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Thread: Consistency and ease of use - any brewer recs?

  1. #1
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    Consistency and ease of use - any brewer recs?

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Hi :)

    I bought my ECM Giotto Premium second hand about four years ago (I believe it was an ex-rental machine). *My grinder is a Rancilio Rocky doserless. *

    While I like the Giotto, I have been a little bit disappointed with the lack of consistency in the coffees I am able to produce with it. *I find that I have to be quite precise with the amount of coffee in the filter - too much and I dont get much more than a drip, and too little and the coffee runs through in a loose pour. *I also find that even if I get the amount of coffee right, the coffee goes blond very quickly and my flat whites dont have much oomph.

    I love coffee, and I love being able to make good coffee at home with a quality espresso machine. *Maybe I just dont have the patience of other coffee lovers - I want to be able to grind my beans and make a consistent flat white without too much fuss.

    I am wondering if there are any other machines out there that may be a little easier to use and produce more consistent results? *Or am I just expecting too much from my Giotto Premium?

    Cheers :)
    Yulia

  2. #2
    Senior Member flynnaus's Avatar
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    Re: Consistency and ease of use - any brewer recs?

    Hi Yulia
    I dont have much experience in pointy-end machines but I do know about the struggle to dose correctly I experienced with my previous machine. Now, Im constantly impressed over how forgiving my Giotto Premium Plus is.


    Before you upgrade to a new machine, you might want to consider a thermostability upgrade on your Premium which may help with the consistency of your shots. Im not sure what this costs but there are several Sydney-based sponsors who can advise with greater knowledge and experience.

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    Re: Consistency and ease of use - any brewer recs?

    Simple - get some training and get your routine down pat. It shouldnt over complicate your routine - it might even make pulling a good shot easier/quicker.

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    Re: Consistency and ease of use - any brewer recs?

    OK, thanks for your advice.

    Yulia

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    Senior Member trentski's Avatar
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    Re: Consistency and ease of use - any brewer recs?

    I have just recently purchased a Giotto Premium plus and one of the reasons I chose this model over the competition was ease of use and consistency.

    Look into the thermostability upgrade, it might help.

    Are using fresh beans and a good grinder? that more than anything will make a difference.

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    Re: Consistency and ease of use - any brewer recs?

    Yulia,

    I had much the same reaction when my housemate upgraded to a VBM Domobar Super - after a few days I was yearning to go back to the Silvia!

    Whereas on the Silvia, a "bad" shot might take an extra 5 seconds or so - or gush like a bastard - bad shots on the VBM were channelling badly and blonding at 15 seconds... There didnt seem to be much give.

    Took a good few weeks, but we realised that it really just takes practice and/or discipline to get a dosing/tamping routine down pat. Like MM said, once youve learnt a routine, it becomes easy and stressless again. In all likelihood, this is the problem and no machine upgrade will solve the problem.


    On the other hand, its possible that something is wrong in your set up:
    - Rocky could be grinding a little inconsistently - search this site for tips on modding yours (eg. teflon tape around the burr thread, I think? Totally reversible).
    - Your Giotto might need a service? We got a lot more consistency on the VBM when we replaced the grouphead seal and shower screen. You could also look into the thermostability upgrade.
    - What are you tamping with? Hows your technique?

    Let us know how you go!
    Hope something there was helpful.
    Cheers
    Stuart.

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    TC
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    Re: Consistency and ease of use - any brewer recs?

    Quote Originally Posted by 2E0211170A020F3C2E0C0D08061A630 link=1259477313/2#2 date=1259488907
    Simple - get some training and get your routine down pat. It shouldnt over complicate your routine - it might even make pulling a good shot easier/quicker.
    Agreed- it wiil come down to fresh coffee and training to develop consistency....

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    Senior Member flynnaus's Avatar
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    Re: Consistency and ease of use - any brewer recs?

    Quote Originally Posted by 772830262D262A2323202028242B450 link=1259477313/6#6 date=1259496797
    Martial Monkey wrote on Yesterday at 21:01:
    Simple - get some training and get your routine down pat. It shouldnt over complicate your routine - it might even make pulling a good shot easier/quicker.

    Agreed- it wiil come down to fresh coffee and training to develop consistency.... *
    Yes, but Yulia has been a CSer for almost 5 years and owned the machine for 4. I gave her the benefit of any doubt about technique.

    I reckon take the machine in for a good service (de-scale, adjustment, etc) then buy some good quality beans and see how it goes.

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    Re: Consistency and ease of use - any brewer recs?

    a) ? Coffee bean supply
    b) ? Training / understanding consistent technique
    c) ? Very Possible scale build up in a machine that age
    d) ? Water pump condition / diode

    Apology in advance, but "Thermostability / Schmermostability". Nothing to do with it.

