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Thread: Isomac Zaffiro - My first machine

  1. #1
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    Isomac Zaffiro - My first machine

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    OK, well not my first machine, but my first decent machine. Well, it arrived last week and I instantly went to work making Espressos and Lattes. Im not a barista, but I do like a good coffee, and know some of the basics, as well as picking up some tips here and there from some articles and forum sites. My first impression was OK. Not as great as I was expecting. So it must be my coffee. So after a visit to Coffee Alchemy, I bought some fresh coffee. Off I go again. 200grams later, Im just not getting the results I want. Little or no crema and a definate sour taste. Off to the forums once again, and this time after reading a review from CoffeeGeek, it sounds like they had exactley the same issue with their test machine. A low thermostat setting. So now at 12.30, Ive made an adjustment of about 2-3degrees Cel (after removing the casing and making a small clockwise turn), and Im waiting for the little Isomac to heat up enough for me to re-test. Ill let you know how I go. 30 minutes seems like a long time at this point of the night.

  2. #2
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    Re: Isomac Zaffiro - My first machine

    Great that you have looked for fresh roasted beans, without that you are up the creek.

    You have a good grinder? If you have bought pre-ground, by the time you are home the coffee is getting stale.

    The grind and tamp are important too.

    Did you notice the coffee was cold at all, even with a little low temp in the order of 2-3 deg, there will be crema.

    Im sure you will get there in the end. ;)

  3. #3
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    Re: Isomac Zaffiro - My first machine

    I have a crappy little Breville grinder (this is on my list) but it least it has stepped adjustment, which is currently at its finest, which I suspect still isnt fine enough. The tamper is something Im experimenting with. I give it about enough space between the coffee and the head filter for a little water to fill and pack the pf very firmly. Im off to get some more coffee this morning to try a new round of tests. Thanks for the feedback. If you can give any other suggestions that would greatly appreciated. :)

  4. #4
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    Re: Isomac Zaffiro - My first machine

    Sorry in answer top your your crema question. No. Even coldish there was no Crema. :(

  5. #5
    TC
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    Re: Isomac Zaffiro - My first machine

    Time for a new grinder Simon.....

    With the Breville, I regret that you will never get a satisfactory result until you upgrade.

    Chris

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    Re: Isomac Zaffiro - My first machine

    I think your right Chris. Ive just made my second tempreture adjustment, and are just waiting for the machine to re-heat. After some tamper adjustments, Im now getting some Crema. So it looks like some better technique (and practice), and a new grinder should round it out.

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    Re: Isomac Zaffiro - My first machine

    I have that grinder paired with a bunky modifed Ikon (naked portafilter / un-pressurised basket) . Ive modified it to grinder finer. Mod is very easy but, mostly unnecessary. It was a stop gap solution that has gone past its expected service time, 2 1/2 years.

    It ought to give you enough to have the machine pulling decent shots with crema. Even though more awesomeness is there to be had from a better unit. So look elsewhere for the problem unless its knackered.

    Could be the coffee : check the roasting date on the bag. If it doesnt have one then there is a strong chance its at fault.

    Spend $30 on a popcorn maker and buy some green beans or grab some roasted stuff from beanbay, would be my suggestion. Nothing lost there.

    Unless the shots coming out are stone cold the Zaffiro is probably doing fine.

    Hope you find the answer soon.


  8. #8
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    Re: Isomac Zaffiro - My first machine

    I hope you sort this one out! Im looking at the Zaffiro as my first decent machine, and Im certainly hoping that the learning curve is not too high! ;)

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    Re: Isomac Zaffiro - My first machine

    Its definately a geat machine. It looks fantastic, and according to reviews Ive read, it will deliver the goods. Although at this level, I think that there is a level of knowledge you need to pull a good shot. Im just not there yet after almost a week. ;)

  10. #10
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    Re: Isomac Zaffiro - My first machine

    So after the last (2nd) thormostat adjustment, the coffee was coming out a bit burnt, so Ive taken it back to the last setting, where it seems to be OK. Now after a bit more fiddle and some discussions with the baristas (and some observations) around the Aroma Festival on Sunday, it seems as the current grind that my poor old grinder is putting out needs to be packed into the PF as hard as you can. That seems to create some crema (finally). So as soon as the next pay cheque comes in, so will a new order for a new Grinder. Currently looking at a Rancillio Rocky or a La Pavoni Jolly.

