HomeRoast Digest

Topic: Newbie questions about espresso (11 msgs / 200 lines)
1) From: Dan Sussman
This is a multi-part message in MIME format.
Greetings. I'm a relative newbie to roasting and the appreciation and =
preparation of superior coffee. Got a question about espresso.
Like many folks, I'd been making espresso and capuccino using a Braun =
"toy" steam machine. Did an adequate job. Generally I used Trader Joe's =
Bay Blend coffee (if that means anything to anyone) -- very dark, oily =
beans -- and I came out with a very dark, double-strength, slightly =
bitter espresso. No crema. Nada, but not a *whole* lot different in =
taste from espressos that I'd get in restaurants or coffee bars.
I just purchased a used Krup's Gusto, which has a 15-bar pressure pump. =
I used the same coffee to pull a couple of espresso shots. Plenty of =
crema, but I noticed that the espresso was decidedly less dark and =
bittersweet. In fact, it tasted like a very slightly stronger version of =
Bay Blend made in a French press or Melitta pour-through. 
Please don't tell me to spend $300 on a Starbucks Barista. It ain't =
happenin'. I'm happily married, and I want to stay that way.  :-)

2) From: Gary Zimmerman
Dan Sussman wrote:
It may take time to bring this one over to the dark side... but the time 
will come... the time will come.
Bwaaah hah hah hah....
-- garyZ
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3) From: Renaud Dreyer
Your pump machine is more than enough to make real espresso, so 
that's not the problem. Are you using a burr grinder? The Gusto 
doesn't have a fake cream enhancer, does it?
Also, very dark, oily beans are not the best for espresso, try to 
find or roast something lighter. Your previous machine could only 
make strong, moka-quality coffee, but the Gusto is equiped to make 
the real thing. Good luck,
                Renaud Dreyer
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4) From: Dan Sussman
Yeah, I know. Once a gadget-head, always a gadget-head. I'm just trying to
fend off the inevitable until my wife has a chance to realize that I'm going
to eventually go out and spend some ungodly amount of money on a hobby --
again! Good thing she likes coffee!

5) From: Dan Sussman
Thanks much for the suggestions. Have done a little more experimenting, and
have determined that, with this machine, I'm better off with a coarser grind
than in high-end machines. S'matter of fact, the manual recommends it.

6) From: JimSchulCh
In a message dated 1/14/02 4:34:42 PM Central Standard Time, dan 
If the "steamtoy" works likes a mocha pot, then it'll take a lot longer than 
thirty seconds to make coffee. Also, the water temperature may be higher than 
on many pump machines. So, you may be getting more extraction with the 
IMO, a home pump machine needs a longer extraction time than the 25 seconds 
touted for commercial machines. Try adjusting your grind and tamp to get 
about 35 to 40 second shots on your Gusto, and you'll probably get a shot 
you'll enjoy.
Jim Schulman

7) From: Timothy A Reed
On Mon, 14 Jan 2002 15:05:25 -0700 "Dan Sussman" 
How long did the shot take?  How much volume?  What kinda grinder you
I can attest that the Gusto can make a pretty decent shot of espresso
when paired with the "right" grinder (in my case, a Solis 177) and tamped
properly, etc.  BTW, no crema-enhancing stuffs in there...
You might give the TJ's Espresso blend a try; I know that will do well
(haven't tried the Bay Blend), or maybe a lb. of Espresso Monkey is in
If you're located in NorCal, I can probably help you with it in person.
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8) From: Dan Sussman
Appreciate the suggestions and the offer of personal help. However, I'm deep
in the heart of Arizona .

9) From: Ed Needham
Dan...the best thing you could do is use fresh homeroast and try
something like Sweetmarias Monkey Blend.  It's one of my favorites for
both drip and espresso.  I add a little Mexican Organic Chiapas to get
the drip the way I like it.
Ed Needham

10) From: Jacobean
Try e-bay for a Saeco Rio Vapore - same machine, much cheaper,...save your 
milk money like the rest of us!
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11) From: Steven Dover

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