Just to confirm
You use supermarket pre ground beans
Hi guys, I was curious bout something..
With my Gaggia Classic, when i put exactly 7grams in the portafilter basket and tamp it, the extraction time is always too fast. I seem to need about 10-11grams or so just to slow down extraction time to get 25-30ml in 25-30seconds... Is this right? I know someone may say the the grind isnt fine enough, but im using a Lavazza Il Perfetto Espresso (The Cafe Blend), which seems to be a fine enough grind...
Any ideas??? ive noticed alot of people simply fill the basket, level off from the top and tamp... which would be more than 7grams...?
Just to confirm
You use supermarket pre ground beans
Unfortunately u used a one size fits all type of ground pre packaged coffee. I would suggest buying ground beans meant for a home machine or better still investing in a grinder as type of beans , temperature and other things will alter how your coffee will extract and you are constantly adjusting grind settings to suit.
No i dont have a grinder, and am buying supermarket finely ground coffee. I do plan on getting a grinder at some stage in the future, but surely it isnt a necessity? Surely bought ground coffee will be evenly ground (as ive observed it seems to be finely ground and equally ground all throughout)??
Regardless of which i use, 7 grams of it sometimes doesnt even properly fill out the bottom of the portafilter... Why is this???
Sorry read it and weep... Been said and proven a 101 times... Supermarket coffee is in most cases stale and only worth using as compost.Originally Posted by 4B515557564B53004A380 link=1256784544/3#3 date=1256905246
It is not the grind... If your buying beans and grinding or the pre ground..
Rule of thumb.
1: Green beans 3 years
2: Brown beans 3 weeks
3: Ground beans 30 sec.
After that STALE and usless. Now there are some exceptions but in general a good rule to live by. Supermarket coffee... Usually a few months old by the time it hits the wharehouse... Let alone you home.
And where are you getting 7 g from ??? even 11 is light...
If your using a single basket and supermarket coffee.. STOP... Go and have an instant... It will be better ;)
Do some reading on CS and search for your equipment... Its all been covered before.
Originally Posted by 4B515557564B53004A380 link=1256784544/3#3 date=1256905246
Yes a grinder "is that important"
Get yourself a Kyocera ceramic blade hand grinder for $99 and fresh roasted coffee beans I guarantee it will be 200% better than pre ground
You may have a 9 gram basket ?Originally Posted by 4B515557564B53004A380 link=1256784544/3#3 date=1256905246
Just fill the basket & level off with something straight or finger
Tamp approx 15 kg pressure and give that a go
Pre-ground is stale and dry.
The older coffee it gets the faster it will pour.
Thats why you need a grinder of your own, so you can make slight adjustments as the beans age.
Unfortunately, with pre-ground, the only thing you can do to get a slower pour, as youve noticed, is to add more coffee.
However, this isnt going to give you a better coffee.
Where are you located simonsk8r?
If youre fussy..A grind youre using at 9 am wont taste the same at 1 pm. (different humidity and temperatures).
Also grinding cold beans is a no no, not good for your grinder blades also.
A good barista is always tasting his coffee and making sure it tastes right before serving it to others.
Pre ground coffee, whether it supermarket or from your local roaster is not going to be 100% ideal for your machine as they grind the same grind to suit all machines.
Totally agree with the rest of it but dont really understand what you are saying there? Are you saying that you should warm your beans or dont store them in the fringe? Isnt something I have come across.Originally Posted by 5951513A3A474055463A3A5671757A140 link=1256784544/7#7 date=1256976752
I read it as refrigerated beans "cold"Originally Posted by 030D000F180E0F610 link=1256784544/8#8 date=1256978341
Yeah sorry was a bit vague...Cold beans straight out of the fridge is a no no for a few reasons.Originally Posted by 69676A657264650B0 link=1256784544/8#8 date=1256978341
Cold beans are harder and can cause premature wear on your grinder blades as well as an irregular grind.
Best to let your beans get to room temp befort grinding.
Depending on the taste you are desiring, a coarser grind with a harder tamp or finer grind with a lighter tamp alters characteristics (therefore taste) of your coffee.
