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Frustration with getting my coffee right

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  • Frustration with getting my coffee right

    Hi all,

    Im new to the coffee scene after a friend recently gave me a Gaggia Classic. His wife wouldn't let him leave it on the bench ( so he had to pack the whole thing up, empty the water, put it away, after every coffee.) So now it's mine. Problem I have is I'm about to kill someone if I can't figure out why the coffee doesn't look like all the hipsters on YouTube. Every video I watch online they take like 30 seconds to pull an espresso shot. Mine is more like a cum shot than an espresso shot, its too fast, it explodes into the cup, it's all over in about 3 seconds and leaves a bad taste in your mouth. I think a finer grind would fix it but I don't have one. I'm buying quality fresh ground beans online. Any tips for getting the machine to take it slower?

  • #2
    I don't know, you could play some Barry White songs while brewing the coffee?

    Seriously, you are going to struggle if you can't control the grind. All you can do is up the dose of coffee in the basket and tamp harder, which has an obvious limit. But 'fresh' ground beans don't really exist. They aint 'fresh' for too long after being ground.

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    • #3
      I belted the tamp down with a hammer and it still goes through it too fast. These guys grind it to order and deliver next day (except weekends)

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      • #4
        What about if I tamp it down then put more coffee in then tamp it down again?

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        • #5
          I spent 2 hours experimenting yesterday. I'm normally pretty well tempered but by the end of that process the anger sharks were circling... I finished up dumping about $20worth of shots down the drain and all I learned is how not to do coffee.

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          • #6
            Buy a grinder and you will have control over that variable!!

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            • #7
              The puck expands and it would probably attached itself to the shower screen like poop.
              Is there no chance to get a grinder?

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              • #8
                Yep. I think your right Greenman. I'm gunna buy one when I have some cash. In the mean time I have 2 kilo of ground coffee to use.

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                • #9
                  When you say it expands do you mean the actual filter cup thingamejig bulges out sideways? How's that happen?

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                  • #10
                    Yep need a grinder. Ask for advice on what will be the min you need for that machine and you should get plenty of users here giving you help. Also indicate budget and whether you harbour desires to later move to a higher end machine.

                    Cheers

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by blincy View Post
                      When you say it expands do you mean the actual filter cup thingamejig bulges out sideways? How's that happen?
                      Dry coffee grounds + water = absorption

                      Absorption = expansion

                      The problem is, your coffee wasn't ground fresh... therefore there's been a level of absorption that has happened already and unfortunately... aaahhh don't worry about the details, it'll just bore you.

                      Better to invest in a $30 stovetop pot and at least get some value out of already ground coffee.

                      And put away the machine for now until you have a means to grind coffee beans.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by blincy View Post
                        Mine is more like a cum shot than an espresso shot, its too fast, it explodes into the cup, it's all over in about 3 seconds and leaves a bad taste in your mouth.
                        Thanks for that insight into your sex life... I think! [emoji23]

                        Originally posted by K_Bean_Coffee
                        Hi OP.
                        You need a grinder. I think of the grinder hopper collar as the steering wheel.
                        I love that analogy Paul! [emoji106]

                        This is the answer, blincy. Tighten up the pour, slow things down, consistent pressure, building to a... wait, are we still talking about coffee here? [emoji848]

                        Anyway, aim for 30ml in about 30 seconds. [emoji57]

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                        • #13
                          Frustration with getting my coffee right

                          As well as the "need a grinder" comments, when you bought the beans online, did they give you a choice if how they were ground? If they were ground for a manual process like drip, filter, French press etc they will never work in your espresso machine as they will be much too coarse. You can still use them for French press / plunger if you don't want to waste them and have one buried at the back of the kitchen. Us snobs will complain that the coffee isn't fresh, but it might be better than waiting them.

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                          • #14
                            Look up cold press coffee for the remainder of your ground coffee.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by GunBarista View Post
                              Dry coffee grounds + water = absorption

                              Absorption = expansion
                              I was under the impression that the heat from the brewing water is the major contributor to the puck expansion.

                              To the OP: Another idea to use your grounds is to throw it into a Vietnamese styled dripped and add condensed milk/ice.

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