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Why doesnt my coffee taste as good as the cafe?

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  • Why doesnt my coffee taste as good as the cafe?

    Hi all.

    I know its a broad question, so Ill narrow it down for you.

    I have a (brand new) Bezzera Domus Galatea espresso machine and a (brand new) Bezzera BB004 Doser Grinder.

    Using the same beans as my fav local cafe mod edit commercial link removed Im able to produce a 50ml + 5mm crema double shot in 25-30sec, with a nice even flow, paling a little toward the end.

    I then texture & heat full cream milk the best I know how (following instructions from this forum and John Doyles GREAT Barista Techniques book).

    But my latte still tastes crap (the same as it did with my $450 Spidem Trevi Plus espresso machine, pre-ground beans from Schibello and microwaved milk!).

    Im at a bit of a loss as to why. The same beans taste great at the cafe (Bellyfish at Terrigal). So surely it cant be the beans? Im thinking maybe:
    • my double basket is either too big or too small to be aiming for a 50ml extraction in 30 seconds (maybe thats why its paling toward the end)?;
    • my milk isnt up to scratch (Im texturing only a little more than a single lattes worth of milk, and the whole operation takes only about 10 seconds)?; or
    • Im just crap at coffee!!!

    Any opinions? What should I try?

    Cheers.
    Glenn

  • #2
    Re: Why doesnt my coffee taste as good as the cafe?

    Originally posted by 4A475847404B595C475A4B2E0 link=1255646232/0#0 date=1255646232
    Hi all.

    I know its a broad question, so Ill narrow it down for you.

    I have a (brand new) Bezzera Domus Galatea espresso machine and a (brand new) Bezzera BB004 Doser Grinder.

    Using the same beans as my fav local cafe mod edit commercial link removed Im able to produce a 50ml + 5mm crema double shot in 25-30sec, with a nice even flow, paling a little toward the end.

    I then texture & heat full cream milk the best I know how (following instructions from this forum and John Doyles GREAT Barista Techniques book).

    But my latte still tastes crap (the same as it did with my $450 Spidem Trevi Plus espresso machine, pre-ground beans from Schibello and microwaved milk!).

    Im at a bit of a loss as to why. The same beans taste great at the cafe (Bellyfish at Terrigal). So surely it cant be the beans? Im thinking maybe:
    • my double basket is either too big or too small to be aiming for a 50ml extraction in 30 seconds (maybe thats why its paling toward the end)?;
    • my milk isnt up to scratch (Im texturing only a little more than a single lattes worth of milk, and the whole operation takes only about 10 seconds)?; or
    • Im just crap at coffee!!!

    Any opinions? What should I try?

    Cheers.
    Glenn
    Fresh beans - Try from brown bay...

    Then if the same...

    Look closely at your grind Vs Tamp pressure Vs Dose level.

    Do some searching on CS as it has all been covered off..

    Welcome to CS... Hate to say it but my money is on the Beans first followed closly by a carbon based error..

    Let us know how ya go...

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Why doesnt my coffee taste as good as the cafe?

      Do the beans they sell you have a roasted on date? Just because they sell them at the cafe doesnt mean theyre fresh.

      Milk texturing does play a big part, as does the brand of milk used. I know that if I texture too thin, it will result in a bland tasting latte no matter how good the espresso shot was.

      Your new machine & grinder may need some time to break in as well. It will come in time - just be patient.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Why doesnt my coffee taste as good as the cafe?

        Two things to try:
        1. Cut your pour short at first signs of paling. Your beans may not like being pushed too far.
        2. Try some different brands of milk. Get the ones with the furtherest away used by date.
        Tell us what state youre in and we can help give a few recomendations about what milk to try.
        As AM said some brown beans from bean bay will let you know for sure if your problem is with your beans or not.

        Good luck,

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Why doesnt my coffee taste as good as the cafe?

          I would also try some BeanBay beans as AM suggests. Ive found beans Ive bought elsewhere dont work as well at home because the cafe may have tuned their machine to get the best from their beans.

          In the meantime try making your latte from a ristretto: let the first few seconds of the shot go into the driptray or another cup then catch the remainder of the shot until blonding starts -you should get about 30 - 40 ml, enough for a latte in a 220ml glass.

          Then taste the shot before adding milk. You should be able to taste sourness or bitterness then.

          It may also mean your machine needs calibrating as the brew temp is too low or the OPV needs to be adjusted or both.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Why doesnt my coffee taste as good as the cafe?

