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Deep Brown Crema

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  • Deep Brown Crema

    Merry Christmas all

    Ive seen many photos which show a nice brown (almost red in colour) crema as the shot comes out.  Allthough the crema I get is reasonable (un-pressurised baskets), its not that rich, brown honey-like crema that I see in photos.  :-[

    Is this just the limitation of my $300 machine & cheap grinder?  Or is there something in my technique that I can improve on?  8-)

    Regards
    Andrew

  • #2
    Re: Deep Brown Crema

    Id guess grinder or technique. Try packing more into the basket (adjust grind to suit).

    Evan.

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    • #3
      Re: Deep Brown Crema

      I find if I am not spot on with grind, dose and tamp with Silvia the shots vary wildly from nectar like droplets if dosed right to a runny blonded shot if underdosed.

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      • #4
        Re: Deep Brown Crema

        I guess, what the other guys are hinting at, is that an appropriate and consistent approach to all the facets of the espresso process will allow you to extract the best that your machine is capable of. Need to use excellent, freshly roasted beans too but thats a given around here .

        To me anyway, the most important and naturally enough, the most difficult aspects of the process is to get your dosing and distribution down pat and repeatable ad nauseam. The tamp is also important but probably easier to master but still requires practice, with a set of bathroom scales if necessary. Grind setting will then become the only variable that will require changing from time to time.

        Theres heaps of info to be found in CS across several categories on how to get the dosing and distribution sorted out.... Tamping as well, so I would advise doing a search (maybe using the Google site-search tool, will give you more results) and follow the routine of someone you trust and then practice this until it becomes a matter of routine for you. Youll get there mate, just takes a bit of work but in the end it is really worth it. All the best ,

        Mal.

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        • #5
          Re: Deep Brown Crema

          Thanks all

          Thats great advice.  I can only do what I can!  Maybe one thing I can change is the storage of my freshly roasted beans.

          At the moment, after roasting, they go into some zip lock bags with a couple of small holes to de-gas for a couple of days.  Then I transfer them to a couple of glass air tight maccona jars & keep them in a cool dark area!

          Could this have an effect on the quality of crema production?

          Mal, I think I recall you mentioning that your son had an Ikon.  How do you find the colour of the crema from the shots you get?

          Thanks
          Andrew

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          • #6
            Re: Deep Brown Crema

            Gday Andrew,

            Yep, my son is very happy with his Ikon and using freshly roasted local beans, not set up to roast his own at home yet. I dont live close close enough to him to try it out myself and when he visits, he knows hes going to get a fairly good brew here, so doesnt bring the Ikon with him. Im just repeating what he told me regarding the Ikons performance and he does know how to use it properly.

            As an aside, I used to own a very cheap Sunbeam machine several years ago (yes, a t/block :), and managed to tweak it enough to produce quite excellent shots too. You just need to get to know your machine as best you can and work out how to make it perform consistently at its best. Of course, without excellent quality, freshly roasted coffee that is only ground immediately before brewing you are at least half-way up the stairway to success. Compared to my old Sunbeam the Ikon is absolutely streets ahead in every respect, so you will get there mate. My grinder at the time was a well looked after Lux and did a pretty fine job, although after I bought the Mokita, it was a lot more difficult dialling in the grind with the step changes being as large as they were.

            Storage of your beans is very important and the method of storage probably comes down to several points, namely:
            The size of your roast batches...
            How frequently you roast (or buy coffee)...
            How quickly you polish off the coffee...
            For my money though, it is very hard to go past the Black 1-Way Valve Bags that Andy sells on BeanBay and also CoffeeParts sell from their online store as well. So long as you look after them and clean them out after each use with some Ethyl Alcohol or similar (to dissolve away the coffee oils left behind) they can withstand many re-use cycles before "holing out" and then having to be discarded.

            Ive got a few stashed away that are more than two years old and still fine to use. The small Moccona jars are probably ok to use if you only roast small batches and then work your way through them pretty quickly, before the beans actually start to go off. I prefer my beans to be great right up to the last cup I drink and for roast batches that sometimes approach 1.0Kg, the 1-Way Valve Bags are great.

            Hope that helps you out a bit Andrew....

            Cheers,
            Mal.

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            • #7
              Re: Deep Brown Crema

              Thanks for your in-depth reply Mal...youre a great help to us newbies!

              God Bless & Merry Christmas to you & the family! 8-)

              Regards
              Andrew

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              • #8
                Re: Deep Brown Crema

                Always a pleasure to be of help where ever possible Andrew....

                And likewise, A Very Merry Christmas to you and yours as well, with a Happy, Safe and Prosperous New Year for 2008......

                Cheerio,
                Mal.

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