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  • Cafe Roma Problems

    After having a good run with my Roma, it is now giving me grief brews are now undrinkable. I have tried different beans(fresh), tried different variations of temp surfing, soaked the depressurised basket in cleaning vinegar to clean up any old oils, straight hot water tastes fine, tried everything I can think but still get a undrinkable sour/bitter brew. Any suggestions are welcome.

  • #2
    Re: Cafe Roma Problems

    My experience of the Cafe Roma is that it has a quite limited lifespan - have you de-scaled the boiler?

    I know the cost of upgrading always hurts, but the Cafe Roma was never going to be where you finished your journey as a coffeesnob - just a place to start.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Cafe Roma Problems

      damn thats a shame, how long have you had it? Ive had my roma for about 3 years I think and its still fine.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Cafe Roma Problems

        Greetings all.
        Yep, another bumbling newbie here...lol
        I just got a bargain buy off ebay of a Breville Cafe Roma ESP8B but im buggered if I can work out how to make a great cuppa from it. Ive been lurking around here reading everything I can about grinding/brewing etc & have tried a lot of different combinations(but not all yet). Can someone who has had/has one of these machines suggest a recipe for success please?
        Id love to have a nice cup soon & dont see much point in battling on by my self. It seems the sensible thing to do to ask for help. So thanks in advance for any help you could lend.
        Oz

        PS, I just timed the mrs making her coffee & it was 46 secs to pour 240mls for the way she likes her coffee done.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Cafe Roma Problems

          Hi ozz
          I had a cafe roma working beautifully until it died two days ago. I think the first problem is that you are pouring a 240 ml shot. The second problem is that it takes you 46 seconds to pour that much. You really should only pour a small espresso (30ml) size shot (or double espresso (60ml) for the double basket). If you are pouring more than that, the coffee will taste increasingly bad. If you want to add volume, you should just top it up with hot water or hot milk. If it takes only 46 seconds to pour that much, then your grind is too course. I think this is likely to be a major problem, but other things you can do are (and forgive me if this is obvious from what you have already read):
          1. Get fresh roasted beans. 2. grind them just before use with a decent grinder (or get fresh ground coffee from a good coffee supplier if you dont have a decent grinder but it wont be as good). 3. Modify your filter basket to make it non-pressurised. The last step is a bit tricky and you should read up about it on the relevant threads here before attempting it.

          I hope this is helpful.
          DIG

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          • #6
            Re: Cafe Roma Problems

            Hi Dig
            Thanks for the post mate.
            I do have good coffee here both pre ground & fresh beans from very good sellers, not supermarket crud.
            I have only this week got a new sunbeam em0450 conical burr grinder & am very much still in the experimental stage of getting to know it & what grind will work best. The first one I did was on the finest setting & came out like talc powder & ended up doing another grind on about 15 to mix in with the powdery one. The grind on 15 seems to be pretty good(from a novices point of view) its about the consistency of castor sugar...ish. Was judging it on a pre ground batch of coffee that was sent to me from a place in sydney.
            One thing ive noticed though is that when I take out the filter basket there is a pool of water sitting on top of the coffee. Would this mean its ground too fine & the water is not getting through? Have done a water only run without the handle in & it stops straight away so I dont think its an overflow sort of thing.
            Have just gone from an even cheaper 4bar maker to this new one thinking I would get really good results & have been really dissapointed so far.

            Ill give onlythe 30 & 60ml a wizz in the morning but I guess this is the area where im going to struggle the most as I love a big fat mug of coffee & am thinking itll end up too weak if I top it off with more water or milk...but its worth having a go at as I believe just about anyone here would have more experience with this stuff than I do right now.
            Mate, thanks again for the help.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Cafe Roma Problems

              Originally posted by ozz link=1185310916/0#5 date=1188640784
              The first one I did was on the finest setting & came out like talc powder & ended up doing another grind on about 15 to mix in with the powdery one. The grind on 15 seems to be pretty good(from a novices point of view) its about the consistency of castor sugar...ish. Was judging it on a pre ground batch of coffee that was sent to me from a place in sydney.
              One thing ive noticed though is that when I take out the filter basket there is a pool of water sitting on top of the coffee. Would this mean its ground too fine & the water is not getting through? Have done a water only run without the handle in & it stops straight away so I dont think its an overflow sort of thing.
              .
              Hi Ozz...
              Welcome!!
              coupla things of the top of my head...don;t mix different "fines" of grinds...
              there are plenty of posts on the forum which can tell you why it is so very important that all the grinds in your portafilter are the same size.. only if the grinds are uniform will you have the chance to tamp them in a puck which will let the water through evenly, thereby extracting the aromatic and volatile components (the yummy bits!!) from the coffee without bitterness..
              if you have such a puck of evenly ground coffee, you should get about 25-40 ml in about 35 sec, before the shot starts blonding... as soon as the espresso starts showing a paler colour you would be best to stop the shot, cause it will start to taste bitter.
              if you want a big mug of coffee ( the Aus version of a lunga ????), just put hot water in your mug first, then extract a shot of espresso on top of it.
              if you have a very big mug ( your coffee mug, that is... :P) up-dose your basket,  so you can get about 60ml of espresso from the same shot (edit: about 60 sec before it starts blonding)... there is plenty of info on the forum about  up-dosing and shot times, as well as tamping and grinding.. just use the search engine.

              good luck!!


