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Thread: Did I do well?

  1. #1
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    Did I do well?

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    In a moment of weakness from she who must be obeyed, I scored this


    Will say up front, Im not a huge fan of the colour, but an E61 HX machine with volumetric controls for what I got it for was just too much to pass up ($500 NZ pesos)

    Look out for a used 6910 coming to trademe soon.

    Are there any tricks to this machine that I should be aware of?

    Cheers

    Sen

  2. #2
    Senior Member Dennis's Avatar
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    Re: Did I do well?

    Quote Originally Posted by 10262D22372C31430 link=1260867503/0#0 date=1260867503
    Are there any tricks to this machine that I should be aware of?
    Wear sunglasses or you will burn out the retinas in your eyes. ;D

    Congrats and enjoy! :)


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    Re: Did I do well?

    who cares about the color, HOW"S THE COFFEE????

    I had a laugh thats awesome, looks in very good nick at that $$$

    ps buy her diamonds for xmas and all will be forgiven :)

    pps * *can you be our trade-me freight forward agent ???


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    Re: Did I do well?

    you wanna buy stuff o/here?

    shouldnt be an issue

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    Sleep is overrated Thundergod's Avatar
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    Re: Did I do well?

    Noice.

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    Senior Member GregWormald's Avatar
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    Re: Did I do well?

    (Hides face :-[ ) I like the colour.

    (somebody pretending to be) Greg

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    Senior Member Koffee_Kosmo's Avatar
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    Re: Did I do well?

    Quote Originally Posted by 5E68636C79627F0D0 link=1260867503/0#0 date=1260867503
    Are there any tricks to this machine that I should be aware of?

    Cheers

    Sen
    Go here to a summery by Chris (2mcm) on e61 brewing tips
    http://coffeesnobs.com.au/YaBB.pl?num=1167622442

    KK

  8. #8
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    Re: Did I do well?

    I like it....wouldnt have it in my own home, but I like it.

    Ive read on other threads that they can run a bit hot (try doing a search) but are otherwise a pretty solid machine. If its in as good condition as it looks then you definitely got a bargain

  9. #9
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    Re: Did I do well?

    I think its beautiful! Happy caffeinating!

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    Senior Member Luke_G's Avatar
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    Re: Did I do well?

    I also like the color!

    With a pretty polished stainless machine it only looks as good as your kitchen can reflect off it...which in my case is brown :( I had a laugh

    Congrats on the price... look after it :)

  11. #11
    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    Re: Did I do well?

    Must admit, I dont mind the colour either.... 8-)

    Reckon you got a great buy there Sen.... [smiley=thumbsup.gif]

    Mal.

  12. #12
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    Re: Did I do well?

    Quote Originally Posted by 71474C43564D50220 link=1260867503/0#0 date=1260867503
    In a moment of weakness from she who must be obeyed, I scored this


    Will say up front, Im not a huge fan of the colour, but an E61 HX machine with volumetric controls for what I got it for was just too much to pass up ($500 NZ pesos)

    Look out for a used 6910 coming to trademe soon.

    Are there any tricks to this machine that I should be aware of?

    Cheers

    Sen
    AMD would be shaking in her point shoes..

    Loves old muscle cars etc but they have to be yellow. oH my, here is a great coffee machine and its yellow... ;D :D

  13. #13
    Senior Member Coffee2Di4's Avatar
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    Re: Did I do well?

    Go the yellow Torana, AMD! (I had one, many moons ago, that I affectionately entitled the Banana-Rana!

    I love the colour too, Sen, and would happily have it in my kitchen, so...

    CHOICE!!!

    Sorry, had to throw the ultimate kiwi word in there, just for fun ;)

    Cheers
    Di


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    Re: Did I do well?

    Ive seen a Ferrari in that colour. I could live with it. 8-)

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    Re: Did I do well?

    i think we have to call it bumble bee

  16. #16
    Senior Member flynnaus's Avatar
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    Re: Did I do well?

    Quote Originally Posted by 2A3F2F323C3935383C395D0 link=1260867503/14#14 date=1261083879
    i think we have to call it bumble bee
    The Hornet

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    Re: Did I do well?

    my desktop wallpaper at the moment is a shot of bumblebee from transformers2, I think bumblebee it is

    actually, thats almost perfect considering the new (well, 2nd hand) Compak K6 I bought a few weeks ago is black, theyll be a good pair.

    the Mrs really has loosened the purse strings this month

    New grinder
    New Coffee machine
    16kgs of greens ordered

    I think I would be pushing my luck trying for a projector and a new V8 though.........

