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Thread: Surprising Extraction Experiments....

  1. #1
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    Surprising Extraction Experiments....

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Hey all!

    Well, I must say that getting the hang of my new Diadema has been an interesting experience. First the extraction, then the milk, but evenutally, I got it! ;D

    Trouble with this is, I am now chasing perfection :o

    Now my Macap grinder was precisely set up by FC before I took delivery of my machine......I didnt realise this and decided to fiddle with it out of the box......never got it back to where it was/should be >:( >:(

    Nonetheless, made a great cap & latte today and happy as can be.

    Back to the topic - I have an issue with the 30sec rule...Many tell me to ignore it and that it is a guide, thank you and I do Try to abide by the advice.

    But I have recently been fine tuning the dose of my grinder and had some bizzare results -

    In the past, I flick the brew switch, 3-5 secs would pass and out comes the coffee; sometimes over in 10 secs >:( other times around 20 8). Coffee itself was always a dark brown and I questioned whether this was my blend of beans or my process. I then had a couple of Espressi last week at BG&D and saw a light caramel colour on top of Chris finest - just like in the magazine shots!

    So in increasing my dose recently (from 6g to 7g) I found the machine appeared to choke. In the past, Id just swear once or twice, stop the shot and knock out the grinds before starting again.

    Well, 3 times this weekend I have decided to let the shot go :o 25-20 secs after flicking the switch and out comes this gorgeous looking golden/caramel shot. Shot pours for around 20 secs ranging from a fast drip to a slow pour. I stop the shot when it begins to lighten and it looks just like Chris!! :D

    I then thought, it must taste like old boots due to the long extraction, but alas, it was the best tasting shot I have obtained from my machine yet?

    This has happened three times now and I think I am on to something - the shot pours for around 20-25 secs, but it takes almost that long to begin ??? ???

    Do I ignore the rule and go with my taste? Or do I keep trying to obtain that elusive 25-30 sec shot from the flick of the switch to conclusion of the brew?

    What do you all think?

    Regards,

    James

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    Super Moderator Javaphile's Avatar
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    Re: Surprising Extraction Experiments....

    Go for what tastes best to you! :D :D :D

    Java "Its all about the taste!" phile

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    Re: Surprising Extraction Experiments....

    Seems like you might just be approaching coffee nirvana James...dose up, slow em down and enjoy. At home, I use 18gm and let my taste buds do the rest *:D There truely are many ways to make a great coffee *;)

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    Re: Surprising Extraction Experiments....

    out of my sunbeam (i know, i know ... dont start), the longest shots usually taste the best, have beautiful tiger flecking and all the rest. I got a 60sec extraction one day from an East Timorese/Sumatran blend that i thought would taste like the old boots you mentioned ... but what i got was like nutella! A beautifully sweet chocolately hazelnut flavour.

    I tried for three months to get that flavour again. Needless to say, ive never repeated it...

    Its interesting (or maybe not) that by adjusting grind, tamp, dose, brew temp etc, we can discover new and hidden flavour profiles in any given blend. If only the sunbeam would allow me more control to do that!

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    Re: Surprising Extraction Experiments....

    I also agree with Chris and Javaphile - go with what tastes GOOD!

    Ive got a Carezza, and Im always messing with the grind on my Saeco. I only just seem to get it right, then I roast a different type of bean, and Im back to square one!

    I was counting from the switch going on - but Im definatly going on sight now. I read a good article about adjusting the finishing time of the brew by sight rather than by a strict timed rule - It talked about dark crema.. followed by lighter crema, and said that the whole shot should be crema - and that you should finish the shot when the crema coming from the group changes to liquid. Since Ive been doing this Ive been blown away by how many sweet espressos Ive been having, and Ive been blown away by the crema "head" Im getting as compared to timing the shots for a strict 25 seconds.

    You quickly learn if your grind/tamp isnt right, because either it takes 2minutes to make a coffee ??? or you only get about 2 seconds of crema before the liquid pours out :-/ Its good thou, makes me feel more like Im perfecting an art rather than watching the clock.

    I reacon - Timing is important, but were all in it for the taste.

