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How not to use your coffee maker

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  • How not to use your coffee maker

    Im new to this science for inorder to make a good brew you need to be a scientist. I have a number of freiends who have given away their machines as they think the whole process is a total waste of time. I inherited one such machine and surely i got a better cup of coffee from the 43 bean jar. Why so you ask? Well its like this. go purchase you machine and they give some nicely printed instructions dont they. Yep they are so good they tell you how to turn it on, how to make hot water, to fill the portafilter and how to make steam. Great just great. But does all this switching and pushing of leavers make a good brew.......of course not. The first lesson then in making a good drinkable brew is to remember that they are just instructions on how to operate the machine.... not instructions on how to make great coffee. Something like Windows, they tell you how to point and click but they DON"T tell you why you have to do this!!!
    Now in order to make great coffee you need to understand a few things. read, read and read still some more, here at coffee snobs is much information you will not find in your cornflakes box!
    I nearly gave this game away as its too hard to master...but is it. First tip.. just think you are making coffee esence not a cup of cofee...that comes later. Bed time. More to come. have fun, Kualityman.

  • #2
    Re: How not to use your coffee maker

    Wax on . . .

    . . . . Wax off

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: How not to use your coffee maker

      ^Great comeback, Rob!!

      I think that its probably been said so many times were all a bit tired of hearing it now.

      But coffee is what you make of it. Its not a hard science to master and certainly no more difficult than trying to put together a meal for a family, IMO. Some also consider it art, but I think mainly a bit of effort, time and care and you can produce drinkable coffee. Stick to some of the essential basics and this is what you should get.

      But like anything, we like to lift it to the next level and so you see people like those here on this forum get together and discuss how they can do it better!

      And so, here we are, with telephones, the internet, tv, computers, movies, cars, planes, automatic coffee machines (LOL) you name it. All because someone thought it could be done better and went out and did it.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: How not to use your coffee maker

        Once again Guys thanks for the feedback it gets the mind thinking doesnt it? Im afraid I am a green horn and im bound to say what has been said before as its all new teritory for me. So I appolgise in advance to those that find my reasoning a little stale but watch this space as i am on a voyage of discovery and you never know what we may find along the way.
        My bitch is that we buy coffee machines with little or no knowledge on how to produce a great brew and in the process give the appliance a bad name. Automatic machines are out there I know but if one understand the process one can create a great brew with a very simple machine. Its all a question of know how. More to come as I reveal how to get the best out of the Sunbeams both the Stainless Crema model and the basic plastic.
        Thanks guys.

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        • #5
          Re: How not to use your coffee maker

          Gday Kualityman, and welcome to the furum.
          My bitch is that we buy coffee machines with little or no knowledge on how to produce a great brew and in the process give the appliance a bad name.
          That depends on where you buy your set up from. If you buy it from a reputable dealer (insert reference to, and plug for the site sponsors here  8-) ) youll have its workings fully explained and be shown how to use it .
          As youve already bought or inherited your machine and grinder, you might want to invest in a coffee preparation course. A lot of them will let you bring in your machine and grinder and will give you some advice on how to get the best out of it. Then its a matter of practice, practice and a bit more practice.
          Have a search through the forums, you might find an answer to a question that you want to ask, has already been answered.
          Having said that, dont be afraid to ask questions here. A wise man once told me, "Theres no such thing as a dumb question."
          Again, welcome aboard.
          Steve.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: How not to use your coffee maker

            Thanks Lovely your words of wisdom are pearls. The truth of the matter is that most white good merchants would not have a clue on how to make a good coffee. Dealing with a coffee house is without doubt the best advice for a newbe, trouble is most of dont even know such people exist until we embark on the journey and find places such as this. This site is truely a gold mine all you have to do is go digging.
            Now it has been my experience when people come over and I offer to make a coffee my wife comes out with "dont set him off for this is his new found passion" Over a few months now I have made a few mugs and the comment I now get is" Gee it tastes just like one you would by at a good coffee shop, real smooth." Now thats a compliment so i figure I must be doing something right for a newbe a Green Bean if ever there was. So my mission is to help those who have just bought a machine and would like to know how to make a good coffee. I am not talking here of those automatic machines that do everything but even then the brew can be improved by understanding what the machine is try to accomplish. So over time I shall explain how to get a good brew out of an el-cheapo. More to come.
            Kualityman.

