Convenience and not much else

Need help with equipment usage or want to share your latest discovery?
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RapidCoffee
Team HB

#1: Post by RapidCoffee »

Greetings from Livingston MT! I had a lovely (albeit tame) XC ski tour yesterday. Downhill ski plans for today were trashed due to high winds. Hanging onto a stalled chair lift in 40-60mph gusts is not my idea of fun. :cry:

The Robur is not exactly portable, so I left the Gaggia Factory at home. Now I wish I hadn't. My friends have a fairly pricey superauto, and I brought a pound of Coffee Klatch House Espresso blend to tide me over.
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Saeco Royal Professional, currently priced at ~$1500

To put it mildly, I'm singularly unimpressed. The only way I could get something remotely drinkable:
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First few seconds of the pour. Looks much better than it tastes.

Was to toss out this
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Rest of the pour was pure dishwater.

I wonder if the new QuickMill superauto can do any better? This Saeco is certainly convenient, and the owners are very proud of it. But the end product is no better than relatively inexpensive home superautos I've used in the past. In a word: unacceptable.
John

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malachi

#2: Post by malachi »

have you tried taking the temp up (way up)?
"Taste is the only morality." -- John Ruskin

Beezer

#3: Post by Beezer »

Ouch. Why must superautos suck so badly? It's not like they're inexpensive, but the result is worse than what I can make with my cheap office setup (Gaggia Coffee and Macap grinder), which costs less than half as much.

The photos of shots coming out of the Quickmill superauto actually look quite promising.

http://www.chriscoffee.com/products/hom ... ssuperauto

It's always a bit silly to judge a shot by looks alone, but I'd take that thick reddish brown crema from the Quickmill any day over the blond, watery looking shots you just posted. My condolences on having to drink that stuff.

I've been known to lug my Anita and CMH grinder on bike and ski trips in the past. It's a pain to transport and my friends tease me about it, but they don't complain when they line up in the morning for their cappuccinos.
Lock and load!

atao

#4: Post by atao »

fwiw, i have a saeco incanto sirius at my girlfriends apt. its got options for 7, 9, 12g doses and also has low, med, high temperature settings.

i've found that pulling two 7g shots instead of a single 12g and dialing the grind as fine as it can go, and cutting the shot just as it blondes (this can be a pretty quick shot - like 15 seconds), i can get pretty serviceable shots. i.e. the lower doses work better. they actually work great in americanos. they're typically not nearly as bold/bright as a shot pulled from my silvia or a cafe, but they are pretty palatable to me.

and i don't recommend universally going to the hottest setting. at least in my machine, the hot is too hot for some espresso blends. for example, we're using the hayes valley (from blue bottle) right now, and it actually works well at low temp.

another option: if you grind with a real external espresso grinder and use a doser bypass, you can get a better shot out of these machines. the main problem is that the built-in grinder can't get too fine, otherwise it'll clog it's grinder chute.

-andrew

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shadowfax

#5: Post by shadowfax »

Beezer wrote:The photos of shots coming out of the Quickmill superauto actually look quite promising.

http://www.chriscoffee.com/products/hom ... ssuperauto
Wow!

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I missed that picture the last time I checked out the product page for the QM Super Auto. That's the most impressive thing I've ever seen come out of that type of machine. Yes, all those qualifiers of "picture perfect != taste perfect," you can at least see that the espresso has body, which I've never seen from a super auto, ever.
Nicholas Lundgaard

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RapidCoffee
Team HB

#6: Post by RapidCoffee »

malachi wrote:have you tried taking the temp up (way up)?
Dunno if it's possible, but I'll check.
John

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RapidCoffee
Team HB

#7: Post by RapidCoffee »

atao wrote:i've found that pulling two 7g shots instead of a single 12g and dialing the grind as fine as it can go, and cutting the shot just as it blondes (this can be a pretty quick shot - like 15 seconds), i can get pretty serviceable shots.
That's exactly what I'm doing: pulling two single shots, and cutting the pour when it blonds.
John

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malachi

#8: Post by malachi »

RapidCoffee wrote:Dunno if it's possible, but I'll check.
I did a quick search on the interwebs and found the user manual. It indicates that you can in fact increase brew temp.
"Taste is the only morality." -- John Ruskin

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RapidCoffee
Team HB

#9: Post by RapidCoffee »

You're right, you can, and I did. It helped. The "maximum" setting was too bitter, but the "high" setting definitely improved matters. Great call. Perhaps the default "medium" setting is geared towards charbucks beans.

I'm still seeing very early blonding, dumping over half the pour into a waste cup to get something drinkable. I'll try to play around with dose, grind, and water volume settings over the next couple of days. We'll see how much tweaking my hosts permit before they toss me out on my overcaffeinated a$$... :wink:
John

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Psyd

#10: Post by Psyd »

atao wrote: i've found that pulling two 7g shots instead of a single 12g...
... cutting the shot just as it blondes...
...if you grind with a real external espresso grinder... ...you can get a better shot out of these machines.
Uhm, Andrew, are we still discussing a super-automatic machine? :wink:

I'm thinking that if you have to go through the motions, save the money and buy manual kit. I'm having a discussion on another forum about supers. I suggested that the shop pictured probably wasn't worth a visit, because they kept the Schearers when they took over from Fivebucks, and he keeps insisting that they can be adjusted and kept clean and produce very good quality shots. I keep saying that I believe him, but that it has never actually happened to me or anyone that I know. Granted, a professional super technician can get 'em to work really well, but what happens an hour and a half after that guy leaves?
I stand by my original suggestion that supers are for people who really like Fivebucks and their ilk, and don't want to do any work to get anything better.
Present company excepted. You eat what's in the can when you're stranded on the desert island, ya know. :D
Espresso Sniper
One Shot, One Kill

LMWDP #175