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Thread: Mokita Noob Needs Help

  1. #1
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    Mokita Noob Needs Help

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Hi all. Ive had my Imat Mokita for about a week but have experienced some trouble with pre-ground coffee (I dont have a grinder).

    The Story So Far:

    1st batch The first set of coffee I got my hands on was from the Coffee Club in Balaclava. I told them I was using an espresso machine. When I got home I found my shots were too quick using the single cup filter. No matter how much tamping I gave it or how much coffee I used, the shots were taking 10-15 seconds tops.

    2nd batch So I went to Gloria Jeans and did the same thing. Got hold of 200g of Glorias Special Blend, told them I had an espresso machine.
    When I get home and put coffee in the single filter and tamp... the machine chokes. No problem, next time I put a heaped tablespoon in and tamped much lighter. Success!!! A perfect shot in 26 seconds. After a good 15 coffees or so over a few days :o I headed back to the shop for more coffee.

    3rd batch At Gloria Jeans I got some Special Blend and French Breakfast Blend, 200g each. When I get home and try to pull shots I had the same problem as the first batch.. a very fast and watery flow. And to make things worse my girlfriend had also bought two batches herself each with the same problem.

    My question is this, why do coffee shops grind so course for espresso makers? It seems the one good batch I did get was accidentally ground too fine but I had fantastic coffees.

    Please help the noob!

    Ben

    UPDATE

    OK I just used the double filter with both blends and Ive got the same problem. Heavy tamping, lots of coffee with the filter full. Pull time still about 14-16 seconds with very little crema. Coffee Shops grinding too course?

  2. #2
    Senior Member Lovey's Avatar
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    Re: Mokita Noob Needs Help

    Gday BennyB and welcome to the forum.

    Hi all. *Ive had my Imat Mokita for about a week but have experienced some trouble with pre-ground coffee (I dont have a grinder).
    The easiest (not cheapest) solution to your problem is to buy yourself a decent grinder.
    Youll find it very hard, if not impossible, to get the consistency you need for good espresso from pre-ground coffee bought from a shop. There are variations in every grinder, even between different shops with the same name, variations in humidity and the age of the beans. *All of these factors will impact on the grind which will impact on the final product.
    My question is this, why do coffee shops grind so course for espresso makers?
    Without getting into in depth discussions about the relative merits of various coffee suppliers, the grind supplied to you by this shop may have suited to their coffee machine, not yours, due to above mentioned variations.
    Again, the best solution is to buy a grinder.
    Hope this helps,
    Steve.

  3. #3
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    Re: Mokita Noob Needs Help

    hi Steve.
    Yes that was the response I was afraid of :D Ive got my eye on the Lux, I hope its capable of grinding fine enough for my Mokita!

    thanks for the advice.

    Ben

  4. #4
    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    Re: Mokita Noob Needs Help

    Hi BennyB,

    Glad to have you on-board the good ship CoffeeSnobs..... Welcome! ;D

    Yep, without a decent grinder youll be forever chasing your own tail as youve discovered. The Lux you have your eye on is a great little grinder and capable of grinding for any machine, including the more expensive semi-commercial HX units, so you cant go wrong there. Quite a few manufacturers use the same "burr-set" with their grinders and priced in the same ballpark, e.g. Ibertal, Innova, La Pavoni and the list goes on.

    I guess the only concerns Ive seen expressed for these model grinders is the high level of noise they produce and that the grinding rate is a bit slow. If neither of these is of concern to you though, they will certainly produce consistently high quality ground coffee. The only thing then that will be limiting you, will be the quality of the coffee and there is nothing to compare with freshly roasted coffee.... Its cheap and easy to get started and once mastered (very quickly achieved at home) youll never look back ;)

    All the best,
    Mal.

  5. #5
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    Re: Mokita Noob Needs Help

    Hi Benny,

    Congratulations on the Mokita!

    Until you get a grinder, you can ask the people supplying your coffee to tell you what number/grind setting theyre using. If its too coarse, just ask them to go a notch finer next time youre there. Of course there will be environmental factors etc coming into it, but you should get within the ballpark within a few visits. Every make of grinder is different so this will only work going back to the same suppplier with each revision.

    Cheers,

    - Rob

  6. #6
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    Re: Mokita Noob Needs Help

    Youde want to also look into the new Sunbeam EM0480.

    This machine is new from Sunbeam in their "pro" line. Its $199 RRP, but I got one at the Good Guys at $170. It will easily grind fine enough for the Makita (Alan Frew talked about it grinding for the silvia no problem).

    This machine is doserless like the LUX and Id have to say its a category killer at that price.

    http://www.sunbeam.com.au/products/p...=587&sec_id=79

    you could also check out this thread on coffeegeek

    http://www.coffeegeek.com/forums/wor...7804111&Page=2

  7. #7
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    Re: Mokita Noob Needs Help

    Definitely get a grinder, the taste and enjoyment of espresso makes a giant leap forward once you start grinding on demand and the addicition begins...

    Having said that mantra :D, I am not ashamed to admit that I started off without a grinder.
    I got my machine as a gift and had to wait a fair bit before I sourced my grinder. I used to get my beans ground at a food shop that was a stroll from my residence. I visit twice; mornings before work for my first grind and in the evening I would do another.

