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Thread: Coming to terms with the witch: strega

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    Coming to terms with the witch: strega

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Well, its been 2 weekends with the witch and I must say it has been a good run. The Jim Schulman videos have been very helpful, and although I have not been doing much calisthenics with the lever I have found shots much more satisfying than the Silvia.

    Interesting machine, appeals to both artist and/or scientist. Also interesting the pump is preventing this from being the darling of the lever crowd...

    Anyway, Im hoping to learn more about what this machine can do. If you are playing with one please share your experiences.

    Thanks by the way to the crew at Sibonis for letting me play. And having one in stock! By the way my short list included Elektra SA, Rocket, Junior. The Strega makes sense for someone not necessarily interested in playing barista for a group but to further the experimentation beyond roasting. Still more efficient than a single boiler though.

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    Re: Coming to terms with the witch: strega

    I was the first to use it in Australia a possibly the first to make and post a video
    We have a thread here - http://coffeesnobs.com.au/YaBB.pl?num=1299032000/0

    And yes if I dont fall for the BZ2006AL and if available in 240 V I will be getting my hands on a Strega

    Bezzera is now making available the Strega as a plumbed in without pump
    (but not yet available in Australia at the time of posting)

    So I may be looking at this one as well
    To many choices :D

    KK

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    Re: Coming to terms with the witch: strega

    I am also very interested, but will wait at least until there is some feedback on the plumbed, pumpless variant, which appeals from the peace and quiet POV but would appear at least to remove some of the pump/air pressure/lever combinations that Jim Schulman goes weak at the knees over! ;)

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    Re: Coming to terms with the witch: strega

    KK, the first couple of sessions was really about trying to find the baseline and making sense of the pump and spring. I really wanted a machine I could experiment with beyond a press of a button. For me it was the unboring choice.

    Java, I like the flexibility of the stand alone. Its all relative I guess. Grinder is noisy, pump noise for a brief few seconds... Everyones gotta make sense of their own coffee world.

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    Re: Coming to terms with the witch: strega

    Quote Originally Posted by 767A7373707072796061617A7B150 link=1319882086/3#3 date=1319909770
    KK, the first couple of sessions was really about trying to find the baseline and making sense of the pump and spring. I really wanted a machine I could experiment with beyond a press of a button. For me it was the unboring choice.

    Java, I like the flexibility of the stand alone. Its all relative I guess. Grinder is noisy, pump noise for a brief few seconds... Everyones gotta make sense of their own coffee world.
    Personally I have no problem with 5 or so seconds of pump noise
    And as you say all other components like grinders make just as much noise if not more

    Many many years ago I tuned boats,cars & cycles for a living
    So I actually want or prefer to hear that its working* ;D

    Just for reference here is my video of the Bezzera Strega

    [media]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2fYXZv07LEI[/media]

    KK

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    Re: Coming to terms with the witch: strega

    Yes, Im not all that fussed about the noise - it is certainly a whole lot quieter than what I have now either way. Id still like a plumbed and drained model as it gives you two less things to do, but if people find they miss out on the possibilities the current model offers, then filling tanks and draining drip trays isnt a big deal either.

    Id be really interested in some more detail about your experiences CG. On the topic of callisthenics it seems logical to me to just have it on a higher bench (or on a platform on your existing bench) if there is ever a danger of RSI of your lever arm! ;D

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    Re: Coming to terms with the witch: strega

    KK, thanks for linking vid. One thing I noticed about the shots from this machine is that it doesnt blond out so fast. I guess its the decreasing pressure? Currently pulling (literally!) Hazels house blend. Where does she get that nutty flavor. Yum.

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    Re: Coming to terms with the witch: strega

    Java, when I wrote calisthenics, i meant the retardation of shots etc. And varying between pump and spring. But youre right! It is tricky when theres no puck. I have the go ahead to acquire a bench for this setup so Im carefully weighing options.

    Back to coffee... I switch beans a lot and that means the grind can be off. What I have found is that if the pour or brew goes a little quick, I just lean on the lever and restrict the flow. Almost like saving what would have been too bright a shot.

    Or maybe in fact saving the shot!

    Will post as I go.