  18. #18
    Senior Member Koffee_Kosmo's Avatar
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    Re: Did I do well?

    Senator
    May all your pours be like honey

    Bee = Sweet Honey :D




    Lady bugs also come in black & yellow



    And one Expobar I know of ;)



    KK


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    Re: Did I do well?

    Its arrived!!!

    Its going to be a loooonnnggggg day in the shop waiting to get this home to try it out. Its not quite as bright of a yellow as in the photo, but bright enough.

    All up, the condition is "pretty good", especially for what I paid. The group handles and baskets look like they havent seen detergent / cafetto ever, very brown caked on oils in both handles and baskets, but this is easily to resolve.

    Underside of the group looks clean, a few grinds of coffee here and there but not unexpected. From looking at the shower screen, I cant see how this comes off, looks like some sort of plug or something(there isnt a screw?)

    Steam wand tip is dual hole, as per the group handles / baskets, has quite a layer of old milk caked on the bottom of it, nothing a soak in cafetto wont cure Im sure.

    The water resevoir doesnt seem to lift out (has 2 tubes in the side of it?) so will need to be filled as a pour over. Might have to investigate a plumb in kit as I can see this being a bit of a pain (machine sits underneath some cupboards).

    Roll on 5 oclock

  20. #20
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    Re: Did I do well?

    Congrats senator,

    I show this on trade me a few weeks back. Nice buy. :o

    Have you tried making a coffee on it yet? :D

  21. #21
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    Re: Did I do well?

    Quote Originally Posted by 0F39323D28332E5C0 link=1260867503/18#18 date=1261347016
    From looking at the shower screen, I cant see how this comes off, looks like some sort of plug or something(there isnt a screw?)
    The E61 screen does not have any screws or other fixtures. *It basically slides on and the group seal fits snuggly over the screen which holds it all in place.

    To remove you have lever the seal out first which can be tricky/fiddly. *You may damage it during removal so I would purchase a spare seal/screen before doing this. These are inexpensive consumable parts.

    I dont you need to remove it for cleaning purposes, just do a couple of thorough detergent backflushes.

    In order to get it out you basically have to lever out seal




  22. #22
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    Re: Did I do well?

    I just couldnt believe my eyes when the fixed price offer came in. Unlike the Silvia of the same vintage that got sold last night for just under $800!!

    No, no coffee made yet, will get it tidied up when I get home, soak the handles / baskets etc while its warming up then give it a shot.

  23. #23
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    Re: Did I do well?

    Quote Originally Posted by 7B7A70637D7862110 link=1260867503/20#20 date=1261356571
    The E61 screen does not have any screws... To remove you have lever the seal out first which can be tricky/fiddly.
    See the step-by-step instructions I have written here:
    http://home.surewest.net/frcn/Coffee/HowToE61gasket.html

    The gasket and screen come out together.

  24. #24
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    Re: Did I do well?

    ok when you do make a coffee let us know. And if you get time you should do a review on the machine. ;D

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    Re: Did I do well?

    great, thanks for that.

    The auction stated it had "just been serviced" and looking at the shower screen, this is entirely possible, but Ill make sure I order some more seals / screens as backups anyway.


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    Re: Did I do well?

    Got it home and immediately put the group handles in to soak, let them soak for a good 20 mins while letting the machine warm up.

    When I plugged it in and filled it with water, the control panel flashed and the pump made a brief sound (presumabely filling the boiler) and then nothing (or so I thought).

    Sure enough, boiler started to gurgle a bit and I could feel the machine getting hotter.

    I tried the steamer first, but the knob just totally unscrewed. Mild panic, but took the end off and found the clip that holds the washer in place had come out, 1 min fix and good to go (phew).

    Will have to study up / practice on the brewing tips.

    Using the single filter, filled this up, tapped on bench to settle, then refilled, leveled and tamped. Tried to put this into the group, no go, far too much coffee in there. 2nd attempt was better (no tapping to level settle), just filled with coffee and tamped. Grind was a bit fine, but still produced an "ok" shot.