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    Re: Isomac Zaffiro - My first machine

    Well it all seems to be moving forward. Ive been able to get some consistent shots over the past week, although I desperately need a new grinder, and it shows. Coffee from Coffee Alchemy, has been going well. Nice group of people, and nice blends. Although Im going to order some La Minita roasted beans from the US next month. Looking forward to that, as it will be after the new grinder. Ill keep you updated on the process.

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    Re: Isomac Zaffiro - My first machine

    The La Minita Estate Tarrazu is awesome. Its a fricken Spanish Gold Mine of coffee (pun intended) ;D

    Im roasting this again in a few days. Love it as a single origin and I find it makes an awesome espresso as well as being a mean plunger brew at lighter roasts.

    I dont know about ordering roasted beans from the US though, that seems like a good way to get something ordinary.

    Go grab a pop corn maker mate ! :D

  13. #13
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    Re: Isomac Zaffiro - My first machine

    Well, the little Isomac still isnt producing a nice crema, and seems to be coming through too fast. :(. Not sure now if its my grind, as Ive tried some coffee a friend bought over, and it doesnt seem to make any difference. Ive tried packing to the 30 pounds of pressure, although I havent checked how hard Im doing it. Could there be any other reason part from grind and tamper that could make this happen?

  14. #14
    A_M
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    Re: Isomac Zaffiro - My first machine

    Quote Originally Posted by 605A5E5C5D0A0303330 link=1279895413/12#12 date=1280964294
    Well, the little Isomac still isnt producing a nice crema, and seems to be coming through too fast. :(. Not sure now if its my grind, as Ive tried some coffee a friend bought over, and it doesnt seem to make any difference. Ive tried packing to the 30 pounds of pressure, although I havent checked how hard Im doing it. Could there be any other reason part from grind and tamper that could make this happen?

    I know this is going to sound like a repeating chant, but and in no particular order;

    **: Known Quality of beans

    **: Quality of grinder

    Without these two being done and dusted, then it comes down to having an extensive knowledge and understanding of every variable and that you know how to offset each one to get great coffee from a less than ideal raw product.


    If you have not got a good quality grinder then even with good beans it will be hard work.

    I spent a week, drinking less than great coffee and even after changing my whole process and then some; it came back down to the beans I was given. *They were not up to scratch; regardless of what I had been told as to their quality and freshness. I personally went and picked up the same and the change was instant.

    As to pre ground;

    Remember the rough guide of best B4;

    3 years 4 green
    3 months 4 roasted
    3 min 4 ground.




  15. #15
    brett230873
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    Re: Isomac Zaffiro - My first machine


    Quote Originally Posted by 6D57535150070E0E3E0 link=1279895413/12#12 date=1280964294
    Well, the little Isomac still isnt producing a nice crema, and seems to be coming through too fast. . Not sure now if its my grind, as Ive tried some coffee a friend bought over, and it doesnt seem to make any difference. Ive tried packing to the 30 pounds of pressure, although I havent checked how hard Im doing it. Could there be any other reason part from grind and tamper that could make this happen?
    Quote Originally Posted by 6A5F5255617D5158585B5B3E0 link=1279895413/4#4 date=1279932222
    Time for a new grinder Simon.....

    With the Breville, I regret that you will never get a satisfactory result until you upgrade.

    Chris
    Any update on this? If I had my time again I would have bought a K3t like the latest ones on offer with the nice shiny bits and the smaller hopper. Stupid hindsight! >:(

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    Re: Isomac Zaffiro - My first machine

    Im going to get either a Rancillo Rocky (Doser), or if I can afford it a Macap M5. Im going to pick-up some freshly ground beans today, as a test before I get the grinder. Just to see if the grinds I have had are not up to scratch.
    Do you have a link to the K3t?

  17. #17
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    Re: Isomac Zaffiro - My first machine

    Quote Originally Posted by 7A40444647101919290 link=1279895413/15#15 date=1280973291
    Im going to get either a Rancillo Rocky (Doser), or if I can afford it a Macap M5. Im going to pick-up some freshly ground beans today, as a test before I get the grinder. Just to see if the grinds I have had are not up to scratch.
    Do you have a link to the K3t?
    See teh nearest sponsor... TC and others all supply....