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    Re: Coming to terms with the witch: strega

    Just a quick note.

    This week I have been able to roast one of the harrar beans a little more developed than the typical medium filter roast. Usually with the Silvia the results in the cup are too sharp with the single origin fruity beans. I imagine this is true for many pump only machines.

    This morning I am enjoying a doppio cortado without the harsh sharpness but a pleasant level of brightness. And not just one spike but seemingly more complex than just bright. Hehe.

    Methinks this is more a feature of lever extracted coffees than just the Strega itself...?

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    Re: Coming to terms with the witch: strega

    Deep deeeeep handles mean a triple basket fits comfortably. One of the upgrades to a slow machine like a Silvia is a triple basket so you can make 2 cups for you and the other. The problem of course is the stock handle is not deep enough. Naked means only 1 cup. Although the Strega is not a slow machine as steam is on demand, the option is still welcomed.

    I continue to be amazed by this machine. Small things that make a huge difference for me such as the feel of toggles instead of turning knobs. The drip tray is generous. Im sure I would have been irked by the rockets shallow tray.

    Everythings kinda easy and the feeling of involvement is satisfying.

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    Re: Coming to terms with the witch: strega

    Ahh, what can I say? Im led to believe Santa has left his digs a bit early this year, and after a brief touch down at Bondi Junction is continuing south ... where someone is counting sleeps!

    Many thanks especially to Renzo at Di Bartoli and also Chris at Sibonis for their outstanding hospitality and even better coffees that filled every minute of what was otherwise a very tight schedule in Sydney a couple of weeks back. I would highly recommend a visit to either establishment ... even if you dont want to be tempted by something big, Italian and very very shiny! ;) Thanks also to Chris at Talk Coffee ... sorry mate, it was very close.

    Pictures and perhaps a vid or two next week.

    Cant wait!! 8-) ... is that sleigh bells??

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    TC
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    Re: Coming to terms with the witch: strega

    Nice pickup JJ,

    Youll love it and thanks for supporting a CS sponsor. That is what its all about.

    I havent had time to do a detailed review on the machine and its unlikely that I ever will ::)

    Looking forward to hearing more of your experiences with the Strega. Its one impressive piece of kit when used well.

    Enjoy! 8-)

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    Senior Member Koffee_Kosmo's Avatar
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    Re: Coming to terms with the witch: strega

    The Strega will possibly grace my kitchen bench sometime in January (fingers crossed)

    I cant put my finger on it but just to comment that, it just feels right to both use and enjoy the coffee that it extracts

    KK

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    Re: Coming to terms with the witch: strega

    Thanks Chris that means a lot. I think the "when used well" part might take a little longer than a conventional HX but for me that is part of the fun, and I think/hope it will keep me enjoying the possibilities of the machine for longer without feeling the need to lust after something else ... well thats the plan anyway! It doesnt hurt that it is just a beautiful (and beautifully engineered) machine that will be a talking point amongst those that have some idea of what it does ... and those that dont care but just like coffee!

    KK it will be great when you have one too - not the least because I think a KKTO is the next logical step in my roasting journey (the Baby Roaster will be struggling to keep up with the no doubt increased demand! ;D)

    I agree on the feel of the machine and once dialled in most of the coffees were just superb ... did I say I cant wait?? ;)

    Oh btw - Santas little helpers have insisted on a Mahlkonig Vario coming along for the ride! 8-)

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    Re: Coming to terms with the witch: strega

    :( :( :(

    Are TNT called TNT because someone should BLOW THEM UP??

    I did have a bit of a look at the box in the depot ... but when I got home ... one look at my not quite so beautiful ... twisted machine* :( >:( led to a closer examination, and yes, clearly the box had been dropped on one corner ...

    The good news is that Renzo and the crew from* Di Bartoli and Barazi* have literally leapt into action and a replacement is on its way* :)

    The bad news is Im back to counting sleeps ...* :(

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    Re: Coming to terms with the witch: strega

    Quote Originally Posted by 343A2A3B352C3C2A590 link=1319882086/14#14 date=1322720592
    Are TNT called TNT because someone should BLOW THEM UP??
    Yeah- they have a long history of apathy and its why we dumped them.