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            • #7
              Re: How not to use your coffee maker

              Originally posted by Kualityman link=1145109525/0#5 date=1145184311
              Now it has been my experience when people come over and I offer to make a coffee my wife comes out with "dont set him off for this is his new found passion"
              I think there are many of us here that can relate to this.

              Let us celebrate coffee passion!


              - Rob

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              • #8
                Re: How not to use your coffee maker

                Let the pigeons loose! ;D

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: How not to use your coffee maker

                  Sorry Kualityman if my post seemed a bit harsh there. (I meant it in the nicest possible way and didnt mean offence).

                  Being a Green Bean here myself I didnt want to say stuff that these guys have heard before. :-[

                  But I totally agree with you on your comment about coffee machines being sold with not one word of how to do it from general retailers. Its sad in a way as the average joe takes home their machine expecting to get a great cup of coffee that rivals their local cafe and when they find its too hard, they go back to the dreaded instant coffee because they can get a consistently okay cup of coffee.

                  Though at the same time, kudos to Sunbeam for having a bit of a go and issueing a dvd now with their current machine. Its easy to understand and Paul Bassett does a good job of explaining the finer art. I dont know what everyones feelings are towards this guy, but I admire him for trying to get the massess to understand and love good coffee like he does. The only thing I dislike about his dvds are the annoying camera movements all the time!! Hold the damn thing still so I can see what hes doing for crying out loud!!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: How not to use your coffee maker

                    Hence the value of buying from your friendly site sponsors 8-) who live coffee rather than just move boxes - department store style. Maybe sometimes its actually worth paying just a few bucks more than evilBay when you take into account pre and post sales service, warranty, having somebody who cares on the other end of the line.....I could go on.....

                    2mcm

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                    • #11
                      Re: How not to use your coffee maker

                      Originally posted by 2muchcoffeeman link=1145109525/0#9 date=1145234401
                      Hence the value of buying from your friendly site sponsors 8-) who live coffee rather than just move boxes - department store style. Maybe sometimes its actually worth paying just a few bucks more than evilBay when you take into account pre and post sales service, warranty, having somebody who cares on the other end of the line.....I could go on.....

                      2mcm
                      True, a few dollars more for some, however for others it is in the Hundreds and then comes the grinder that you find you now need :-) ( Still chasing a em0480 :-* ).

                      KualityMan ( should be Gadget Man) and I have the misfortune ;D to actually know each other and to be the thorn in each others side

                      Both of us have CHEEP sunbeams and would love to go to the next step, however the $$$ and our personal safety at home suggests that bigger and better units will have to wait...

                      However even with these almost fool proof systems we hear of users doing the most foolish things and then turning away from coffee. Scoota gal your second post was spot on as you also confirm that we are coming from the same place.

                      Others I have directed here have some times indicated that it all appeared to high tec or that they did not want to ask stupid questions etc.

                      KualityMan and I have found that some people for eg just keep the coffee running ( and you know how quick it does in a cheep system) to make a full cup or / mug. Others will stop it and then place a second cup and fill it if they happen to have a double basket fitted.

                      Many hear / read about the magic 30 second pull, but do not realise that with an EM3600 or a EM4800 etc that 10 to 15 sec with a double basket, is often the best you will do (colour change detected) and that Tamping and the Grind will assist to obtain a better shot, even with the pressurised basket.

                      Then others (we have them at work) go and spend many hundreds to upgrade and become a little disillusioned. Why, because with their new unit Silvia or a Classic they then need a new better quality grinder ( more $$$) and to top it off, they now have to spend extra time temp surfing etc. to get a good shot.

                      Where does it end ?

                      Soz if I have gotten off track, but had a hard weekend.

                      If some one does make the choice for what ever the reason; How, can we encourage those users and purchasers of CHEEP equipment to persist, gain some experience and then grow confident enough to take the next step in the path to caffeine enlightenment.




