Hi all, I'm a bit of a rookie but my husband and I own and operate a small store and offer coffee and a small cafe menu. We bought a Boema single group machine and given or location (middle of nowhere) we received the machine on freight and had to learn as much as we could through trial and error, YouTube, and the odd guru stopping into our shop. As I learn more about coffee, I'm also finding there are things with our machine I don't know how to fix. I would appreciate any advice on any of the following.
* the half cup button pours 20-25ml of coffee and the full cup pours about 40ml. For a start, which of these buttons is considered 1 shot? And do these measurements sound right.
* the single spout basket coffee tastes very ordinary and bitter, where as what comes from the double spout and larger basket is quite palatable.
* I'm getting some coffee granules in the bottom of the cups.
* the coffee is splattering all over the sides of the cups (have kind of fixed this today by changing the grind, but is still intermittent)
That's most of my problems for the time being. I hope not too many of you are having heart attacks knowing we have these issues and then sell the stuff. I honestly like the taste of the coffee we serve and we are often complimented by customers. However, I know these things shouldn't be happening.
Welcome to CoffeeSnobs Macaskel!
I think you have come to the right place, we are in the cities and in the middle of nowhere too... that's the beauty of the Internet.
Where to start?!?!
the single spout basket coffee tastes very ordinary and bitter, where as what comes from the double spout and larger basket is quite palatable.
Take the single shot basket, toss it into the back of the cupboard and only get it out when you sell the machine. The single basket simply won't hold enough coffee for what has become the Australian standard sized drink. Which is exactly what you found on taste alone, as will your customers.
Now... using the double basket grind and dose till the basket is slightly over full, using the side of your index finger (or icy pole stick) wipe it off level. Now tamp it, hard and square (level).
Tamping with 10-15kg force is easily repeatable, tamping lightly is much easier to introduce a variable and what we want to do is to remove as many variables as we can. You can put the group handle on a set of bathroom scales and tamp the coffee to see what 10kg of weight feels like.
Don't use the single or the double pour buttons, they will only confuse the process. You need to know that you are grinding, dosing and tamping well before you use those.
Lock the group handle into the machine and hit the manual pour switch.
Use a shot glass or something that has 30ml, 45ml and 60ml markings on it. You could use a vegimite glass with texta marks or just about anything.
Time the shot with the stopwatch on your phone.
Rough rule of thumb is 25-30 ml in 25-30 seconds for a single basket (that you threw away) and in a double (which you are using) it should be 50-60ml in 25-30 seconds.
If you get to 60ml in 10 seconds then your grind is too course. Make the grinder a little finer and try again.
If you only get 10ml after 30 seconds then your grind is too fine. Make the grind as little courser and try again.
A good espresso pour will look like "mouse tails" coming off the group handle, not rat tails or a drip.
If we assume that you will grind, dose and tamp the same every time then the only real variable is the coarseness of the grinder. Adjustments to it should be small each time to get you closer to the 50 ml in 25 seconds goal.
World Champion Barista's work like a machine, they will grind, dose, tamp exactly the same each time and the only variation they will have is a small adjustment on the grinder. You don't have to be a world champion to do the same
Have a play, enjoy the journey!