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Pulling espresso (some advice please)

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  • Pulling espresso (some advice please)

    Hi guys! I just signed up to CS and also just got a new coffee machine from a friend of mine as a birthday gift. She bought me a Breville Barvista (home machine with 15 bar themablock pump, http://<span style="color:#006666">h...rod=323</span>) along with a pack of ground coffee (Columbian Dark) from a reputable coffeebean stall in the market. I used it for a few times and I noticed that the flow rate was tad higher than an Expobar group 2 coffee machine that I used at work. The liquid coffee that came out of the Barvista was very quick (less than 10 seconds and white foam were driven out, Expobar was 15-20 seconds) and the liquid lacks coffee taste. When I asked about the grind size the stall used to grind the beans she said that they ground the beans according to the machines brand (a number 5 grind size), any finer will clog the filter, which leads me to believe that the grind size is appropriate.

    My question is: Do I pull the liquid coffee longer eventhough it produces more white foam or try to stick with the less 10 seconds? Or do I reduce the grind size?

    PS, the filter basket only has one hole, although it seemed like a filter with many holes.

    Cheers

  • #2
    Re: Pulling espresso (some advice please)

    Hi L2pull, and welcome to CoffeeSnobs,

    Your on the right track, 10 seconds is too fast.

    Firstly the filter basket that you describe is commonly fitted to the cheaper machines, and does not normally require as fine a grind as some other baskets.

    Secondly, which basket are you using, the single or the double?
    Singles can be quite hard to get a decent pour from,
    usually better to use the double, even if only making one drink, especially with some of the smaller double baskets typically used on those type of machines.

    Thirdly, was the puck wet and sloppy or relatively firm and dry after pouring?
    If the puck was wet and sloppy, then you need to dose more into the basket.
    Generally try to fit as much in as you can and still get the portafilter onto the machine, this will help in extending the pour time....suggest try filling basket, tap portafilter on the bench once to settle the grinds in the basket and put a bit more in, then level off with finger or kitchen knife, then tamp

    How much are you tamping, the common 30lb/15kg is a bit much for the type of basket you have, but harder tamp can help extend pour time.

    If all this doesnt make much difference, then yes you will need a finer grind, assuming you buy same beans/roast type again.

    Final suggestion is to plan to get yourself a grinder, surprising how well you can make coffee on the cheaper machines if you have your own grinder to freshly grind the beans just before you brew.

    Regards
    Bullitt

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    • #3
      Re: Pulling espresso (some advice please)

      Pack as much coffee in the basket as you can and give it a tamp. thats about all you can do with preground.

      what your experiencing is pretty much what youll get with pre-ground coffee. my first advice is to buy a good grinder. a minimum would be the sunbeam em0480 or em0450, starting at about $150.

      The pressurised baskets that you machine has are designed to produce acceptable coffee from preground. Its technically not true espresso. True espresso the pressure is created by the coffee and not the basket. at some point (not until you have a grinder) switching to regular baskets would be a good option.

      Dont worry about sloppy pucks etc They are another symptom of pressurised baskets. I would also hazard a guess that your machine doesnt have a pressure release valve so even with normal baskets your pucks will still be sloppy.

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      • #4
        Re: Pulling espresso (some advice please)

        Guys, thanks for the info. I will just ack as much coffee into the basket then. Im using the double shot barrel here (sounds like a gun hehe).

        Cheers

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