I was hoping for a more informed answer in the higher end part of the forum as I was lead to believe that there would be a significant wait time and not just a simple flush. Which in my basic understanding is why you cannot steam the milk first.
The purpose of the flush (after steaming) is to bring the temperature back down by pulling in cold water from the tank. The other method is to wait a few minutes for the machine to cool down by itself.
You only have one boiler in your machine. It operates heats the water at a higher temperature when steam is required (for example 120 degrees), and at a lower temperature when espresso is required (eg 92 degrees).
When using a single boiler, I prefer to steam first and brew second. If you brew first and steam second, your espresso shot will be sitting there and getting cold as the machine takes its time to heat up. It's far quicker to lower the boiler temperature through a flush.
Hope that's what you're after
Thank you that helps.
Just another quick question that I really need to ask. Do I get a 57 or 58 mm tamper for the Isomac Zaffiro?
I got 58.5 and it was even better. YMMV
Umm... I just found a place where I can get a reg barber tamper that actually is 58.5! So were you joking about 58.5 or not. If not I don't understand why you typed ymmv.
So I would like to know if I should buy a 58mm or 58.5 mm tamper as I am about to purchase a Reg Barber. I want to get this right as I only want to purchase the one tamper.
It really depends on the size of your basket. These vary slightly with each machine, and it would be very hard for anyone to tell you which one to get.
If you've got access to a digital caliper, make sure the inside diameter of your basket is slightly bigger than the diameter of the tamper. Don't buy the 58.5mm tamp if your basket is 58.5mm as it will jam up.
Alternatively, just bring your basket to the shop and make sure it fits to your liking.
edit: Just to make things more confusing, RB's interpretation of 58.5mm may not be the same as yours. I've bought a 58.5mm tamp in the past and when I measured it using my own equipment (mainly out of curiosity), it came up as 58.4mm. The good news is that I actually brought my basket into the store and tested everything before my purchase so I was a happy chappy.
Last edited by specialpants; 23rd July 2012 at 10:04 AM. Reason: extra info
ymmv = your mileage may vary, meaning though it worked for me, you might find that it isn't going to work for you.
My Zaffiro came with a 58mm tamper, that didn't fit any of my 58mm baskets, and I bought four more to see what was up. I recently bought a 58mm Bogav, and found the fit to be much more precise.
The boiler takes about 15 minutes to cool down if you don't touch it. There's a lot of metal that gets pretty hot when the boiler gets up to steam temp, so unless you flush all the steam-water out, and run cool water through the head, you're going to burn your next shot.
I've only found it to be a problem when you have guests, if it's just me, by the time I've finished my cup and are ready for another one, it's had time to cool down anyway.
I had a laugh I thought Benandfaith was saying you make me vomit (ymmv) and I was offended, not being able to understand why he would say that! Not knowing what ymmv meant I looked it up on the computer and that's what it told me it meant. I thought maybe my question was too simple and he was annoyed or something. I am glad bmawebb cleared that up for me.
Hi FineGrind! Sorry that came across so wrong! I definitely meant Your Mileage May Vary NOT You Make Me Vomit!! That's the thing with these darned internet abbreviations... haha. I'm certainly not annoyed and am keen to help answer your questions on the Zaffiro. Before I purchased all my different machines I always had lots to ask, so am keen to pass on the goodwill I myself have received.
I had the Zaffiro for about 1.5 years before my (final!) upgrade to the Diadema, so I did get to know it pretty well. So feel free to ask away without fear of me vomitting!
As for tamper, I concur with what has been said above. Best thing you can do is bring in the basket you will be using and match it to the tamper you want to buy. For me, I have both a 58mm and a 58.5 and that covers my bases for the 4 or so double baskets I have. I have sine purchased a Espresso Parts double basket (from Talk Coffee) and have found that due to the design of the holes in the basket, the use of either tamper makes little to no difference to the end product. I like the feel of my 58mm Coffeelabs tamper, so that's what I'm using for now!
I had written in your other post that it took at least 5min to cool down if you do nothing... sounds like bmawebb has actually checked it and it's closer to 15min. Take his word for it for mine!