              L

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Cafe Roma Problems

                oops, :-[ forgot about the water on the puck...
                yes, generally that means the grinds were too fine...although, having said that, sometimes you will get some water in the puck even though the shot was pretty good.

                maybe you would be best to get a kilo of freshly roasted beans (rested about 5-7 days)and start grinding and pulling shots, changing the setting only a little bit every time.
                do keep notes ... eventually you will find the right setting for a nice 30ml shot in about 30 sec and end up with a relatively dry puck...
                the fun is in the trying!! ;D

                cheers,
                L

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Cafe Roma Problems

                  Originally posted by ozz link=1185310916/0#5 date=1188640784
                  Ill give onlythe 30 & 60ml a wizz in the morning but I guess this is the area where im going to struggle the most as I love a big fat mug of coffee & am thinking itll end up too weak if I top it off with more water or milk...but its worth having a go at as I believe just about anyone here would have more experience with this stuff than I do right now.
                  ozz if you get a good pour of espresso in 30 seconds, that will be the taste of good coffee.
                  Its also the basic ingrediant to all coffee drinks be they short or long blacks or any of the milk based ones.

                  When the coffee pour lightens what you get is bitterness and if you look closely its running thin and watery.
                  The beginning of a shot is thick and slow. Thats where all the good taste is.

                  Wouldnt you rather top up your mug with water or milk instaed of thin, watery bitterness?

                  Ive made a few coffees at work of late and each person has drunk it without their usual 1 sugar.
                  This shows how sweet and thick a good coffee can taste.

                  Trust us, give it a go.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Cafe Roma Problems

                    Thanks everyone for your help, I cant wait until the morning rolls around now to try out all your suggestions.
                    Much appreciated, thank you all.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Cafe Roma Problems

                      Hi again ozz
                      The water on the puck thing is probably a result of the pressurised basket that come standard with the cafe roma - I used to get this too before I cut a hole in the bottom wall to make it a non-pressurised basket. I dont think you can really get a nice dry puck with a pressurised basket. That said, I reckon you will get a big improvement simply by working out where your grinder should be set to give you the right (caster sugar like) consistency and limiting your pour to about 60ml which (as others have said) should take roughly 30 seconds if the grind is right (with the double basket). If you really like a big mug of (strong) coffee, you may have to pour two doubles into the mug. The baskets on the roma are quite small, and you can only stretch the coffee so far, but with overdosing etc you may get enough out of one basket to keep you happy.
                      Hope it is a big improvement in the morning for you.
                      DIG

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Cafe Roma Problems

                        Gday ozz and welcome to CoffeeSnobs [smiley=thumbsup.gif],

                        An excellent site that is often referenced here at CS is the Home Barista website and a page that is really worth reading with respect to getting the best from your espresso machine is this one. The entire How To section is worth studying over time but this is a good place to start,

                        Cheers,
                        Mal.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Cafe Roma Problems

                          Well thanks all on the tips, the morning coffee has been much much better now that I know I was being greedy & trying to re-invent the laws of coffee physics :
                          I forgot to time it but it seems like only about 10 seconds to pour 60ml so im guessing it could maybe not be ground fine enough or tamped down enough... would this be right?

                          I used to get this too before I cut a hole in the bottom wall to make it a non-pressurised basket. I dont think you can really get a nice dry puck with a pressurised basket.
                          Interesting... DIG it looks to me like these baskets have a top & bottom to them with lots of holes on the top & only 1 hole on the bottom.
                          By this do you mean that you put more holes in the bottom?

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Cafe Roma Problems

                            Yes, thats right Ozz. Have a read of this thread for some more detail. http://coffeesnobs.com.au/YaBB.pl?num=1168768543/0
                            I cut a hole in my basket with a dremel and a tiny cutting wheel. It looks like this

                            Note the hole is square and roughly 5mmx5mm. It made a significant difference in the flavour in my opinion. It also prevented the annoying blockages I occasionally had. It basically means that the basket itself doesnt provide the resistance, the coffee does instead, hence the extraction works in more or less the same way as in a commercial machine. You can also get away with a finer grind and harder tamping with a modified basket, whereas the pressurised baskets block too easily if the grind is fine.
                            An alternative is to order the krups non-pressurised basket, which is mentioned many times in the thread I listed here.

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                            • #15
                              Re: Cafe Roma Problems

                              Thanks for the pic & hints Dig.
                              I had a go at modding my single basket...
                              [img]
                              http://www.makeithappen.biz/images/oz/coffee/Picture 031 (WinCE).jpg[/img]
                              Im not sure if I did it properly or not(too big/small) but the results from this experiment are not very good.
                              Now I get no crema

                              This one is done with a campos coffee that I know if top class & get a mad crema(although its a fake) with the bigger basket. This particular one was ground on 10 using my sunbeam conical burr em0450, I tamped the crapper out of it using the plastic jobbie that came with the machine(havent got a good one yet) & the pour time was 13 sec for 60ml & it still didnt taste like I know it should...damn its frustrating.
                              Im really considering selling this thing already & trying to get something a bit better which I dont think will really work anyhow as I would only be able to spend about $200 on another machine & from doing alot of reading here seems like that will only get me something similar to this one I already have anyhow. Maybe a BREVILLE 800ES could be do-able but I dont know that it will be any sort of an upgrade, only a bit more expensive for similar results. ARRRRRGGGGGHHHHH, if I had any hair id be pulling it out. I never knew it was so hard to get a great cuppa at home.

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