            Originally posted by 515B4E5959564244370 link=1255646232/4#4 date=1255648324

            It may also mean your machine needs calibrating as the brew temp is too low or the OPV needs to be adjusted or both.
            This x2, Your machine may need a cooling flush before pulling a shot, or are you giving it long enough to warm up? Most HX machines will take up to an hour.

            Also many opvs come from Italy set at 12 bar, It may need adjusting.

            Using a different brand of milk or smaller baskets could also be the difference.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Why doesnt my coffee taste as good as the cafe?

              Thanks so much guys. What great, helpful replies!

              I assumed with good gear and the right technique, the same beans as the cafe would produce similar results. (I have the gear, thus the problem must be the technique.) Appears I may have assumed wrong.

              For the record, Ive always bought my ground beans from BeanBay (this is my first grinder).

              Ill buy a couple more bags plus the sampler pack, and see how it goes. EDIT: Bought a kg of Peru Ceja de Selva Estate (I like the ground version of this) and a sampler pack.

              Will also experiment with the extraction tips you suggested.

              Cheers!
              Glenn

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Why doesnt my coffee taste as good as the cafe?

                Originally posted by 2D35303025341F2D212E7677400 link=1255646232/5#5 date=1255653146
                This x2, Your machine may need a cooling flush before pulling a shot, or are you giving it long enough to warm up? Most HX machines will take up to an hour.

                Also many opvs come from Italy set at 12 bar, It may need adjusting.

                Using a different brand of milk or smaller baskets could also be the difference.
                Thanks!

                Im flushing before pulling. Didnt allow an hour to warm up. Just waited for pressure gauge to get to 1.1 bar, as per instructions. About 10-20 minutes by the time I pulled the shot. This morning, it was longer.

                Smaller baskets? Why is that?

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Why doesnt my coffee taste as good as the cafe?

                  There are different sized baskets single double and tripple and variations within those groupings. If you use a different sized basket you will change the flavor of the coffee. So if you are using a 14g double and the cafe is using an 18g double you will get a different taste (might not be the most significant problem but it is a variable.) Welcome to the long road of coffee snobbery. ;D

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Why doesnt my coffee taste as good as the cafe?

                    Originally posted by 747966797E756762796475100 link=1255646232/7#7 date=1255661336
                    Just waited for pressure gauge to get to 1.1 bar, as per instructions
                    That indicates the boiler is hot enough. The group head may take longer to warm up. Id wait at least 30 minutes and preferably 45mins to 1 hour. This will help ensure a better brew temperature.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Why doesnt my coffee taste as good as the cafe?

                      OK
                      First things first
                      What Tamper are you using ?

                      For the Bezzera Galatea you should tamp 8mm deep into the basket
                      My experience has shown that 8mm is the perfect tamp depth  

                      Use fresh beans and grind at approx size of table salt and adjust from there

                      Fresh roasted beans are classed as a perishable food and will degrade in approx 3 to 5 weeks depending on the origin

                      From a cold start up, dont make coffee before a 40 min warm/heat up
                      Yes do cooling flush as you are doing now

                      KK

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Why doesnt my coffee taste as good as the cafe?

                        cold water sounds like the culprit. The e61 group should be to a temperature where its hot to touch and impossible to touch for more then a couple of second. Leave it on for a couple of hours and youll get an idea of its proper idling temperature. Unless you bought it from Chris (talk coffee) then there should be a bit of splutter and steam when you do a cooling flush. If not then its likely the group isnt up to temperature.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Why doesnt my coffee taste as good as the cafe?

                          Im using a solid, heavy tamper (an extra purchase). Ive been tamping to about 6-7mm, I think. Maybe I need to make the grind a bit finer and put a little less in?

                          How many times should it splutter and steam on flush? Just the very first, or after, say, every 10 minutes (assuming no use)?

                          This is great guys. I was starting to feel disheartened.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Why doesnt my coffee taste as good as the cafe?

                            It depends on the machine but in my experience with Hx it only takes a few minutes before another cooling flush will be required.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Why doesnt my coffee taste as good as the cafe?

                              Originally posted by 6971747461705B69656A3233040 link=1255646232/13#13 date=1255666205
                              It depends on the machine but in my experience with Hx it only takes a few minutes before another cooling flush will be required.
                              Right. All good to know. I cant remember how often I flushed this morning with it. But I KNOW I didnt leave it for 40+ min this morning. And I also didnt leave the filter handle & basket in the head for very long either. They were hottish to touch, but not as hot as described above.

                              A lot of things to try, so thats great. Thanks everyone. (Keep those suggestions coming though! )

                              Cheers.
                              Glenn

                              Comment

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