I made my first espresso!!!

Want to talk espresso but not sure which forum? If so, this is the right one.
wachuko
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Joined: Feb 06, 2017, 11:28 am

Postby wachuko » Feb 09, 2017, 9:50 pm

I had to share! I know that I have a long way to go... but I had to share making my first quasi-real espresso!! Quasi-real because I have so much more to learn and test.

Up until now I always used some sugar in my espresso to get rid of the bitterness... you can imagine my skepticism when I kept reading in the forum (and watching the videos) of the possibility of drinking an espresso that did not require sugar. Some videos and posts would even describe it as being sweet!

When I got my machine I started testing it with some of the beans I already had. These are the beans we have been using in the DeLonghi ESAM3300 Magnifica Super-Automatic. Starbucks French Roast dark roast beans. To say that I was frustrated is an understatement. I could not get a decent shot of espresso... adjusting the grind, the dose, etc... did nothing to improve the taste. Forget about even getting some decent crema...

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I just cleaned everything... and just walked away... man!

Went back to the forum that night to read some more... when to the coffee section, did a few goggle searches... and order some recommended coffee beans. Those should be here tomorrow. Being the impatient sob that I am, I went to the local place that I love (best Cuban coffee I have had! ) and asked if they sold it to the public. Sure enough and I bought 1 lb. to test.

First test came out having the grind too fine... adjusted grind... tested again. 18 grams of coffee, I still need to get better at weighing the coffee... just did it by the default time the machine had... but what a difference fresh coffee beans make!! 3rd test was with 17 grams of coffee...

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Can't wait to try this again tomorrow with the coffee beans that are arriving. It is going to be hard waiting a year to get a better espresso machine...along with a good quality grinder.
Searching for that perfect espresso!

Wachuko

mivanitsky
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Joined: Nov 14, 2008, 3:25 pm

Postby mivanitsky » Feb 09, 2017, 10:04 pm

Getting better beans, grind fresh. Looks like you are making some good early progress. Keep it up.

How did the second shot taste? What new beans are coming?

Now that you make espresso that you can stand, get in your car, drive out into the country, dig a hole, empty the K cups into the hole, and come back home and recycle the empties.

Welcome to HB :D

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wachuko
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Postby wachuko » Feb 09, 2017, 10:24 pm

mivanitsky wrote:Getting better beans, grind fresh. Looks like you are making some good early progress. Keep it up.

How did the second shot taste? What new beans are coming?

Now that you make espresso that you can stand, get in your car, drive out into the country, dig a hole, empty the K cups into the hole, and come back home and recycle the empties.

Welcome to HB :D


The second shot tasted great! I made a shot of espresso for everyone in the family - wife (well, she had a latte), kids, in-laws, lol!!

I have the following coffee beans coming:

Kimbo Superior, Lavazza Super Crema, Koffee Kult Dark Roast

On the K-Cups, I can't drink that crap. That is my wife's setup for her morning "I am in a hurry" fix. :D

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And this is what we have for my father-in-law to avoid the mess he used to do with the spilled boiled milk in a pot and the stovetop espresso maker...

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The risk that I run now is my wife forcing me to wake up with her at 5am to prepare her latte!

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And yes, I am very happy and exited with all this... feel like a little kid with a new toy... Cheers!!
Searching for that perfect espresso!

Wachuko

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randomorbit
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Postby randomorbit » Feb 09, 2017, 10:27 pm

Looking good! I predict you'll make some damned fine tasting espresso with that rig in the coming year, and while I DO understand upgradeitis, I think that machine should serve you well for a year, or even several years of need be. This place will surely have you thinking you need to spend several grand, but really if you enjoy your coffee, and you enjoy the process of making it that's all that matters.

You can make better coffee on that than you will get at half the cafes out there, that's because half the places really don't care about making excellent coffee, and when it all comes down to it, the care of the barista matters more than anything else. The equipment is just tools you make the coffee.

wachuko
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Joined: Feb 06, 2017, 11:28 am

Postby wachuko » Feb 09, 2017, 10:45 pm

randomorbit wrote:Looking good! I predict you'll make some damned fine tasting espresso with that rig in the coming year, and while I DO understand upgradeitis, I think that machine should serve you well for a year, or even several years of need be. This place will surely have you thinking you need to spend several grand, but really if you enjoy your coffee, and you enjoy the process of making it that's all that matters.

You can make better coffee on that than you will get at half the cafes out there, that's because half the places really don't care about making excellent coffee, and when it all comes down to it, the care of the barista matters more than anything else. The equipment is just tools you make the coffee.


That is how I came to find this site! I had ordered the Breville and then started looking to see what else was available... lol

Best entry level espresso machine and grinder

I still want that double boiler, rotary pump, E61 machine :mrgreen: ... but now I know that I can wait a little.

So much to learn, so little time...

Is it bad to now want to buy a second portafilter to modify into a bottomless unit?? :lol:
Searching for that perfect espresso!

