HomeRoast Digest


Topic: espresso brewing questions (12 msgs / 388 lines)
1) From: Peter Z
The other day I found another espresso machine in a thrift store. Well 
two of them.. a Gaggia Expresso, and a Krups, much smaller than the Gaggia.
I tried to use the Krups to actually pull a shot, and then I remembered 
why I balk at espresso machines.
I ground the coffee, got most of it into the porta filter, smoothed it 
and tamped with a spice jar whose base was just about the right size.
No, I did not taste the shot. It was for a friend, but he said it was fine.
(Hard to mess up Puro Scuro I guess)
Anyway, cleaning up the mess in the screen above the PF is my problem.
Back when I was using my Gaggia Baby on camping trips I got so I would 
cut a disk of filter paper to go on top of the grounds in the PF to 
alleviate this problem.
What should I expect from pulling shots?
Does anyone else have grounds all over the water dispersion screen and 
up in the group head?
Okay,  I have refused thus far to spend more on a tamper than I have 
spent on the machine, but.. could this be the problem?
How do folks deal with the mess in the PF or does the puck stay totally 
together for you?
Is tamping the answer? Or should I continue to cut disks to go over the 
grounds?
Sorry for the length of this note. Help would be much appreciated.
PeterZ

2) From: miKe mcKoffee
Not to sound harsh, but if you're going to take "shortcuts" in brewing
espresso then by all means use whatever shortcuts work best for you,
including tamping with jars and/or cutting filters for the top of the PF. 
That said a bit of grounds on the dispersion is normal any machine with
properly built PF and a brief post shot flush normally is all that is
required to totally clear screen before next shot. If the screen is badly
gunked post shot, that is NOT normal for a properly prepared shot. Post shot
puck wise it should come out solid, again with properly prepared and pulled
shot.
For detailed discussion(s) of how to make espresso suggest spending time on
home-barista.com....
Pacific Northwest Gathering VIhttp://home.comcast.net/~mckona/PNWGVI.htmKona Kurmudgeon miKe mcKoffee
URL to Rosto mods, FrankenFormer, some recipes etc:http://www.mckoffee.com/Ultimately the quest for Koffee Nirvana is a solitary path. To know I must
first not know. And in knowing know I know not. Each Personal enlightenment
found exploring the many divergent foot steps of Those who have gone before.
Sweet Maria's List - Searchable Archiveshttp://themeyers.org/HomeRoast/
<Snip>

3) From: Peter Z
Hi miKe,
Thank you for the quick candid answer.
So far in my travels I have not come across a tamper.
Espresso machines show up relatively cheap, and although I have not 
pulled a great shot, they are better than what I can get elsewhere.
This I can tell because I can drink my shots with no cream and sugar. 
Other shots I have had taste bitter and yuckie, requiring large amounts 
of afore mentioned condiments.
 I would love to have an Andreja, or even a Silvia.
In thrift stores I have only found up to a Baby so far.
Still looking.
None of them came with tampers.
All were for much less than twenty dollars, and required some refurbishing.
I figured I would buy/ make a tamper when I finally homed in on what 
size I need since the PF's have been mostly different diameters.
Now I learn that the PF from the Baby and Espresso are interchangeable! 
:) :)
Soon I will get into my ironwood stash and carve me something to press with.
My budget is way out of espresso making, but I refuse to wait until I 
hit the lottery.
Some things I do not cut corners on, but I guess I decided that this 
coffee roasting hobby (obsession) was going to be fun and inexpensive.
So far it has been fun but not really inexpensive.
I did take the advice from the list and finally bought a Mazzer mini 
after only buying two progressively more expensive but still less than 
fifty dollar grinders.
Big leap to the Mazzer but worth it. No worries in that area any more, 
and I am fairly certain I could not make a home made grinder that 
performs nearly as well.
Roasters are a different matter, and I may have bought a Probat with the 
money I have spent fiddling with roaster experiments.
Sure would not have been as much fun though.
PeterZ
miKe mcKoffee wrote:
<Snip>

4) From: miKe mcKoffee
FWIW any of the Gaggia's, including entry level $200 new jobs like you've
scored on the cheap, are quite capable of very good shots. Given proper
technique including not limited to quality grind (note this is listed
First!), quality fresh roast bean/blend & barista technique (which includes
machine temp management). I'm fairly certain Gaggias use a 58mm tamper. A
cheapo aluminum 58mm, which can usually be found $10-$15, would work better
than improper sized or shape tamp device. However, grind & distrubition is
arguably more important than the tamp.
Pacific Northwest Gathering VIhttp://home.comcast.net/~mckona/PNWGVI.htmKona Konnaisseur miKe mcKoffee
URL to Rosto mods, FrankenFormer, some recipes etc:http://www.mckoffee.com/Ultimately the quest for Koffee Nirvana is a solitary path. To know I must
first not know. And in knowing know I know not. Each Personal enlightenment
found exploring the many divergent foot steps of Those who have gone before.
Sweet Maria's List - Searchable Archiveshttp://themeyers.org/HomeRoast/
<Snip>

