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Thread: EM6910 and Medium Roasts

  1. #1
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    EM6910 and Medium Roasts

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Hello

    This might be a stupid question, but here goes, just thought I'd ask...

    Do other em6910 owners out there have success with medium style roasts??

    I am aware that historically espresso roasts were typically quite dark, but the trend is moving toward a more medium roast, some not even reaching 2nd crack.

    Now, whenever I try medium roast coffee, I don't seem to get/taste the flavours that I believe I should be getting - some of this could be down to my uneducated palate, but I am just wondering if my machine is actually capable of extracting good flavour from medium-roast beans.. or does it need to rely on darker roasts??

    Running medium roasts through my machine usually results in quite 'bland' or 'boring' shots/milk drinks.. with perhaps a watery feel on the mouth..

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Junior Member MrSoulSong's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by maddoxd View Post
    Hello

    This might be a stupid question, but here goes, just thought I'd ask...

    Do other em6910 owners out there have success with medium style roasts??

    I am aware that historically espresso roasts were typically quite dark, but the trend is moving toward a more medium roast, some not even reaching 2nd crack.

    Now, whenever I try medium roast coffee, I don't seem to get/taste the flavours that I believe I should be getting - some of this could be down to my uneducated palate, but I am just wondering if my machine is actually capable of extracting good flavour from medium-roast beans.. or does it need to rely on darker roasts??

    Running medium roasts through my machine usually results in quite 'bland' or 'boring' shots/milk drinks.. with perhaps a watery feel on the mouth..

    Thanks!
    Yes, the 6910 is more than capable of producing great quality extractions from medium roast beans. Best results are from fresh roasted beans. 'Supermarket' beans do not make the cut in any situation IMO.

    The locally roasted beans (medium roast) I use produce great quality coffee. I even use a fairly 'heavy' full cream milk for milk drinks, and it still does not overpower the flavours.

  3. #3
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    hello

    I certainly don't use supermarket beans, I usually roast my own. Although I have experienced the same 'lacking' element when using fresh locally roasted beans

  4. #4
    Junior Member MrSoulSong's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by maddoxd View Post
    hello

    I certainly don't use supermarket beans, I usually roast my own. Although I have experienced the same 'lacking' element when using fresh locally roasted beans
    I did not intend to imply that you may have used supermarket beans at all sorry, it's just one of those things that need to be eliminated first.

    Have you moved away from the stock settings at all?

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by MrSoulSong View Post
    I did not intend to imply that you may have used supermarket beans at all sorry, it's just one of those things that need to be eliminated first.

    Have you moved away from the stock settings at all?
    np!

    Ah, I haven't no. I recall playing with the wetness of the steam etc, but I seem to get good steam on the default. Never played with brew temp etc, all default. Cheers

  6. #6
    Junior Member MrSoulSong's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by maddoxd View Post
    np!

    Ah, I haven't no. I recall playing with the wetness of the steam etc, but I seem to get good steam on the default. Never played with brew temp etc, all default. Cheers
    It might be worth upping the 'Espresso Thermoblock' temperature and see how you go. I think the best thing is trial and error, as different people seem to have varied results when using the same settings.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by maddoxd View Post
    np!

    Ah, I haven't no. I recall playing with the wetness of the steam etc, but I seem to get good steam on the default. Never played with brew temp etc, all default. Cheers
    Hi maddoxd

    I have 2 * 6910's, plus I have set up a number of them for friends. As shipped they often vary in shot temp, esp. the post 2011 ones. Measuring the actual shot temp is highly recommended & calibrating it may be essential for good coffee. As long as the steam wand is clean (a common 6910 snafu) default setting seems to be spot on for all the ones I have tried (jugs from 350ml to 1000ml).

    FWIW, I believe a good grinder is way more important than the espresso machine once you are into 6910 territory & above. I have used a wide variety of commercial machines and until you are way over the $3,000 mark a Silvia or 6910 at home (where tinkering is an realistic option) can match them.

    A combination of a good grinder (EM480 is my personal minimum), a naked p/f and VST baskets can easily give you top quality light to medium roast "single origin" espresso (i.e. a lot better than most cafes). FWIW, I have upgraded my grinder to a Mahlkonig Vario, and the 6910 still cuts it at that level.

    Enjoy your cuppa.


    TampIt

  8. #8
    Rbn
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    Have to say that these are very good comments from Tampit.

    I have an EM480, and an EM 6910, plus the VST basket.
    After Tampit's guidance on the VST baskets I have got a good coffee, using the 7gram basket.
    See his comments on my thread about "a naked portafilter".

    I do buy my beans from the supermarket, but not just any old beans. I only buy 2 different brands but mostly Hummingbird Restart, and I always check the roast date.
    They are sourced locally, and are usually about a day old from roasting when we buy them.

    I get a lingering aftertaste on the edge of the tongue, and a little after taste at the back of the tongue, but Tampit, not for an hour!

  9. #9
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    Hi guys

    Thanks for the replies. I think you are right on thermoblock temp. A friend suggested this to me last night that he got sour shots when he hadn't let his machine warm up enough. So this morning I cranked it to the highest and it has definitely cut through the sourness/acidity.

    I think the problem of my low brew temp was really picked up with lighter roasted (i.e. more acidic) coffee.

    So I think that is problem solved. It took me a while for my uneducated palette to realise the 'citrusy' notes were really just sourness from underextraction. I seem to be getting more flavour coming through now, although more tinkering required I think.

    I have a Rancilio Rocky grinder. Not top end, but a pretty good match for the machine as far as I understand. It's quirks aside, I am quite happy with it.

    I would love to get a new naked portafilter, but realistically the next money I spend on this machine has to be a new collar - that is a whole different topic for another day though..

    While we're sharing experiences with this machine, I would say the single biggest thing I've done to make my shots better was start to weigh my ground coffee.. 20.5 grams seems spot on for me. Now I would say 8 out of 10 shots are very good. But of a faff to take out the basket each time and get out the little scales, but prob only adds 30seconds if that to the coffee prep

    Thanks!
    D

  10. #10
    Rbn
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    I guess I shouldn't say, but when you get to VST baskets, especially if it is a single, you will be down to 7-8grams~!
    Then it will be another learning curve, I although I get it close to right, I have not got there yet.

    Keep on tinkering and experimenting, I think the best test is simply this,
    Do you make better coffees than you can buy up town at the best places.

    If you can, and I am sure you can or will be able to, then any extra improvement you can make is a bonus.

    I know this is snobby, but I can seldom buy coffees that are the way I like them made.
    For me that is good enough, and I keep on trying.



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