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Topic: Espresso Machine Woes (9 msgs / 853 lines)
1) From: David Brown
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I purchased a Krups XP4030 awhile back before I knew any better. I  
has worked fine, I think, up until last night. It started acting as  
though the filter basket was completely clogged; pressure build up,  
no liquid coming out. I have a decent grinder (Kitchen Aide ProLine  
model) and I have been careful not to grind to fine (I use a setting  
of 7 for espresso). The 2 cup filter basket works like a charm but  
the single does not. Is it possible for the filter basket to get  
clogged in only a couple of months? Up until recently it was only  
used on occasion nut once I found SM and the Monkey blend, it sees  
use a lot more.
Should I just soak the basket in a good cleaner and start the  
cleaning regiment that everyone talks about? The reason I ask is that  
after doing some research on the web about this machine (I should  
have done this first) it seems that the quality of this unit is very  
much in question. I'm wondering if it is time to use this as an  
excuse to upgrade to one of the SM recommended units like the  
Rancilio Siliva or one of the Gaggia machines.
Any help or advise would be greatly appreciated.
David Brown
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I =
purchased a Krups XP4030 awhile back before I knew any better. I has =
worked fine, I think, up until last night. It started acting as though =
the filter basket was completely clogged; pressure build up, no liquid =
coming out. I have a decent grinder (Kitchen Aide ProLine model) and I =
have been careful not to grind to fine (I use a setting of 7 for =
espresso). The 2 cup filter basket works like a charm but the single =
does not. Is it possible for the filter basket to get clogged in only a =
couple of months? Up until recently it was only used on occasion nut =
once I found SM and the Monkey blend, it sees use a lot =
more.
Should I just soak the basket in a good = cleaner and start the cleaning regiment that everyone talks about? The = reason I ask is that after doing some research on the web about this = machine (I should have done this first) it seems that the quality of = this unit is very much in question. I'm wondering if it is time to use = this as an excuse to upgrade to one of the SM recommended units like the = Rancilio Siliva or one of the Gaggia = machines.
Any help or advise would be greatly = appreciated.David Brown= --Apple-Mail-3--562302404--

