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Thread: Help,  new gaggia classic is making bitter co

  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2007

    Help,  new gaggia classic is making bitter co

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Hi, I wonder if anyone can give me tips? A couple of weeks ago I upgraded to a gaggia classic after my gaggia espresso died. Ive got a Sunbeam EM0480 grinder and had been getting consistently good coffee from my deluxe/sunbeam combo.

    Now Ive got my dream machine - the gaggia - but Im getting bitter, burnt tasting coffee! Ive been using campos superior for ages, but thinking it was perhaps a bad batch I tried the Obama blend, and then a Tobys blend. All the same! What am I doing wrong?

    The first couple of shots I tried to get from the classic were completely choked, so I reduced the fineness of the grind to get a coffee out of the machine. I think the shot is coming through to quickly - could that cause this?

    Please help, I was so excited to get the classic but I havent got a good coffee from it yet!


  2. #2
    Mal Dimal's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Warwick, QLD

    Re: Help,  new gaggia classic is making bitte

    Gday Kirsty....

    What youre experiencing is not unusual when changing from one machine to another. All machines have their little quirks and peculiarities which must be learnt from scratch, just as you did when you first got the Sunbeam. At least now though, youre much better informed and experienced as to what goes into making a great coffee. 8-)

    Most likely and so long as your beans are freshly roasted, the problems are due to Dose/Distribution technique. It is also possible (maybe?) that the new machines brew pressure is set too high which is quite common with Domestic Gaggias and others. Anyway, disregarding that possibility for now, set the Double Basket into the PF with the grinder on a slightly coarse setting (around the texture of table salt) and grind enough coffee to fill the basket to a slight rounded heap above the basket rim, tap the PF on the bench a couple of times to settle this initial dose down a bit, add more coffee to achieve the slightly rounded heap above the rim again, tap once, level off with the back of a knife blade or which ever implement/finger you normally use and then Tamp down firmly with a force between 7.5-15Kgs.... the actual force isnt important so long as you use the same force +/- 1.0Kg each and every time.

    Try pulling shots using this method and only adjust the grind setting, nothing else, finer if the shots are blonding too quickly or coarser if the shot stream(s) are weak and dark. Its always better to start out with a slightly coarse grind setting and then work it finer until youre getting the 30/60ml Single/Double in 25-30 seconds; always bearing in mind that these numbers are a guide only and that what you need to do to control the shot is observe when the shot starts to go blond and/or watery and stop it immediately. Once you get a feeling for how your new machine performs, you should be able to stop the shots before blonding actually starts and still obtain the requisite volume of espresso within the ideal time period.

    Hope this helps a bit Kirsty.... Just change one thing at a time and observe what effect each change has on the resulting brew and then make an adjustment as required. All the best, :)


  3. #3
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2007

    Re: Help, *new gaggia classic is making bitter co

    Thanks a lot for the suggestions Mal. Ill start trying this tomorrow and see how I get on.



  4. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2008

    Re: Help, *new gaggia classic is making bitter co

    Hi Kirsty, welcome to coffee snobs.

    I can tell you from experience that the pairing of the em0480 and the classic has the potential to make an excellent cup of coffee. When i was first starting, i worked progressively down from the coarser grind settings until my pour was coming out at the right speed and consistency.

    As for dosing, i overdose the filterbasket, push off the excess with my finger, give a very light tamp, then tap the basket with the handle of my tamper to even out the basket. Then I tam hard over my tamping mat. This gives me a fairly consistent dose and a pretty good cup every time.

    Keep at it and soon you will be enjoying excellent coffee from a great machine.

  5. #5
    Senior Member askthecoffeeguy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Preston, victoria, 3072

    Re: Help, *new gaggia classic is making bitter co

    the classic also runs super hot, especially while running the machine in - I recommend a good cooling flush, say a cup of hot water through the machine, immediately prior to inserting the group handle, to see if this makes any difference. the classic is also very temperamental to dose and grind, so experiment with down / up-dosing, to see if it has an impact upon shot quality

    also, when I owned one of these machines I didnt even bother with the single basket - I just used the double for everything, pouring a double ristretto if I was only making coffee for myself

    it seems like a waste at first but the shot quality was actually very good



  6. #6
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2008

    Re: Help, *new gaggia classic is making bitter co

    Quote Originally Posted by askthecoffeeguy link=1222319214/0#4 date=1222449644
    also, when I owned one of these machines I didnt even bother with the single basket - I just used the double for everything
    hi pat
    just wondering why you only use the double basket? if you are pulling a single expresso (30ml) doesnt using the double basket as opposed to the single basket affect the shot?


  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2008

    Re: Help, *new gaggia classic is making bitter co

    Behmor Brazen - $249 - Free Freight
    Hello Kirsty and everyone..

    just like you, my OLD Gaggia Coffee die and I upgrade to the Classic,

    and the guy who sold it to me gave me some freshly roasted beans.

    and what I got is this..
    25 seconds.

    also like you it was my dream machine..

    I use a double basket and a RR45 grinder.

    hope you get it right..
    enjoy it.


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