                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: How not to use your coffee maker

                        For my $0.02 I could only suggest that for relatively a pain free way to a good cup of coffee is that there really is nothing wrong with a good old fashioned plunger that has been warmed up (and a warmed cup) previous to the brew being done. I find it a bit strange that all that is talked about on this site is about machines, machines, machines........

                        Plungers are quick, easy, not as much mess and cheaper. Youre probably less youre less likely to be left a bit bitter about how much you spent for an ordinary result. Lets face it; generally speaking domestic machines are never going to be commercial machines. True plungers, dont produce the same coffee as an expresso but the thing to appreciate is it just a different taste, not nessecarily better or worse.

                        The real advantage I have found with keeping my coffee preparation simple is that the money not spent on buying a machine has left free money for things that can really improve the tatse of your coffee like grinders and roasters.
                        Colour changed, a bit hard to read........
                        Mal.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: How not to use your coffee maker

                          Wow guys seems like I finally hit the neve. SCOOTA GAL you are spot on, and by the by no offence taken.

                          Yes I have to admit I know ANGER MANAGMENT, twas he that steered me here in the first place. kept sending me URLs info info and still more info. Yeh wax on.......wax off i get the message but tis true just sit around the meal room table and bring up the subject of coffee making. There is an overwhelming disinterest generally and the basic all time remark is "Its just tooooo difficult."

                          Now with my cheep plastic Sunbeam, the lowest priced machine in the Sunbeam range, I can now make quite a good coffee. In fact i also own a Cafe series all stainless model as well. I bought this thinking it would make a better brew. Alas alas how wrong can a guy be.

                          The simple truth is that the plastic machine does not use the water pump when creating steam and hence produces a much better drier steam than the SS Model as it has its pump running and over supplies the thermoblock and hence one gets very wet steam. Frothing milk with this means a 20% dilution because of the condensate.

                          Now if one happens to generate some steam up front when testing things out, well this proves to be a mistake. You see the thermo block has been over heated to produce the steam.

                          When you finish with the steam and before making a second shot you should run some water through the machine into an empty jug. At first you will not get any signs of water as the block is just too hot but then after a minute it explodes with a burst of steam and finally hot water. Let this run a wee while until you think the temerature has stabilized and then proceed with your second shot.

                          because of the erratic movement of the hot water above the grinds they tend to leave a residual in and around the shower screen. So you need a rag handy to wip up inside the showerscreen. Remember its B hot and dont burn your fingers. Old grinds lend to bitter coffee so its vital you keep eveything clean.

                          Finally i flush the machine after my brew and then use the hot water and the rag to clean the steam pipe head. It cleans real easy if it is wiped with a wet cloth.

                          Its time for THE BILL and a coffee to wind up the day.
                          kualityman

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: How not to use your coffee maker

                            Good tips there, Kualityman for the Sunbeam Cafe series....

                            At first you will not get any signs of water as the block is just too hot but then after a minute it explodes with a burst of steam and finally hot water
                            I might have accidently blown up one by not doing this when I was busy trying to make coffees for visitors once. The machine just all lit up (all the lights on the buttons) and it got very very hot and there was an odd burning smell and then, nothing. So I switched it off at the wall. Thankfully it was still under warranty and the machine was happily replaced by the retailer and Sunbeam. Cant argue with that service!

                            Some one on here suggested, and Im sorry I have forgot who it was but it was in my intro thread, that I remove the plastic out of the portafiller for the Sunbeam. I wondered for a few days what was meant and then whilst staring blankly at the metal portafiller realised that it had been done so months ago because it was such a horrid place where things could grow!!

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                            • #15
                              Re: How not to use your coffee maker

                              Well I have to say we are now getting to the heart of the matter. ANGER MANAGEMENT, well hes not really like his photo but I have to say that armed with any machine he can pull a good shot.

                              Of course there will be some test runs in order to find the starting point but this is essentially where its at...aint it? What was it Mumsy used to say "If at first you dont succeed try try again."

                              Trouble is instruction books dont tell you where you are going wrong.

                              What we want is a universal help line. How about we get all coffee machine importers and manufacturers to put a statement in their instruction books that says something like" If you are in trouble and need help to make your machine work for you log on to Coffee Snobs and seek the answers before you throw it out or give it away."

                              What say you?
                              kualityman

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