How did you make the coffee (eg. with what machine / device)?
How did you make the coffee (eg. with what machine / device)?
I have a Faema e98 compact with a mazzer sj
A worn seal might allow finer grinds to drip down the outside of the portafilter and into your cup
Also, have you recently changed you technique (i.e. have you started dosing more)? Is the portafilter locking in properly?
I imagine you keep it all very clean, but same thing can come from a build up of coffee oils between PF & basket
Or as a result of grinding too fine to compensate for stale beans, also unlikely?
a) Grinds in the group head area coming over the outside of the group cup (the end of the group handle containing the filter, that locks in).
This can be caused by say,
a badly worn seal,
overdosing the filter, then the grinds can get pushed up into the seal area when the handle is locked in,
not locking the group handle in well,
not cleaning the group head area from time to time, of "dregs" that get built up from the process of coffee making,
using a coffee filter that has had the rounded top edge bashed flat with resulting sharp (or cracked) edge, from the operator banging out the puk on a metal surface.
b) Dosing and tamping the group handle on a bench or rubber mat that has spilled grinds on it. The grinds stick to the wet outlets of the group handle, and get flowed out into the cup with the brew.
c) From flowing out through a damaged (cracked) filter basket. Check the bottom edge of the filter to see if there is a fine crack going part way round. It could be hard to see but if its cracked, it will be worse when the filter is dosed and locked in to the group head, because the water pressure and shower can push down on the puk (espec if its overdosed) opening the crack further than it looks when it is in your hand.
Hope that helps.
Last edited by Fresh_Coffee; 25th August 2012 at 11:13 AM. Reason: add more information for the benefit of the masses
What Fresh_Coffee said matches my experience (except I've never had a cracked basket!)
It could also be a 'grounds' problem. Maybe misaligned burrs from a clean and re-assemble of the grinder. Or maybe just too fine a grind for the basket (if the problem has always been there).
Thank you all for the informative answers.
I normally put about 15-16 grams in a double basket this produces a good shot with nice thick crema at about the rate of 30ml in 30 seconds. My grind is fairly fine but could a hard tamp be the problem?
I will try a coarser grind and see how that works.
I will have a look at also changing the seals as this could also be the issue more than likely as it has been about 8 months since I last changed it.
Again thanks for the help I will try some things and get back to you.
I use a krups basket and with a fine grind get some coming through post tamp. They end up in the cup. It's not ideal, but I can live with it.
I dont believe grinds cant get through the holes in the bottom of the filter ie, a "finer" grind than what you might call a "standard" grind will not cause particles (by virtue of them being *smaller*) to somehow get through the holes to the other side of the filter and into your cup.....Any grinds you find in your cup, got there by way of the three methods I mentioned above, either over the top, or through a crack.
Adam. 8 months in home use should still mean a very new seal (unless you seldom clean the group head area and there are a lot of old grinds up there acting like grinding paste every time you lock in the group handle). Look for some other reason. Re your question about hard tamp....No....unless you are using a smaller tamper than required and when you tamp you push a lot of grinds up the wall of the filter to the rounded edge, so that when you lock into the group, those grinds end up interfering with the seal. And that comes back to grinds flowing over the top / group handle not sealed properly. The "hardness" of your tamp per se, will not by itself (if it is a clean tamp) make grinds jump ship and end up in your cup. There is no magic here, the explanation will be quite logical.
Hope that helps.
There are most definitely grind coming through the holes in the basket. I have a naked handle and can see (and feel) them post tamp. I suspect it's a combination of an uneven grind and comparatively large holes. I also get some on the handle from tamping on the knockbox, but they are larger particles.
I stripped the machine replaced the seal and the shower screen.
Also took the cover that sits over the group head and that the portafilter locks into and you were correct it was very dirty.
I soaked it in some cafetto and then scrubbed off any remaining grinds with my group head brush.
It is all clean now I will pull a shot and see how it goes.
Breville BES820 Espresso machine, using Krups 51mm single wall basket.
Sunbeam EM480 grinder.
Thanks for that. It wont happen with the kind of equipment in use by the topic author. Over the top or through a damaged filter, but not through the holes in un undamaged filter.
After I had cleaned everything last night, I was certain that the problem would go away.
Since some in this thread suggested that it could be due to over dosing, I measured out 14g of coffee and then ground it.
Thinking my grind was too fine, I adjusted my grinder for a slightly slightly coarser grind. I pulled the shot and after all of this, I still found some grinds at the bottom of the cup. I did have a very wet puck though and I am not sure what that means exactly, but could it have contributed to the problem?
Not enough coffee in the filter, and resulting grind too fine if you are attempting to obtain an espresso pour in the "spec" time. You should not be able to see the circlip groove. Correct tamped dose will be at a point where you are at the top of the groove. Forget weighing the dose as you can see it has resulted in you underdosing severely for the actualy size of the filter in use. Dose volumetrically as per at the top of the groove (when I dose I cannot see the groove. Ofcourse, the coarser the grind, the bigger (volumetrically) the tamped dose becomes. Always dose (tamped) to the top of the goove and that will assist you to find the correkett grind for the dose.
ie, always work backwards from the correct tamped dose, to get the right grind that suits the dose (and type of coffee being used).
Do this, and the character (and appearance) of your brew will improve out of sight (to the point where you would think you have changed beans to a completeley different blend....even though you havent).
I played around with the grind and dose last night and I noticed an improvement. There were still some ground in the cup.
So with some trial and error, adjusting the dose and making the grind coarser I should be able to get it right.
I may be doing something wrong, but i noticed it is a fine line between getting the dose right and not being able to get the portafilter on because there is too much coffee in it.
I have seen this from lower quality baskets with too fine a grind....
It can be clearly seen from the photos that the operator was using a significant under-dose. If the operator then ground the coffee much finer than normal, in order to slow down the rate of pour, as a result of having used such a significant under dose, and some fines made their way through, I fail to see that as having anything to do with the "basket" or its perceived "quality".
Is a Krups 51 mm double shot basket lower quality. I ask as I have a similar issue, fines in the cup, with this basket.
And I have created another issue for myself, with a different single walled basket, the pour starts, then chokes up as the pressure comes on.
Is this the result of overdosing?
That could be overdosing or your grind is to fine. You know if its over dosing because you will see the imprint of a ring shape in your puck afetr you pull the shot. If this happens reduce your dose slightly until you can't see the ring imprint. If it still chokes up after this your gring will need to be slightly coarser most likely.
Let me know how you go?
Perhaps you can try tightening the portafilter a bit harder?
Also are the grinds in the bottom of the cup sludgy or distinct individual coffee grounds?
Adam hasn't posted in almost 4yrs...though he still is alive and visited the other day.
I am having the same issue with a friend's Faema e98! Grinds are ending up in the cup! They are distinct individual grinds. The group seal is brand new, we have changed the basket to a new one, and i have ensured that there are no grinds on the spout and that there is no leak around the basket/group seal. My suspicion is a wide variation in grind size from a poorly aligned grinder. I will dismantle and reassemble and try the whiteboard marker and audio recording methods of checking the alignment. I am also suprised that grinds can get through the bottom of the basket, but at this stage there is really no other path for them. It makes sense though that if the grinds are widely varying in size, then in order to slow down the shot, the grind setting must be adjusted finer than usual. We shall see, hopefully this weekend. I am going to test his machine with my pesado (IMS) baskets to reduce the potential for variation in hole size.
Its ironic that its the same machine. And my name is also Adam. Freaky