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Siliconslave's how to make espresso thread

Discussion in 'La Cuisine' started by Siliconslave, Jun 17, 2008.

  1. Jonny69

    Man of Honour

    Joined: May 3, 2004

    Posts: 17,621

    Location: Koronation Strasse

    This morning it's a double espresso in a cappuccino made with ground coffee in the proper cup rather than a pod. Unexpected noticeable difference. The coffee is a bit stale but it tastes a lot better. I might be wrong but I don't seem to be getting knocked down with the caffeine either.

    Yesterday I ran a shot of Dowe Egberts through it for a laugh to see what happened. Never really studied coffee too closely but the grind is really harsh and dry and it made a mess of the espresso machine. It doesn't tamp down because it's like grit. What came out sprayed everywhere and was weak and watery. Suffice to say it went straight in the sink :D
     
  2. melbourne720

    Wise Guy

    Joined: Sep 26, 2006

    Posts: 1,943

    Location: West Bridgford

    Excellent thread, some amazing coffee p0rn shots there :D

    I have this, it's a really good grinder, coming up to its first year and going well. Just get a baking brush to clean off the old coffee.

    I need an espresso machine, is the Gaggia classic where it's at? Or should I be considering anything else? (Budget - sub £200)
     
  3. fluiduk

    Wise Guy

    Joined: Nov 13, 2003

    Posts: 1,567

    Location: Manchester

    I have a Gaggia Cubika which set me back 130 quid about 3 years ago. Great little starter machine.

    Its definitely worth spending decent money on a grinder.

    I have the dualit one - also available branded as a starbucks grinder. Cost me about 60 quid but it seems to do the trick

    Aaron
     
  4. Siliconslave

    Man of Honour

    Joined: Dec 11, 2002

    Posts: 9,432

    Location: The Flatlands

    if its too coarsely ground (ie for caffetier) you won't be able to tamp it and it just doesn't provide the resistance to the pressure from the machine so the water passes through too quickly & it doesn't brew properly.

    Machine wise i've never had a problem with the classic, its a no-nonsense machine and the cheapest Gaggia with the better boiler and pump that make all the difference. I've not really kept upto date with the developments over the last two years since i bought mine but you can't go far wrong with it :) You should be able to pick it up for just under £200
     
  5. melbourne720

    Wise Guy

    Joined: Sep 26, 2006

    Posts: 1,943

    Location: West Bridgford

    If anyone can find me the Gaggia Classic for sub 200, then please let me know - email in trust :)

    In fact, it's not around much anywhere...
     
  6. Siliconslave

    Man of Honour

    Joined: Dec 11, 2002

    Posts: 9,432

    Location: The Flatlands

  7. melbourne720

    Wise Guy

    Joined: Sep 26, 2006

    Posts: 1,943

    Location: West Bridgford

    Free delivery as well, excellent.

    Mrs Melbourne can get me this for my birthday :)
     
  8. Flibster

    Caporegime

    Joined: Oct 18, 2002

    Posts: 28,021

    YAY! Coffee thread.

    The Bodum Antigua grinder is ok. Seriously needs modifying though to get a good consistant grind from it. I had one and it took a few days of tweaking to get it grinding consistantly - I think I ramped it up by about 15% in the end. The MC2 is probably the best budget buy.

    As the boiler in my Gaggia Classic is in need of replacement *:(* I'm planning to move up a level now. Something with a bit more guts to it. So tempted to buy a Gaggia Achille - both a thing of beauty and a decent coffee machine. ;)

    As for near espresso when at work - the Aeropress is very good indeed. Use one regularly at work and it produces very acceptable coffee - I mainly use it to make Americanos. I know a couple of people who use the Aeropress to tasting new coffees as its fairly transparant when it comes to producing coffee. You purely get the taste of the coffee.

    Tamping is a very complicated issue. The consensus seems to be around 30 pounds of force. You can even get click tampers that click when you hit that force. I just use a big arse Iberital Elite with a slight convex base. Works nicely.
     
  9. Siliconslave

    Man of Honour

    Joined: Dec 11, 2002

    Posts: 9,432

    Location: The Flatlands

    nice tamper :) i got myself a flat based RB second hand ages ago... but i ended up getting my Dad a convex RB as a Christmas pressy and I'd say it makes a huge difference, much better seal on the side of the basket i guess...
     
  10. melbourne720

    Wise Guy

    Joined: Sep 26, 2006

    Posts: 1,943

    Location: West Bridgford

    [​IMG]

    Sweet ***** that's one expensive machine!

    Looks nice though :)

    How long have you had your classic?
     