Should not have them in teh fridge to start with..Originally Posted by 020A0A61611C1B0E1D61610D2A2E214F0 link=1256784544/10#10 date=1256991685
I think storing the beans in the fridge is alot better than having them in the cupboard sweating and losing its oils. ;)Originally Posted by 4C636A687F406C636C6A68606863790D0 link=1256784544/12#12 date=1256996077
Many would disagree with that, the accepted wisdom (happy for it to be challenged and proved wrong) is that pulling the beans in and out of the fridge has more negatives than proper storage at room temperature. I have read some experiments on different storage methods and for beans you are going to use by 2-4 weeks post roast room temp is best. Past this the freezer does offer some slowing of the aging process (but you have to package it up into amounts you will use in a small space of time).Originally Posted by 6E66660D0D707762710D0D6146424D230 link=1256784544/13#13 date=1257021030
Totally agree, though i was meaning taking out the necessary beans needed and then returning the rest to the fridge.Originally Posted by 404E434C5B4D4C220 link=1256784544/14#14 date=1257021338
I thought condensation was the big issue with fridging/freezing - the recommendation being to let them get back to room temp before unsealing the packaging (hence small packages mentioned by moto).
If youre only getting out enough for the session its probably not an issue for those beans but continually opening the cold container cant be good for the beans left in the fridge?
This is now going OT but depending on what "room temp" is at your place generally that is the best place for beans. However do what works for you, for mine room temp and one way bags works the best.
Getting back to the topic, fresh beans and a grinder will help no end once you have that sorted then worry about where you keep the beans. ;)
I had a laugh... totally disagree... but thats cool ;)Supermarket coffee is in most cases stale and only worth using as compost.
Im going according to the golden rule of extracting 25-30ml of liquid from 7grams finely ground coffee in 25-30 seconds (which varies wherever you look). Or is it moreso that you fill the portafilter basket with more than 7grams, yet it uses about 7grams?? :SAnd where are you getting 7 g from ??? even 11 is light...
Big call ;)... massive call!!! haha..If your using a single basket and supermarket coffee.. STOP... Go and have an instant... It will be better Wink
Have tried this... but cant even really fit it in the group head, and it takes a chunk out of the basket too! :S Seems the basket is too full..Just fill the basket & level off with something straight or finger
Tamp approx 15 kg pressure and give that a go
I live in Geelong, Victoria. I usually buy my pre-ground coffee from Woolworths (:D i know youre all probably shaking your heads... but i am very much a newb at home espresso, so play nice ;) )Where are you located simonsk8r?
And as far as ive read (whether true or untrue), putting your beans in the fridge isnt overall great for them due to the oils on the coffee bean surface taking on the odours of whats in the fridge (pizza-flavoured coffee anyone ;) ). And also constantly taking them out and opening the lid (exposing them to room temp air) will cause condensation to occur on the beans due to change in temp, which will make them stale quicker..
Ill backup what everyone else has said. Supermarket coffee is stale. Pre-ground supermarket coffee is super duper stale and wont produce a nice coffee.
Click on buy brown on the left hand side. Even if you have no grinder and have to buy it pre-ground it will be nicer than supermarket pre-ground, though investing in a grinder will see amazing improvements.
Play with the amount of coffee in the basket. Ignore the 7 grams rule. Too little and it will pour fast and youll get a soggy puck. Too much and the group handle wont fit in and may even come undone while extracting (think coffee explosion).
People make espresso a life long pursuit, dont expect to master it in an hour.
simonsk8er, you can achieve a half decent cup of coffee from some supermarket pre ground beans, but if you buy fresh and experience half a cup of golden crema in your espresso ,then theres no turning back.
Have tried many times but never succeded...Originally Posted by 535B5B30304D4A5F4C30305C7B7F701E0 link=1256784544/20#20 date=1257127842
Once you have had good coffee supermarket beans/grinds is worse than fresh instant in my oppinion.
Gday Simon, you asked for help, a number of people have taken the time to reply telling you supermarket coffee is usually stale and of poor quality and you disagree!
You should take notice, theyre right.
For what its worth,
Buy fresh beans from a roaster.
Invest in a decent grinder and experiment, it will take a while to get it right.
Use a double basket 14 grams, and play with the fill level, I usually fill it level it off with the top then tamp.
Andy will coffee to you the next day Simonsk8r. So give brown bay ago you wont find much cheaper for that quality.
simonsk8er, you live in the heart of perfect coffee, Geelong is the home of the snobbery, you are on the door step of the best, grab some from beanbay.
Thanks guys, really appreciate your help.