2) From:
David:
Hi, from what you have said, clean the machine well, soak the baskets, use a tiny brush to dis-lodge the dust, crap and other stuff that builds up you never see.
My guess is that if you clean it well it will work.
ginny
---- David Brown  wrote: 
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3) From: Sandy Andina
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What you have is a basic beginner thermoblock pumper--the cheapest  
type of machine capable of producing what is defined as true  
"espresso," but a relatively poor version of the stuff. Any number of  
things can be causing it to stop putting out espresso, none of them  
being the filter basket being clogged (unless you have NEVER rinsed  
it out!). You can have scale built up in the water lines (like  
atherosclerosis in your coronary arteries) from hard water; or  
(equally likely) this is one of those pressurized-portafilter type of  
machines that makes fake crema, and the pressurized portafilter is  
failing.
You may have heard this before, but you will never get very good,  
much less great, espresso out of this thing. (We won't discuss the  
grinder--a KA Proline is not the best but even with a Mazzer you may  
have reached the limits of what even a well-maintained Krups can do).  
Either upgrade to the Gaggia (Carezza is a good value) if you don't  
mind a aluminum boiler or step up to a Silvia. And while the grinder  
is more important than the machine, you will get better espresso from  
a KA grinder and a Silvia (as I did with a Solis Maestro Plus and a  
Silvia) than you would from a Mazzer or Rocky and any Krups or  
DeLonghi.  And upgrading to the Gaggia or Silvia first (advice that  
everyone else will jump down my throat for giving) will be more  
affordable and give you better results for now than cleaning the  
Krups and upgrading your grinder.  Get used to the Gaggia or Silvia  
(I prefer the latter despite the higher cost and slightly steeper  
learning curve), see what it can do, and then relegate your KA to  
brewed-coffee duty and get a Rocky, Mazzer or equivalent.
On Jun 13, 2007, at 12:30 PM, David Brown wrote:
<Snip>
Sandy Andina
www.sandyandina.com
www.myspace.com/sandyandina
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What you have is a basic =
beginner thermoblock pumper--the cheapest type of machine capable of =
producing what is defined as true "espresso," but a relatively poor =
version of the stuff. Any number of things can be causing it to stop =
putting out espresso, none of them being the filter basket being clogged =
(unless you have NEVER rinsed it out!). You can have scale built up in =
the water lines (like atherosclerosis in your coronary arteries) from =
hard water; or (equally likely) this is one of those =
pressurized-portafilter type of machines that makes fake crema, and the =
pressurized portafilter is failing. 
You may have heard this = before, but you will never get very good, much less great, espresso out = of this thing. (We won't discuss the grinder--a KA Proline is not the = best but even with a Mazzer you may have reached the limits of what even = a well-maintained Krups can do). Either upgrade to the Gaggia (Carezza = is a good value) if you don't mind a aluminum boiler or step up to a = Silvia. And while the grinder is more important than the machine, you = will get better espresso from a KA grinder and a Silvia (as I did with a = Solis Maestro Plus and a Silvia) than you would from a Mazzer or Rocky = and any Krups or DeLonghi.  And upgrading to the Gaggia or Silvia = first (advice that everyone else will jump down my throat for giving) = will be more affordable and give you better results for now than = cleaning the Krups and upgrading your grinder.  Get used to the Gaggia = or Silvia (I prefer the latter despite the higher cost and slightly = steeper learning curve), see what it can do, and then relegate your KA = to brewed-coffee duty and get a Rocky, Mazzer or = equivalent. On Jun 13, 2007, at 12:30 PM, David Brown = wrote:
I purchased a = Krups XP4030 awhile back before I knew any better. I has worked fine, I = think, up until last night. It started acting as though the filter = basket was completely clogged; pressure build up, no liquid coming out. = I have a decent grinder (Kitchen Aide ProLine model) and I have been = careful not to grind to fine (I use a setting of 7 for espresso). The 2 = cup filter basket works like a charm but the single does not. Is it = possible for the filter basket to get clogged in only a couple of = months? Up until recently it was only used on occasion nut once I found = SM and the Monkey blend, it sees use a lot more.
Should I just soak the basket in a good = cleaner and start the cleaning regiment that everyone talks about? The = reason I ask is that after doing some research on the web about this = machine (I should have done this first) it seems that the quality of = this unit is very much in question. I'm wondering if it is time to use = this as an excuse to upgrade to one of the SM recommended units like the = Rancilio Siliva or one of the Gaggia = machines.
Any help or advise would be greatly = appreciated.David Brown Sandy = Andinawww.sandyandina.comwww.myspace.com/sandyandina=