    Steaming is in a totally different league to the 6910, very quick, will certainly take some getting used to. Not so much "microfoam" formed on the first attempt, but wasnt the worst milk I have ever done either. Poured a roughish thick tree (rosetta would be too much of a stretch) so there is plenty of potential.

    Will have to make do until later in the week when I have more time.

    Sen

  27. #27
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    Re: Did I do well?

    Quote Originally Posted by 0A3C37382D362B590 link=1260867503/25#25 date=1261376139
    Steaming is in a totally different league to the 6910, very quick, will certainly take some getting used to.
    Took me 2-3 months to learn to texture milk again when going from the 6910 to a Giotto.

  28. #28
    Senior Member GregWormald's Avatar
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    Re: Did I do well?

    That all sounds most promising :).

    I took me but a short time to get used to my HX, getting good on it is another story. Since every variable can radically affect the taste of the end product, a new machine is a lot of new variables all at once.

    I suggest you work slow at changes, I didnt and sometimes had confusing results.

    Greg
    The trip IS the fun.

  29. #29
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    Re: Did I do well?

    I really do need to go back to coffee school :(

    I am having real trouble with dosing. Have read through the tips linked to above, but they just dont seem to be working for me.

    Have tried -

    Dosing the basket to overflowing and tapping to collapse, refill, wipe with straight edge and tamp. Far too much coffee, fails to lock in at all.

    then

    Dosing till overflowing, no settling tap and wipe with straight edge till level. Tamp, still too much coffee, locks in but coffee puck gets destroyed by shower screen when locked in.

    Any tips appreciated

    Cheers

    Sen

  30. #30
    Senior Member flynnaus's Avatar
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    Re: Did I do well?

    Down-dose (put less in the basket). You might need to scrape some grounds out with your finger before tamping. This is where dosing tools would be useful.

    Its trial and error until you work out the right level.

  31. #31
    Senior Member GregWormald's Avatar
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    Re: Did I do well?

    Quote Originally Posted by 5F69626D78637E0C0 link=1260867503/28#28 date=1261514992
    Dosing till overflowing, no settling tap and wipe with straight edge till level. Tamp, still too much coffee, locks in but coffee puck gets destroyed by shower screen when locked in.

    Any tips appreciated
    What works for me is to measure each grind by volume and grind only that amount of beans. It comes out in a regular conical shape in the basket. Tap on bench to settle and tamp.

    If you must overfill, or are making a quanitity of coffees at once, then instead of a straight edge use a curved bit of card (or thumb) to take out excess coffee.

    Generally you want just enough coffee that a 5 cent piece on top of the puck only gently indents when the group handle is locked in. This gives some room for expansion.

    Greg

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    Re: Did I do well?

    Quote Originally Posted by 784E454A5F44592B0 link=1260867503/28#28 date=1261514992
    I really do need to go back to coffee school :(

    I am having real trouble with dosing. Have read through the tips linked to above, but they just dont seem to be working for me.

    Have tried -

    Dosing the basket to overflowing and tapping to collapse, refill, wipe with straight edge and tamp. Far too much coffee, fails to lock in at all.

    then

    Dosing till overflowing, no settling tap and wipe with straight edge till level. Tamp, still too much coffee, locks in but coffee puck gets destroyed by shower screen when locked in.

    Any tips appreciated

    Cheers

    Sen

    When that has happened to me, I have found that it is because the grind is too coarse. That makes it too difficult to tamp down to the correct level to fit under the shower screen.

    So, I would go finer and take it from there.

    Also, although you are not tapping, you may need to ensure that you are not compressing at the same time as levelling.

    Hope that helps.
    Marie

  33. #33
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    Re: Did I do well?

    The curved edge suggestion helped a bit. Dont have any more funds to buy dosing tools, but have a curved knife that will suffice for now. Still need to break my habit of dose, tap, dose, flatten and tamp though as there was still fractionally too much in the basket (impression of the shower screen before pulling the shot).

    On the plus side of the equation, there is a significant flavour difference between this and the 6910. Where the 6910 can be a little sour / bright in the shots it pulls (talking milk drinks only), the expobar is definitely more rounded, smoother / refined if that makes sense.

    Still getting the big bubbles, there just isnt enough time to correct mistakes with Bumblebee like there was with the 6910. Im guessing a jug of milk for a latte (200 or so mls of milk) is taking 30ish seconds and the 2 hole tip (with holes propelling front / back) is tough to get right.

