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  • I cant make a decent cafe

    Hi all,

    Im new to this site, seem to struggle alot with making a basic cafe, not sure what Im doing wrong, was wondering if someone could help me out...

    I have a Baby Gaggia D and a basic brevile conical burr grinder but I cant seem to get extractions over 10 secs. The cafe comes out watery after about 7 seconds no matter how fine I grind the beans or how hard I tamp the cafe.

    Any help much appreciation,

    Thanks

    Steve

  • #2
    Re: I cant make a decent cafe

    the gaggia is very fickle about grind & maybe yr grinder doesnt have the finesse to produce a grind suitable for yr machine. But the main thing is the beans how fresh are they when were they roasted & what sort are you using? Check the roast date on yr beans ideally theyre less than 2 wks old. Cheers pat

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    • #3
      Re: I cant make a decent cafe

      Thanks Pat,

      Yes the beans are now a bit over two weeks old, Lavaza beans from supermarket. I will try with some fresher beans.

      Cheers,

      Steve

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      • #4
        Re: I cant make a decent cafe

        Steve,

        Sorry to say that your beans were already several months old when you bought them.

        Supermarket beans are always past their premium. Regardless of what marketing people come up with, there is no way of keeping whole beans at premium freshness for more than a few weeks.

        You need to get some beans from a local roaster or from CS Brown (or another sponsor).

        Brett.

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        • #5
          Re: I cant make a decent cafe

          try several yrs old if they come from the super market the use by date in super markets is two yrs from the roast date!

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          • #6
            Re: I cant make a decent cafe

            Pat, Be fair.
            Some of them have a 1 year use by.

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            • #7
              Re: I cant make a decent cafe

              Hiya Kouks, welcome.

              As Im sure you know, espresso making is complex and many variables may be conspiring to cause your problems.

              Fresh beans are important, so I agree with the above posts. As theyve said, a general rule of thumb is: If you get em from the super market theyre stale. Try to find a local roaster, and only buy enough for a week or so.

              The other thing is: only change 1 part of your technique at a time- I repeat: ONLY CHANGE 1 THING AT A TIME!.

              Are you sure your dose is correct? Youll know from the state of your "puck" after a pour. To wet and sloppy?- increase your dose. Dry and crumbly?- decrease your dose. If youre dosing technique is right, leave it and work on your grind. It should be a matter of adjusting it until you get a 25-30 sec pour.

              If you just cant get a decent pour and youre cofident your technique is ok and your beans are fresh, it may be that your grinder wont grind fine enough. The only way to tell is too buy some freshly roasted and freshly ground (for espresso) coffee and go straight home and see if you can get a better pour with that. This will tell you if its your technique or your equipment thats letting you down.

              At this stage dont worry about the tamp too much, as long as you tamp firmly and consistently you should be right. You can work on your tamping technique when you are at the refinement stage, if you know what I mean.

              The other option is to get some training. Wheteher youre a seasoned pro or a newbie, youll always get benefit from a good training session.

              Good luck and I hope this helps.

              Cheers, Anthony




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              • #8
                Re: I cant make a decent cafe

                Thanks for the repsonses guys!

                Yep, Im going to try some new beans but will also take some of my beans to work and grind them there on a better grinder to see if this helps as well.

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