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Thread: What makes a good espresso?

  1. #1
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    What makes a good espresso?

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    My grinder, tamper, and non-pressurised basket for my sunbeam espresso machine should arrive soon.

    Im itching to try an espresso! Can you guys tell me your methods in making them? I know a lot of trial and error is involved, along with appropriate tamper pressure and other factors.

    So how do you get the perfect espresso??? Id like to drink it straight, no sugar, no milk, most importantly no bitterness!

    Is it possible on a cheaper machine?

    Looking forward to your replies!

  2. #2
    Super Moderator scoota_gal's Avatar
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    Re: What makes a good espresso?

    Hmm, I think youll need to do a little further research and reading here, drovers-sunrise. You can actually use google to conduct a search on coffeesnobs to get more results.

    So, you seriously dont know how to make an espresso at all yet?

    Why dont you start by telling us what you do know and we can fill in the spaces...

    Oh, and yes. It is possible on a "cheaper machine"...

  3. #3
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    Re: What makes a good espresso?

    I do know - I put it into my cappuccino. But If I were to drink it straight it would be disgusting. I wait til the colour goes blonde before stopping. Im sure it has something to do with my preground coffee of course.

    But my point of the post is how ot get the perfect cup :). I mean, I dont have my grinder/non-PLASTIC tamper as yet, but will this help produce the syrop that everyone talks of in their espressos?

  4. #4
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    Re: What makes a good espresso?

    Such a complex question. My advise after doing a quick search would be to purchase a good instructional dvd. Might i suggest here: http://coffeesnobs.com.au/YaBB.pl?num=1163933441

  5. #5
    Senior Member askthecoffeeguy's Avatar
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    Re: What makes a good espresso?

    My advice is to go the best coffee houses you can find and try the espresso there, and then ask yourself: what can I do to make my espresso taste this good?

    If you keep asking yourself this question, and asking questions of those who are already pulling the so-called god shots - and act on what you learn - its only a matter of time until you see a dramatic improvement in your shots

    Also, dont be afraid to experiment with your machine, to get the best out of it.

    What model machine is it?

    If its an EM6910 then you should have no problems pulling great shots, and even on a lessor machine, you should be able to get a great extraction, but you will probably need to use the double basket to do so.

    I had an old Baby Gaggia for many years, and apart from the frustratingly slow heating of the milk, it used to pull some great shots.

    The trick is to keep adjusting what you do until you see marked improvement, and then keep improving on that again until you get results that work for you.

    My old Gaggia was a bit of a dinosaur to use, but after a fair amount of experimentation, I managed to produce a fairly decent coffee that I was very happy to drink

    So keep pulling the good shots. and congratulations on the new machine!

    Cheers,

    Pat

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    Re: What makes a good espresso?

    Pioneer roastery - Thanks for the DVD suggestion! I think Ill have to grab a copy within the next few weeks. Hopefully it will help me to perfect my shots.

    Pat - Thanks for the encouragement. My machine is a EM4800C. Not the best machine in town, but I do hope it will suffice. Ill definitely keep at it until I have something worth drinking :)

  7. #7
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    Re: What makes a good espresso?

    First of all - dont let the shot go blonde. Blonde = bitterness.

    You can get good espresso from a cheaper machine, it takes practice and good fresh ground coffee and patience.

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    Re: What makes a good espresso?

    Quote Originally Posted by askthecoffeeguy link=1193746891/0#4 date=1193784625
    My advice is to go the best coffee houses you can find and try the espresso there, and then ask yourself: *what can I do to make my espresso taste this good?
    Unfortunately it may be a bit tricky, or might involve too many bad experiences in Mackay.

    The closest quality place I know of and can vouch for 1st hand is Sexie coffee in Maryborough.

  9. #9
    Senior Member greenman's Avatar
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    Re: What makes a good espresso?

    try U-tube search, there should be heaps of videos on there with a few hints, methods etc..............