    Arghhhhh, I thought I was good at making coffee, still, will get there again

  34. #34
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    Re: Did I do well?



    Hi Senator,

    Im not sure if this will help but you try dose ( until you can fill no more) then tap twice on the bench, level off the extra with you index finger so it looks fairly flat. Tamp and then insert into group head. I know the one at work works well using this technique. Although i have to alter this technique for my 6910. :P

  35. #35
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    Re: Did I do well?

    This might be trickier than what I first thought.

    I am currently using my sunbeam tamper with the new machine. It is quite a good fit, very little space around the edge. The problem seems to be that the tamper is hitting the side of the basket where it tapers in, but the coffee level is still too high. Is this an unusual problem?

    I cant see where a fitted tamper would necessarily be any better, unless I maybe went down to a 57mm one rather than a 58mm one, where even though there would be 1mm or so around the outside of the tamper, it would be able to get deeper into the basket.

    The basket seems about the same size as my sunbeam basket (have interchanged them to see if this helps, but the same thing happens, tamper bottoms out).

    New basket (Synesso one?) and / or marginally smaller tamper to get the dose a fraction lower? Only seems to be 1 or 2mm at the most.

    Cheers

    Sen

  36. #36
    Sleep is overrated Thundergod's Avatar
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    Re: Did I do well?

    Quote Originally Posted by 4F79727D68736E1C0 link=1260867503/34#34 date=1261704789
    New basket (Synesso one?)
    IIRC Greg said the sides of the Synesso baskets are straight.

    This means youll be able to dose to any depth you want.

  37. #37
    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    Re: Did I do well?

    Definitely sounds like a Tamper/Basket mismatch thing happening there Sen.... :P

    Synesso baskets are pretty good though and providing your Tamper fits OK, you should be home and hosed. Alternatively, you could try taking your basket(s) with you to a local specialist dealer and see if you can find a Tamper that fits the baskets you already have.... At least that would get you going mate ;)

    Mal.

  38. #38
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    Re: Did I do well?

    Just a little addition.

    We have a commercial Expobar. *I dont know if your great little machine has similar quirks, but when first getting comfortable with our machine we found that it was really hard to perfect a shot with the single group handle, you could not get away with overfilling, either the handle just would not go in or if you did manage to get it into the machine the machine ceases the water flow and the button flashes. *Thru trial and error we found that you really had to dose quite low (leveling off and tamping was way too much for our single group handle). *

    On the other hand the double was much easier to learn on and more forgiving. *Using the method above that you described of filling with grinds and then scraping to level off (making sure you are consistent by trying not to compress or shake down the grinds during this process) seemed to work well with our machine and may be the way to go with your double. *Again though we did find that you had to be careful with overdosing.

    Once you have consistent dosing on the double, then you can start mucking around with the grind or tamping (once you get your tamper sorted). *Then try going back to the single once you have sorted out the grind on the double and then experiment with dosages and/or tamp pressure.

    This may help?

    Denhamia

  39. #39
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    Re: Did I do well?

    We also run an Expobar Silvestre (Spanish for really small boiler). We too had issues between the large & small baskets. It was never a problem on the Wega which I have used for the last five years, you dosed correctly & you got your shot. My response has been to grind & dose for the double basket then muck around with basket sizes for the single. I suspect it is an issue with shower screen height although logically it shouldnt be.

    I know of no other machines but Expobars with similar quirks. I was conducting some training recently on an Expobar Megacrem (where do they get the names?) same issue. Before that demoed on a Boema Maestro (!) & it sung like a bird (great steam arms).

    We have got ours tamed at present but it still extremely dose sensitive.

  40. #40
    Sleep is overrated Thundergod's Avatar
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    Re: Did I do well?

    Quote Originally Posted by 577960704A5D7A606670150 link=1260867503/38#38 date=1261899774
    I know of no other machines but Expobars with similar quirks.
    Its not the machine, its the basket.

    Although I use the double basket on my Expobar 99% of the time, once Id learned to understand the behaviour of the single basket, it did not take much to adjust the grind or dose to suit.

  41. #41
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    Re: Did I do well?

    Have a new "proper" tamper now



    Is quite weighty at around 440gr plus beautiful Rimu wood handle, cetainly looks the goods compared to the Sunbeam one.

    Seems a much better tamp / level now with the handle locking in without disturbing the puck at all :)

    Now just the milk to work on..........



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