Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Hey....Machine Isnt To Blame After All!

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Hey....Machine Isnt To Blame After All!

    I bought a David Makin machine off Chris about ten days ago. Ive made LOTS of coffees since then and being a newbie, I just couldnt get the coffee right no matter what I did. As for the milk texturing...I STINK.

    Fortunately for me, my neighbor across the street had her daughter visit and she just happens to be the sales rep for Merlo coffee. She has also owned a coffee shop for many years.

    She came over to have a look at the machine. She reset the grind (ECM KS) to a finer setting, filled the PF to just slightly over full and tamped to about 10Kg. Tasted bitter! So she filled it again and just lightly tamped...maybe 5Kg. What a difference! The best shot Ive seen this machine make came out....lovely syrup followed by a beautiful crema. Then she textured the milk and did a perfect rosetta in the crema. In two goes...she had it right....Grrrr!

    I have a lot to learn. :-[ It has soooooooo much to do with the grind and the tamp. She felt that it was never necessary to tamp to 15Kg. Usually just a light tamp and a quick twist. And I have to remember to pour the shot as soon as the PF is put into place.

    Besides getting a valuable lesson....I got a whole lot of free coffee too 8-)

  • #2
    Re: Hey....Machine Isnt To Blame After All!

    Originally posted by Meaty0 link=1196585836/0#0 date=1196585836
    I have a lot to learn. :-[ It has soooooooo much to do with the grind and the tamp. She felt that it was never necessary to tamp to 15Kg. Usually just a light tamp and a quick twist. And I have to remember to pour the shot as soon as the PF is put into place.
    Great to hear Meatyo ;D

    As you know though, a good tradesman never blames his tools :P :. As with most aspects of learning how to consistently pull excellent espresso, its all about practice, practice and more practice..... not so much about absolutes per se.

    Most of the numbers you see bandied about are really only guidelines to get you started but once you have more of an appreciation of the processes involved, you will discover variations on the empirical data theme that works for you and allows you to consistently pull great shots and quickly troubleshoot issues that might crop up from time to time.

    You are very fortunate to have a professional living in such close proximity to you and willing to help you out, says a lot about your neighbours integrity I think. Keep practising Meatyo and it will all start to make sense in time and then you will be helping other newbies get on to the straight and narrow towards espresso nirvana with the rest of us.....

    Cheers mate ,
    Mal.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Hey....Machine Isnt To Blame After All!

      Hmm...

      I worry about those dosing techniques....Sounds to me like the standard cafe underdose and token tamp.... :-? How are the pucks looking Paul?

      I dont think too many here would recommend that. Its a fast track to the world of chanelling and underextraction.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Hey....Machine Isnt To Blame After All!

        [QUOTE=Meaty0 link=1196585836/0#0 date=1196585836]


        She reset the grind (ECM KS) to a finer setting, filled the PF to just slightly over full and tamped to about 10Kg. Tasted bitter! So she filled it again and just lightly tamped...maybe 5Kg. What a difference! The best shot Ive seen this machine make came out....lovely syrup followed by a beautiful crema. Then she textured the milk and did a perfect rosetta in the crema. In two goes...she had it right....Grrrr!

        I have a lot to learn. :-[ It has soooooooo much to do with the grind and the tamp. She felt that it was never necessary to tamp to 15Kg. Usually just a light tamp and a quick twist. And I have to remember to pour the shot as soon as the PF is put into place.

        Maaaate may I suggest that if you stick to proper tamping and dosing techniques you will have a far more stable platform to work from. Ie. Always dose to a level portafilter, tamp to 30 lbs force which equates to about 13.6 kgs force, and adjust your grinder to achieve the required pour time for your shot of coffee, anywhere between 20 and 30 seconds is quite acceptable, the only real variable left to deal with will be the particular beans you are using and then its just a matter of shifting your grinder settings to once again achieve that pour time... Ray.
        8-)

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Hey....Machine Isnt To Blame After All!

