31. #31
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    Re: Newbie - Confused on Upgrade Path from Via Venezia to Silvia or Beyond?!?

    I think the *$ & Solis burr set grinders in general were at their limit to get fine enough for espresso and quickly got worse with wear. *There were some mods (eg. http://www.kwilson.fsnet.co.uk/grinder_tweaks.htm) but why loose the opportunity to upgrade *:)

  32. #32
    Senior Member Crema_Lad's Avatar
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    Re: Newbie - Confused on Upgrade Path from Via Venezia to Silvia or Beyond?!?

    I had a laugh... shame that link just doesnt seem to work, but thanks ;) ::)

    CL

  33. #33
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    Re: Newbie - Confused on Upgrade Path from Via Venezia to Silvia or Beyond?!?

    Thanks to all who responded to my original post.

    Haven taken all in and researched the wealth of knowledge within CS forums, and beyond and ended up with a dream package.

    Thanks to Chris at Talk Coffee for all of the great advice, great service, great patience and of course a great deal that has resulted me in being the proud owner of a VBM Super Lever & Macap M4 Grinder. *A fantastic bit of kit and whilst have a lot to learn and a lot to tweak Ive already made the first 2 of the best coffees Ive had by a long shot *(cheesy pun intended :D), since parting ways with my previous gear...and the Starbucks (almost a 4 letter word around here!) coffee ::)

    Thanks all, no doubt I be calling on you in coming weeks as I get my grind, dosage and variables sorted! * ;)

    Ill post some pics of my new kit in the hardware forums...



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