Wachuko

chrisbodnarphoto
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Joined: Feb 16, 2016, 1:56 pm

Postby chrisbodnarphoto » Feb 09, 2017, 11:27 pm

That Breville will do you fine - I've pulled (and continue to pull) some mighty fine shots off that 870!

A couple of tips ::

1 :: if turning it on and using it straight away run two shots of water through it to warm everything up

2 :: fill your tank the night before so that the water is room temp the next morning (this will also help with temp control and variation)

3 :: use WDT with that grinder (search around these forums for what that means).

4 :: always clean it when it asks you too!

wachuko
Posts: 401
Joined: Feb 06, 2017, 11:28 am

Postby wachuko » Feb 09, 2017, 11:45 pm

chrisbodnarphoto wrote:That Breville will do you fine - I've pulled (and continue to pull) some mighty fine shots off that 870!

A couple of tips ::

1 :: if turning it on and using it straight away run two shots of water through it to warm everything up

2 :: fill your tank the night before so that the water is room temp the next morning (this will also help with temp control and variation)

3 :: use WDT with that grinder (search around these forums for what that means).

4 :: always clean it when it asks you too!



Thank you for the tips!

Weiss Distribution Technique, or WDT - found several threads. Reading now the first one:

Improve your Espresso with Weiss Distribution Technique
Searching for that perfect espresso!

Wachuko

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JR_Germantown
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Postby JR_Germantown » Feb 10, 2017, 9:28 am

WDT is popular, but that doesn't mean it's universally accepted. Matt Perger did some pretty good testing on various distribution and tamping methods. You should search here for it. I'd give the link, but I don't do forums well from the iPhone. :(

I've found that a really precisely sized tamper makes a huge difference. I just went from a "58 mm" (actually closer to 57.5) to a 58.35 mm and it made the shots more consistent. I'm not sure what your basket size is, but the tamper should fit pretty closely.

Jack

wachuko
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Joined: Feb 06, 2017, 11:28 am

Postby wachuko » Feb 10, 2017, 10:45 am

JR_Germantown wrote:WDT is popular, but that doesn't mean it's universally accepted. Matt Perger did some pretty good testing on various distribution and tamping methods. You should search here for it. I'd give the link, but I don't do forums well from the iPhone. :(

I've found that a really precisely sized tamper makes a huge difference. I just went from a "58 mm" (actually closer to 57.5) to a 58.35 mm and it made the shots more consistent. I'm not sure what your basket size is, but the tamper should fit pretty closely.

Jack


I have a Breville 870 that I got less than a week ago... it has a 54mm portafilter. I see myself getting a better machine in a year or so. Right now I need to learn and play around with different beans. I want to be able to achieve what others have done here... make an espresso that is so great tasting that does not require any sugar added. I come from adding two small spoon of sugar to my espresso. And that has been because of how bitter the coffee tasted... I was unaware that an espresso could taste so good without anything added.

The coffee beans I used yesterday were great but I still had to add 1/2 spoon of sugar (again, these are the very small spoons used for espresso)... I did try drinking most of it without sugar, trust me, that was a major improvement over what I was drinking before.

My father-in-law, that drinks a double espresso (without anything added) almost every other hour, was impressed by the taste. Now I need, at a minimum, to change the beans he is using in his DeLonghi.

We are waiting for the other beans to arrive today to test them and see which one will provide that strong espresso that will not require me to add anything to it. And I know that some part of it (like wine) will come from developing my taste for it without sugar... but I can tell you that before yesterday, there was no way in heck that I would have drank one without sugar. I only added a bit after drinking some without it simply out of habit... I will get there, and this forum recommendations, good beans, improving how I do this, and then, sometime soon, improving the equipment I use, will get me there.
Searching for that perfect espresso!

Wachuko

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JR_Germantown
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Postby JR_Germantown » Feb 10, 2017, 11:05 am

wachuko wrote:I have a Breville 870 that I got less than a week ago... it has a 54mm portafilter. I see myself getting a better machine in a year or so. Right now I need to learn and play around with different beans. I want to be able to achieve what others have done here... make an espresso that is so great tasting that does not require any sugar added. I come from adding two small spoon of sugar to my espresso. And that has been because of how bitter the coffee tasted... I was unaware that an espresso could taste so good without anything added.

The coffee beans I used yesterday were great but I still had to add 1/2 spoon of sugar (again, these are the very small spoons used for espresso)... I did try drinking most of it without sugar, trust me, that was a major improvement over what I was drinking before.
...
We are waiting for the other beans to arrive today to test them and see which one will provide that strong espresso that will not require me to add anything to it.

I'd suggest you try some other roasters as well. Personally, I'd recommend avoiding the darker roasts since you've already sampled some of those. It's pure myth that espresso requires a dark roast. I'd suggest espresso blends from Klatch Coffee, Redbird Roasters, Metropolis -- those are some that I've tried. I'm sure others will weigh in with their suggestions.

Jack