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  • e-61 brewing tips....

    Hi all,

    I thought that it was time to write this as many owners ask similar questions...Enjoy and modify as needed for your baby!

    2mcm

    Dosing and the shot:
    Firstly, you need to get a consistent dosing technique. With a Giotto, one way which seems to work for those starting out is to fill the group handle and ensure that the coffee is distributed to the edges. Make a small mound of coffee and brush off using a straight edge- or even the side of your index finger to get a totally full basket. Then, just sit your (heavyish) tamper on the coffee to settle it, fill and brush off again.... and then tamp to 15kg or thereabouts. This will enable you to get your dosing consistent. If you find that the group handle is hard to load, youre overdoing it- back off just a fraction by altering your technique a little but do so consistently. Another good method is to just dose to a mountain and bench tap to settle. Fil any gap, brush off to full and level and then tamp. Either should result in a similar and consistent dose.

    Whatever you do MUST be 100% repeatable and this is just one method- but a good one for beginners as it leads to consistency.

    Run a shot to see how things are going. 30ml in approx 25 sec pour time (per shot) is a good starting point. Check the puck to see that it is not wet and sloppy- if it is, your dose is poor and the coffee will possibly be disappointing. If you see holes in the puck, these are channels and will usually result in an unsatisfactory shot.

    Taste the espresso, give it 5 seconds and then note where on your tongue you taste it. I often call it the memory of the shot. If its towards the front, the coffee is sour and your grind is too coarse, if towards the back, the coffee is bitter and your grind is too fine. NEVER make a grind adjustment until you are certain that you have removed yourself as the source of the error.

    Adjust the grind to balance the coffee on your tongue- Imagine a see-saw with sour at one end and bitter at the other. With a Giotto and its built-in pre-extraction, I tend to look for a pour that starts a touch drippy and then comes to a fine, continuous stream. I also cut the shot when I see the first signs of blonding (pale, tertiary extracted coffee). I often find that the delay is more like 7-9 sec and the pour may be somewhat longer than 25 seconds.


    Milk Texture:
    As for milk, I suggest that you fill the jug to just below the base of the spout. Keep the jug vertical and orientate your hands and the the jug east-west around the steam wand. I recommend that you rest the back of the jug against the back of the wand to ensure that when you begin texturing you have support. There should be no need to tilt the jug. Apply good steam pressure to ensure that you create a whirlpool or SWIRL- this happens throughout the entire texture event. You need to imagine that your jug is a bucket and that the wand is a hose- make the water (milk) swirl by keeping the wand towards the edge of the jug- you should be able to do this so long as the wand is not in the middle of the milk. Within reason, the faster the swirl, the better.

    The swirl should be accompanied by a gentle hissing sound. If your jug is screaming, you have the wand too far into the milk- lower the jug until you hear good sounds.

    Once the swirl is established, you create varying amounts of foam by varying the amount that you lower the jug I call this the STRETCH- more for cappuccini, less for a latte and very little for a flat white. You will get the feel of the stretch quite quickly and will find that if you pour the drink which needs more head 1st, you wont need a spoon (aka L_plate barista training wheels ).

    Keep a hand on the jug- when its too hot (unbearable) to touch, you should stop the texture event.

    I find that there is no need to further immerse the wand with this technique. Remember that the milk is like an egg- it will set and harden- so have your shot running or completed if required before you texture your milk.

    Once the texture event is complete, keep the milk busy- I like to keep the milk swirling in the jug to POLISH it and keep it glossy and pourable. Its ok to tap gently on a bench to remove residual bubbles if you slipped when you were working...

    Good barista technique involves rinsing whatever you use before and after- so do this with wand and with the group. They should come 1st- before you pour milk...

    Hope this helps... 

    2mcm

  • #2
    Re: Giotto brewing tips....

    Good advice, Chris.

    I would just add one motion to the frothing routine: After the jug is removed and the wand cleaned...... Swirl the jug itself by holding it and rotating the forearm quickly as if winding a bobbin, say.