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    Re: Surprising Extraction Experiments....

    hmmm,
    I have never counted from the switch going on, but from when the coffee started to pour/drip out of the spout. It takes 5 to 10 seconds for the coffee to start to come out, generally the longer the better.

    But I have realised that as long as the coffee is coming out slowly once and the amount in the cup is aprox= to 60 mls (double) I get an awesome coffee. If the coffee comes out a bit fast (only judged by experiance), I know it wont be as good.

    But I get crema coming out the whole time, and the cup is all crema before the guiness effect starts. Isnt this what it is supposed to do? if I finished when liquid started to come out I would have heaps more coffee.

    I cant adjust my grind the same as you guys, as I have to put the coffee through the grinder a few times too get the grind fine enough, and once it is evenly fine and just clumping I know it will work. The number of times I regrind the coffee is not constant though.

    I know this sounds really weird, but I seem to be getting awesome coffees lately as my timing imporves due to my increasing experiance . What do you think?

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    Re: Surprising Extraction Experiments....

    Hey AJ,

    Glad to hear my Diadema brother is getting some great results.

    Im still working it out. I guess I will always be working it out, which is a good thing. Im finding that there is a fine line between a great dose and a good one. I really like the pours Im getting when the basket is as full as you can get, but not actually touching the group screen. These pours seem to just ooze out of the spouts. Big fat drips that slowly turn into one solid stream.

    Usually about a 12 second delay from hitting the switch to the first juicy drops. The lights I have either side of the group really make it easy to take in all the various details of the pour.

    From time to time I use the timer. I usually just observe the pour and cut it off according to the colour. Most of the time this finishing point is give or take 30 seconds. Ive had 45 second pours taste great, but Ive also experienced some shockers. Id guess there is a fine line between going boldly into new flavour frontiers with long extractions, and allowing the extraction of some undesirable flavour elements. Stating the obvious here but, the commonly accepted 25 second extraction time probably pleases most of the people most of the time.

    There are so many seemingly insignificant things that go into making a great coffee.


    -Stephen-

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    Re: Surprising Extraction Experiments....

    Clarexican

    The day you get a good burr grinder will be a landmark in your coffee journey :) The difference will be remarkable. You will wonder how you ever made good coffee with your old grinder. I used to have a very average burr grinder and I still havent got a truly excellent grinder (sorry tranquilo :(), but the difference was very apparent. I used to get so many variable pours from the same beans and the same grinder setting in the same session. Very frustrating.


    -Stephen-

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    Re: Surprising Extraction Experiments....

    Hi All,

    Discovered some time ago that the 25 second rule was a guideline only, and not set in concrete. If anything, it seems to be an indicator of the lower limit of the shot timing, not the upper limit.

    With my Mokita/Rocky combo, and regardless of what beans/roast I am using, my grind never strays more than +/- 1 stop, and if I have to move it, its more to do with the current ambient conditions rather than the bean or roast.

    After hitting the Brew switch, it can take up to 10 seconds before anything escapes the PF spouts, then a few very viscous drops form and fall into the cup, slowly accelerating to a rapid series of drops that ultimately join together and form a thick, viscous stream that contains a myriad range of colours from dark red/brown to a golden honey colour. At the first signs of blonding, I stop the brew and watch as the crema slowly ascends to the surface of the brew in the well described Guiness effect. After 30 seconds or so, the crema settles down to a thick, unctuous golden/red layer on top of the brew and that is when I drink it. As a famous South Australian Chef often says, Bliss.

    Ive never really paid attention all that much, as to how long the brew goes on for... usually never less than 30 seconds and often out to more than 40 seconds. As everyone here has already commented, the extra time of brewing seems to produce the best tasting coffee. If I have done something wrong and the brew completes in less than 25 seconds, then I know instinctively that the brew will be less than optimal and usually with less body and less flavour penetration than a 30+ seconds brew.

    Not too sure really, but I think the lack of my fiddling with the grind over much, results in variable brew times within the 30-40 second range. But since any brew that pours within this time range is sheer bliss on the palate, I dont see that Im going to gain anything by trying to chase the brew time around by continually varying the grind and attempting to nail a so-called perfect brew time. Seems rather pointless to me.