5) From: Sandy Andina
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For a tamper that'll work better than a spice jar at not much expense  
(and less effort than carving one), go either to Sur La Table and  
look for their $12 HOAN aluminum tampers or to EspressoParts NW  
(www.espressoparts.com) and get a "Terry's Tamper" (same price, a bit  
heftier aluminum than the HOAN, with flat rather than convex surface;  
"Terry Z" is the owner of the store). Dual-ended: 52mm and 49mm  
(Terry also has a 52/56mm version as well, IIRC).  Will give you a  
nice smooth, polishable puck that is less likely to stick to the  
grouphead.  Any machine that lacks a solenoid valve will result in a  
bit messier puck, BTW.  I urge you to use the Gaggia (even if it  
requires more repair) rather than the Krups, which is (depending on  
the model) either a steam or thermoblock toy by comparison.
On Jul 4, 2007, at 2:40 PM, Peter Z wrote:
<Snip>
Sandy Andina
www.sandyandina.com
www.myspace.com/sandyandina
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For a tamper that'll work better =
than a spice jar at not much expense (and less effort than carving one), =
go either to Sur La Table and look for their $12 HOAN aluminum tampers =
or to EspressoParts NW (www.espressoparts.com) and get =
a "Terry's Tamper" (same price, a bit heftier aluminum than the HOAN, =
with flat rather than convex surface; "Terry Z" is the owner of the =
store). Dual-ended: 52mm and 49mm (Terry also has a 52/56mm version as =
well, IIRC).  Will give you a nice smooth, polishable puck that is =
less likely to stick to the grouphead.  Any machine that lacks a =
solenoid valve will result in a bit messier puck, BTW.  I urge you to =
use the Gaggia (even if it requires more repair) rather than the Krups, =
which is (depending on the model) either a steam or thermoblock toy by =
comparison.
On Jul 4, 2007, at 2:40 PM, Peter Z =
wrote:
Hi miKe,Thank you for the quick candid answer.So far in my travels I have not come across a = tamper.Espresso machines show up = relatively cheap, and although I have not pulled a great shot, they are = better than what I can get elsewhere.This I = can tell because I can drink my shots with no cream and sugar. Other = shots I have had taste bitter and yuckie, requiring large amounts of = afore mentioned condiments.I would love = to have an Andreja, or even a Silvia.In = thrift stores I have only found up to a Baby so far.Still looking.None of them = came with tampers.All were for much less than = twenty dollars, and required some refurbishing.I figured I would buy/ make a tamper when I finally = homed in on what size I need since the PF's have been mostly different = diameters.Now I learn that the PF from the = Baby and Espresso are interchangeable! :) :)Soon I will get into my ironwood stash and carve me = something to press with.My budget is = way out of espresso making, but I refuse to wait until I hit the = lottery. Some things I do not cut corners on, but I guess I = decided that this coffee roasting hobby (obsession) was going to be fun = and inexpensive.So far it has been fun but not = really inexpensive.I did take the advice from = the list and finally bought a Mazzer mini after only buying two = progressively more expensive but still less than fifty dollar = grinders.Big leap to the Mazzer but worth = it. No worries in that area any more, and I am fairly certain I could = not make a home made grinder that performs nearly as well.Roasters are a different matter, and I may have = bought a Probat with the money I have spent fiddling with roaster = experiments.Sure would not have been as much = fun though. PeterZ Sandy = Andinawww.sandyandina.comwww.myspace.com/sandyandina=

= = --Apple-Mail-14--879715563--

6) From: Ed Needham
With a good grinder, the Gaggia Espresso can make great espresso.
*********************
Ed Needham
"to absurdity and beyond!"http://www.homeroaster.com*********************

7) From: Homeroaster
With a good grinder, the Gaggia Espresso can make great espresso.
*********************
Ed Needham
"to absurdity and beyond!"http://www.homeroaster.com*********************

8) From: stereoplegic
sandraandina wrote:
<Snip>
i got the LavaTamp from espressoparts (not the deluxe, but the $18 
version, convex only). works quite well w/ a nutating tamp. for a flat 
tamper, i use something like this:
snipr.com/cheaptamp
<Snip>
actually, i just got beat in an auction for a 1500 watt Krups Model 242 
that was made by Gaggia (even said so on the machine). it even had a 
drain spout for a solenoid valve.

9) From: stereoplegic
i'll second that. same guts as my Carezza, which, esp. since my PID mod, 
is pulling amazing shots.
roast wrote:
<Snip>

10) From: raymanowen
The Truth is:
"With a good grinder, the Gaggia Espresso can make great espresso."
The inverse, "With an execrable grinder, the >You Name IT< can make
execrable espresso", is also true.
                         QED
On 7/5/07, Homeroaster  wrote:
<Snip>
-- 
"When the theme hits the bass, I dance the Jig!" - -Virgil Fox at the Mighty
Wichita (ex- NYC Paramount) WurliTzer- 1976

11) From: Brett Mason
Perhaps "Excretable"?
I agree fully in concept...  I just wonder where English actually stands on
the issue...
For the untrained:  If you don't have a Zass or comparable, then you deserve
crap-coffee...
Brett
  Zassman
On 7/7/07, raymanowen  wrote:
<Snip>
-- 
Cheers,
Bretthttp://homeroast.freeservers.com

12) From: raymanowen
Over the front door of my coffee emporium:
"All Hope Abandon, ye who enter this Coffee Excrementorium!
=More enzymes than Kefir."
"If you don't have a Zass or comparable, then [learn to enjoy the
Vogelscheiße] -coffee... "
Cheers -RayO, aka Opa!
On 7/7/07, Brett Mason  wrote:
<Snip>
-- 
"When the theme hits the bass, I dance the Jig!" - -Virgil Fox at the Might=
y
Wichita (ex- NYC Paramount) WurliTzer- 1976


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