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Observations of a newbie for other newbs...

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  • Observations of a newbie for other newbs...

    Hi there,

    I thought Id put down a few thoughts on my short CS journey and maybe even help a few other newbs who are travelling a similar path.

    A few months ago I was given my Mums 11 year old but hardly used La Pavoni Pub espresso machine. I had been happily using my Sunbeam Cafe series with coffee shop roasted beans for the last 3 or 4 years and had no intention of doing anything differently until I received the La Pav.

    I searched for some information on checking and cleaning the new machine, came across this website, then opened up a can of worms!

    Grinding, roasting, dosing, tamping, naked portafilters etc. etc.

    This site offers a wealth of information which is gladly shared, but a few things have surprised me greatly.

    Grinders:- More important than you might think. While I believed what I was told and had read about grinders, I was not prepared for the difference made by upgrading from a real cheapy to a reasonable entry level Sunbeam EM0480. HUGE improvements in everything. With the old grinder, I now get a mental image of pouring water through a seive full of gravel. By the way, the EM0480 can be bought new for $152, but I reckon buying a new washing machine at the same time helped.

    Roasting:- Try it. When you do, dont be tempted to stick with what you first think is ok. Keep trying new beans, different roasting times etc. I was initially roasting until just after 1st crack, the beens smelt great in the bag after an hour or so and that was nearly it for me. Then I read more and more about it and went 2nd crack on a few different beans, they smelt like crap in the bag, but the taste was much better, then with the new grinder, much, much better.
    Also, in my popcorn popper, I stretched it to 120g per batch. I need to jiggle the popper for the 1st 2 or 3 minutes, then angle it slightly for another couple of minutes, but it lengthens the roast by at least 3 minutes. Not sure how long it will last doing this, but it seems worth it. Yes, cool days seem to improve things more than I would have believed, also.

    Tamping:- Practice. Having read all I could find on the subject, I made my own, its machined brass with a timber handle. Itll do. Be prepared to use a lot of coffee practicing, keep experimenting.

    Cosistency:- Theres no such thing. At least, not for me yet. But its fun trying and the good ones make up for the bad ones. Change one thing at a time. Its definately a long term goal.

    Hope this helps someone


  • #2
    Re: Observations of a newbie for other newbs...

    "Also, in my popcorn popper, I stretched it to 120g per batch. I need to jiggle the popper for the 1st 2 or 3 minutes, then angle it slightly for another couple of minutes, but it lengthens the roast by at least 3 minutes. Not sure how long it will last doing this, but it seems worth it. Yes, cool days seem to improve things more than I would have believed, also."


    Interesting...

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