    The important thing is to get it right and then pick up the pieces as Renzo has done* [smiley=thumbsup.gif]. Its one of the many bonuses of this community.

    Will TNT compensate in any way? Yep- with threats of court action if any payments are withheld.

    We had so many claims when we were with TNT that we were on the brink of being refused by our transit insurers.

    Take a big deep breath JJ. All will be well...

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    Re: Coming to terms with the witch: strega

    After an absolute 3 ring circus of bad courierism (is there any other kind?) today ...



    Ahhh - revel in its shininess! (must take a better pic ... but a bit busy atm ... sleep, who needs it?)

    BTW ... I currently have 2 Stregas ... its entirely possible TNT will just forget about the other one ... any offers?? ;)

    Cheers,

    JJ

    (aka "big kid in a sweet shop" - oh well, Ive been called worse! ;D)

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    Re: Coming to terms with the witch: strega

    Congrats JJ,

    They always look so much better once in the hands of an appreciative new owner.

    Enjoy and we look forward to reading your findings ;)

    Chris

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    Re: Coming to terms with the witch: strega

    Oh wow congrats on the purchase, the Strega is one damn sexy machine and possibly the only thing I would think about upgrading my Breville for as I am fascinated by lever machines.

    I would love to try a couple of shots from the lovely beast of the machine, I did watch Jims videos on it a while back.

    BTW thanks for the Sassafras JJ, Greg made sweet work of that for the nexus, I still owe you a couple of coffees so if you are in town hit me up.

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    Re: Coming to terms with the witch: strega

    Hi all,

    Im looking for an upgrade as well. Currently, thinking of upgrading to a GIOVE II until I saw the strega 2 days ago. It gives me a very hard decision to make. I love the pressure profiling from the strega but I also like the thermostability of the GIOVE II. Very very hard!!!!!

    Also, how do you clean a lever machine? can u back flush it?

    Tony

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    Re: Coming to terms with the witch: strega

    Quote Originally Posted by 3E382A242138234D0 link=1319882086/19#19 date=1323690110
    Hi all,

    Im looking for an upgrade as well. Currently, thinking of upgrading to a GIOVE II until I saw the strega 2 days ago. It gives me a very hard decision to make. I love the pressure profiling from the strega but I also like the thermostability of the GIOVE II. Very very hard!!!!!

    You choose on the this method
    "does it fit like a glove in hour household"
    " Does it make fantastic coffee"

    Quote Originally Posted by 3E382A242138234D0 link=1319882086/19#19 date=1323690110
    Also, how do you clean a lever machine? can u back flush it?

    Tony
    I have been told that
    No backflushing is required
    A water flush is required to remove coffee oils and keeping the brew head & seal brushed clean of coffee grounds

    KK


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    Re: Coming to terms with the witch: strega

    Quote Originally Posted by 4A6E676764645E4A6E726C6E010 link=1319882086/21#21 date=1323691012

    You choose on this method
    "does it fit like a glove in hour household"
    " Does it make fantastic coffee"
    Yes. although I may need sunglasses in the kitchen in the morning ;) and oh my goodness, yes!! :)

    Still need a bit of practice with the big steam - think maybe a 300 - 400ml jug might help for small amounts (my smallest is 600ml).

    Tony, Jim Schulman has some interesting (and probably controversial) things to say about thermo stability in this thread (page 12 or 13 from memory) - just dont tell the PID brigade!;)

    http://www.home-barista.com/reviews/bezzera-strega-second-look-t18933.html

    BTW, while I have thanked them personally. Id be remiss if I didnt emphasise how far Chris at Barazi and Renzo and his team at Di Bartoli have gone above and beyond normal service during this whole courier nightmare. While thankfully Star Track (Express youre kidding) didnt drop it, I cant quite shake their recorded message whilst on hold, yet again trying to talk to their call centre* ::) - who had no idea at all what was going on when you did finally speak to a human. You see apparently their tracking and communication are regarded as not just "industry leading" but "cutting edge" ...

    Honestly theyd could only improve if they adopted smoke signals ...

