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How do I get the thick espresso shot like the cafes

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  • How do I get the thick espresso shot like the cafes

    Hi fellow CSers

    I am looking for some advice on where I may be going wrong. I have just finished descaling my Expobar Office Leva, adjusted pressure stat to cycle between 1 and 1.2 bar and adjusted the group pressure to 0.9bar.

    After dialing in the Mazzer Mini I was getting a 50ml shot in 22 seconds using a double basket but I still cant produce a shot as thick as ones I have tasted from places like The Coffee Barun and Coffee Craft here in Adelaide.

    The beans are fresh and were roasted 4 days ago. My method of grinding and tamp are as follows:
    1. Grind into PF basket
    2. When grinds start too rise above the basket, I tape the PF on the bench a couple times to settle the grinds and then top the basket and tape once more.
    3. I then use a flat edge and scrap across the top of the PF basket.
    4. I then use a click matt and tamp the the recommended 15kg pressure (which has been checked on a set of digi scales)
    5. I then insert the PF into the group and start the shot.
    6. The shot starts to come through about 6-8 seconds after lever has been lifted.
    7. The shot starts to come through slow but for for a couple seconds where it starts to flow quicker.

    Now the shot looks ok, a lot better than a lot of cafes out there but to me it seems to thin and doesnt have the same body and thickness to the shot like the commercial cafes I mentioned earlier.

    Do the commercial cafes get these results by using a triple basket but only ever extracting 25 or 30mls from the group and stopping it short.

    Another question I have is, would a dual boiler rotary pump machine, like the Alex Duetto II produce the type of shot I am looking for or should the Expobar leva give me the results I want but I need to hone my skills a little more.

    Any advice would be appreciated.

  • #2
    Re: How do I get the thick espresso shot like the cafes

    Youre not comparing apples with apples here.
    Different coffee, different machine, different grinder, different barista.

    I would hope that a good quality cafe could pull a better shot than me on a $4,000 - $7,000+ setup.

    As good as an Expobar Leva is for a home machine, it is not a commercial machine.

    If your setup produces better coffee than most, I think thats great.

    If you can still find cafes that can do it better, I think thats also great. Gives you something to aspire to.

    Upgrade-itis?

    Brett.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: How do I get the thick espresso shot like the cafes

      Just for an experiment try a redical shift of thinking. The 15kg tamp is no set in stome!

      Grind finer than you currently are. This will give you a slightly heavier dose due to compaction. Few taps on the bench to settle and top up a touch if needed. Light tamp of 2-3kg only. With a bit of practice on this technique you will still be getting the same shot/volume figures.

      Then suck it and see Works great for me at home on the Pavoni and a much better result in the cup. You may find you never go back to 15kg thinking again.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: How do I get the thick espresso shot like the cafes

        Are you using the same coffee? The coffee will make a huge difference to taste and crema etc.... are you using the beans the cafes youre comparing with are using?

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: How do I get the thick espresso shot like the cafes

          Originally posted by 2D38797F794C0 link=1295070602/0#0 date=1295070602
          and adjusted the group pressure to 0.9bar.
          Just checking, you did mean 9 Bar, right? if not, "Theres ya problem"

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: How do I get the thick espresso shot like the cafes

            Beanflyer thanks for the advice, I will be sure to give it a try. Just one question though. i know I might be looking it to this to deeply but when you say use 2-3kg tamp pressure, is that including the weight of the tamper or is the 2-3kg the actual pressure to be applied.

            rival81 the beans are the same and were roasted by the cafe so this is why I have asked the question.

            fatboy I know I dont have a 4000 - 7000 cafe espresso machine but I cant figure out why such a big difference should occure. For instance, if I was to use my $2000 expobar leva set to the recommended settings or I went a purchased a new $4000 Alex Duetto why would the coffee be so much better in the Alex.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: How do I get the thick espresso shot like the cafes

              Originally posted by 70727E7676787F62110 link=1295070602/4#4 date=1295133255
              Just checking, you did mean 9 Bar, right? if not, "Theres ya problem"
              Yes sorry it is 9Bar i.e. 900Kpa

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: How do I get the thick espresso shot like the cafes

                This is often overlooked

                My prognosis is that you have older grinds in the grinder
                You cant see what coffee grinds are left in the exit throat

                When you grind again for a coffee several hours to a day after the last coffee, you are mixing newly ground beans with older left over ones

