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Topic: Fun with Silvia, Rocky & Cody - A Newbie's Story (5 msgs / 408 lines)
1) From: David Morgenlender
This morning it had been a few weeks since trying yet again to pull a =
good
(great?) shot.  I could spend just about as long as I needed playing ... =
I was
going to get it right.  Since last time I tried I've had multiple =
good-great
shots, thanks to Dan (The Scarlet Wombat) from here, and Peter (?) (the =
expert
barista at Terroir Coffee, where I had the great pleasure of attending an=
 open
house run by George Howell, something I highly recommend if you're near =
Acton,
MA).  I started with an unopened 12oz bag of Terroir Brazil Cerrado =
Daterra -
Northern Italian Roast (lighter than most roasted beans I've purchased =
for
espresso) - so I figured I was going to end up with some combination of =
feeling
great from espresso & bad shots I had to dump! :)
First thing I did was set Rocky 2 stops finer than it had been (now at =
8) to
match the grind I brought back from Dan's.  I used the naked portafilter =
I had
purchased months ago from Chris Coffee in Silvia ... it's a Rancillio PF =
with an
LM Triple basket.  I had never used a triple basket, so I had researched =
the web
& decided to go with 21g (also the first time I've got by weight).  I =
continued
to use the "stockfleths move" (more or less) for distribution, and what I
estimate to be a 30 lb. tamp.
What a shock when I achieved a great looking shot, exactly the amount of
espresso I wanted, and in 25 seconds!  The naked PF told me I was almost =
there
... just a little channeling around the edges.  I don't know if this was =
a "god
shot" but the aroma was amazing, it was absolutely delicious, with no
off-flavors even at the end!  It was the best shot I've ever had ... and =
the
first time I could really taste origin flavors in one of my shots!  Now I
finally understand why people can't wait to pull a shot of a new bean!
Now it was time for shot #2, which I planned on turning into an =
Americano.  I
decided to eat a yogurt & then turn the container into the gizmo for the =
Weiss
Distribution Technique, hopefully solving the channeling problem.  (I =
can't wait
to see my wife's reaction when she notices that I now play with yogurt
containers on top of the coffee craziness :) !)  This time there was no
channeling, but there was a little bit of water leak between the =
grouphead & PF
... & the PF was tight;  presumably I had left some coffee grinds behind.=
  The
pull was a little fast.  The shot was better than anything I had done =
before
today, but nothing like shot #1.  A good Americano though!
Now, already with a nice caffeine buzz, it was time for shot #3, which I =
planned
on using for a cappa.  I really cleaned the grouphead more thoroughly ...=
 no
leak this time.  There were 2 streams of espresso from the naked PF for a=
 short
time, but they merged into 1 right in the center ... and no channeling!  =
In 25
seconds I had the correct amount of espresso.  I figured I was really =
rolling
now.  But the shot just wasn't as good as #1 or #2, although still not a =
"bad"
shot, and it made an excellent cappa.
So I am now flying around with a great caffeine buzz, did not have to =
dump any
shots, and feel more optimistic about my barista skills :) !
I love having the extra espresso produced by the triple basket, although =
it does
mean using the naked PF ... no real problem there, except for some =
splatter.
Dosing & tamping is now a lot easier, since 21g doesn't fill the basket =
as much
as I had been doing previously, and no problems with the coffee hitting =
the
grouphead.    Of course I now can't use the wonderful double shot =
espresso cups
& shotglasses  I've purchased!
A couple of things I'm wondering about ...
All 3 shots produced a wet puck on top, although they held together when =
dumped
into the knock box.  Any ideas for what is causing this, or should I just=
 ignore
it since the espresso is turning out ok?
I notice the PF always comes out with water in the basket even when I =
haven't
run water through the grouphead.  Does this indicate a problem?
