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Help me out!

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  • Help me out!

    Hey im a newbie here so please help out if you can. Ive got a Gaggia Cubika and recently given a Breville BarVista coffee grinder...those cheap blade ones. Ive yet to make a cup of cafe-quality espresso with numerous beans ive tried. My espresso always comes out very watery and could fill a whole cup in the 25secs given to drip 30ml. Ive tried every setting from fine to coarse but they all produce the same result. Ive cleaned the PF and all but nothing seems to work! What could possibly be wrong? For home machines, should the beans be coarser or finer?

    Thanks in adv.

  • #2
    Re: Help me out!

    Obviously the first thing anyone here would say -

    1. It is the grinder.
    2. The beans you are using - When were they roasted?? If they are not within 2 weeks of a roast then most here would say they are stale but you should still get a coffee out of it but not great coffee.
    3. Tamping - How much pressure did you tamp at?? Tamping can affect the length of the pour and the resulting flavour significantly.

    All these are variables which can effect the speed of the pour. First I am not familiar with the grinder you are using but a blade grinder will find it difficult to grind fine enough for espresso. Read the thread here on grinders and you will quickly get the picture. You dont have to spend zillions (although a good grinder is not cheap) basic acceptable grinders start at around $150.00 (Aust) Tamping is one variable you have total control over, try some variation. But only change one thing at a time until you identify ewhat creates improvement and what doesnt.

    But get the freshest beans you can get. Hope this helps a little.


    • #3
      Re: Help me out!

      Its the blade grinder.


      • #4
        Re: Help me out!

        Hi mate

        You sometimes can mod the grinder so you can grind the beans finer, sometimes just a screw stops you from adjusting finer.


        • #5
          Re: Help me out!

          Hi Danster, welcome to CoffeeSnobs!

          Sorry to say, but its the grinder. Blade grinders are unfortunately unable to produce consistently sized fine grounds required for espresso use. A matter of physics.

          Grab a teaspoon of the ground coffee making sure you get a good collection from across the blade grinder, and spread it out on a piece of white paper. If you can see a considerable variation in grind size - say, salt grain size to fine dust, it confirms the problem.

          If it has large grounds, or inconsistent sizing, water will inevitably gush through like you are describing.

          Drop into a local roaster with your basket and ask for an espresso grind that might suit it, ask exactly what setting theyve ground it on, then go home and try out your machine again. If you find it still pours too quickly, next time you visit the roaster ask them to grind finer.

          And Im assuming youre tamping the coffee in the PF.

          Good luck!