How did the espresso tasted?
Having a little trouble reading my puck post pull.
The details are:
Rosco Hand grinder @ 0.65mm
16.5g Fresh Nessun Dorma beans.
Rancilio Naked PF handle
Rancilio 14g basket
Now, the grind scattered up the side of the filter and somewhat up on top of the lip makes me think too much head space and the top bit of puck is being allowed to swirl around a little.
However, the fairly large indent of the shower screen bolt makes me think that it's overdosed?
The pour formed fairly evenly and ran nicely at around the diameter of a large mouse tail. Only very minor sprays. I feel like it blonded a little quickly, but I'm not even 100% sure where the goldilocks zone for blonding is?
How can I fix this? Also - someone please point out what the actual problem is - I assume there has to be one
What's your tamping style? If you're're nutating or something, perhaps the sides of the grind are being pressed down or disturbed more than the centre, causing this disturbance. Does your tamper fit well in the basket? Those bits on the edge also sort of look like what's left over when a tamper doesn't fit the basket perfectly. I can see a tamper in your picture, looks like a good one so that's probably not it.
How do the results change when you use that smart grinder in the picture? Any difference?
That's pretty much all I've got, probably not very helpful. I mainly wanted to reply just to say that comparing the flow diameter of an espresso shot to that of a rodents tail is quite possibly the oddest comparison I've ever heard. Not that it's bad, it makes sense i guess, just sort of depends on different people's views on what constitutes a "large" mouse. Like, are we talking large field mouse, sewer rat, nutria perhaps? This can present a dilemma which I'm sure will provoke deep and philosophical conversation.
More importantly, did you or any of your family get any sleep after consuming the Nessun Dorma beans? That'd be a tell-tale sign of failure (Lionel Hutz style).
I am not a fan of the standard Rancilio double filter supplied with Silvia, and believe you get a better coffee from the larger standard industry commercial double filter. There's about a 2 gram increase in the weight of the dose of grinds (from silvia filter to commerial filter) which significantly improves the cup/s (my opinion).
Silvia is very finicky about getting the right dose and studying your photo I am not sure your dose is big enough (for me) although it would otherwise appear to be very close... I dont take any notice of the indent of the locating bolt for the shower, and go more on the distance of the dose from the top of the filter down to the circlip groove (and of course the indent of the shower on the puk afterwards). Note if you go too high, Silvia will invariable leak...ie it tells you you if you dosed up too much.
All that said, if the coffee is good, are you worrying about something that isnt a problem? As someone else said it is hard to judge anything else from this without seeing what you do, and for me that would include watching you grind, dose and tamp, in addition to watching the pour. Certainly you can (in my opinion) improve the coffee significantly just by the simple fitment of a standard commercial size filter as already noted.
Hope that helps.
If the coffee is sublime? Or at the very least, you find it is very pleasant to drink?
Who cares what the top of the puck looks like?
FWIW, I often find the top surface of the puck can have significant features, almost like an underwater rift. Yet, on a good day the shot is tiger stripe, 100% Crema and to die for, in the mouth....
If the coffee is good (to your taste), Who cares what the top of the puck looks like, post shot?
Keep your grind constant.
Dose 16.0g and then another shot with 15.5g. Observe the flow, and taste the difference in the cup.
Then make adjustments.
Espresso 101: How to Adjust Dose and Grind Setting by Taste - Tips and Techniques • Home-Barista.com
Adjust your technique accordingly.
I'm going to have another "crack" at this.
You might be interested in what happens in this video to help you with your puck diagnosis.
I agree with those above who suggest that you concentrate on grind and dose and ignore what the puck looks like completely. FWIW, my current pucks come out fairly solid, but with a previous coffee (that was just as nice as the current one, just different), once I adjusted dose and grind to taste, the pucks were really sloppy. So for me, what the puck looks like doesn't matter.
I disagree as I dont think anyone should entirely ignore the look of their resulting puks. It happens to be a very handy diagnostic tool especially for beginners that have made whopper mistakes.
Granted this isnt a whopper or any mistake at all and as we have nearly all said now, who says there is anything actually wrong.
But the OP did ask, and there are some things that can be and have been said in reply, especially if he is trying to improve his coffee making skills and understanding.
I will say again, I dont believe anyone should entirely ignore their puk as it is one of the many useful diagnostics in espresso making.
Keep it up Duane.
I guess what I'm saying is, if you look at what happens to the puck at the end of the extraction in the video you can see a rapid back-flow when the shot ends. This back-flow will disturb anything that happened to the puck during the shot and so how can you get any useful info out of it?