                Try purging all the old grinds
                Pull a shot with fresh only grinds and report back

                KK

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: How do I get the thick espresso shot like the cafes

                  Originally posted by 1D3930303333091D39253B39560 link=1295070602/7#7 date=1295134881
                  This is often overlooked

                  My prognosis is that you have older grinds in the grinder
                  You cant see what coffee grinds are left in the exit throat

                  When you grind again for a coffee several hours to a day after the last coffee, you are mixing newly ground beans with older left over ones

                  Try purging all the old grinds
                  Pull a shot with fresh only grinds and report back

                  KK
                  What he said

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: How do I get the thick espresso shot like the cafes

                    Hi KK

                    Thanks for your input, something for everyone in what you wrote.

                    For myself, I currently use the mini mazzer with the conical chute dosing directly into the PF. Every time I grind I always sweed the small opening where the coffee comes from of the grinder, only every having freashly ground grounds. Come to think of, I am a little OCD when it comes to having grinds in the grinder as it is swept clean of any grinds after each use.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: How do I get the thick espresso shot like the cafes

                      Originally posted by 5045040204310 link=1295070602/5#5 date=1295133415
                      fatboy I know I dont have a 4000 - 7000 cafe espresso machine but I cant figure out why such a big difference should occure. For instance, if I was to use my $2000 expobar leva set to the recommended settings or I went a purchased a new $4000 Alex Duetto why would the coffee be so much better in the Alex.  
                      Well, one of the reasons I made that statement is due to a post from ThunderGod (I think) a little while back where he said he had taken some of his own beans to a cafe and had a shot pulled from their machine and it was a better tasting shot than he had been able to get at home.
                      Home was still very good, but the cafe was better.

                      As to why the coffee would be better on a more expensive machine... well hopefully that is a large factor of WHY the machine is more expensive (but not always!).

                      Thermo stability, pressure stability and perhaps even rotary pump versus vibe pump. Im sure Chris or Dennis or others are way more qualified to answer that than me.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: How do I get the thick espresso shot like the cafes

                        Originally posted by 4154151315200 link=1295070602/5#5 date=1295133415
                        2-3kg the actual pressure to be applied
                        Same thing dont get to caught up in exacts as coffee is part art part science (mainly practice and refinement of technique helps) but around 2-3kg of pressure. Even lighter works too but it is totally dependant on grind/dose then. I found the shots from the Pavoni were richer and fuller this way than with a more "conventional" tamp/grind.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: How do I get the thick espresso shot like the cafes

                          Has been said before but coffee is part art and 2+2 sometimes equals 5, if you after a different result then you need to adjust your routine. Play with dose, grind, or tamp and taste the results. From what you are saying I am guessing a slightly higher dose will improve body (change grinder to suit also) but you just need to play. I am still improving my routine and I make lots of coffees, machinery also plays a part but the monkey making the coffee is generally at fault.

                          Cheers

                          Brett

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: How do I get the thick espresso shot like the cafes

                            You might also find the shots are better if you let the beans rest a bit longer, personally I prefer to let mine rest closer to 7 days before I start using them.

                            And yes make sure you have cleaned out any old grinds from the grinder before you start.

                            Also I agree with the lower tamp pressure, works for me.

                            Finally, while a more expensive machine and better grinder, will be capable of producing better results, there does come a point of diminishing returns for the amount of money spent, so unlikely the the machine upgrade you mentioned at approx twice the price, will be twice as good.  So many other factors affect the end result.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: How do I get the thick espresso shot like the cafes

                              OK, Im not an expert like some that lurk on this forum but I reckon that using beans only roasted 4 days previously is too soon. I reckon 2-3 weeks is better as long as theyre stored well.

                              Plus, I actually tested different tamp pressures some time ago when I was having issues with inconsistent shots and found that within reason tamp pressure made little difference.

                              I use a Mazzer mini too and dose into a Synesso ridgeless double basket and my procedure is...

                              1) Grind on demand
                              2) Basket about 1/3 full settle with double tap on metal support under doser.
                              3) Basket 2/3 full same as above.
                              4) Basket overflowing double tap then level off  by removing excess grounds.
                              5) Tamp at reasonable pressure ensuring surface of tamped coffee is smooth.
                              6) Bung it on and pull your shot.

                              I reckon consistency is the answer.  

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