    That removes any left-over bubbles, and imparts a nice sheen to the milk.

    --Robusto

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    • #3
      Re: Giotto brewing tips....

      Thankd Robusto- knew Id forget to put something I do in! :-[

      regards

      Chris

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      • #4
        Re: Giotto brewing tips....

        Chris - any thoughts on cooling flushes?

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        • #5
          Re: Giotto brewing tips....

          Matt- youll most likely find that a flush is required if the machine has been idle for a period. Reject all water which is overly steamy or spitty. Other than that, 50ml is probably about right between flushes. I just simply reject water I dont like to look of

          Chris

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          • #6
            Re: Giotto brewing tips....

            Good summary. I dont put as much coffee in my basket by the sounds of it but I do tamp hard. I grind, tap, grind, tap then tamp - no fingers or leveling.

            Once you have learnt how to SEE the milk frothed correctly you should start to learn to HEAR the milk frothed correctly.

            There is a changing pitch to the noise the steam makes and after a while you should be able listen for when the milk is ready rather than judge by touch.

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            • #7
              Re: Giotto brewing tips....

              Ive realised I should be able to hear the difference but can anyone describe the sounds.

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              • #8
                Re: Giotto brewing tips....

                Bit hard in words but youll notice the pitch gradually drops as the milk heats up and starts to drop faster towards the end. Since it is different on each machine the only way to recognise it is practice.

                Same thing with timing a pour; I started with a stopwatch but now I just look.

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                • #9
                  Re: Giotto brewing tips....

                  Yes, certainly hard to describe in words. Sort or a ...chh-chh-chh.

                  Its a sound which sounds as though youre doing things right.... Its a sound which sounds as if youre in control.

                  But if you hear a definite deep groaning sound, that means the wand is just about touching the bottom of the jug and youve probably scalded the milk as well.

                  Funny, but that last sound has made an indellible imprint on my memory --from hearing it so often in cafes.

                  -Robusto

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                  • #10
                    Re: Giotto brewing tips....

                    It sounds a bit like this....stated with 1/4 - 1/3 jug

                    http://s158.photobucket.com/albums/t108/denniswells/?action=view&current=IMGP0658.flv

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                    • #11
                      Re: Giotto brewing tips....

                      Im right with the starting chh-chh and I know what a bad screaming jet noise is but what I was looking for was the change in sound that occurs when the milk is done.
                      I think Wired may have come up with what Im looking for.
                      I know the pitch changes towards the end of my texturing, I just wasnt sure what was supposed to sound good and what not.

                      But is the pitch drop merely an indication of temperature or does it indicate that continuing will destroy microfoam?

                      Im looking for a description of any sound that indicates the wand is working as desired.

                      I think my milk is too thick ie foam is not micro enough.

                      Definitely dont get meringue but the foam doesnt seem to be fine enough.

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                      • #12
                        Re: Giotto brewing tips....

                        It really comes down to a "suck it and see" approach. Pay attention to the variables and you start to recognise the good sounds versus the bad. All of this goes out the window in a shop with all the background noise BTW.

                        I just like the ambience of "good" sounds like the cracks coming from my HOTTOP and the contented pitch from my steam wand .

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                        • #13
                          Re: Giotto brewing tips....

                          Ill keep practising.

                          Im deaf in one ear though and background noise of any kind, even at home, is a bugger.

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                          • #14
                            Re: Giotto brewing tips....

                            Originally posted by Wired link=1167622442/0#7 date=1175678101
                            Bit hard in words but youll notice the pitch gradually drops as the milk heats up and starts to drop faster towards the end. Since it is different on each machine the only way to recognise it is practice.

                            Same thing with timing a pour; I started with a stopwatch but now I just look.
                            I am always learning something new here - now that I am paying a bit more attention to my steaming, I can start to hear changes as the milk heats up. And with practice it is slowly improving.

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                            • #15
                              Re: Giotto brewing tips....

                              what does the screaming ringing in my ears sound mean?

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