    Had a couple of espressos earlier on tonight, along with my son before he went to work (night shift) and the after-taste of the last brew consumed now more than 3 hours ago, is still lingering on with a hint of beautiful dark chocolate. Cant get too much better than that, surely.

    Cheers,
    Mal.

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    Re: Surprising Extraction Experiments....

    Most of you are completely wrong!

    In order to be a true alt.coffee snob you need to have the shot completed in exactly 22.5 seconds. It doesnt matter what it tastes like as long as you have used 14.7 gms of coffee and applied 28 lbs of pressure in your schomer tamp technique it must be a good extraction.

    Cheers 8)

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    Re: Surprising Extraction Experiments....

    Just to clarify James.....you mentioned "....Well, 3 times this weekend I have decided to let the shot go...25-20 secs after flicking the switch and out comes this gorgeous looking golden/caramel shot....."

    If we are talking *book spec", the "timed" extraction commences from when you first see the brew exiting from the outlet under the group handle....so the first few seconds after you hit the switch but before anything actually comes out, is not part of this "timing"!

    Glad you are getting a "gorgeous looking golden caramel shot".

    Keep smiling :)

    Regardz,
    FC

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    Re: Surprising Extraction Experiments....

    Hi Stephen,

    I cant wait to get a better grinder... ( I am having I wish I could have upgradeitis fever)... But I am trying to do the best I can... and it is pretty good, although I would LOVE to have a go on an awesome machine, and grinder with my coffee (as a comparison point), I am scared that I wouldnt be able to go back though, the thing that scares me is that I can make better coffee than many cafes with exe machine.... I think they should have to Hand It Over as they are obviously not worthy ;D

    So I am saving my pennies(almost literally) for when my poor gran dies (I am aware that it wont live forever as I have no idea how old or how many coffees it has done) and I will be able to go and get the espresso machine and grinder of my dreams. I dont know what that is yet.. but I couldnt handle to fixate too early

    clarexican

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    Re: Surprising Extraction Experiments....

    Thanks to all for you comments/feedback ;)

    Good to hear that I may have just found that spot....until I change the roast/blend again!!!

    If we are talking book spec", the "timed" extraction commences from when you first see the brew exiting from the outlet under the group handle....so the first few seconds after you hit the switch but before anything actually comes out, is not part of this "timing"!
    Thanks for that FC ;) Im sure your well written start-up guides mentioned this.....I glanced over it quickly, but the new machine on my benchtop was just begging to be tamed by its new owner! And I thought I knew it all ::)

    And I thought the timing commences from flicking the switch....... :o

    Nonetheless, It is all coming together now!

    Go Diadema Junior! ;D ;D

    Regards,

    James


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    Re: Surprising Extraction Experiments....

    Quote Originally Posted by Wired link=1116753224/0#9 date=1116805940
    Most of you are completely wrong!

    In order to be a true alt.coffee snob you need to have the shot completed in exactly 22.5 seconds. It doesnt matter what it tastes like as long as you have used 14.7 gms of coffee and applied 28 lbs of pressure in your schomer tamp technique it must be a good extraction.

    Cheers 8)
    All I can say to your statement, is Baloney.

    Most of the long term contributors on a.c. readily admit to preferring brews that take longer to pour rather than less, with some contributors admitting to pours approaching one minute.

    It all comes down to what taste the individual prefers and I will take a longer pour over a shorter one every day of the week. Anything poured in less than 25 seconds is barely drinkable in my book and it doesnt matter who is operating the machine, that is my preference, and from what I read here and elsewhere, that of a lot of other people as well.

    Cheers,
    Mal.

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    Re: Surprising Extraction Experiments....

    Hey Mal,

    I dont think I would be mistaken to assume that Wireds comments were said in jest. To me it seemed like he was taking the micky out of some of the coffee nazis who lurk out there on the web. If not, then he is one of the chief Obergruppenfuhrers of that bunch.

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    Re: Surprising Extraction Experiments....

    The Best shot time will vary with the hardware used as well. What works on one machine wont neccesarily work with another.

