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  • Upgraded Machine - Downgraded Espresso

    :P

    I think I just about had it down pat with the Sunbeam Café crema (with Krups basket). Fill the double basket to the brim with fairly finely ground coffee direct from the Mini Mazzer, a very firm tamp, 15 seconds of extraction = 30mls of quite nice espresso. I tried to grind finer to extend the time to more like 25 seconds (I couldn’t tamp any harder or fit more coffee in) but ended up with a lot of fine grounds in the cup. All in all the 15 second shot was good and repeatable.

    I Upgraded to La Vibiemme Domobar and now I’m lucky to get 2 cups the same (and I can’t froth milk to save my life)
    Any tips on dosing the E61 basket? Filled to the brim and tamped hard the portafilter is difficult to attach, as the coffee is against the shower screen, is this normal? I’ve adjusted the grind to get about 10 Bar head pressure but the time to extract 30mls seems to vary a bit more than I would like – I think due to fluctuating doses.

    Please help me – I’m overdosing on caffeine trying to get the technique down.

    skypig :P

  • #2
    Re: Upgraded Machine - Downgraded Espresso

    My cousin has a domobar. When I used it I noticed I couldnt fill the portafilter to the brim (before tamping) as I am used to doing on the Silvia. I guess its a matter of working out the optimum amount for that machine.

    Steaming was also an issue - it all happens much more quickly with a powerful machine. You might need to try steaming 400-500ml. I seem to remember it needed a bit of bleeding to get good dry steam.

    Rob

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Upgraded Machine - Downgraded Espresso

      Hi skypig,

      from what youve described obviously you need to dose less.
      For consistency youll need something to help you dose lower than the brim of the basket.

      I have a small knife where the blade of the knife has a curved cutting edge.
      If I scrape the knife across the top of the basket it removes some grinds below the brim.

      I have seen a similar action with a flexible piece of plastic.
      An old credit card would do if you can carefully cut a curve to the radius you want.
      Or a spatuala?
      Or the old standby - your little finger.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Upgraded Machine - Downgraded Espresso

        Thanks Guys

        Robster

        I give it a blast into the tray till I get “dry” steam. Maybe I’m trying with too little milk. With the Sunbeam I could do just enough for 1 cuppachino.

        Thundergod

        Good tip - sounds like what I need.

        Maybe I’ll cut a radius on my credit card – It’ll stop me spending more on coffee equipment.

        Sky “learning all the time” pig

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Upgraded Machine - Downgraded Espresso

          Hi Skypig
          I also have an domobar single boiler it would be worthwile checking the temp of water into a foam cup to see if it varies a lot.
          I grind level off tamp without any problems. but I have noticed that the level of roast seems to have alot more of an effect on pour times compared to the Silvia I used to have.

          Croweater

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Upgraded Machine - Downgraded Espresso

            I also just purchased a Vibiemme Domobar Super, the e61 Giotto is now at the Bach (convinced my wife that two machines was an investment which would save us money in the long run), the extra steam pressure does take some getting used too, if anything it gives too much pressure particularly when making just one latte. I dont like the shape of the steam wand, I think the wand on the e61 Giotto is a lot simpler and easier to work with, I think I might try and change it to an e61 wand (hope you can do that). I too just think I need to practice and get used to the extra steam pressure, Im definately not yet getting the velvet I consistently get with the e61. Re the Dossing I dont have a problem with the full basket, the baskets are a bit bigger than the e61 double basket, so I just use a slightly courser grind. The Vibiemme does appear to pull a nicer shot than my e61, not sure why but Im definately getting better creme.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Upgraded Machine - Downgraded Espresso

              Ola

              I also dose less than a full basket and so use this to distribute evenly and break any clumps:



              You may find it quite helpful and its very easy to make, just a bunch of pins stuck to a small plastic cricle.

              HTH,
              Cheers,
              dsc.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Upgraded Machine - Downgraded Espresso

                Originally posted by dsc link=1168396413/0#6 date=1168898852
                Ola

                I also dose less than a full basket and so use this to distribute evenly and break any clumps:



                You may find it quite helpful and its very easy to make, just a bunch of pins stuck to a small plastic cricle.

                HTH,
                Cheers,
                dsc.
                oO(bizarre instrument of torture :-/)

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Upgraded Machine - Downgraded Espresso

                  Hi Skypig,

                  RE steaming; if it is too fast and if your wand has a standard fitting, you could always buy the two-hole steam tip from coffeparts: http://coffeeparts.com/accessories/steamtips.html

                  This steam tip is nauseatingly slow for anything but the smallest volumes of milk, and the ridges in it gunk up easily, but the lack of speed makes it a good tip to learn with.

                  If your machine is brewing at 10 bar, you might want to have your vendor adjust it down to 8 or 9. This will not be the root of your problem, but it might help you a little bit.

                  Dosing consistently is the single hardest thing to do when it comes to making espresso. Your best bet is to choose one of the commonly used dosing techniques that works with your machine, get half a kilo of coffee and burn through it in an afternoon. Faster still would be to get some feedback from someone who can show you the ropes.