    If you can, ask a confident fellow CS member with similar equipment (doesnt need to be a Giotto) to come and play. If they can make it "sing", then it *must be technque related.

    Try a different coffee bean supply. That doesnt have to mean "supplier", it can be a different blend from same supplier.

    Failing that, take it to one of the CS sponsors in Sydney and ask them to take a look for you while you wait. For that you will need an appointment. If you were in Canberra, I would do it with compliments. They will prob use their own coffee beans and grinder, and that will give another perspective.

    Good luck!

    Regardz,
    Attilio
    very first CS site sponsor.

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    A_M
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    Re: Consistency and ease of use - any brewer recs?

    Quote Originally Posted by 704453455E69755950505353360 link=1259477313/8#8 date=1259538489
    a) ? Coffee bean supply
    b) ? Training / understanding consistent technique
    c) ? Very Possible scale build up in a machine that age
    d) ? Water pump condition / diode

    Apology in advance, but "Thermostability / Schmermostability". Nothing to do with it.

    If you can, ask a confident fellow CS member with similar equipment (doesnt need to be a Giotto) to come and play. If they can make it "sing", then it *must be technque related.

    Try a different coffee bean supply. That doesnt have to mean "supplier", it can be a different blend from same supplier.


    Failing that, take it to one of the CS sponsors in Sydney and ask them to take a look for you while you wait. For that you will need an appointment. If you were in Canberra, I would do it with compliments. They will prob use their own coffee beans and grinder, and that will give another perspective.

    Good luck!

    Regardz,
    Attilio
    very first CS site sponsor.
    As per above and others..


    We are not defending the machine as such, but it is a fact of life that time and time again... It comes back to the Operator.. *That is why so many places that have top equipment make crap coffee..

    Nothing really good in life is obtained without dome level of commitment and passion... Society and manufacturers may try to simplify things and make it happen at a push of a button... But they rarely fully succeed in any.... *Does not matter is it is an OS, Car, Iron, Lawn mower, Circular saw and led alignment or Coffee Machine... *

    The end result is always directly attributed to the User and how they manage the variables.. Yet we often point at the equipment... *Tis a bad tradesman that blames his tools...

    Hang in there... It will happen and when the light goes on... *You will look back and laugh...





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    Re: Consistency and ease of use - any brewer recs?

    Hi, thanks for all your replies :)

    I have probably been blaming my machine a little bit. I like to think that I know how to make a decent coffee by now, but maybe I do need extra training. I guess Im just frustrated because my very first machine, a cheap old Braun, was more consistent than the Giotto seems to be.

    Thanks Attilio, I think I will see if I can take it to a CS sponsor to look at, and maybe they can give me some training too. If I lived in Canberra Id be calling you!

    Thanks again for everyones input.

    Yulia

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    Re: Consistency and ease of use - any brewer recs?

    And for my 1000th posting.....

    Youre welcome Yulia!

    Its great when people thank you for trying to help.

    Regards,
    A.

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    A_M
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    Re: Consistency and ease of use - any brewer recs?

    Quote Originally Posted by 1C283F29320519353C3C3F3F5A0 link=1259477313/11#11 date=1259623977
    And for my 1000th posting.....

    Youre welcome Yulia!

    Its great when people thank you for trying to help.

    Regards,
    A.

    Wrong Competition and wrong Topic *;D

    BOT.. Yulia... I agree fully...

    It is great to see people come back and post as to the outcomes or about teh support being provided..

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    Re: Consistency and ease of use - any brewer recs?

    im reading this thinking & experiencing exactly the same as yulia.

    getting the dose & tamp *perfect* every time is tough!!! then the temp of the machine & freshness of beans/grind needs to be considered.

    since i only make 1 coffee each morning, for myself, it seems to be down to luck as to whether i get a fantastic, average or a lousey cup.

    ive eliminated chanelling by tamping very carefully (compacting around the edges), but blonding/gushing/dripping can still occur...often in combination.

    what is the best way to practise????
    - 5 years of ownership?
    - training sessions with professionals?
    - sitting down for a weekend with a KG of beans and 5L of milk?

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    Re: Consistency and ease of use - any brewer recs?

    Hi Yulia,

    If youd like to get together with some coffeesnobs and pull some shots, we might be able to help - look for the Sydney CS Meetups (last saturday of every month, usually!). For training, Ive done the courses @ Di Bartoli and highly recommend them - theyre usually run by Scottie Callaghan or forum member HD (Hazel de los Reyes). Others have experience of courses @ Jetblack Espresso & CuppaCoffee (iirc) and Cosmorex are worth a drive too!

    @skelly

    you missed hanging around with a bunch of amateurs having fun :)

    my suggested method:

    1) learn the basics
    2) repeat repeat repeat
    3) diagnose problems with friends or professionals
    4) practice practice practice
    5) dont be afraid to bin shots



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