Jon, its just that i cant see that all supermarket coffee is stale. I certainly agree that it goes stale quicker, and from my experience what i have bought has produced some beautiful coffee for weeks. Most of what ive seen is vacuum sealed. Im certainly not disagreeing because of stubbornness or disrespect, and i hope i havent offended anyone. I really do appreciate the help, and i will take on all the advice that ive received. I certainly respect everyones opinion, and understand that alot of you have MUCH more knowledge than me when it comes to coffee, so i will take it on board! :)
I do understand that buying beans and grinding them myself will make for better coffee, so i am definitely going to invest in a grinder soon.
. Is the golden rule based on anything in particular, like preparing coffee for plunger?Ignore the 7 grams rule
Thanks for the link, and ah i wasnt aware that Geelong was renowned for its coffees :). I will be more active in my search.
As stated previously.. Rule of thumb...Originally Posted by 2E343032332E36652F5D0 link=1256784544/25#25 date=1257167140
Green *= 3 years
Brown beans = 3 weks
Ground = 30 sec
By the time beans *have been processed and then hit the shelf etc ..
They are as good as stale... *Not worth it even for compost.
NO such thing as a GOLDEN rule .... *(marketing)Originally Posted by 2E343032332E36652F5D0 link=1256784544/25#25 date=1257167140
It is a myth or better put as a ROUGH generalisation... *A rule of thumb that may put you in the ball park... *But it depends on so many variables.....
Thus 2 + 2 = 5
Coffee is not like Maths ....... *It is not an exact science due to the chaos that it lives in.
it is, end of story, unless it has a roasted on date stamped on it, not a use by date, then it is stale, supermarket coffee generally gets a life of about a year and a half, thats 78 weeks! fresh roasted coffee must be used within 3 weeks of it leaving the cooling bed on the roaster, it is food, it goes off/stale. Trust us simon, once you taste the fresh stuff from beanbay, youll know why we are hounding on about it.......Originally Posted by 607A7E7C7D60782B61130 link=1256784544/25#25 date=1257167140
cheers mate [smiley=thumbsup.gif]
enjoy the journey
Im not understanding what exactly, if it is a marketing scheme, is being marketed. I certainly agree that there are many, many variables that have to be taken into account, but with anything there are always variables. Whilst one can never have a perfect equation for anything in life, i guess guidelines can guide one towards that state of perfection (which doesnt exist). Some call it the golden guideline haha..NO such thing as a GOLDEN rule .... (marketing)
It is a myth or better put as a ROUGH generalisation... A rule of thumb that may put you in the ball park... But it depends on so many variables.....
Thus 2 + 2 = 5
Coffee is not like Maths ....... It is not an exact science due to the chaos that it lives in.
Im assuming your 2+2=5 is based on the belief that the truth is not matter of whats perceived as truth. I guess the art of coffee-extraction is not set in stone, but there are set measures and methods we can take which will reproduce near-exact results every time. But yeah, i do agree in that it isnt exact maths.
I will definitely convert to non-supermarket shelf coffee (but what about Lavazza and Vittoria??? no good??? :( )
Cheers guys, probably may need to create another thread for some of this stuff ;) hehe
and ps, i hope no one is offended by my posts, am just merely creating lively discussion ;)
Yes and no... *In the ball park = Yes * Reproduce near-exact results every time = NOOriginally Posted by 302A2E2C2D30287B31430 link=1256784544/28#28 date=1257205363
To reproduce near exactly = *you find what works and then repetet it and matain all the variables..
Sorry - I tend to think Supermarket...Originally Posted by 302A2E2C2D30287B31430 link=1256784544/28#28 date=1257205363
Bean Bay and *Local roasters OR roast ya own
PS. Update ya profile... With ya location... Could be a sponsor just around the corner...
Once you start to play with freshly roasted beans (even better if youve roasted them ($25 for a popcorn popper) you will realise that their properties change constantly. Place freshly roasted beans in an airtight container and watch what happens over the next 12 hours. All of these changes in the beans alone effect taste, grind coarseness, extraction times, crema etc. With so many variations possible in just one of the variables, you can see why perfect espresso is akin to a perfect performance. Something we aspire to and only glimpse often enought to keep us motivated for more.