= = --Apple-Mail-103--555859660--

4) From: David Brown
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Sandy,
Thanks for the advice. I do rinse the basket after every use so this  
is kind of confusing. I don't mind shelling out some dollars if the  
results are worthy. By the sound of it, it would seem that the  
investment would be well worth it. The espresso that this machine  
made was good enough to make restaurant espresso taste like crap.  
Would there be that big of a difference between the Krups and the  
Silvia?
Dave
On Jun 13, 2007, at 3:18 PM, Sandy Andina wrote:
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Sandy,Thanks for the =
advice. I do rinse the basket after every use so this is kind of =
confusing. I don't mind shelling out some dollars if the results are =
worthy. By the sound of it, it would seem that the investment would be =
well worth it. The espresso that this machine made was good enough to =
make restaurant espresso taste like crap. Would there be that big of a =
difference between the Krups and the Silvia?
Dave = On Jun 13, 2007, at 3:18 PM, Sandy Andina wrote:
What you = have is a basic beginner thermoblock pumper--the cheapest type of = machine capable of producing what is defined as true "espresso," but a = relatively poor version of the stuff. Any number of things can be = causing it to stop putting out espresso, none of them being the filter = basket being clogged (unless you have NEVER rinsed it out!). You can = have scale built up in the water lines (like atherosclerosis in your = coronary arteries) from hard water; or (equally likely) this is one of = those pressurized-portafilter type of machines that makes fake crema, = and the pressurized portafilter is failing. 
You may have heard this = before, but you will never get very good, much less great, espresso out = of this thing. (We won't discuss the grinder--a KA Proline is not the = best but even with a Mazzer you may have reached the limits of what even = a well-maintained Krups can do). Either upgrade to the Gaggia (Carezza = is a good value) if you don't mind a aluminum boiler or step up to a = Silvia. And while the grinder is more important than the machine, you = will get better espresso from a KA grinder and a Silvia (as I did with a = Solis Maestro Plus and a Silvia) than you would from a Mazzer or Rocky = and any Krups or DeLonghi.  And upgrading to the Gaggia or Silvia = first (advice that everyone else will jump down my throat for giving) = will be more affordable and give you better results for now than = cleaning the Krups and upgrading your grinder.  Get used to the Gaggia = or Silvia (I prefer the latter despite the higher cost and slightly = steeper learning curve), see what it can do, and then relegate your KA = to brewed-coffee duty and get a Rocky, Mazzer or = equivalent. On Jun 13, 2007, at 12:30 PM, David Brown = wrote:
I purchased a = Krups XP4030 awhile back before I knew any better. I has worked fine, I = think, up until last night. It started acting as though the filter = basket was completely clogged; pressure build up, no liquid coming out. = I have a decent grinder (Kitchen Aide ProLine model) and I have been = careful not to grind to fine (I use a setting of 7 for espresso). The 2 = cup filter basket works like a charm but the single does not. Is it = possible for the filter basket to get clogged in only a couple of = months? Up until recently it was only used on occasion nut once I found = SM and the Monkey blend, it sees use a lot more.
Should I just soak the basket in a good = cleaner and start the cleaning regiment that everyone talks about? The = reason I ask is that after doing some research on the web about this = machine (I should have done this first) it seems that the quality of = this unit is very much in question. I'm wondering if it is time to use = this as an excuse to upgrade to one of the SM recommended units like the = Rancilio Siliva or one of the Gaggia = machines.
Any help or advise would be greatly = appreciated.David Brown Sandy = Andinawww.sandyandina.comwww.myspace.com/sandyandina=

= = --Apple-Mail-4--550590100--

5) From: Sandy Andina
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Most restaurant espresso DOES taste like crap, because most  
restaurants are clueless--they spend thousands on expensive  
superautos or even pro machines and then use either stale beans,  
preground coffee, pods or capsules (the latter two containing beans  
both roasted and ground who-knows-when); and they leave the job to   
the waitstaff or bartenders who don't know about proper grind or tamp  
(assuming the machine allows for control over either). I can tell you  
that I went from a Krups to a Saeco Vapore (which is the equivalent  
of Starbuck's current simplest "real" model), and there was a HUGE  
improvement; when I got the Estro Vapore (conical burr grinder and  
doser built in) I gave my sister the Saeco; when the Estro's pump  
died (its burrs had dulled so I bought a Pavoni PGB grinder) I then  
went to a Capresso Ultima and then to a Silvia--which was a quantum  
leap over the Capresso.  By going straight to a Silvia, you will have  
skipped two of my intermediate steps.
(The Pavoni grinder, being stepless, is actually better than the KA  
Proline or Solis Maestro Plus, but it's staticky and its plastic case  
got warped. And I got it at a promo price that is one-third of what  
it goes for today).
Look around--you should be able to find a Silvia for about $500 or  
less new (and slightly less gently used).  The only reason to upgrade  
from it (as I eventually did) is greater control and the ability to  
make drinks for a veritable mob.  A Silvia will make shots every bit  
the equal of the best coffeehouse in a "good coffee" town--as long as  
you get the grind, tamp and freshness right.
On Jun 13, 2007, at 3:45 PM, David Brown wrote:
<Snip>
Sandy Andina
www.sandyandina.com
www.myspace.com/sandyandina
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Most restaurant espresso DOES =
taste like crap, because most restaurants are clueless--they spend =
thousands on expensive superautos or even pro machines and then use =
either stale beans, preground coffee, pods or capsules (the latter two =
containing beans both roasted and ground who-knows-when); and they leave =
the job to  the waitstaff or bartenders who don't know about proper =
grind or tamp (assuming the machine allows for control over either). I =
can tell you that I went from a Krups to a Saeco Vapore (which is the =
equivalent of Starbuck's current simplest "real" model), and there was a =
HUGE improvement; when I got the Estro Vapore (conical burr grinder and =
doser built in) I gave my sister the Saeco; when the Estro's pump died =
(its burrs had dulled so I bought a Pavoni PGB grinder) I then went to a =
Capresso Ultima and then to a Silvia--which was a quantum leap over the =
Capresso.  By going straight to a Silvia, you will have skipped two of =
my intermediate steps. 
(The Pavoni grinder, being = stepless, is actually better than the KA Proline or Solis Maestro Plus, = but it's staticky and its plastic case got warped. And I got it at a = promo price that is one-third of what it goes for today).
Look around--you should be = able to find a Silvia for about $500 or less new (and slightly less = gently used).  The only reason to upgrade from it (as I eventually = did) is greater control and the ability to make drinks for a veritable = mob.  A Silvia will make shots every bit the equal of the best = coffeehouse in a "good coffee" town--as long as you get the grind, tamp = and freshness right. On Jun 13, 2007, at 3:45 PM, David = Brown wrote:
Sandy,Thanks for the advice. I do rinse the basket = after every use so this is kind of confusing. I don't mind shelling out = some dollars if the results are worthy. By the sound of it, it would = seem that the investment would be well worth it. The espresso that this = machine made was good enough to make restaurant espresso taste like = crap. Would there be that big of a difference between the Krups and the = Silvia?Sandy = Andinawww.sandyandina.comwww.myspace.com/sandyandina=