  11. Bossk128

    Wise Guy

    Joined: Sep 12, 2006

    Posts: 1,366

    Location: Tayside

    I think I got my Classic for sub 200 in Whittards (in store). They were flogging the stainless steel ones much cheaper that brushed steel- if kept clean, the SS are much nicer anyway :)


    I concur though, noobs should get a good grinder, real fresh beans, and enjoy nice cafetierre/aeropress/drip coffee whilst saving up for an espresso machine. I love my Classic, but it was really picky about grind & freshness of beans. In fact, after I bought it and used the free greshly ground beans from Whittards, I was really disappointed at how nasty the coffee was. Fresh ground beans from the local speciality bean shop (The Bean Shop) let me know I needed good beans ground on demand. So I got an Iberital MC2 for £117, much better!
     
  12. melbourne720

    Wise Guy

    Joined: Sep 26, 2006

    Posts: 1,943

    Location: West Bridgford

    Will have a look in Whittards ta :)
     
  13. growse

    Soldato

    Joined: Oct 18, 2002

    Posts: 7,142

    Location: Ironing

    The classic is great, but has two main drawbacks.

    1) The steam wand is crap. Fortunatly, changing it is an easy mod and gets far better foam.

    2) It's only a single boiler, so when making two large lattes, I've had it run out of steam and just blow hot air into the milk, which isn't really what you want.

    When I buy a house, I'll upgrade to a dual-boiler machine, but the classic has been the best for learning on.
     
  14. robbiemc

    Wise Guy

    Joined: Dec 30, 2003

    Posts: 2,262

    Location: West Byfleet, Surrey.

    You don't need to get a dual boiler to get the performance you need, growse. I bought an Expobar machine 18 months ago which has a heat exchanger boiler which effectively works like a dual boiler. I routinely make multiple coffees and never had a problem with waiting for the boiler to catch up - the unit is also built like a tank, but isn't cheap!
     
  15. Bossk128

    Wise Guy

    Joined: Sep 12, 2006

    Posts: 1,366

    Location: Tayside

    Voila!

    Steam wand mod

    I see growse you've obviously read that thread (hope the wand is loosening up a bit), but just noting for others that for £20 you can get over problem 1.
    Problem 2 is a real issue with the Classic. I'm lucky that it's just the GF that likes cappas. I like my coffee like my men (classic quote f.t.w.). Surfing the boiler temp does help with large milk sessions though fnar.
     
  16. Siliconslave

    Man of Honour

    Joined: Dec 11, 2002

    Posts: 9,432

    Location: The Flatlands

    meh, i don't like milk in my blackness so not a problem :D
     
  17. NickK

    Capodecina

    Joined: Jan 13, 2003

    Posts: 16,844

    I agree with the frequency of sales affecting Whittards.

    I bought a 500g bag of Jamacian Blue Mountain (unground) recently. Looking at the beans they had a 'dry' look to them and the taste was not in the same league when I bought a 250g bag of pre-ground a while back.

    So getting the freshest beans is paramount too.. may have to have a look at the places that people have rated here too for beans.
     
  18. titchard

    Soldato

    Joined: Feb 10, 2004

    Posts: 5,120

    Location: Crewe, UK

    Totally agree, I work and whittards and I only pick what has been freshly put into the caddies.

    Rich
     
  19. xander_uk2

    Hitman

    Joined: Dec 2, 2003

    Posts: 970

    Location: Inverness Scotland

    Thanks to this thread I have just spent £40 on a Krups grinder and a new Cafitiere (insulated stainless steel)

    Currently playing around with the grind settings but I'm amazed at the difference in smell between freshly ground, and shop bought pre ground coffee :eek:

    Just had an amazing cup using a bag of beans I picked up at my local starbucks.

    I'm just storing the beans in the fridge in an air tight container?

    EDIT: Yes, it is a Bur grinder. No blades :p
     
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2008
  20. Flibster

    Caporegime

    Joined: Oct 18, 2002

    Posts: 28,021

    Not compared to how much some of the machines I've been looking at.

    Had my classic for just under 2 years - sadly someone left the machine on with no water in it and has scorched the boiler. It's repairable, but I'm using it as an excuse. ;)

    Please don't buy any more from there. They are terrible. :eek: Stick to buying from HasBean.

    It you aren't going to use all the beans in a week, take a weeks worth out of the bag and then store the rest in a sealed bag *try sucking the majority of the air out of the bag first before sealing it* and then put them in an airtight container in the freezer. Will help preserve them a bit longer. Just remember to take them out a day before you need them. ;)
     


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