However.... if we start our journey with the best quality beans, our results (albeit mediocre in the short term and improving in the long term) will more likely generate the wow factor and desired outcome "my coffee is better than most cafes." Supermarket and mass-marketed/produced coffee is for the average person who wants little more than a pick-me-up. We snobs dont aspire to be average, otherwise we cant call ourselves snobs. Our coffee makes others say Wow! It is all about the bean and not the bling!
Good luck with the journey!
Ill be generous and say that fresh grounds are OK for maybe 3 minutes, rather than the 30 sec that AM believes. 8-)
I grew to love espresso at a bar close to work. He would grind several times a day, rather than on demand, and as such his most consistent coffee was at opening time in the morning, when the grounds were really fresh.
If he had a slow day, the coffee wasnt as good at morning break time.
Unfortunately vacuum packing doesnt help. You see the beans give off carbon dioxide for days after roasting, and to vacuum pack them you have to wait until they are stale or the bricks just blow up into balloons!
If you really want great coffee, coffee that tempts you to a second or third cup within minutes of the last, remember the best extractions happen between 25 and 30 seconds, and if the beans arent ground precisely then the taste isnt right. This means a grinder by the machine, fresh beans, and some adjusting to get the extraction time correct.
yeah, its not really a marketing scheme IMO ...Originally Posted by 4B515557564B53004A380 link=1256784544/28#28 date=1257205363
The way I see it, basically, like anything, you need definitions as a starting point and thats where the nefarious "golden rule" has come from. Its useful to know it, so you know what your basic parameters are, and is also useful when creating standards for competition.
But, speaking for myself, its just a guideline. I find one of the joys of espresso (and other types of) brewing is tinkering with the variables. Grind (out of reach at the moment, but thats cool), dose and, to a lesser extent for me, tamp pressure are all at your disposal to change and potentially improve your espresso brewing.
In theory, your grind size is set, so you have dose and tamp to play with. While the golden rule is telling you to use 7 grams for a single, youre finding it doesnt work, so maybe you need to updose a little. I would recommend that you try and maintain as consistent a tamp pressure as you can and just tinker with your dose. Aim to stay within the parameters dictated by the golden rules, but dont feel you have to follow them by rote. Do you have double and single baskets for the Gaggia? If so, Id also suggest concentrating on the double basket, they can be more forgiving and will generally deliver more satisfying results.
Also, I cant speak for the rest of the membership here, but I have no problems telling you I wasnt born with a group handle in one hand and a bag of fresh coffee beans in the other. Personally, Ive been on a long coffee journey that started with Nescafe Espresso, moved through preground supermarket coffee in a plunger, seeking out cafes that served Segafredo, getting my first whirly blade grinder and refusing to buy anything other that Lavazza Crema e Gusto whole beans and many other points along the way.
Youre at a different point in your coffee journey simonsk8r and I think that awesome. Welcome to coffeesnobs, stay long, have a great time, learn heaps about coffee and meet some awesome people.
Ive been trying to think of a good comparison and this is my one for the day...
Supermarket bread that is average OR fresh bakery bread that is out of this world?
But before you go off and buy a large amount of freshly roasted coffee think of this also...
Would you buy a weeks worth of bread or do you prefer to buy it every couple of days to ensure you always have fresh bread?
With such a fondness for fresh bread, you might be tempted to buy a home bread baker? Which just so happens to double as an even better coffee roaster hahahaha :D
simonsk8er, you can read about us CSrs going on about how good fresh coffee is and how bad supermarket is but you wont get a full appreciation of the difference until you can actually assess them side by side by grinding supermarket beans and fresh beans from a roaster and then making a coffee from each, one after the other.
You will find the crema alone a massive eye opener, well at least i did and from there began to experiment and understand what changes with technique changes and different beans.
There is so much more that i can learn but frankly it happens as it happens, i am in no made rush now that i have the basic concepts right and can make "more than decent" coffee at home.
Anyone who thinks preground supermarket coffee is ok remeber the test I did.
here it is
Sorry Simon, no good. :(Originally Posted by 5943474544594112582A0 link=1256784544/28#28 date=1257205363
Thanks everyone for your time and patience with me, im very much still learning, and thanks to every one of you im armed with the right information now! Much appreciation everyone! :)
Thank you hazchem!!! Really appreciate your sound advice there, have taken it all on board!Youre at a different point in your coffee journey simonsk8r and I think that awesome. Welcome to coffeesnobs, stay long, have a great time, learn heaps about coffee and meet some awesome people.