= = --Apple-Mail-104--548979499--

6) From: Barry Luterman
This is a multi-part message in MIME format.
Oh Yeah when coupled with a good grinder. Without the grinder not too =
much.

7) From: David Brown
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Is the KA proline really that bad? It was a pretty big step up from  
the POS I was using. Home roasting has been a HUGE improvement so I  
definitely open to retooling.
Dave
On Jun 13, 2007, at 5:18 PM, Barry Luterman wrote:
<Snip>
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Is the KA proline really that =
bad? It was a pretty big step up from the POS I was using. Home roasting =
has been a HUGE improvement so I definitely open to retooling.
Dave On = Jun 13, 2007, at 5:18 PM, Barry Luterman wrote:
Oh Yeah when coupled = with a good grinder. Without the grinder not too = much.----- Original = Message -----From: David = BrownTo: homeroastSent: Wednesday, June 13, 2007 10:45 AMSubject: Re: +Espresso Machine = Woes Sandy,Thanks for the advice. I do = rinse the basket after every use so this is kind of confusing. I don't = mind shelling out some dollars if the results are worthy. By the sound = of it, it would seem that the investment would be well worth it. The = espresso that this machine made was good enough to make restaurant = espresso taste like crap. Would there be that big of a difference = between the Krups and the Silvia?
Dave = On Jun 13, 2007, at 3:18 PM, Sandy Andina wrote:
What you = have is a basic beginner thermoblock pumper--the cheapest type of = machine capable of producing what is defined as true "espresso," but a = relatively poor version of the stuff. Any number of things can be = causing it to stop putting out espresso, none of them being the filter = basket being clogged (unless you have NEVER rinsed it out!). You can = have scale built up in the water lines (like atherosclerosis in your = coronary arteries) from hard water; or (equally likely) this is one of = those pressurized-portafilter type of machines that makes fake crema, = and the pressurized portafilter is failing. 
You may have heard this before, but = you will never get very good, much less great, espresso out of this = thing. (We won't discuss the grinder--a KA Proline is not the best but = even with a Mazzer you may have reached the limits of what even a = well-maintained Krups can do). Either upgrade to the Gaggia (Carezza is = a good value) if you don't mind a aluminum boiler or step up to a = Silvia. And while the grinder is more important than the machine, you = will get better espresso from a KA grinder and a Silvia (as I did with a = Solis Maestro Plus and a Silvia) than you would from a Mazzer or Rocky = and any Krups or DeLonghi.  And upgrading to the Gaggia or Silvia = first (advice that everyone else will jump down my throat for giving) = will be more affordable and give you better results for now than = cleaning the Krups and upgrading your grinder.  Get used to the Gaggia = or Silvia (I prefer the latter despite the higher cost and slightly = steeper learning curve), see what it can do, and then relegate your KA = to brewed-coffee duty and get a Rocky, Mazzer or equivalent.
On Jun 13, 2007, at 12:30 PM, David = Brown wrote:
I purchased a Krups XP4030 awhile back before I knew any better. = I has worked fine, I think, up until last night. It started acting as = though the filter basket was completely clogged; pressure build up, no = liquid coming out. I have a decent grinder (Kitchen Aide ProLine model) = and I have been careful not to grind to fine (I use a setting of 7 for = espresso). The 2 cup filter basket works like a charm but the single = does not. Is it possible for the filter basket to get clogged in only a = couple of months? Up until recently it was only used on occasion nut = once I found SM and the Monkey blend, it sees use a lot = more.
Should I just soak the basket in a good cleaner and = start the cleaning regiment that everyone talks about? The reason I ask = is that after doing some research on the web about this machine (I = should have done this first) it seems that the quality of this unit is = very much in question. I'm wondering if it is time to use this as an = excuse to upgrade to one of the SM recommended units like the Rancilio = Siliva or one of the Gaggia machines.
Any help or advise would be greatly = appreciated.David = Brown
Sandy Andinawww.sandyandina.comwww.myspace.com/sandyandina