    The only benefit I got from grinding offshore was that I some understanding about the vagaries of the dose & tamp. It made me a better judge of how much to adjust my tamp and/or dose when I wanted to change the rate of my espresso pour. But the taste of my >24hr grind sucked ass, when compared with freshly ground.

    Until you get your own grinder, keep the variables constant***
    - the type of bean/blend
    - the place that you buy your beans from and get it ground at (use the same grinder)
    (***at least the variables that are in your control; factors like humidity, temperature, age of beans etc.. are not in your control)
    When you first get the beans ground, get them to grind out some samples at different grind settings close to each other, make a note of the grind level of each sample. Once you find a grind that allows you to achieve a correct-ish pour rate, then stick to that. If they dont mind, get a small strip of masking tape and use it to mark the sweet spot on the grinder. This allows any employee at the store to get the right grind for you.

  8. #8
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    Re: Mokita Noob Needs Help

    Wow, that Sunbeam looks like the perfect option. Thanks

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    Re: Mokita Noob Needs Help

    Since Ive had mine Im VERY happy with it Ive gotta say (initial impression after the first weekend use). I had a Saeco before that, and the grind was great, easily fine enough to choke the machine, but I wanted a doserless because of the cleanup.

    Im grinding on about 11 on the Gaggia, and there are about 25 settings (I think?). I suspect the Mokita will be similar.

    Ill work on a post in the "Grinders" section next week, so keep an eye out for that - its got the machine rundown, and also some picks of a small grind catchment mod which would be worthwhile.

    Glad the advice helped.

  10. #10
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    Re: Mokita Noob Needs Help

    I went out and picked up a Sunbeam E0480 today and its excellent. Ive got it set to 15 and with a reasonable amount of tamp its still pouring too slow! Fantastic.
    Now I just need to figure out whether to go for a finer grind with lighter tamp or stay at 15 and tamp hard. I guess then it ends up being a matter of taste...

    Ben


  11. #11
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    Re: Mokita Noob Needs Help

    Ben,
    Id dial down, and tamp as you usually would. I have never been a huge fan of the mega tamp - although the guy who helped Sunbeam with the grinder is renouned for massively packing his groups! I have read somewhere that he almost breaks the PF handle off when he tamps!

    Me, Im aiming for 30ml in 25 - coffee slightly piled above the lip of the group just before the tamp. But the main thing about tamping in my book is... that everyone should do it just the way they like it. So now youve got the new toy, youll have plenty of chance to practice... enjoy it!

  12. #12
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    Re: Mokita Noob Needs Help

    Great stuff Ben, a very speedy grinder purchase.

    Re:tamping
    What sort of tamper are you using? If it is the black plastic thing that comes with most espresso machines (and even Mazzer grinders), then look at upgrading to something metal and that fits your portafilter basket well. There are a few options at various price points.

    Plastic tamper
    http://www.coffeeparts.com/accessories/images/tamperplast.jpg

    This stainless steel tamper comes in two varieties, a hollow type that is cheaper than the full metal version
    http://www.coffeeparts.com/accessories/images/sscoffeetamper.jpg

    The custom made Greg Pullman tamper gets great reviews (both for build quality & Gregs customer service), Ive looked at Lucas longingly but dont own one myself. Perfect fit & superbly crafted are the best words to use.
    http://www.coffeetamper.com.au/

    BTW, like AndyCJ, Im not a mega-tamper (unless the beans are stale/old). When I first got my espresso machine & grinder, I first worked on my dosing (consistency) before adjusting my tamp levels.

  13. #13
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    Re: Mokita Noob Needs Help

    Go the grinder. Or upgrade to the Mokita Combi which has one built-in, save your bench-space and sell the Mokita on eBay or something. Re the tamper, the undersized one it comes does add to the inconsistent results, and I personally found a correct sized one made a big difference when I first bought my Napoletana II (a.k.a. Mokita Combi). The links above should help; in one case you can get a correct-sized replacement for the built-in tamper youve got which is a cheap way of at least getting the size right.

    Moderators re commercial posting: How can I properly point Ben in the right direction without turning this into a commercial post? Hes got a problem, I may have the solution, but I feel that providing it would be classed as commercial posting, hence the distinctly unhelpful vagueness above. :-/

  14. #14
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    Re: Mokita Noob Needs Help

    thanks guys.

    Ive now got my Mokita, my Sunbeam grinder (awesome!) and my Pullman tamper. The key things Ive discovered is bean freshness is vital and milk frothing needs to start big and early even if it means sucking in too much air. Now I just need to wean back from seven cups a day to three ;D

    Ben

  15. #15
    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    Re: Mokita Noob Needs Help

    Quote Originally Posted by gregpullman link=1137765106/0#12 date=1138844270
    Moderators re commercial posting: How can I properly point Ben in the right direction without turning this into a commercial post? Hes got a problem, I may have the solution, but I feel that providing it would be classed as commercial posting, hence the distinctly unhelpful vagueness above. :-/
    Hi Greg,

    The best thing to do is to PM Andy Freeman and discuss with him.... Andys the head honcho around here,

    Mal.

  16. #16
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    Re: Mokita Noob Needs Help

    Behmor Brazen - $249 - Free Freight
    Thanks Mal, will do.



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