Interesting timing, as I've just returned from yet another (albeit
short) visit to Holland. I had the opportunity to get some Hesselink
coffee,http://www.hesselinkkoffie.nl/,at their official 'outlet'
coffee shop in Winterswijk, where they have the roastery. I bought some
of the 'espresso' blend to bring home and try on the Valentina. We also
were able to set up a tour of the roasting plant on my next visit in a
month or so, stay tuned.
Anyway, the espresso blend is a very light roast, no oil at all, likely
a few snaps into second, that's it. It made a rather bright espresso,
but one with a very mellow undertone and a wonderful creamy texture.
Next, I pulled a crema. Oh yeah, baby. That's what I get everywhere
over there, and it's also a flavor that I've yet to duplicate at home.
Maybe I can pry the 'recipe' for the blend from them next time I'm there.
Anyway, some tidbits of info I found, which I've posted some here
before. Typical is 7-10g of coffee in a double basket. Light tamp,
grind a bit coarser than espresso, but finer than a good vacpot grind.
Maybe like moka pot? Average is about a 4 to 5 oz. cup, pulled quite
fast, under 20 seconds. I've seen everything from single group NS MAC
Digit machines all the way up to 4 group E-61 machines and super autos.
The key to the best crema coffees I had there was temperature. The good
ones were all brewed cool. I looked at a few machines and saw
pressurestat settings down around .7 to .9 bar max. This produces a
very light tan/blond crema, and a very mellow, rich shot. On my
Valentina, I really have to flush a lot to get the temp down even
close. I would have to take .2 bar off (now at .9 on/1.1 off) to get a
really superb crema, which then screws up my espressos. It's my only
regret for selling the PID Silvia... I would estimate ideal crema brew
temps to be 190F.
Maybe this is why the smaller home machines and the Solis superautos
work so well? They have smaller boilers that run cool at the end of a
long shot, naturally giving a great crema coffee.