I suggest to the op to ignore pucks because of that and, because when I was starting out, I used the 5 cent test to get the dose about right and then fine-tuned from there. I got concerned when the puck got a bit sloppy and used that as a sign my dose was to small. I then did a little session with a barista who tasted my shot an said the grind wasn't fine enough. I replied I couldn't go any finer because I'd have to reduce the dose or shot would choke. He said so reduce the dose. I said, but the puck will get sloppy. He said, who cares? I followed his advice and got a really nice, sweet shot, but a really sloppy puck. I have not seen any correlation between a good shot and what the puck looks like, hence my suggestion to the OP to ignore the puck.
Personally, I am a fan of a good looking puck.
I don't think anyone should have to put up with an ugly puck.
It's your democratic right.
FWIW, I reckon that generating puks of consistent appearance and structural integrity is just as/more important than whether you could use it play hockey with. Puks of consistent appearance are, well, consistent with the application of a consistent and reliable technique (holding the bean used as a constant). If I hit a sweet spot with a coffee that results in a slightly sloppy puk I don't care. Obviously there are limits.....
As a Canadian I just can't help myself... the correct spelling of "puck", regardless of whether we are discussing coffee or ice hockey, is: P U C K
I don't know about you guys,
But I can tell you my puck is well and truly pucked on nothing less than a genuine Hockey Puck...
The OE Slap-Shot is made with a genuine unused Official Hockey Puck...
It's a really good little pucker....
For pucks sake, this thread has derailed significantly. OP hasn't even replied yet, he's probably wondering how the puck he should respond to all these weird posts.
Might I suggest "WTP"?
Holy crap, this certainly took off!
I didn't actually come up with the rodent tail comparison. I vaguely remember seeing is posted on another coffee forum a while back and thinking about my pours reminded me of it and it seemed like a reasonable comparison to make. You're correct in suggesting the ambiguity of the comparison, though. As I spend very little time (fortunately) in sewers I think I think I should specify the Fancy Mouse and Rat which you'd find as pets. I saw a New York sewer rat in the Smithsonian and I think you'd need an espresso machine connected to a coffee plantation fed by a fire truck to achieve a pour of that magnitude!
Just to throw a little wild card in, most hints of bitterness are due to too many fines delivered by the grinder (Silvia has zero tendency towards bitterness AFAIAC). Stale / oxidised grounds taste sour.
Just spread a little of your grinder output on a piece of white paper and check the spread in particle size. If that is a fail, nothing will stop the bitterness "further down the chain".
FWIW, I am also a fervent hater of the stock Silvia basket, however it does not go bitter, it just flows quite poorly. Also, take four random Silvia baskets and you are very likely to have four different results in terms of shot setup. One of the many coffee things I tend to bin on sight. YMMV.
What are fines? Are they bits of grind which are less than average size?
This thread is now doomed. If there are people who are so thin-skinned that "Ridged for her..." offends them enough to complain and get a thread name changed with the weak excuse of "inappropriate language" then all the puck jokes here are going to make them implode.
Grab a 12mm long Pan-Head or Countersunk s/s screw to replace it and then at least, you won't have problems with the head of the bolt destroying the integrity of said puck. Don't know why Rancilio still do this...
Yes, the smallest pieces of shattered bean. Traditionally it was thought that some fines add resistance to the puck* and that was "a very good thing". It is becoming a debatable issue nowadays (refer to the latest Nordic Challenge last month if curious). The "fines issue" is a simple surface area / volume equation: the smaller pieces extract faster and go bitter first. Given no grinder can produce a fully uniform size (yet!) there are also a few coarser bits which take longer to extract. Their sourness tends to even out the "fines bitterness". If there are only a few "outliers" on both sides of the size spectrum it seems to make very little discernible difference to taste (possibly it broadens the whole experience out). Hopefully the huge majority of particles are in the middle range, which provides the main extraction.
That is why I have posted elsewhere on CS that I can overcome most hurdles in machines etc, but a poor grinder is (way) beyond my expertise to sort.
It is also fair to mention that different people have differing tastes and tolerances (thank goodness, it would be boring if everyone would only accept one item of every food which must be done in only one way... shudder), and some coffee fiends run deliberately unbalanced shots (i.e. ristretto, lungo etc) to match their preferences (and fair enough). You seem to dislike bitterness and notice its presence, so in your case it is significant. I do not know your grinder at all so I do not know if it is the culprit. I only know that if the grinder generates too many fines it is very difficult to correct without making a whole batch of other tradeoffs: most of which I find unacceptable in terms of the resulting flavour in the cup and there will still be a hint of underlying bitterness anyway. There is an interesting post by Jim Shulman on this point: How filter baskets affect espresso taste and barista technique - Reviews • Home-Barista.com. Just read the first two or three paragraphs if you do not want to get buried in tech talk. OTOH, feel free to read all the comments as well if you are a masochist / geek.