    On my Cimbali M-28 25 seconds is in fact the ideal time. Less than 23 seconds or more than 27 and eeeewwwwww.

    Im currently playing around with my Cimbali M-52 to see if it can produce as good a shot as the M-28. If it can then I will be making it my main system over the summer as it puts less heat into the room than the M-28. So far Im not convinced that it can produce as good a shot as in head to head taste tests the M-52s shots are sadly lacking when compaired to the ones being produced by the M-28.

    In order to make the comparision fair I am manually grinding the coffee for the shots in the M-52 and using the same exact amount (19.5g for this coffee) as is used in the M-28s pulls. I had to make only a very small adjustment to the fineness of the grind (from where it was for the M-28) to achieve a 25 second pull from the M-52. However the shot from the M-52 tasted under-extracted and possessed nowhere near the flavor of the same 25 second pull from the M-28. (Is everybody as confused as I am by all these numbers?) Having drunk enough espressos doing the comparisions to keep skylab from falling I had to finally call a halt to the testing for the day. Tomorrow Im going to try longer extractions on the M-52 and see how they fair.

    Longer extractions on the M-52 should not be the problem they are on the M-28 as the M-52s boiler is at a lower pressure/temp. 1.2 bars on the M-28 as oppossed to 0.8 bars on the M-52. Additionally the temperature of the grouphead in the M-52 is controlled by multiple electronic sensors and heaters (all seperately controllable) completely independant of the boiler/HX temp. With this arrangement youd think temperature surfing would be a breeze, and it would, if I could only access the controls! Unfortunately only a few items are available to my control as to access the rest requires a special electronic key, which Cimbali will be happy to sell to you for only $150USD. gggggrrrrrrrrrrrr With-out this key (actually 2 keys for full access) the only thing that you can adjust is the length of the grind, the fineness of the grind, and the amount of water and milk used.

    So what were we talking about? Oh yeah, extraction times. So tomorrow Ill try longer extraction times on the M-52 and well see how they taste.

    Java "Experimenting away" phile

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    Re: Surprising Extraction Experiments....

    Quote Originally Posted by chopinhauer link=1116753224/0#14 date=1116824680
    Hey Mal,

    I dont think I would be mistaken to assume that Wireds comments were said in jest. To me it seemed like he was taking the micky out of some of the coffee nazis who lurk out there on the web. If not, then he is one of the chief Obergruppenfuhrers of that bunch.
    Hi chopinhauer,

    You could be right there. If I have misunderstood the intent then I most humbly offer my apologies to "Wired", in fact I will go further than that and add my support to anyone who believes that rules are there to be tested, not to be blindly adhered to as if a Commandment handed down from the Mount.

    How will we ever learn to improve unless we set out to push the boundries? Push those boundries way out I say, and see what happens... might be risky, but might be nirvana too.

    Cheers,
    Mal.

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    Re: Surprising Extraction Experiments....

    Hi Mal.

    I was joking and Im horrified that anyone could have taken what I said seriously. :o

    It was entirely about what YOU like to drink. When I still drank at cafes I used to ask for two single shots in a flat white rather than a double pour as I wanted more of the front extraction of the coffee.

    Ive now concluded that I preferred that because the double shots I tasted were often over extracted.

    Cheers

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    Super Moderator Javaphile's Avatar
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    Re: Surprising Extraction Experiments....

    Hhhmmm....It appears the M-52 does better with-out over packing with some nice results using 15g of beans and extracting 55ml (including crema) in about 30-35 seconds.

    Im finding temp surfing to be quite difficult with this machine as it is so quiet I cant hear any of the usual audio clues and due to its design there are no visual clues either. As a result Im experimenting with flushing different amounts of water through the brew cycle before doing my pull in an attempt to discover the appropriate amount for a perfect pull. So far it appears the best result is achieved by flushing about 60ml through and then immediately doing your shot.

    Anybody out there have any experience with the Cimbali M-52?

    The biggest issue seems to be the packing of the grounds. This appears to be inconsistant with the water not flowing through all the grounds evenly. Has anybody here actually seen the insides of the packing/brewing chamber on this machine? Im curious of the actual design but am reluctant to tear into mine that far unless its really needed.