    And just read teh Grinder review in teh sticky http://coffeesnobs.com.au/YaBB.pl?num=1163235531

  18. #18
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    Re: Isomac Zaffiro - My first machine

    Ive got the Macap and recommend it over the Rocky.
    You know you want it; dont regret any decision later.

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    Re: Isomac Zaffiro - My first machine

    Any thoughts on the La Pavoni Jolly?

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    Re: Isomac Zaffiro - My first machine

    OK, so some fresh beans today, roasted yesterday, ground today at Coffee Alchemy. A lot better. The pressure has gone up to about 11.5 when pulling shots, and a lot more crema. Id say some better Tamping should do the trick. :)

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    Re: Isomac Zaffiro - My first machine

    @Thundergod. I know your right, its just a matter of budget. :(

  22. #22
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    Re: Isomac Zaffiro - My first machine

    Quote Originally Posted by 62585C5E5F080101310 link=1279895413/20#20 date=1281066833
    @Thundergod. I know your right, its just a matter of budget. :(
    So budget over good coffee = GJ coffe drinker ;D

    Many suppliers state teh same thing... its just a matter of budget GJ / Sunbeam/Apple/Holden/lauda etc etc...

    So now you doing just what we all hate suppliers doing.. Budget over Quality.....

    Come on now.

    Be a man not a mouse.. Go and do it ;D

  23. #23
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    Re: Isomac Zaffiro - My first machine

    You guys are like evil coffee beans on my shoulder. ;)

  24. #24
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    Re: Isomac Zaffiro - My first machine

    So weve decided on the Macap M4. Stepless and chrome should do the trick.
    Current shots turning out alright. Some more tamping skills needed though.

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    Re: Isomac Zaffiro - My first machine

    SO my Macap M4 turned up Tuesday, and Ive started on the process of working out the correct grind. So far 500grams in the making, and some more to go. More tamping skills needed. :)

  26. #26
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    Re: Isomac Zaffiro - My first machine

    Simon900, the Macap should make the world of difference. I got a Eureka Mignon when I purchased my Zaffiro, and I can get a whole double shot of crema, which settles to 4-5mm on the top in a minute or two.

    Never compromise. Unless your wife makes you compromise, and then you just never tell anyone. ;)

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    Re: Isomac Zaffiro - My first machine

    I dont get that much at this stage. Ive met a barista who is keen to have a look at fine tuning the Zaffiro. So I think Ill take him up on that offer and in the meantime work on the grinds.

  28. #28
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    Re: Isomac Zaffiro - My first machine

    Quote Originally Posted by 0C36323031666F6F5F0 link=1279895413/26#26 date=1289531668
    I dont get that much at this stage. Ive met a barista who is keen to have a look at fine tuning the Zaffiro. So I think Ill take him up on that offer and in the meantime work on the grinds.

    Your lucky..

    Only one or two REAL Baristas around in QLD... And would assume only a few more in each of teh other states. Mind you, just like spam - There are 1001 persons that claim to be a barista...


    I would rather a long term coffee nut, that belongs to CS and or has respect from other coffee nuts; over 99.9 % of those that call themselves a barista!!!


    Besides... Unless they have a few very special tools, then not sure what TUNING might be done..


    Either way, best of luck.


    PS. In most cases it is teh user, not the machine, that needs tuning ;)


  29. #29
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    Re: Isomac Zaffiro - My first machine

    Im sure its probably the user and not the machine, but I want to be sure that is the case. The guy in question is super keen. He says he can check the temperature of the water, and ensure the pressure is good. He has a fairly good machine, and also roasts at home. He brings these roasts in to the cafe for people to try as an alternative to the standard beans on offer. He just comes across as a coffee nut, and for some reason I trust his judgement. :)

  30. #30
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    Re: Isomac Zaffiro - My first machine

    Its common sense and youd probably do it anyway, but dont forget to take careful notes of everything he does.

  31. #31
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    Re: Isomac Zaffiro - My first machine

    Shall do. Ill let you guys know how it goes.



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