Okay so I have just found out from a company that 58.2mm is ideal for the Isomac Zaffiro. Now all I need is as many posts as I can get telling me which base shape people prefer (convex or flat) so that I can decide based on popularity. So please post your preferences.
I have another question about the isomac zaffiro. To do a back flush do I need to buy another basket with no holes in it? If so what size do I get, 58mm? It doesn't seem to come with one.
That's right. The basket you are talking about is called a blind filter and 58mm is what you need for the Zaffiro. I'm surprised yours didn't come with one...
Anyway, 58mm blind filters can be gotten from pretty much any site sponsor for a few dollars. Like here: Blind Filter 58mm - Di Bartoli or Barista Accessories Blind Filters for Back Flushing | Coffee Parts
My machine (Isomac Zaffiro) arrived today. I tried my first shot and it was terrible. Is the puck supposed to come out looking like a puck, or does it just go in that way after you tamp? Because mine came out as a watery mess. How much coffee are you supposed to put into the basket exactly? The scoop that the machine came with is what I assumed was how much to fill it with. Also how tight do you put the portafilter in? Really tight or just a normal amount? I hope I haven't gotten myself in too deep here! Oh no.
The puck is supposed to come out looking like a puck - a moist puck (but not watery-wet) that will keep it's shape when gently banged out of the basket.
This is what I'd do to start:
- use the double basket only (it's often said that it's harder to get consistency/a good pour using a single - I have NEVER used a single, so I can't comment either way)
- You will need about 2 scoops of beans for the double basket (using the scoop provided) - I've never been a measurer of exactly how many grams of coffee, but I've always found about 2 slightly heaped scoops is just about right for me. If I recall correctly, the stock Isomac basket is not that big, so 2 level scoops might suffice (better to have more initially than less I reckon)
- Grind and fill up the basket (usually with a slight heap above the lip surface of the basket), tap a couple of times on the grinder forks or bench top or whereever), level off with a flat object in line with the tip of the basket (with finger, credit card, etc. - I use the handle of the scoop)
- Tamp (I usually do a light tamp, ensuring the surface is level and not slanted) - the surface of the tamped grounds should be about 5mm below the surface of the lip (give or take)
- Lock in portafilter - if machine is new, I'd lock it in a bit tighter (will loosen up eventually). portafilter handle should be pointed straight at you (i.e. at 6 o'clock looking down from the top - it might be about 7 o'clock initially while group seal is new)
- Pull the lever to brew
- you should get about 50-60ml in about 25-30 sec (from switch on to switch off - i.e. includes preinfusion for first 5 sec or so when 'nothing' happens) - this is a rough guide only!
If you're getting more than 60mL in 30 secs, grind finer
If you're getting less than 50mL in 30 secs, grind coarser
If you hit the 'sweet spot' of approx 50-60mL in 25-30sec, you should get a nice puck.
After mastering the 'basics', you can play to your hearts content to get it just the way you want.
What grinder are you using by the way?
And who did you buy this off? If it is a site sponsor, I can confidently say that they would be more than happy to talk you through all of this as part of their after-sales support.
And where are you located? Perhaps a local CSer can come by to guide you through it all....
Last edited by benandfaith; 27th July 2012 at 06:19 PM.
Yeah, I put enough coffe int he filter to be slightly mounded over the rim of the filter, then give it a tap, level it off, and tamp reasonable firmly. Like benandfaith said, you should, after tamping, have about 4-5mm of space between the top of the filter and the top of the coffee.
then it's just fiddling with the grind size to get the right amount of goodness to come out.
I went through a bunch of cheaper beans until I got the hang of how fine the grind should be. Different beans will react differently, and what works great for bean A will need to be adjusted slightly for bean B.
Have fun, because it's really worth it!
Another question about my brand new Zaffiro. I just went to texture milk for the first time (I went through a lot of milk) and all I get is a lousy bit of foam about half a cm on top with the rest as flat milk. I noticed that the pressure drops from 4 bar down to about 2 bar and less very quickly. How good at best does the Zaffiro actually make micro foam? Just a bit on top?