HomeRoast Digest


Topic: My First Homeroasted, Homemade Espresso - Longish (7 msgs / 216 lines)
1) From: Brent - SC/TO Roasting
Hi, all.
The Saeco Via Veneto espresso machine was waiting at the front door
when I got home yesterday.  Woohoo!  Big excitement.  Delays in
shipping were making me wonder if it would every arrive.
I only paid $55 (which includes shipping) and, for a very entry level
machine, that's an OK price.  Ms. Veneto looked good - no damage and
all the parts were there.  There was a stale coffee kind of smell to
it.  Even though the seller said it hadn't been used, it sure smelled
like it had been used.  Also, it's mostly plastic and doesn't even
weigh 10 pounds.  Getting the portafilter positioned requires holding
the machine down while you twist the PF into place.  Not an ideal for
me.
Last night, I resisted temptation to pull a first shot (mainly so I
could sleep - and I had a dream about discovering that I owned a huge
commercial machine that I had forgtten about - hah) and just ran a
couple of tanks of clean water to clean the system.  That was a good
idea and thank you to the list folks who suggested it.  The first tank
of water came through kind of dirty, smelled like stale coffee, with
what looked like a few old coffee grounds.  The second tank came
through clean and smelled OK.
This morning, I did a fine grind of the coffee (roasted on Sunday),
filled the PF, did some light tamping with fingers (no tamper
included), pulled a first shot, then pulled a second shot and made an
Americano from shot #2.  The shots looked like pure crema and had a
great tawny color.  No credit is due me for this, though.  This
machine comes with a pressurized portafilter and a "crema enhancer". 
Whatever that is.  But the first shot finished in just 10 seconds and
the second finished in 12 seconds and there was still coffee/water in
the PF when I removed it.  The puck was wet and came out in several
chunks each time.  Maybe a coarser grind is needed?
The taste was OK.  There was just a little bitterness in the
aftertaste.  The coffee notes were definitely brighter in the espresso
than drip, press, or moka pot.  The only way I can describe it is the
flavor had a "kick" to it that I hadn't experienced before.  Because
of the blend, it was kind of a muddy mix of flavors - some spice, a
little muted fruity/strawberry, and a hint of butter.  The flavors
came through at different times while drinking the Americano.
Overall, it was better than many of the espresso shots and Americanos
I've had at coffee places.  The Via Veneto did a decent job and I'm
not disappointed in the investment.  I wanted to get something cheap
to see if espresso was for me (too much work?, would I like it?, too
time consuming?, etc.) before investing more money.  I didn't need
another $500 paperweight sitting around the house (hello Mr. DVD
player).  Ms. Veneto will be a good machine to train on, learn some
technique, and hopefully get a really good shot every once in a while.
 I'm really excited about this new leg of the coffee journey and
seeing what I can learn and can do.
I'll do more work this weekend with it.  The frothing wand seems
decent and may try that with some soy milk.  But the big bonus with it
is that it delivers hot water - so making the Americano was easy as
pie.  I may run some Urnex through to clean it out, remove the screen
and gasket and soak them.  May try taking apart the PF to see if it
needs cleaned.  One review of the machine said that a lot of gunk can
build up inside the guts of the pressurized PF.
Thank you all for being with me on this coffee journey, for all your
advice, good humor, and for getting me to this point.  I promise not
to make wild, caffeine-induced postings at 3 in the a.m. Well, promise
is such a strong word . . .    :)
-- 
Brent
Roasting in an SC/TO
For Espresso/Drip/Moka/Presspot Brew

2) From: Jason Brooks
<Snip>
Sounds great Brent.  I periodically think about dropping espresso when I
have a silky smooth press or vac pot, especially when I miss something in
my shots.  So far though, I've been pulling plenty of shots (avg 2
dbls/day).  Still pondering pulling out the Krups Gusto for the office.
Jason

3) From: miKe mcKoffee
Grind finer not coarser to increase shot time. "Sloppy" puck normal for 
machine without 3-way valve I believe.
miKe
From: "Brent - SC/TO Roasting" 
Sent: Wednesday, June 29, 2005 8:49 AM
This morning, I did a fine grind of the coffee (roasted on Sunday),
filled the PF, did some light tamping with fingers (no tamper
included), pulled a first shot, then pulled a second shot and made an
Americano from shot #2.  The shots looked like pure crema and had a
great tawny color.  No credit is due me for this, though.  This
machine comes with a pressurized portafilter and a "crema enhancer".
Whatever that is.  But the first shot finished in just 10 seconds and
the second finished in 12 seconds and there was still coffee/water in
the PF when I removed it.  The puck was wet and came out in several
chunks each time.  Maybe a coarser grind is needed?

4) From: Brett Mason
That machine ought to treat you fairly well.  It does 15 bars of
pressure, should be plenty for a decent shot.
Make sure you have a decent espresso grinder.  A Zassenhaus could do
you very well if you don't already own one....  Used on eBay has
worked for me twice so far....
You might check out saecoparts.com to buy a non-pressurized portafilter.
Once your grind is coinsistent, then you adjust for time.  Then you
adjust for taste.
Best wishes,
Brett
   Zassman
On 6/29/05, Brent - SC/TO Roasting  wrote:
<Snip>
ribes) go tohttp://sweetmarias.com/maillistinfo.html#personalsettings<Snip>
-- 
Regards,
Brett Mason
 HomeRoast
      __]_
   _(( )_  Please don't spill the coffee!

5) From: Brent - SC/TO Roasting
Brett,
Thanks for the link to the Saeco site.  I may want to invest in a
non-pressurized PF.  Depends on cost.  I hope to upgrade from Ms.
Veneto to Miss Silvia in August.  Just found out tampers don't fit the
PFs on the Venetos, either.  The Veneto's PF basket is larger than
usual.  I'll have to try some measuring cups and glass jars at home.
While I applaud your continued love of the Zass (I really do think
it's great), I am an electrified man at heart.  It looks like I'll be
adding the La Pavoni Jolly grinder to the Coffee Equipment Corner at
home.
-- 
Brent
Roasting in an SC/TO
For Espresso/Drip/Moka/Presspot Brew
On 6/29/05, Brett Mason  wrote:
<Snip>

6) From: Brett Mason
You can be the Jollyman then!  I hear it rocks!
Don't tell anyone, but I love my Zass, love my Cory electric, and love
my Rancilio Rocky too...
But the Zass went on vacation with me last week!
Regards,
Brett
On 6/29/05, Brent - SC/TO Roasting  wrote:
<Snip>
.
<Snip>
ribes) go tohttp://sweetmarias.com/maillistinfo.html#personalsettings<Snip>
-- 
Regards,
Brett Mason
 HomeRoast
      __]_
   _(( )_  Please don't spill the coffee!

7) From: Brent - SC/TO Roasting
Hmm.  Now you got me thinking.
Jolly grinder.  Roast greens.  I stand tall, especially when stooping
to inspect the septic tank.  Ergo, might I be the Jolly Greens Giant?
-- 
Brent
Ho Ho Ho!  Oh, No, No, No!
Roasting in an SC/TO
For Espresso/Drip/Moka/Presspot Brew
On 6/29/05, Brett Mason  wrote:
<Snip>
er.
<Snip>
scribes) go tohttp://sweetmarias.com/maillistinfo.html#personalsettings<Snip>
ribes) go tohttp://sweetmarias.com/maillistinfo.html#personalsettings<Snip>


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