Should I upgrade from Rocky to Ceado E6P

Recommendations for buyers and upgraders from the site's members.
thatbrian

#1: Post by thatbrian »

Newbie here in the frustration phase of my espresso hobby.

The machine I decided to start with is the Lelit Victoria. It's brand new.

My grinder is a 7 year old Rocky Rancilo, that I just cleaned and adjusted.

My beans have come from local roasters, and have been within 2 weeks from roast date.

I have watched many hours of YT video, and read much here, but haven't even come close to a drinkable shot.

The weakest link is either the grinder or me (or a close tie). There is hope for me, but the grinder can't improve. It is what it is.

My question:

Should I burn though 10 more pounds of coffee beans with the Rocky, as I'm improving my technique, or should I drop a grand on a new grinder now? I will likely buy a new grinder at some point, but I would feel better about doing so if I knew I was going get to actually drink a cup, rather than dump it down the sink.

I've set the Rocky everywhere from 3-11, trying everything I could to dial it in. I can get the proper ration in 25ish seconds, with the grinder at 5, but the result is a very bitter.

If/when I do get a new grinder, it will likely be the Ceado E6P, or something equivalent.

I don't mind spending the money, but if it's not going to greatly help this endeavor, why do it?


Thanks in advance.

luvmy40

#2: Post by luvmy40 »

I'd ditch the Rocky for just about anything. I've never understood why they are so popular. Take that for what i'ts worth as one guy,s admittedly biased opinion.

It never hurts to work on your prep. Getting that solid and consistent is key regardless of the quality of your grinder or machine.

thatbrian (original poster)

#3: Post by thatbrian (original poster) replying to luvmy40 »

I've been using the Rocky for pour overs for 6-7 years, and it's Okay for that, but espresso is far more demanding, so I just don't know if the Rocky is the biggest factor holding me back at this point. If it is, it's gone.

I have nice level tamps, no apparent channeling, and an intact, dry puck, so wouldn't that tell me the Rocky is doing a decent job?

*** This thread should probably be in another forum. My bad.

luvmy40

#4: Post by luvmy40 replying to thatbrian »

What do you mean when you say your shots are undrinkable? Are they sour? Bitter? Thin and bodiless? Etc.

Are your beans medium/dark blends or SO light roasts?

I'm not familiar with the Victoria. Does it have any control variation for temperature? PI? Brew presssure?

There are many, many variables that come into play.

Are you using a bottomless portafilter? Can you see that you are not channeling?

I'm not saying you have prep problems. Just asking the questions. I do still hold that you can do much better than the Rocky without mortgaging the house. Any of the Mingnon's, The DF64, Niche Zero(if you can get one), or any one of many quality manual grinders out there.

I have a very capable set up with my BDB and Niche Zero. I am making some of the best coffee I have ever made with my home roasted medium roast Rwanda and Brazil varietals. I just added a DF64 so I can start playing more with lighter roasts. I have not found that fruit bomb yet.

thatbrian (original poster)

#5: Post by thatbrian (original poster) »

luvmy40 wrote:What do you mean when you say your shots are undrinkable? Are they sour? Bitter? Thin and bodiless? Etc.

Bitter x10

Are your beans medium/dark blends or SO light roasts?

Med to french roast

I'm not familiar with the Victoria. Does it have any control variation for temperature? PI? Brew presssure?

It has temp control. I've tried 195 - 201 It seems to brew at 10 bar, but not adjustable (without taking it apart)

There are many, many variables that come into play.

Yes. I've worked through many of them.

Are you using a bottomless portafilter? Can you see that your are not channeling?

No; however, I can see the puck. It looks goos, almost every time.

I'm not saying you have prep problems. Just asking the questions. I do still hold that you can do much better than the Rocky without mortgaging the house. Any of the Mingnon's, The DF64, Niche Zero(if you can get one), or any one of many quality manual grinders out there.

I just ordered the Niche, 5 minutes ago.

I have a very capable set up with my BDB and Niche Zero. I am making some of the best coffee I have ever made with my home roasted medium roast Rwanda and Brazil varietals. I just added a DF64 so I can start playing more with lighter roasts. I have not found that fruit bomb yet.
Awesome!

mgwolf
Supporter ♡

#6: Post by mgwolf »

Congrats. The Niche is WAYYYYY better than the Rocky.

thatbrian (original poster)

#7: Post by thatbrian (original poster) replying to mgwolf »

Thanks. I might see it by early November.

BTW, I also boxed up my brand new Lelit Victoria today, and am putting it up for sale.

I'm going back to good ol pour-overs and sparing myself the torture of espresso. It's a worse hobby than golf!

mgwolf
Supporter ♡

#8: Post by mgwolf »

I think many would argue with you about the golf rabbit-hole vs. espresso. You could look at a Robot which makes great espresso, has nothing to break, and is quite reasonable. Don't worry, there's plenty of time to upgrade and add to your coffee accoutrements.

BaristaBob

#9: Post by BaristaBob »

thatbrian wrote:Newbie here in the frustration phase of my espresso hobby.

The machine I decided to start with is the Lelit Victoria. It's brand new.

My grinder is a 7 year old Rocky Rancilo, that I just cleaned and adjusted.

My beans have come from local roasters, and have been within 2 weeks from roast date.

I have watched many hours of YT video, and read much here, but haven't even come close to a drinkable shot.

The weakest link is either the grinder or me (or a close tie). There is hope for me, but the grinder can't improve. It is what it is.

My question:

Should I burn though 10 more pounds of coffee beans with the Rocky, as I'm improving my technique, or should I drop a grand on a new grinder now? I will likely buy a new grinder at some point, but I would feel better about doing so if I knew I was going get to actually drink a cup, rather than dump it down the sink.

I've set the Rocky everywhere from 3-11, trying everything I could to dial it in. I can get the proper ration in 25ish seconds, with the grinder at 5, but the result is a very bitter.

If/when I do get a new grinder, it will likely be the Ceado E6P, or something equivalent.

I don't mind spending the money, but if it's not going to greatly help this endeavor, why do it?


Thanks in advance.
First off, I'm glad to see you have a excellent grinder on the way (there will be no more grinder excuses for sink shots). I used a Rocky for 2 to 3 years and found that with high quality beans, improving my puck prep skills, removing those 2 grams of retained beans after every dose!!, and freezing each dose of beans prior to grinding allowed for super good espresso. I graduated to a MonoCon and need to only buy high quality beans and prep my puck with care to achieve excellent shots. All this to say...don't necessarily blame the Rocky (though 7 years old, I wonder about those 50mm burrs), your beans may not be as good as you think, and your machine might become your new weak link.

Enjoy the journey!

Bob
Bob "hello darkness my old friend..I've come to drink you once again"

thatbrian (original poster)

#10: Post by thatbrian (original poster) replying to BaristaBob »

Thanks, Bob.

The Rocky was not used very much at all in those 7 years, and I did just strip it down, inspect, clean, and recalibrate it. The grind looks fine enough and consistent enough, and my technique could not have been that bad, so, I think you may have a point when you say, "your beans may not be as good as you think".

Today, I have beans coming in from George Howell, and Buena Vista Roastery, so I might take that Lelit Victoria back out of the box and give it one more go, but, on the other hand, I might just use my newly-acquired Hario Switch and have a nice, stress-free, pour-over.

We will see. . .