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Help! Espresso Troubleshooting and Advice

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  • Help! Espresso Troubleshooting and Advice

    Hi all, Im new (but friendly )
    I come from a country that thinks instant coffee is coffee, so when I came to Melbourne I bought a coffee machine - Breville Cafe Roma (Im a poor student, ok?) :P

    Anyway, Ive been reading up and its taking me like 6 seconds to make a 25-30ml espresso - what am i doing wrong? Is it just my machine?

    I used fine grounds, tamped at the 30lbs recommended... HElp

  • #2
    Re: Help! Espresso Troubleshooting and Advice

    Gday Tashie and welcome to Coffee Snobs.
    A question for you first, what sort of grinder do you have?
    It sounds like your grind may be too coarse, but a bit more info will certainly help to diagnose your problem.
    Steve.

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    • #3
      Re: Help! Espresso Troubleshooting and Advice

      I ground it on the finest setting when I bought it at my local - thats all i know im afraid

      Any recommended modifications for this machine? Should I upgrade? Im getting really into this coffee thing and I think its going to be a my most expensive hobby lol

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Help! Espresso Troubleshooting and Advice

        Hi tashie

        A bit too criptic Im afraid...

        You ground it on the finest setting of what machine?

        And you bought it at your local what?

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Help! Espresso Troubleshooting and Advice

          Originally posted by tashie link=1225273616/0#2 date=1225274748
          I ground it on the finest setting when I bought it at my local - thats all i know im afraid
          I take it by this comment that you bought the coffee from a shop (supermarket???) and ground it prior to taking it home, this is the problem.
          Coffee is a volatile item with a chaning personality and needs to be ground immediately before use to get the best results.

          Remember these rule of 3s for staling of coffee-
          - 3 weeks after roasting,
          - 3 hours in a hopper, and
          - 3 minutes after grinding.
          These rules are flexible, but give you a good starting point.
          So, unless you live closer than 3 minutes to the shop, your coffee will be stale before you even get near your machine.

          Any recommended modifications for this machine? Should I upgrade? Im getting really into this coffee thing and I think its going to be a my most expensive hobby lol
          It is often (always) said that the grinder is more important than the machine, so an investment in a grinder would be the best mod for you at the moment.
          Good luck with it.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Help! Espresso Troubleshooting and Advice

            Sorry, Ill get better.

            I bought it at my local market - and they had a grinder, so I ground it myself on the espresso setting, which was the finest.

            I noticed something about getting new baskets - where/what should I get?

            Sorry, im such a noob.

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            • #7
              Re: Help! Espresso Troubleshooting and Advice

              Thats ok tashie, there is no need for apologies.

              For starters, your local market is unlikely to stock freshly roasted coffee. That, coupled with the fact that youre in a situation where you need to grind the coffee well in advance of preparing it, will contribute to the quick flow youre experiencing.

              As for upgrading, the majority here will suggest to you that before upgrading your machine, that you purchase a decent grinder (read that as, "the most you can afford"). If youre comfortable with that, disclose your budget, and Im sure youll receive lots of recommendations.

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              • #8
                Re: Help! Espresso Troubleshooting and Advice

                Can I get a decent grinder for around $200? Any recommendations? I only know that i should look for a conical burr.

                Also where do I get the better baskets (non-pressurised?) for this machine? Will it help?

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                • #9
                  Re: Help! Espresso Troubleshooting and Advice

                  Ohh, I totally forgot to say - thanks for all your help!

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                  • #10
                    Re: Help! Espresso Troubleshooting and Advice

                    I think the sunbeam em0480 sells for about $180.00.

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                    • #11
                      Re: Help! Espresso Troubleshooting and Advice

                      Loved Loveys reply hahaha.
                      Will be getting the Sunbeam in the next week if thats the best I can get for that price.

                      Thanks, and keep the recommendations coming

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                      • #12
                        Re: Help! Espresso Troubleshooting and Advice

                        the iberital challenge grinder is good value for money but new its around 300. you could search here for used ones (in the hardware for sale section on CoffeeSnobs) or that other place where a few people think its a pretty good idea to buy and sell their goods (commonly referred to here as evilbay)

                        theres also the solis grinders which can grind fine enough (and google will help you modify one to help out with that)

                        then get yourself some beans from any other spondors on this site (eg cupacoffee, brownbay, pinoeer roaster, coffehit, etc (on the left hand side of the page)


                        cheers and let the questions flow

                        aaron

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                        • #13
                          Re: Help! Espresso Troubleshooting and Advice

                          If money is a problem, tashie, the Sunbeam em0480 (@ abt $180 if you bargain) or em0450 (same as 0480 but in cheaper casing - abt $140?) are seen as acceptable entry level espresso grinders. Similar conical burr setup as the iberital (as well as Lux and Ascaso) but inferior build quality and longevity.

                          Then, get good, fresh coffee beans, learn up on this site (and others) and youll be on your way to making very good coffee.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Help! Espresso Troubleshooting and Advice

                            Tashi, theres a good thread here on CS on the Cafe Roma detailing the adventures of several coffeesnobs with that machine, but seeing as you asked the question: upgrade!

                            I used to own a Cafe Roma but found trying to make it do the same as a prosumer impossible although StuartGrant has had much better success in getting longer pours.

                            http://coffeesnobs.com.au/YaBB.pl?num=1205812762/0#0

                            There are also a couple of other useful threads since that one that you can find by doing a search for "Roma" for the "last 3 months".

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Help! Espresso Troubleshooting and Advice

                              Just another thought to keep in mind tashi - a grinder doesnt need to have conical burs to perform well.

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