*BTW, the other hint in my view: your puck looks a little too coarse if anything which would actually reduce bitterness at the expense of sourness. That is also why some CS'rs commented it may be underdosed as the bigger particles show less clarity in the "good old Silvia hex imprint" compared to what they are used to. My take: dosing OK, grinding not, basket worse.
FWIW, if I was asked to sort it out I would start with the grinder.
Hope this helps.
The dose is fine, my advice if budget permits is to buy a Mazzer Robur-E( probably the best and last grinder you will ever buy in the current market.) I find hand grinders to be very inconsistent in particle size.
Look, I gotta disagree on that one. Great for those running (real) volume cafes, for which it is designed, but not a good home grinder for those two cups of coffee in the morning....kind of like buying a kenworth prime mover for the wife to run the kids to school every morning. Perhaps "best" in the situation it is designed for, but in my opinion, not so for the application which is the subject of this thread.
Enjoy your NY
Something I noticed that doesn't seem to be pointed out.
You are getting flavours you don't like with beans from Nessun Dorma but you don't get them at either LTD or DiBella.
Have you tried beans from either ltd or DiBella at home?
Sorry to shatter your myth: pick up a Mahlkonig Vario gen2 (they are surprisingly heavy) and then check out the industrial strength frame wrapped around a domestic shell. I come from a family of engineers and the Vario gen2 is a very solid beast indeed under the skin. Even the top burr holder is beyond most commercials in terms of solidity.
Too early to tell, however I suspect it may outlast a Robur SJ, and I have years of experience with them. The Vario burrs are almost certainly able to go a lot longer if the research is accurate: 3 times the life of equivalent "Mahlkonig steel" burrs. Some cafes I still deal with have to replace their SJ burrs every three months or so (a $2,000 yearly hit). One of them has a ten+ year old Mahlkonig (EK43 ancestor) still on the original auger / burrs. Apart from guesstimating it has done way over a tonne of coffee (& outlasted the last 4 owners), it still does a better grind than their SJ managed after I did an A to Z clean & calibrate. They are now looking at the EK43 and the Forte based on running costs alone. All the Mahlkonig's seem to do a much better, tighter particle spread at Turkish to espresso grinds compared to their competitors.
I guess it comes down to Swiss vs Italian engineering again: no contest.
Add to that the domestic friendliness of the Vario (no mess on the bench, quiet, small footprint, accurate & fast to adjust within espresso ranges, minimal grind retention).
OK... that's twice now that you've referred to Mahlkonig as being Swiss. I'm pretty sure they're based in Hamburg... and that is definitely in Germany
As the grinder being discussed here is a Vario, which was released in 2009 for domestic use, I would imagine it would have design influences from the Swiss. It does say that Ditting and Mahlkonig will continue as two separate entities so I'm not sure how much their partnership affects new products and their brand names.
Read here for more info: http://www.mahlkoenig.com/pages/comp...Language=en_US
Not sure if people just pick on Tampit's posts because they think they're too long or something, or they're peeved that he probably knows more than they do, but it's a bit tedious seeing it in like every thread.
And, since you brought it up, I do much prefer it when someone is able to provide 10 words worth of useful information by actually using 10 words, rather than requiring hundreds to deliver the same message. After all, life is far to short as it is.
Let's keep it civil folks.
Java "Polishing his boots" phile
Toys! I must have new toys!!!
At work, I tend to write a lot in an email but this mostly keeps the back and forth with the emailing to a minimum as the recipient doesn't need to ask questions about something because I've already covered it. It ensures efficient use of time. I think this is probably why I lean towards liking long replies more.
Also, to mention something sort of on topic, I'll probably be buying a Compak K3 Push or a Macap M4M when I get back from holidays.
Possibly better to discuss moderating decisions in pm...
Wasn't picking on Tampit at all... was just being my usual pedantic self: Wasn't taken that way by me. If I get something wrong, I would always appreciate the correction. The 'net has more than enough fiction without me adding to it.
Oops: Germany it is. I bought three coffee things on the same day, the other two are Swiss. Better make that German vs Italian engineering: still no contest IMHO.
As Noidle pointed out, they are now half Swiss (give or take a %). Manual says Swiss, carton says Germany. I will have to turn the grinder over next time I change beans... probably says Fiji.
I usually trust my memory, however as stated there were two countries listed. Manual: Swiss. Carton says German (Hamburg).
I finally remembered to turn it over when changing beans. Photo attached.
Swiss it is.