                  I think that your cafe crema must have had "cream enhancing" baskets. These usually have a single small hole at the bottom that all of the coffee passes through, so it froths up to create artificial crema. Extracting with a real basket will be a bit of a change, but stick with it - the results will be rewarding!

                  Originally posted by 2muchcoffeeman link=1168396413/0#7 date=1168899934
                  oO(bizarre instrument of torture :-/)
                  No need to tamp; you just scare the coffee into place!


                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Upgraded Machine - Downgraded Espresso

                    Ola

                    Shocked oO(bizarre instrument of torture undecided)
                    ;D its really not that bad, just look out not to put you hand on it it moves the coffee in the basket very well and also breaks coffee clumps as you spear the coffee in the basket. Using it I never had a bad NPF extraction.

                    Cheers,
                    dsc.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Upgraded Machine - Downgraded Espresso

                      Originally posted by dsc link=1168396413/0#6 date=1168898852
                      You may find it quite helpful and its very easy to make, just a bunch of pins stuck to a small plastic cricle.
                      Great inventiveness dsc! 8-)

                      Although, I must say I was scared too when I saw the image...Freddy Krugers glove :P

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Upgraded Machine - Downgraded Espresso

                        Ive been hanging around here a while now, and that is the freakiest thing Ive seen. Well done dsc - I love it (but I wont be making one). Imagine that design done in stainless by Greg Pullman with a beautiful redgum handle ....

                        BTW, what do you call it? I think it is an entry for the 2007 innovation award. The 2006 award clearly went the way of "the Coretto" - you never know, maybe the 2007 award will go to the ???? (Whatever you call it)

                        Tim

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Upgraded Machine - Downgraded Espresso

                          DSC, it looks like a cut out from a bed of nails... or some jungle booby trap... pretty cool.

                          Skypig, do you have the single boiler Domobar or the Domobar super? Steaming on the single boiler might be a bit more difficult. One thing Ive learnt though is that it can take some time to master a steam tip, especially a 4 hole tip. I started with a 4 hole tip on my BZ35, plugged two  holes with toothpicks to get it to work. Then I got a 2 hole replacement tip from FC (a Diadema tip) and that did a decent job, but was slow. Then I upped the boiler pressure a bit and went back to the 4 hole tip and it was screaming fast. Then I went to a 3 hole Bezzera tip and got a pretty good result. Now Ive finally arrived back at the original 4 hole tip again and since doing so Ive batted 10 out of 10 for silky smooth microfoam. Its taken me ages, and recently there was a few weeks when the milk wasnt helping at all, but now it seems too easy. I usually only steam enough milk for one and it takes me about 8-10 seconds.

                          So getting the steaming right can take some time. Slower 2 hole tips can help in the interim, but if you can master the 4 hole tip, you should be able to get good results. However, Im not really sure about the standard Domobar, as it will start with a higher pressure/hotter steam (usually 4 bar on the pressure gauge), but may not be able to maintain this due to the small 500 ml boiler. Then a 2 hole tip may really be the solution. So try the toothpicks in two of the holes and see if that makes steaming easier. If so contact one of the site sponsors for a replacement tip.

                          I guess the thing with dosing has been dealt with. Dosing is generally different for each machine and needs to be learnt. Some E61 based machines are supposed to be very forgiving, but Ive heard the standard Domobar might not be so forgiving of dosing irregularities. Still there are quite a few people who love this machine, especially in Europe where they are more popular.

                          Good luck.

                          Mark.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Upgraded Machine - Downgraded Espresso

                            Luca

                            The brew head pressure varies according to the grind and dose – I’ve been trying to achieve around 9 Bars with 30mls in 25 seconds.

                            My Sunbeam was fitted with a standard style Krups basket - Part #0907163 . And had the weirdo rubber “steam enhancer” removed.

                            Sparky

                            I’m pretty sure mine is the super. I’m also pretty sure it’s a single boiler?

                            All (who are interested)

                            Double Basket filled from the Mini Mazzer doser, tapped (not tamped) to settle “scrapped off” level then tamped hard is slightly difficult to put on the machine as it contacts the shower screen. Over dosed as Thunder god said. Same thing but “scrapped” with the curved edge of the Mazzers lid (as per Thundergods recommendation) results in a concavely? filled basket pre tamp. This tamps just below a line in the filter and works OK, leaving a shower screen indentation in the puck.

                            Going forward with the quality of the shots, thanks everyone.

                            Skypig

                            ps

                            I’m getting great milk now………sometimes.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Upgraded Machine - Downgraded Espresso

                              Skypig,
                              FWIW the Super has a hot water tap as well as a steam wand and you can steam and brew at the same time. The standard Domobar doesnt have the hot water tap and you have to switch between steaming and brewing. Both share the same E61 group and so should dose the same way. The Super will probably be more consistent with the correst flush routine. OTOH, the standard Domobar has an adjustable thermostat, so you can set the brew temp.

                              Once you have the dosing sorted out, it may be your temperature management next on the line. The Super can easily brew too hot (bitter) and the standard Domobar too cold (sour). The crema colour should be a good indicator, too light/blonde = sour, too dark/chocolate = bitter. These are just rough guide lines.

                              Cheers,

                              Mark.

                              Comment

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