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    Re: Coming to terms with the witch: strega

    Quote Originally Posted by 66687869677E6E780B0 link=1319882086/21#21 date=1323693942
    Yes. although I may need sunglasses in the kitchen in the morning Wink and oh my goodness, yes!! Smiley

    Still need a bit of practice with the big steam - think maybe a 300 - 400ml jug might help for small amounts (my smallest is 600ml).
    With regards to steaming -

    This thread was created for you ;)

    http://coffeesnobs.com.au/YaBB.pl?num=1220959662

    KK

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    Re: Coming to terms with the witch: strega

    Yes mate, I do know the thread (even though your link is broken) and I have been re-reading it.

    Good to know you were thinking about me in 2008! ;)

    BTW Im still waiting on a couple of bits but a new bench has appeared in the garage, and the new KKTO roasting station is well under way .... which it needs to be ... the hordes are coming, the hordes ... :o ::) ;)

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    Re: Coming to terms with the witch: strega

    Hmmm, definitely making progress! ;)

    Once you get the grind/dose pretty much dialled in the shot itself is (as I think you found KK) ridiculously easy - especially so with the degree of control you have during the shot (I think CG mentioned that ... speaking of CG ... ) BTW I am using a Synesso double because my Pullman tamper is machined for that and is a fraction big for the Bezzera baskets. It works well and I have a matched Synesso triple on order from Greg which I am keen to try as well and will easily fit in the Bezzera buckets.

    The milk - I dont do a lot of milk drinks myself but with a new machine you can bet every man and his dog wants you to be a latte art champion. Forget that, my 2 cents is just to relax and not stress about every time being perfect - it is more about feel (specifically when to stop) than technique and after a litre or so of Coles 3 bucks for 3 litres rubbish tonight I am already much improved.

    The Strega? - just brilliant! :)

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    Re: Coming to terms with the witch: strega

    I found that a finer grind than I normally use on my BZ40 worked better

    The baskets were the standard Bezzera type when I trialed it
    And I used my home roasted beans

    Stock standard the Strega just went on with its business of making coffee -
    During the open day I pulled shot after shot, the spouts were woozing crema out - most with tiger stripes

    Enjoy your new machine and give the human element, time to acclimatize* *;)

    KK


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    Re: Coming to terms with the witch: strega

    There is no shortage of crema ... not sure if it is "woozing" ... will have to look out for that! ;D

    Meant to say I got a kilo of brown beans from Andy (aka Fiefy* ;)) as I wanted to cut down on the variables initially - interestingly quite a grind change required from my home roast. Also meant to say Im very pleased with the Vario after a bit of modding to make the slippery Bezzera PF happy. It makes it easy to dial in the dose and grind ( yep it is pretty fine) and lets the human element play with the shiny thing! :)

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    Re: Coming to terms with the witch: strega

    Someone was asking on the different Strega models available

    Currently discussed model
    Strega - with tank & vibration pump

    Other models available by order only at this stage

    Strega - Dual - Tank and Plumbed in

    This model has 2 pumps
    1 X Rotary pump - for mains water connection
    1 X Vibration pump - for tank use

    Strega - Direct mains

    This model has no pump at all and connects direct to the mains water line

    KK

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    Re: Coming to terms with the witch: strega

    After initially being somewhat sceptical about the need and the noise of the pump, I find it really isnt a big deal, the pump isnt on for long at any stage. But I will plumb in a drain - what with cooling flushes and shots finishing beyond ideal extraction, coupled with a fairly shallow tray ... a purging blast on the big steam can get quite messy if the tray is already half full! :-[ ;)

    So, when I work out the ideal height for the platform - currently thinking another 100mm on top of bench height (900mm) I will incorporate a drain and maybe an extra drawer in the riser unit.
    Th fill side isnt a drama at all - just a once a day thing from a Brita filter (90+% rain water here so no need for scale protection) - unless there is a big crowd around.

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    Re: Coming to terms with the witch: strega

    Ya!!! I have just joined the Strega club :). I picked up the machine from Chris yesterday. I just set it up in the kitchen but still havent had a chance to make any coffee from it just yet. Hopefully, I can have a bit of time to play with it tonight.

    Just wanna know,how much coffee does people use for the factory double basket ?

    Tony.

