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Thread: Newbie with a few questions about first espresso machine.

  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2010

    Newbie with a few questions about first espresso machine.

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Hi, we upgraded from our Aeropress to a Saeco Via Venezia today. I was actually looking at getting a Sunbeam 4800 or 5600, but the saleswoman at Harvey Norman convinced me that Saeco were a much better brand. Ive had a few goes now at making coffees with it and have to say that Im loving it so far but have a few questions.
    - the saleswoman said that I didnt need a tamp because it had a semi-automatic tamping system. You just click the head twice once its locked in and thats the tamping done. How does that work or was it just sales BS?
    - frothing the milk. Im not a huge fan of lots of froth, I prefer more milk than froth. So far, Im basically making milkshakes. Any hints on how to make hot milk with a bit of froth would be great.
    - stainless steel milk jug. Do I really need one or can I use our old plastic jug? My mate has one with a thermometer attached to the side that he got as a present. Does anyone know where you can get these?

    Thanks for your help. 6 coffees strong so far and maybe one more for the nite.



  2. #2
    Senior Member GregWormald's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2007

    Re: Newbie with a few questions about first espresso machine.

    Im afraid that despite the fact that she (may have) got the brand right for you, for the rest-- "saleswoman" tells the story.

    You will need to tamp.
    Best results will be with the group handle de-pressurised. (search this forum)
    You will need fresh beans. (no more than 4 weeks from roasting)
    You will need a good grinder and grind the beans immediately before making the coffee.
    You will need much more practice than you thought would ever make a difference. (search again for coffee making and for milk foaming hints)
    Plastic jugs dont work well for foaming milk, IMO, but a good pyrex or stainless jug, or even a large mug can do the job.

    Welcome to the addiction. ;D


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2010

    Re: Newbie with a few questions about first espresso machine.

    Behmor Brazen - $249 - Free Freight
    Hi there Brad. These are my offerings:

    If your saeco has a "panarello" frothing device , can it be removed? This device will probably produce the type of bubbly froth that you do not want . Not sure if you can remove it, but worth investigating. Good quality textured milk ( dense and not too frothy) takes practise and once you nail the technique it will be easy.
    I think a stainless steel 600ml jug is worth the $20 investment, and you can buy a small milk thermometer from most good homewares stores or the site sponsors. They are not expensive (I paid about $12 for mine). Most people here will probably say that you do not need one. This is true, but in the early stages I found it useful as I was taking the milk off steam too early until I started checking with a themometer. I discovered that I had a bit longer to go before overheating, and this produced better milk.
    As already recommended by others , good fresh beans and grinder will also make a difference.
    Finally lots of practise and enjoy the ride!!

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