  10. #10
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    Re: What makes a good espresso?

    bitterness is inevitable with even the very best coffees! caffeine is probably one of the most bitter substances around. Granted, once you get yourself over the bitterness, you open yourself to a whole world of flavours and aromas you never thought could exist in coffee.

  11. #11
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    Re: What makes a good espresso?

    Pioneer Roaster - Youve definitely hit the nail on the head there. Its one of the major draw backs of living in a regional area. I would live in Melbourne simply for the wonderful coffee if I could! There really is no where around here that has decent coffee. McCafe, anyone? hee

    Greenman - youtube is a great idea! I might do some searches tonight and see what I find. Thanks for the tip.




  12. #12
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    Re: What makes a good espresso?

    Quote Originally Posted by drovers-sunrise link=1193746891/0#5 date=1193786541
    Pioneer roastery - Thanks for the DVD suggestion! I think Ill have to grab a copy within the next few weeks. Hopefully it will help me to perfect my shots.
    Gday d-s,

    Until the Pioneer DVD arrives, you can glean an awful lot of great How To information from the Home Barista website, starting here and work your way through. This site really is an encyclopędia of how to get the best from the bean at home and well worth reading. Im sure youll be pulling terrific shots in no time with the CS community chipping in with lots of good advice, backed up with info from Home Barista...... Probably the best home coffee resource combo on the planet 8-). All the best,

    Mal.

  13. #13
    Member SamR's Avatar
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    Re: What makes a good espresso?

    If its any help, I was able to make a pretty good shot with a home made naked portafilter & Krups unpressurized filter basket with a Breville Cafe Roma, which is a basic machine. I tried it with a Sunbeam EM4800B (which is the same as the EM4800C), but the Sunbeam didnt have the ooomph. Then again, the Sunbeam had the equivalent of 400,000 km on the odometer. I used a Delonghi KG100 grinder (modified with 3 extra grind settings) & of course fresh coffee beans.

    This was the result.











    I recently sold these machines and grinder to get the Rancilio Silvia. Having heard that the Rancilio can be hard to use at first (especially by a greenbean like me) I found that using the unpressurized basket was great for learning.

    Good luck

  14. #14
    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    Re: What makes a good espresso?

    That looks like a very nice pour there Sam (and great photos 8-)),

    Just goes to show what can be done once you know and understand the processes..... excellent :),

    Mal.

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    Re: What makes a good espresso?

    Mmm that looks yummy! And very inspiring. Im sure Ill waisting a bit of coffee trying to perfect my shots!

  16. #16
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    Re: What makes a good espresso?

    Thankyou...yeah, not bad for a basic machine. The process is called patience......lots and lots of patience.

  17. #17
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    Re: What makes a good espresso?

    I had a laugh I dont have much of that! Ill have to acquire it...somehow (probably easier to acquire $700 for a better machine)

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    Re: What makes a good espresso?

    Hi DS,

    Increase the patience.... then practise... practise.... practise....

    A more expensive machine can make a better espresso..... but only once the baristas technique is good....

    Even a Synesso can make a bad coffee if the operator doesnt have the required skills.... but if they do... then pure magic comes from those spouts!!!

  19. #19
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    Re: What makes a good espresso?

    Ive just watched some Youtube clips and have been picking up some tips.

  20. #20
    Senior Member Magic_Matt's Avatar
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    Re: What makes a good espresso?

    My latte this morning was by far the best extraction Ive had yet - nice and slow and drippy, plenty of flavour without any sourness and just the faintest hint of bitterness... Heaven!

    Its taken me a couple of weeks of persistence and experimentation - not to mention a couple of kilos of beans - to get this far, but so worth it!

    So yeah, practise is the name of the game! That and pay attention to the generous advice from fellow CSers (thanks guys & gals!)

    :)

  21. #21
    Member SamR's Avatar
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    Re: What makes a good espresso?

    Behmor Brazen - $249 - Free Freight
    As JavaB said, "a more expensive machine can make a better espresso..... but only once the baristas technique is good...."...thats why I got the unpressurized basket and made the naked portafilter. I was always intending to upgrade to a Silvia, but wanted to improve my technique before moving up.



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