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    Re: Coming to terms with the witch: strega

    Quote Originally Posted by 323426282D342F410 link=1319882086/29#29 date=1324445419
    Ya!!! I have just joined the Strega club :). I picked up the machine from Chris yesterday. I just set it up in the kitchen but still havent had a chance to make any coffee from it just yet. Hopefully, I can have a bit of time to play with it tonight.
    Congrats Tony on your new Bezzera Strega Lever

    Quote Originally Posted by 323426282D342F410 link=1319882086/29#29 date=1324445419
    Just wanna know,how much coffee does people use for the factory double basket ?

    Tony.
    Tamp to a depth of no less than 8mm no matter what basket you use
    Thats your level for life

    Also grind a little finer than you are used to

    KK

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    Re: Coming to terms with the witch: strega

    Great to see another Strega owner Tony! :)

    Im dosing around 20g in a Synesso double. Like KK says a finer grind than usual HX, and a fairly light tamp seems to work well, but no doubt you will have a lot of fun experimenting with what your new machine can do. I must admit Im delighted how easy it is once you have the grind/dose dialled in, and my steam worries are behind me ... most of the time!

    One thing to watch is when you are doing a cooling flush (no puck) first thing in the morning still half asleep with wet hands ... :-[ :o :o

    ... I now use both hands, in fact I often do a hand over hand thing generally, and may not raise the machine for a while at least as I find this works well.

    Welcome to the club! :)

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    Re: Coming to terms with the witch: strega

    Finally, I spent 45mins with the machine. I had so much fun with it. It is certainly a new learning curve for me (A large one :)). The coffees taste completely different from my CKX. In general, the coffee brewed by the strega has more front palate flavours while the CKX has more back palate flavours. Though, the coffees tonight didnt taste the best. Im sure it will improve from time to time ;)

    The first impression is "Very lost". There are two many variables which can affect the result of the cup. Today, I just kind of dial in the setting and will do more testing tomorrow.

    Question:
    How long does people leave the pump on? I tried leaving the pump on for 4 secs initially and it didnt have enough water to finish a shot. I then left it on until the first drip came out before I let the lever did the work. It tasted ok, quite sweet but dirty at the finishing.

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    Re: Coming to terms with the witch: strega

    Quote Originally Posted by 4B4D5F51544D56380 link=1319882086/32#32 date=1324469026
    Question:
    How long does people leave the pump on? I tried leaving the pump on for 4 secs initially and it didnt have enough water to finish a shot. I then left it on until the first drip came out before I let the lever did the work. It tasted ok, quite sweet but dirty at the finishing.
    Tony
    On my testing
    Once the grind, tamp & puck level is right it was 5 to 8 seconds of pump time
    (I did a video see post 4)

    Before you see blonding you pull the cup away manually

    KK

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    Re: Coming to terms with the witch: strega

    Thx KK. Ill try it tomorrow. I tried 14, 15 16, 17 and 18 grams of coffee today and found out anything above 15 grams the puck ended up very firm, dry and had crack in the middle. Therefore, I assume the optimal doseage for my basket is 14 grams ish.

    Also, I wanna say thank you to Chris from Talk Coffee as the experience with talk coffee is great :)

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    Re: Coming to terms with the witch: strega

    Intresting. After a massive day yesterday of coffee and , well wine and food too! - I had a closer look at what Im doing this morning. Dose is closer to 18g on my probably not super accurate scale. Pucks are good with no sign of cracking/channelling. Pump on for 7 - 8 seconds seems about right (although in the flurry of orders and silly questions yesterday I was horrified at one stage to realise Id just done a pump only shot! :-[ - but no complaints even then!! ;D)

    What baskets are you using Tony? The standard Bezzera ones? My Pullman tamper is a fraction big for those (least it was for my first Strega ... still here KK!!) so I havent used them at all. At 14g even with the lightest of tamps my Pullman would just about disappear! ;)

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    Re: Coming to terms with the witch: strega

    On the tests I conducted - for real world
    All were on a stock standard machine*
    Using standard baskets & a not so fitting aluminum tamper

    Takes a little practice
    The 3 critical things were, fresh coffee, grind & tamp depth (min 8mm)
    (see my video up on post 4)