    Java "Still experimenting" phile

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    Super Moderator Javaphile's Avatar
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    Re: Surprising Extraction Experiments....

    Hhhhmmmm....Im quickly coming to the conclusion that as expensive and as well built as it is the Cimbali M-52 is physically incapable of producing a God Shot.

    In 4 days of experimenting with the M-52 and varying everything from the amount of coffee used, to the grind, to the amount of water used and varying the shot time from 15 seconds up too a full minute I have yet to see a God Shot. :-/

    It appears that the machine is incapable of producing God Shots. I suspect this is due to its design. After the water has been forced through the grounds in the brewing chamber the espresso travels through a small (about 2-3 mm) plastic line for about 25cm before it is dispensed into the cup. During this time the espresso is still under pressure and comes out of this line at Id guess about 1-2 bars of pressure. It is this part of the machine that I suspect limits its ability to pull God Shots due to the crema being under pressure rather than being able to flow freely and drip directly into the cup once created.

    With everything dialed in the pull is pure crema but the shot seperates out very quickly in the cup with the crema having very little body. This results in a Charbucks quality shot. Instead of supporting the sugar, the sugar immediately falls through the crema. Good enough for the masses perhaps, but sadly lacking for a true Coffee Snob. :P

    If I were to rate this machine Id say it would be fine in a commercial establishment where the expresso only had to live up to the standards of say Charbucks. For anybody who wanted great espresso though Id say avoid it like the plague. You will be nothing but dissapointed.

    I think its interesting to see that Charbucks has now made this machine their standard. The grapevine has it that all Charbucks are switching over to the Cimbali M-52. So much for *ever getting a great shot there!

    Can anybody think of anything I may have missed or something I can try with this beastie before I give up on it and deep 6 it?

    Java "Ordering in insulation for the M-28" phile

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    Re: Surprising Extraction Experiments....

    A "god shot" was originally intended to describe a shot of espresso that tastes the same as the roasted coffee smells.

    It seem to have been bastardised down to a tiger striped, honey dripping something or other. Achieving "ideal" extraction is a combination of bean, roast, grind, tamp, water pressure and water temperature.

    If you think about it you could achieve the right combination with basically any equipment; it is the lack of complete control of each and every parameter that precludes perfectly repeatable results.

    There is no reason why someone with a Rocky and a Silvia cant produce a better shot than someone with a temperature customised La Marzocco.

    Cheers

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    Super Moderator Javaphile's Avatar
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    Re: Surprising Extraction Experiments....

    Hhhmmm...To me a God Shot is that perfect shot where the Cosmos just happened to come into alignment long enough for everything to work together perfectly. It is the culmination of all the work of discovering and then roasting the beans to their sweet spot, of having the perfect grind for that moments conditions, of having your grouphead at the perfect point in its temperature cycle, of having your cup at the right temperature, of using the right amount of tamping and twisting your wrist just *so, and when all is said and done, of what-ever Diety you believe in happening to smile at you as you toss the cosmic dice and do your pull. ;D :D :o

    With all that said Id fully agree with you Wired about your
    There is no reason why someone with a Rocky and a Silvia cant produce a better shot than someone with a temperature customised La Marzocco.
    comment, as long as youre talking about standard espresso machines. Once you move into the world of SuperAutos however you are working with a dramatically different machine design. I am afraid there are physical reasons superautos can not produce God Shots.

    The M-52 has a very consistant and repeatable quality shot. Unfortunately that shot quality is only average and is far from a CS/GS quality cup.

    Crema is a critical component of a God Shot and the traveling through the tube of the espresso/crema after brewing gives it different physical characteristics than espresso/crema has coming from a portafilter and no matter how much control one has over the process the presence of that tube will limit the quality of the shot. Such is my current hypothesis anyways. :D

    I plan on running one more series of tests on the M-52 next week using a different bean on the off chance that was an issue. Unlikely as its one of my favorites (Nicaragua Angelina Estate) and sees a lot of use around here. ;D But just to be sure and set all doubts to rest i plan on doing up a batch of the Bolivian Cup of Excellence winner to see what that produces. Unfortunately I dont see the outcome changing. :-/

    Java "Once more into the breech" phile

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    Re: Surprising Extraction Experiments....