          Originally posted by 2muchcoffeeman link=1196585836/0#2 date=1196595282
          Hmm...

          I worry about those dosing techniques....Sounds to me like the standard cafe underdose and token tamp.... :-? How are the pucks looking Paul?

          I dont think too many here would recommend that. Its a fast track to the world of chanelling and underextraction.
          She used the single shot basket first. Slightly overfilled it and then just skimmed the coffee off so it was level. Then she tamped it hard enough to the line in the basket...not 15 Kg..I reckon about 10Kg pressure if that. That came out bitter and syrupy and the puck was wet. We both noticed that.

          She did exactly the same thing again, but this time only tamped lightly...maybe 5 Kg. It was perfect and the puck was dry, no channellings. Couldve been dumb luck.

          I told her to do the same with the double shot basket, but this time she slightly overfilled the basket and didnt level it off. Just tamped it down again with about 5Kg....perfect again! But youre right...I thought immediately of all the "cafe staff" Ive seen do this.

          Her comment was that she felt the grind was too fine still. Before she left, she said to try a coarser grind and a harder tamp. Will be experimenting with that tomorrow....I love experimenting

          So, shes coming back next week-end to test my coffee making skills More free coffee I hope!

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Hey....Machine Isnt To Blame After All!

            Originally posted by Ray C link=1196585836/0#3 date=1196596366
            Maaaate may I suggest that if you stick to proper tamping and dosing techniques you will have a far more stable platform to work from. Ie. Always dose to a level portafilter, tamp to 30 lbs force which equates to about 13.6 kgs force, and adjust your grinder to achieve the required pour time for your shot of coffee, anywhere between 20 and 30 seconds is quite acceptable, the only real variable left to deal with will be the particular beans you are using and then its just a matter of shifting your grinder settings to once again achieve that pour time... Ray.
            8-)
            Hmmm. She watched for "blonding" and then stopped the shot. We went by how the shot tasted rather than the time it took to pour. I reckon the second "perfect" shot would have taken about 20 to 25 seconds.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Hey....Machine Isnt To Blame After All!

              But what happens if there isnt a standard practice and youre using a fresh high oil content bean, it will leave you guessing, there are too many variables. On the other hand its these variables that must be eliminated to produce "consistent" extraction times, coffee after coffee after coffee, day after day, week after week etc. etc.

              Ray.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Hey....Machine Isnt To Blame After All!


                Her comment was that she felt the grind was too fine still. Before she left, she said to try a coarser grind and a harder tamp. Will be experimenting with that tomorrow....I love experimenting Smiley

                So, shes coming back next week-end to test my coffee making skills Shocked More free coffee I hope! Smiley...

                Sounds to me that youre on a winner, how blessed are you to have that kind of support, as Mal says; coffee nirvana is all that much closer to you.

                Ray.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Hey....Machine Isnt To Blame After All!

                  A standard and proper dosing/tamping technique :-?.... Thats a newey to me.

                  If Ive seen nothing else here over the last few years, its the myriad number of techniques used both by pros and amateurs alike that produce great results, in the cup. Naturally, the basic technique needs to be in the ballpark but after that, its doing everything consistently that really matters so that by adjusting one parameter at a time you can arrive at the desired outcome.

                  You need to be guided by the results in the cup, everything else comes second.....

                  Mal.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Hey....Machine Isnt To Blame After All!

                    As for her dosing and tamping tecniques. Im not saying that there is anything wrong with them but....
                    That is a technique used by Merlo to extract their beans. It is taught to cafe staff and takeaway shop owners around Qld. It is a fairly consistent way of ensuring average, not great nor offensive, results in the cup. The perfect extraction time taught to cafes is 20 secs, to take-away joints its 16 secs - as taught by the Merlo reps. It is a basis of lowest common demoninater training.
                    So it may have worked, but it could be better. I believe, and a lot of specialty barsita will agree, that dosing and distribution is just as important as the coffee you use, the grind, and the tamp. Its always good to get a few opinions and thats what I would suggest doing.