    KK

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    Re: Coming to terms with the witch: strega

    Quote Originally Posted by 3836263739203026550 link=1319882086/35#35 date=1324503110
    Intresting. After a massive day yesterday of coffee and , well wine and food too! - I had a closer look at what Im doing this morning. Dose is closer to 18g on my probably not super accurate scale. Pucks are good with no sign of cracking/channelling. Pump on for 7 - 8 seconds seems about right (although in the flurry of orders and silly questions yesterday I was horrified at one stage to realise Id just done a pump only shot! :-[ - but no complaints even then!! ;D)

    What baskets are you using Tony? The standard Bezzera ones? My Pullman tamper is a fraction big for those (least it was for my first Strega ... still here KK!!) so I havent used them at all. At 14g even with the lightest of tamps my Pullman would just about disappear! ;)
    Im using the bezzera double. I found out I need to grind a lot finer than the pump machine. Just wanna know, should I adjust the grind first or the dose when I adjust the setting (haha! back to the basic for me)? I think I still havent got the settings right yet.

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    Re: Coming to terms with the witch: strega

    Quote Originally Posted by 1D3930303333091D39253B39560 link=1319882086/36#36 date=1324511092
    On the tests I conducted - for real world
    All were on a stock standard machine*
    Using standard baskets & a not so fitting aluminum tamper

    Takes a little practice
    The 3 critical things were, fresh coffee, grind & tamp depth (min 8mm)
    (see my video up on post 4)

    KK
    Will take your advice KK. Will have another go tomorrow. my tamper fits very well with the bazzera basket:).

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    Re: Coming to terms with the witch: strega

    Ok Ive now done a test and some measurements ... isnt science wonderful? ;) - and it transpires we need to be careful about making general rules, as baskets aint baskets ...



    Synesso on the left, Bezzera on the right. The Synesso is 2.5mm deeper but probably in practice there is a greater difference because of the Bezzeras larger rounded rim and also because it is ridged and that ridge extends into the interior of the basket, so I imagine youd want to tamp below that? I must admit i dont like ridged baskets generally, so even though my tamper seems to fit this one ok, I much prefer the Synesso.

    What I did find after making a shot with the Bezzera basket is that if I was using it, I would need to reduce the dose AND grind quite a bit finer - which I put down to the Synesso having more, but smaller holes.

    HTH you a bit Tony, and before you ask, I am very much on the learning with a quality machine curve myself, so dont treat anything I say as gospel, ok?

    BTW I think Jim did say somewhere that the Strega was more than usually basket sensitive (he didnt think it worked at all well with VSTs), so it may pay to experiment. I have both a Synesso triple and a bottomless pf on the way, so I may have more to report ... and show ... hopefully soon.

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    Re: Coming to terms with the witch: strega

    It is good we can learn together JJ :)

    I reckon what I did wrong was I adjusted the grind and dose too often. Therefore, I now decided to concentrate on the dose before I make any adjustment on the grind. May be I can post some photos of the puck tomorrow :)

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    Re: Coming to terms with the witch: strega

    Quote Originally Posted by 737D6D7C726B7B6D1E0 link=1319882086/39#39 date=1324519716
    I have both a Synesso triple and a bottomless pf on the way, so I may have more to report ... and show ... hopefully soon.
    Speak of the devil ... I now have both, but part of that learning involves finding out despite the stellar service from Pedro and Cilinia at Coffee Parts the bottomless PF doesnt fit because although the lugs match the built up bit above the lugs on the Strega just may be unique.



    I do have the Synesso triple to play with though (thanks Greg and Robin from Pullman) and as a guide it is about as much bigger compared to the Synesso double, as the Synesso double is to the Bezzera double ... if that makes sense.

  43. #43
    Roz
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    Re: Coming to terms with the witch: strega

    I did remember reading KK or someone say the Stregas portafilters are unique.

    When the shot finishes running through, how dry are the pucks at the end?

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    Re: Coming to terms with the witch: strega

    Yes he did, and hes about to say I told you so ;) but I did have Pedro poring over the Strega schematics but I suspect he was more looking at the lug position - ah well you live and learn.