    Quote Originally Posted by Javaphile link=1116753224/15#21 date=1117084569
    Hhhmmm...To me a God Shot is that perfect shot where the Cosmos just happened to come into alignment long enough for everything to work together perfectly. It is the culmination of all the work of discovering and then roasting the beans to their sweet spot, of having the perfect grind for that moments conditions, of having your grouphead at the perfect point in its temperature cycle, of having your cup at the right temperature, of using the right amount of tamping and twisting your wrist just *so, and when all is said and done, of what-ever Diety you believe in happening to smile at you as you toss the cosmic dice and do your pull. ;D :D :o
    But after all of that, did you...

    Do a jump to the left
    And then a step to the right

    With your hands on your hips
    You bring your knees in tight

    But its the pelvic thrust
    That really drives you insane

    What! You didnt? Well that explains it.....

    Cheers,
    Mal.

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    Super Moderator Javaphile's Avatar
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    Re: Surprising Extraction Experiments....

    I tried all that before Mal, but the warp field never materialized! Maybe if I tried it one more time... 8) ::) ;D

    Java "Ouch! I think I dislocated my pelvis!" phile

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    Re: Surprising Extraction Experiments....

    Ah! I didnt realise the M52 was a superauto. Well that would really suck for making good coffee.

    Maybe turf both of them and get a really good single group machine. La Marzocco Linea anyone? :o

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    Re: Surprising Extraction Experiments....

    My Cimbali M-28 Basic 2-Group is a semi-auto and works like a charm producing one great shot after another. No reason to get rid of it! :D Its only downside is all the heat it puts into the room with its 12l boiler at 1.2 bars and huge brass groupheads which are the most massive in the industry. I spent several years chasing this machine down and If I were to swap it for anything other than another La Cimbali or a La Marzocco I would most likely be taking a step backwards. So until one of those comes along in a single group design I think Ill be hanging onto the M-28. ;D ;D ;D

    The La Cimbali M-52 on the other hand is a monsterous SuperAuto that I happened accross on eBay after it had fallen off a truck. Never having seen one before I did some searching on the net and discovered that the M-52 is Cimbalis top of the line SuperAuto and sells for $23,000USD. Seeing this and with the machine being local to me I put in a half serious bid on it. Lo and behold I won it for something like $37USD. I went and picked it up and as I had suspected while the outside had taken quite the beating from the fall, mechanically alls it needed was some tweaking here and there and it worked perfectly (other than the missing frother attachment and a solenoid which had obviously been removed and not broken off).

    Loving to play with new toys as I do I couldnt just go trading it off to the local Cimbali dealer (I have a standing offer from them for a ton of equipment in trade for it) with-out first having some fun with it. ;D ::) ;D Plus if it could produce great shots as consistantly as the M-28 then it would be easier to hook it up than it would be to insulate the boiler on the M-28. :)

    Seeing as it doesnt appear that it will be able to produce the great shots it looks like Ill be trading it off. Im hoping to be able to trade it for a small commercial roaster but if all else fails Ill trade it to the dealer for the equipment hes offered me and then sell that stuff off to buy a roaster with. Or I may just keep it to play with and to use for parts. ::) :o ;D

    Java "So many toys, so little time" phile

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    Re: Surprising Extraction Experiments....

    La Marzocco Linea is available as a single group. I think it is too expensive for the modest improvement over other top of the line models but given the money you saved on the M52 it would be a drop in the ocean. You could get one of those Swift grinders at the same time. ;D

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    Re: Surprising Extraction Experiments....

    Behmor Brazen - $249 - Free Freight
    Too bad that saved money isnt cash in hand. :-/ In order to put the M-52 into actual commercial service it would need roughly $5,000USD in parts to bring it into compliance with the governing codes and full functionality. :o :o Who knows, I may be able to get a new Cimbali Jr. for it from the dealer. :D Who knows, only time will tell and so far no birdie has wispered in my ear the outcome. ;)

    Java "Compiling his wish list" phile



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