                    How about something like this: http://coffeesnobs.com.au/YaBB.pl?num=1194473461

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Hey....Machine Isnt To Blame After All!

                      Originally posted by Pioneer Roaster link=1196585836/0#9 date=1196631396
                      As for her dosing and tamping tecniques. Im not saying that there is anything wrong with them but....
                      That is a technique used by Merlo to extract their beans. It is taught to cafe staff and takeaway shop owners around Qld. It is a fairly consistent way of ensuring average, not great nor offensive, results in the cup. The perfect extraction time taught to cafes is 20 secs, to take-away joints its 16 secs - as taught by the Merlo reps. It is a basis of lowest common demoninater training.
                      So it may have worked, but it could be better. I believe, and a lot of specialty barsita will agree, that dosing and distribution is just as important as the coffee you use, the grind, and the tamp. Its always good to get a few opinions and thats what I would suggest doing.

                      How about something like this: http://coffeesnobs.com.au/YaBB.pl?num=1194473461
                      I bow to your greater experience. Im a total newbie to all of this. BUT her first words to me were to forget about extraction time and concentrate on how the shot tastes. We just got hold of some "practice" coffee...a one week old bag of Merlo Espresso, and tried different grinds and tamps until it tasted good. Her instructions were to stop the shot when it "went whitish" (blonding?) and not worry about time. Then we tasted it. She was explicit that I should do this with each different type of coffee I use, then maintain that routine.

                      Perhaps when you get the taste right...the extraction time is right too?

                      Anyway...at lunchtime...Im going to try a coarser grind and harder tamping. Ill watch the time as well.

                      Now if I can just get the milk right... :-/

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Hey....Machine Isnt To Blame After All!

                        Meaty0,

                        Keep going, youre doing well. One thing which cant be denied from what youve seen is that the combination of beans, grind, dose, tamp, timing and technique she used gave better results than your versions of the same. So thats a good starting point. The above comments arent intended to say her technique is useless - clearly it gave results that impressed you. However what they are indicating you could get *even better* results by using a better combination than the one she used. If you work on it, what all that tells you is the machine is capable of *at least* as good results as what she got, and probably better. Sounds like the skys the limit mate!

                        Greg

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Hey....Machine Isnt To Blame After All!

                          Originally posted by Greg Pullman link=1196585836/0#11 date=1196640932
                          Meaty0,

                          Keep going, youre doing well. One thing which cant be denied from what youve seen is that the combination of beans, grind, dose, tamp, timing and technique she used gave better results than your versions of the same. So thats a good starting point. The above comments arent intended to say her technique is useless - clearly it gave results that impressed you. However what they are indicating you could get *even better* results by using a better combination than the one she used. If you work on it, what all that tells you is the machine is capable of *at least* as good results as what she got, and probably better. Sounds like the skys the limit mate!

                          Greg

                          Thanks for the encouragement Greg. If I can get better than the shots I tasted yesterday, I will truly be in Heaven. No more sex for me...just coffee! ;D

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Hey....Machine Isnt To Blame After All!

                            Yes Meatyo,

                            Greg is spot-on...... Its all about being consistent with every aspect of the process of making espresso. If she (the neighbourhood tutor) can show you a method that works as a starting point, then thats great as far as Im concerned 8-). A bit further on down the track when your understanding of the processes and your confidence is higher, then you can start to adjust the method you use one parameter at a time and examine the end results with knowledge gained up to that point.

                            Go for it mate and practice the method you use until the end results are exactly where you want them, practice makes perfect and consistency is everything when it comes to extracting the best the bean has to offer. Onward and upward...... [smiley=thumbsup.gif]

                            Mal.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Hey....Machine Isnt To Blame After All!

                              Man! I just love this web site....... you guys "rock"

                              Ray.

                              Comment

                              Working...
                              X