And great comparison with the bread. I have actually noticed that the coffee im drinking now has changed in taste fairly quickly from when i purchased it... tastes like hot water unless you add sugar! I had a laugh
Thanks again everyone... i just have to somewhere find a great quality grinder that doesnt cost too much (if that exists :S).
Depends on your definition of too much there are two mazzers for sale on this site ;D
Ideally (money no object), a mazzer and a La Marzocco would be on my kitchen bench... ;DOriginally Posted by 232D202F382E2F410 link=1256784544/38#38 date=1257409335
haha... something that will do an awesome job and will last a long time but less than $200 would be great! :S
Any opinions on the Sunbeam EM0480 grinder? ive read the review here on coffeesnobs, seems to be an excellent doserless grinder, but ive also read reviews that it doesnt grind fine enough for espresso machines... whats the real deal with it? :) fine enough or not fine enough?
And is there much difference to the Sunbeam EM0450 grinder?
The Sunbeam EM480 was the first home grinder i owned and it performed well.
The problem is not that it doesnt grind fine enough but that it has a stepped adjustment system where by the amount it can be adjusted at any one time is dictated by a preset click of the adjustment mechanism. I added a shim under the bottom bur to make the grind finer than the grind settings suggested as my one wasnt calibrated properly when i got it.
Not such a bad thing for a machine such as yours but it can be for delicate machines like ECMs or Domobars.
I noticed there is an em480 for sale in the "for sale" section, maybe you can strike a deal for it?
It will grind fine enough BUT the grind is not as even as youd get from a better quality grinder.
The 0450 is "push to grind" only.
The 0480 has an ""on" setting.
The 0480 has a metal body as opposed the the 0450s plastic one.
IIRC, even though the internals are supposed to be identical, the 0480 comes with a 5 years replacement warranty on the motor and the 0450 has a "must be returned for repair" deal.
Happy for you to bring in the Gaggia to my cafe in Geelong. We could play around with dosing etc using fresh beans. Just PM me and we could make a time after close. Or just pop in for a talk.
AH okay, it seems like a fairly reputable grinder... cheers guys! I am attempting to strike a deal with that one in the for sale too. Thanks KB i might take you up on that if i get round to it!
Ok, seriously not happy!!! I bought the Espresso Wow! from BeanBay, and have tried it a few times, extracts 60ml in about 10 seconds!!! Ive tried dosing different amounts, if i dose too much i cant fit it in the group head (and it slices the puck), but take a little away from that amount and it pours out like a waterfall in 10seconds! There still appears to be a nice crema on top... but its just too fast!!!
I just dont know why its doing this! Plus ive tried tamping as hard as i possibly can now, still no change. The grind seems to be fine enough..... Plus its very fresh coffee, got it on the 11th and it was freshly roasted and ground about half an hour before it was delivered (GREAT service i have to say!). So would it be a dosing, distributing, tamping, or MACHINE issue? I had a laugh
unless i still need yet a FINER grind.... ?
plus ive examined the puck afterwards and its very solid, if you give it a fair squeeze itll break away, but yeah...
Originally Posted by 243E3A3839243C6F25570 link=1256784544/45#45 date=1258098255seems to be fine enough, but extracting about 60ml in 10 seconds? doesnt add up to be honest. Assuming consistent dose and tamp, sounds like you need to grind finer.Originally Posted by 243E3A3839243C6F25570 link=1256784544/45#45 date=1258098255
could even be too fresh! For me, Id be letting Espresso WOW sit for at least 5-7 days before I even thought about touching it. Grinding it while its this fresh and letting it sit for maybe 45 secs to a minute will hopefully help degas/age it just before you use it.Originally Posted by 243E3A3839243C6F25570 link=1256784544/45#45 date=1258098255
Maybe getting together with another CS member so you can compare techniques would be a big help too. Speaking for myself, its one of the best ways Ive learned more about espresso.
If it was ground before it was delivered it will always pour fast. ;)Originally Posted by 63797D7F7E637B2862100 link=1256784544/45#45 date=1258098255
This is why you need to buy whole beans and have your own grinder. Buying pre-ground coffee (No matter how good!) will always lead to a temperamental and inconsistent espresso extraction!Originally Posted by 3C262220213C24773D4F0 link=1256784544/45#45 date=1258098255
Java "Grind it yourself!" phile