Any ideas why shots #2 & #3 were worse than #1?  I don't think this was =
just a
difference in perception.  Is there usually any need to adjust the grind =
after
the 1st shot?  I warmed up Silvia for about 90 minutes before using, then=
 ran a
lot of water through the grouphead & wand (both water & steam) to flush =
the old
water.  I did run water & wait awhile after steaming before pulling =
shots, to
let Silvia cool down.
Now I think I'm going to have to take a run to work off some of this =
caffeine,
so I can sleep tonight!  :)
BTW, Cody is our wonderful Sheltie, whose job it seemed was to frequently=
 remind
me that I needed a break from pulling shots ... so I could play with him.=
  And
he was very good at his job :) !  There was a frisbee break thrown in =
between
shots #2 & #3!  He didn't want to be left out of this story :) !
Thanks for listening!
Dave
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Dave Morgenlender
e-mail: dmorgen
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2) From: Leo Zick
I love the 'espresso experiment' days.  When I first got my new setup, I
think I made 12 shots one day. Didn't drink em all,but still..  BUZZZZ!!
I havent weighed the beans yet. Cant justify that much money for a digi
scale. Im sure it would help though. Instead, ive been overdosing, by my
book, to slow my ristrettos down a bit.
As far as wet puck, do you let it sit a minute or so? Itll prolly dry up by
then.
The water in the PF (non naked) is most likely condensation. If you leave
the machine on long enough temps will even out.
I had a sheltie, by far the best dog ever. I miss him. :(

3) From: miKe mcKoffee
If you really want to learn, elevate and fine tune your barista skills I'd
suggest spending some goodly time on Home-Barista.com...
miKe 
<Snip>

4) From: David Morgenlender
I'm finally down from the BUZZ having my first caffeine since the fateful=
 day.
Even going out for a run didn't burn off enough caffeine.  I barely slept=
 that
night!  And I still felt wired from caffeine the next day (but this time =
not the
pleasant buzz!) ... it's always fun feeling sleepy & wired at the same =
time :) !
Last night I slept about 10 hours though & feel great today!
Some of the time I left the PF for awhile before removing it ... still a =
wet
puck.
Sorry about your sheltie.  Cody is our second.  The first, Suki, died =
over 15
years ago.  Even though Suki was terrific, my wife and I figured we were =
getting
too old to deal with another dog.  Then after the kids had moved out, =
just when
we had our "freedom", we decided it was time.  I wanted a sheltie, my =
wife
wasn't sure ... until she saw Cody.  One of the best decisions we've ever=
 made!
Cody is now 3-1/2 years old, I work at home & get interrupted more than =
ever,
but my frisbee throwing is far better than it used to be :) !
Dave
On Tue, 19 Dec 2006 15:11:30 -0500, you wrote:
<Snip>
 by
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leave
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good
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 I
<Snip>
Peter
<Snip>
pleasure of
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recommend
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Terroir
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roasted
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8) to
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 I
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Rancillio PF
<Snip>
got by
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this
<Snip>
 ...
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shots!
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bean!
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Americano.
<Snip>
the
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 (I
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with
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was
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coffee
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 the
<Snip>
...
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 I
<Snip>
#1 or
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dump
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 it
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as
<Snip>
hitting
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espresso
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should I
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just
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grind
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using,
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steam) to
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before
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frequently
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with
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thrown
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:) !
<Snip>
==========================
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<Snip>
unsvbscribes) go to =http://sweetmarias.com/maillistinfo.html#personalsettings==========================
==========================
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Dave Morgenlender
e-mail: dmorgen
==========================
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5) From: David Morgenlender
That's a great site.  I go there occasionally when looking for specific =
info, or
my willpower fails me.  But there's too much info being passed, which =
would
require too much time for me to let myself get hooked on it!
Dave
On Wed, 20 Dec 2006 06:57:12 -0800, you wrote:
<Snip>
I'd
<Snip>
unsvbscribes) go to =http://sweetmarias.com/maillistinfo.html#personalsettings==========================
==========================
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Dave Morgenlender
e-mail: dmorgen
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