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  • Ground Coffee - Help needed!

    Hi all!

    Just stumbled onto this site, so thought Id pose my question here.

    I recently (yesterday) bought some coffee and had them grind it for me (for espresso). I tried it in my machine this morning and it doesnt work! I think they have ground it too fine. My question is, can I use the coffee in a plunger or another brewing method? I dont want to waste the coffee that I bought!

    Cheers!

  • #2
    Re: Ground Coffee - Help needed!

    Hi Lauren,

    Sound like the grind is too fine and has choked your machine. Try a lighter tamp in the basket. This may allow water to flow through. The espresso grind will be too fine for your normal plunger, but I can use an espresso grind in my Aeropress which has paper filter.

    I have in the past used an espresso grind straight into the cup. i.e I put some milk in a mug, add a couple of tablespoons of espresso grind and then add hot water. Mix it up and let the grinds settle a bit. I find this ok and pretty much grind free so long as you dont drink the bottom 1cm of brew - it can get a bit chewy.

    Another option may be to blend that bag with some coarser coffee. The mixture wont be perfect for espresso because in theory uneven grounds can cause channelling which prevents an optimum pour. But if you arent that worried its worth a go to save wasting the bag.

    Matt

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    • #3
      Re: Ground Coffee - Help needed!

      Hi Lauren and welcome.

      What machine are you using for the ground coffee?
      It might be possible to under dose a little and see if you can get something out of it.

      Unfortunately, an espresso grind is not likely to work very well in a plunger. Possibly a stovertop would work OK.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Ground Coffee - Help needed!

        Thanks for the quick! responses!

        I was getting very frustrated with it this morning, so I might try it again when I get home and see if I can get it to work with a smaller amount or a lighter tamp. If that doesnt work, I might give a stovetop a try.

        Do you mean machine to grind the coffee or the actual cofee machine? The coffee machine i have is only a small cheap one (Im saving for a fancier one!), but until now Ive not had any problems!

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        • #5
          Re: Ground Coffee - Help needed!

          I meant the coffee machine. What sized basket it uses, what sort of build quality, what brand/model was what I was getting at.

          As Matt said - It sounds like a choke.
          Too much coffee or too fine or both.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Ground Coffee - Help needed!

            Ok, Im a bit of a coffee machine virgin! No idea what size basket (enough for 2 shots), no idea on build quality! The brand is a cheap Sunbeam one.

            Im pretty sure the coffee has been gorund to finely. Looking at it, its got a very powdery quality to it. Oh well.

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            • #7
              Re: Ground Coffee - Help needed!

              Thats fine. Just dont want to tell you something that might work for a specific machine that might backfire on you.

              Some machines use 53mm baskets, some 57mm and some 58mm.
              58mm is the commercial standard. Your particular Sunbeam (Cafe Crema or Cafe Espresso?) probably uses a 53mm basket.

              I would start with what has been suggested above. Less coffee in the basket. If you are tamping (pressing the coffee firmly into the basket), back off on that as well.

              See if that helps. It may not be as good as when the grind is right, but hopefully youll get drinkable coffee and not waste the purchase.

              Ask more questions tonight if you feel the need. Many people hopped up on caffeinne are ready to answer wildly at a moments notice.

              8-)

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              • #8
                Re: Ground Coffee - Help needed!

                Originally posted by fatboy link=1172792458/0#6 date=1172805940

                Ask more questions tonight if you feel the need. Many people hopped up on caffeinne are ready to answer wildly at a moments notice.

                8-)
                Speak fer yerself :P ;D

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Ground Coffee - Help needed!

                  Howdy all!

                  I tried using less coffee and a very light tamp and it worked once, and then didnt! I think if I want to have coffee in the morning, Ill have to get up a bit earlier to give myself time to get it right!

                  Anyhoo, I made a coffee earlier. It was drinkable (just) so at least Im not wasting the coffee (well, apart from the times it hasnt worked!!!)

                  Now for another question, where in Melbourne can people recommend buying decent coffee with a decent grind? Not flush enough with money to buy my own grinder as yet!

                  Cheers!!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Ground Coffee - Help needed!

                    regarding beans, whereabouts are you?

                    if its no trouble getting there. try site sponsors: veneziano - theyre somewhere near richmond off victoria st.

                    also if you do buy your coffee and have it ground, you could ask what number grind they used. that way, if you find it too fine/coarse, you can tell them to grind it finer/coarser than that grind setting on your next visit.

                    however, theres nothing quite like freshly ground coffee. save up for a quality grinder and it will really help you along

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                    • #11
                      Re: Ground Coffee - Help needed!

                      Im in Essendon. Richmond is fine to get to, so I might give that one a go.

                      I also want to save up for a better machine. I started out with a small cheap one to see if Id even use it! You know how it is with appliances - you buy it, use it once and then put it in a cupboard never to be seen again! Seeing as Ive used it every day since I got it, itll probably be worth it to get a better one.

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                      • #12
                        Re: Ground Coffee - Help needed!

                        Now that youre on the journey it will be best if your next purchase is a good grinder.
                        It will improve coffee with your existing machine.
                        Then you can buy a better machine and see further improvement.

                        However, buying a better machine first without a good grinder is not going to improve your coffee.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Ground Coffee - Help needed!

                          Hmm, good point. Right, so its gonna be grinder first.

                          Any recommendations?

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Ground Coffee - Help needed!

                            Originally posted by Lauren link=1172792458/0#12 date=1172962188
                            Hmm, good point.  Right, so its gonna be grinder first.

                            Any recommendations?
                            Hi Lauren and welcome to CS. What I can suggest is that you buy the best grinder you can possibly afford...Ultimately you gets what you pays for...

                            Broadly speaking but by no means a comprehensive list:
                            Doserless
                            Sunbeams- cheap (sub $200) but the adjustment steps are large
                            Iberital Challenge (circa $300)- good but noisy. Forget it if you wish to grind for plunger as well as espresso
                            Rancilio Rocky ($400ish) Good and long-lived
                            Compak K3 touch- ($550+)- great doserless grinder- plays well above its height...
                            Then Macap MC4, Mazzer mini-e ($700-1000ish)

                            Doser- (All $600+)
                            Compak K3 Elite
                            Mazzer mini, Compak K3 Elite, Mazzer mini manual

                            If you get the right grinder, you may never upgrade it...On the other hand, thats a very unlikely scenario for an espresso machine ...

                            2mcm


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                            • #15
                              Re: Ground Coffee - Help needed!

                              Any body want a Mazzer Mini...I want a super jolly.... :-/

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