= --Apple-Mail-6--545655574--

8) From: Barry Luterman
This is a multi-part message in MIME format.
For espresso the entry level grinder Rocky. IMHO

9) From: stereoplegic
long post ahead.
David:
where is the pressurizing device of your PF? the basket? the PF itself? 
in either case it should be pretty easy to make non-pressurized. of 
course grind and tamp become much more critical.  nontheless, i got very 
good results from my De'Longhi Bar32 after trading the pressurized 
basket out for a Bodum Granos basket. supposedly it's 51mm and so is the 
Bar32, but i'd say it's either 50mm or the Bar32 is really 52mm (the 
Granos basket kept getting stuck to the Bar32's grouphead). yours is 
49mm according to espressoparts. you just may be able to get a Granos 
basket to fit. it's pressurized, but not the spring-loaded crap. 
basically double walled on the bottom, top wall w/ standard PF basket 
holes, bottom wall w/ only 1 hole in the middle. i cut the bottom wall 
off w/ a dremmel as non-pressurized was what i wanted all along. i still 
have the Granos basket (broke the Bar32's PF, replaced w/ a *$ PF and 
double basket (52-53mm) before i sold the Bar32). you can have it if you 
pay shipping (email me off list). i'm not the greatest w/ a dremmel, so 
it's not very pretty on the bottom. works though.
do you clean/descale your machine regularly? this can make a huge 
difference as well. use Urnex Cleancaf, which does both mildly, and 
don't run the whole batch through at once (i.e. follow the directions: 
run a few oz through the group, a few through the steam wand, stop and 
turn off machine, wait, repeat till water tank is empty, repeat above 
procedure w/ just water, at least 2 more tanks full-takes a while to do 
it right but sooooo worth it.). also, remove your shower screen if you 
can-you'd be amazed how much crap builds up there.
FWIW i definately got better temps w/ the De'Longhi thermoblock machine 
out of the box than Gaggia Carezza that replaced it, at least before i 
added PID control. from what i've seen (admittedly not much) 
thermoblocks are much easier to temp surf than lower end boiler 
machines. the water dance worked perfectly on my Bar32. on the 
beans/blends i was using @ the time, after loading PF pull blank double 
shot (no PF), load PF, pull shot right when brew light came on. perfect 
temp every time.
david_brown wrote:
<Snip>


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