    The puck is clean and dry and pretty much falls out. One of the reasons I have the triple is not just about extra caffeine (as if I needed extra atm - that kilo I got from Andy is history! :() but more about something I think Chris and Galumay were talking about with the Pompeii - deep being an advantage, and after just one test with the double dose in the triple, I think its possible - more testing required (the sacrifices I make for science!;)) Certainly moving the puck that much further away from the shower screen makes the clean up even easier, and with no back flushing required the Strega is already a dream in that respect.

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    Re: Coming to terms with the witch: strega

    I made a few coffees this morning and found out I didnt have a clue what was I talking about in the last few threads. I found out my dosing technique was the major contributing factor causing confusion during dailing in the setup.

    Anyway, back to square one for me. I took KKs advice to dose 8mm in the basket post tamp and found out it has around 18 grams in it. I then locked the pf into to group head and took it out and found the puck didnt touch the shower screen at all. So i think I under dosed a lot in the last two days. Also, I found out the crack in the puck maybe caused by either the grind is too fine or my distrubtion technique :)

    Ill do more testing this arvo to get the setting dialed in.


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    Re: Coming to terms with the witch: strega

    My one and only test with the Bezzera basket suggested to me that 18g would be a bit much and that youd need a firmer tamp than Id like to get it to 8mm. The grind does need to be pretty fine. My 2 cents would be to start around 16-17g with a lightish tamp to 8mm ...ish ;), then adjust the grind till you get a pretty good shot (like you would after a change of beans). You wont believe how easy, and consistent it is once it is dialled in :)

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    Re: Coming to terms with the witch: strega

    KK
    When u tested the Strega, did u let go of the lever completely after activated the pump for 8 secs or did u hold the lever for 3 secs after deactivated the pump and then let the lever go completely?

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    Re: Coming to terms with the witch: strega

    Quote Originally Posted by 3B3525343A233325560 link=1319882086/43#43 date=1324540161

    Yes he did, and hes about to say I told you so ;) but I did have Pedro poring over the Strega schematics but I suspect he was more looking at the lug position - ah well you live and learn.
    I would not dream of saying (I told you so)

    Quote Originally Posted by 2523313F3A2338560 link=1319882086/46#46 date=1324633810
    KK
    When u tested the Strega, did u let go of the lever completely after activated the pump for 8 secs or did u hold the lever for 3 secs after deactivated the pump and then let the lever go completely?
    At full lock down the pump activates & runs 5 to 8 seconds
    I then lift to release the lever to make soft contact at the point of the spring taking over at approx the horizontal point
    So no I did not hold on to the lever except as noted above to make soft contact with the spring

    Then one lets the machine take over & wait for the coffee

    KK

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    Re: Coming to terms with the witch: strega

    Ya!! I got the setting dialed in finally using BOTH JJs and KKs advices* :) thanks heaps!

    The espresso tasted compeletly different from a pump machine (Im not saying it makes a superior cup than a pump machine). In general, the espresso made by the Strega is very smooth, delicate and gentle. Im using the Axil house blend this week and find it has less chocolate tone then the espresso in Axil. Instead, it is sweeter. However,i still think the blend is still a little bit fresh (roasted on the 20/12). So, will leave it for another 2 days and see how it goes.

    Milk frothing? Who cares!! I reckon this machine has kept me away from milk base coffee :D as the espresso made by this machine tasted soooooo good. Anyway, I have no trouble frothing milk with this machine. It has a very good steam output and make silky foam in less than a minute. Sorry mate, thats all I know about milk frothing with this machine as I only made two milk base coffees with it so far:D

    Anyway, will look into the pressure profiling a bit more tomorrow :) wish everyone reading this thread have a Good and safe Christmas and drink and enjoy as much coffee as u can :)

    Tony

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    Re: Coming to terms with the witch: strega

    Thanks to the Christmas dinner, I did lots of testings with the Strega. I prefer to grind it courser and updose a bit. If the flow is too fast, I just control the lever to slow the flow. My routine is let the pump runs for 5-7secs, stop the pump but hand on to the lever and pre-infuse for 3 secs before I let go of the lever and let it does the work.* :) it works well!! Ill try to do more explorations in the following days :D haha!! Having so much fun with the Strega ;D



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