In a message dated 5/25/2006 12:09:01 PM Eastern Daylight Time,
For some time I have found a few coffee ggrounds in my espresso cup after I
finish the espresso.
The espresso is fine! extraction time is in the range it should be somewhere
in the twenties usually and I get a rich nice espresso.
My tamping technique I think is ok, busing a flat tamper I am findint a lot
of grinds not compacted towards the edges of the puc even after I polish the
puc. Should I just ignore these few stray grinds in the cup and enjoy the
espresso even more, or try to change a few things?
I have a MM grinder so no changing there!
Only a few days away from an international SM order!
You should be doing both all the time! Always enjoy your espresso! Always
look for ways to improve the process. It is a never ending learning curve bu=
is a fun curve to be on.
The first thing to look for is the cleanliness of the grouphead. Clean it ou=
with a grouphead brush and other cleaning supplies
http://sweetmarias.com/prod.coffeecleaner.shtml)after every session. Flush=
often. Backflush often.
Another thing to look at is the grouphead gasket. Is it worn? Does it need
changing? If there are grooves worn in it then grinds can be forced through.=
Also look for cracks in the portafilter basket or dents around the rim.
The consensus view of tamping is to tamp once lightly to compress the puck
slightly, then tap the tamper on the side of the portafilter to knock the gr=
off the sides of the basket. Then a 30 lb tamp to compress the puck. Then a
polish with no downward pressure beyond the weight of the tamper. When you a=
done you should be looking at a smooth, even surface with no loose grinds
If your tamper is not the right size to get an even surface you may want to
check out the Staub or NSEW tamp to compress the entire surface by tamping
around the edges. Better to have a well fitting tamper but this method can p=
good results if practiced consistently.
One of my favorite places to look for guidance is the Home-Barista website
PS. Most of us are always just a few days away from an SM order :-).