Improving 1st shot taste for latte

Recommendations for espresso equipment buyers and upgraders.
Aficionado

Postby Aficionado » Apr 14, 2019, 1:23 am

Using a Gaggia classic with helor 101 currently.

If I only make 1 latte a day, and want a significantly better 1ST Shot taste, what should I minimally upgrade to?

intermediate user here. have already learned the ins and outs of my machine (e.g. temperature surfing).

HoldTheOnions

Postby HoldTheOnions » Apr 14, 2019, 11:34 am

What's your budget? Reality is you will need to spend a lot money for noticeable improvement in latte quality. I've used all the popular budget machines, delonghi to gaggia, to breville to silvia with PID, and not much difference between them for latte quality, IMO. Adding PID and silvia wand to your gaggia would helpful for achieving better consistency for not much money.

Nunas

Postby Nunas » Apr 14, 2019, 12:24 pm

First shot taste differences are usually a grinder issue, not an espresso machine issue. To test, first grind a few grams to purge the grinder, then grind for your shot. A more expensive solution would be to buy a zero retention or low retention grinder. But if you're fussy, there might still be an issue. For example, the Sette is reputed to be a low retention grinder, yet it too needs a few grams through it to get rid of the retained grinds. Note, you don't have to grind a bunch...for the Sette about 2-grams will do it (but the lowest predefined grind setting is 5 grams).

HoldTheOnions

Postby HoldTheOnions » Apr 14, 2019, 6:27 pm

Aren't hand grinders zero retention? I am guessing this has more to do with the machine.

Nunas

Postby Nunas » Apr 14, 2019, 8:35 pm

Aren't hand grinders zero retention?

:oops: Missed that. Agreed...not likely the grinder!

elbertfunkleberg

Postby elbertfunkleberg » Apr 14, 2019, 10:24 pm

Try reducing the pressure to about 6 bar and use a coarser grind. If it works you got an upgrade for free.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ghti27dMZb8

lim.calvinb

Postby lim.calvinb » Apr 15, 2019, 1:04 pm

Have you considered the Crossland CC1? I used to have it and have tried it side by side with the Gaggia, Silvia, Silvia with PID - and the Crossland still pulls much better shots overall. A second hand unit will cost around $400-500.

Mrboots2u

Postby Mrboots2u » Apr 15, 2019, 1:28 pm

Aficionado wrote:Using a Gaggia classic with helor 101 currently.

If I only make 1 latte a day, and want a significantly better 1ST Shot taste, what should I minimally upgrade to?

intermediate user here. have already learned the ins and outs of my machine (e.g. temperature surfing).


Better Coffee
Scales
Pid

Aficionado

Postby Aficionado » Apr 15, 2019, 7:18 pm

elbertfunkleberg wrote:Try reducing the pressure to about 6 bar and use a coarser grind. If it works you got an upgrade for free.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ghti27dMZb8


To be honest, I am already at the tightest (finest) setting, and it drips out 30g of espresso in 30s with 10g coffee. Any tighter and the machine chokes, or there will be water leaks through the sides of my bottomless PF.

Just to confirm I won't get any "upgrade" in taste from further upgrading my grinder right? And yes, my grinder is pretty much close to zero retention already.

Have considered the CC1 before, but heard of many nightmares on QC. Am not living in the states, hence warranty will be a PITA.

elbertfunkleberg

Postby elbertfunkleberg » Apr 16, 2019, 1:04 am

Aficionado wrote:To be honest, I am already at the tightest (finest) setting, and it drips out 30g of espresso in 30s with 10g coffee. Any tighter and the machine chokes, or there will be water leaks through the sides of my bottomless PF.

Coarse is the opposite of fine.