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  • Dosing

    I dont want to read too much into my results until I get some fresher coffee beans to play with, but is there any general recommendation on dosing level?

    Normally I grind (EM0480) and tamp and refill and tamp and refill and tamp, until the filter is filled to the lip. Even at that level, and with a fairly fine grind, the shots (particularly singles) are faster than ideal (maybe thats a function of the machine or coffee also). (*aside, when timing shots do you time from the start of pumping or the start of pouring?)

    Is this dose normal , or should the filter only be filled say 1-2mm below the lip? (which is where the shower screen would be).

    Ironically, despite being very full, the puck sometimes comes out wet on top (though the machine (Sunbeam EM5800) doesnt have a 3-way valve).


  • #2
    Re: Dosing

    If you have accurate scales, weigh the dose and see if it comes out anywhere between 14 and 18 grams for a double. Thats a good start.

    The number of fill/tamps youre going through should well and truly choke the machine. Since thats not happening, sounds like the grind could be too coarse.

    Where the grounds come to beneath the lip is not as important as how tightly its been packed to that level. If you are having trouple locking the portafilter, that should indicate the dose is too heavy.

    Load the basket naturally without pressure until its full. Then give it a tap on the bench to settle the grinds --again, without tamping.

    Then scoop some more coffee in until its heaped. Level it off with a straightened finger. Tamp lightly. Some grounds will stick to the sides above the dry puck, so give the basket a gentle tap on the side to knock these off the inner wall.

    Now, Tamp with force to produce a straight, even puck.

    Lock and pull a shot: 25 - 30 secs for both single or double.

    If youve done all the above right and it gushes out way under time, grind finer. If youve done all the above right and it takes way over 30 seconds to trickle out ....grind coarser.

    In any case, experiment with the double basket -- it should be easier than the single. Intitially you may waste a little more coffee getting all the variables right, but the learning curve will be steeper.



    • #3
      Re: Dosing

      hmm ... sunbeam shower screens are a bit different to an e61 group head, which is different to a silvia group head, which is different to ...

      my old sunbeam used to pull better shots with the process you described, than with the process I use for my expobar, which is sorta similar to what robusto has described.

      Id keep filling as much as youre filling (probably a little less) and grind finer, for a slower extraction. (start counting when you press the button). Stop the extraction when the streams start to turn pale.


      • #4
        Re: Dosing

        Once you start the shot espresso should start to flow out of the portafilter with-in 5 seconds with the shot finishing 25 seconds after that.

        This is the often talked about perfect shot time. Realize however that the perfect shot time will vary according to the machine and coffee used, as well as a persons tastes.

        Use the 25/30 seconds as a starting point and then adjust it according to your tastes.

        Java "Taste before time" phile
        Toys! I must have new toys!!!


        • #5
          Re: Dosing

          thanks guys. Might have to make myself a nicer tamp too, Ill keep tweaking the grind and back off the dosing a bit...

          Matty, Ive been reading plenty of your old posts and finding them very informative given the machines similarity. Might cut out my 2nd set of filters bases at some point...

          I normally let the machine take care of the pour volume. I should check the calibration on it though.


          • #6
            Re: Dosing

            the problem with volumetric water dosage on these machines is that they dont read how the shot is going, because its not a human with eyes.

            once the shot starts to go blonde, youre extracting nasties into your cup. If its only 20mls into a 30ml shot when blonding starts, then 1/3 of your shot will be all bitters. Sure, volumetric dosing can be helpful in a shop when youre flat out steaming milk and pulling shots at the same time, but I prefer to stop the shot myself when blonding starts.


            • #7
              Re: Dosing

              There could be a number of reasons for your fast shot occuring. These would be the three Id investigate
              Incorrect tamp pressure: Use a set of scales to get the 13 kgs of pressure needed
              Too course grind: Once you have your tamp down pat time the shot, if its still fast it probably your grind.
              Under dosing: You should see the shower screen pattern on the puck. That said however, if its just a little wet on top but the rest of the puck is dry, go back to the first 2 points.

              Just a tip too, use a timer to time your shots exactly. This reduces the variables. Seems like a long process but once it falls into place youll have great coffee!!!


              • #8
                Re: Dosing

                Im tamping pretty hard. (and I practiced on the bathroom scales to get a feel of it )

                grind is a likely cause, though at 11 or 12 on the EM0480 its quite fine, and reportedly thats about where others set it (recommended espresso range is 12-16). Actually, the time for doubles is probably pretty close, and I shouldnt pay too much attention to the singles.

                I dont have any high-accuracy scales to check the dose weight. might investigate eventually...

                Is stale coffee likely to be a contributing factor?

                Sometimes the pucks are nice and dry. its just occasionally they come out soggy.

                Have been considering getting the model shop at work to make me up a properly sized tamp, that might help matters... pity the filters are just a beesdick over 2" ID as I have plenty of 316SS 2" bar available. will have to use 304SS to get the right size. (or Al). Will post a pic if I get it done...

                eh, I dont get to practice enough... havent had a coffee all week.