Expobar Office Pulser...not sure where to start.

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

#1: Post by gcoello »

Hi everyone,

Recently bought an Expobar Office Pulser to replace an aging, thrice repaired Saeco Talia Giro.

To start with, I know that I am not using premium beans, but so far, the crema and resulting taste of the shots on the Pulser is far inferior to the Talea.

I usually flush 6-8 ounces before pulling a shot with fresh resin filter, in the tank. The extracted water temperature comes out at at 180 degrees F.

I start with a very fine grind, about 20g in the double basket, and tamp to what I think is 30 lbs. Not sure to be honest, but I do put some weight behind it. I have read in other articles that it should take about 25 seconds to pour 2 to 2.5 oz. My experience is that despite the fine grind and heavy tamp, I am getting 2 oz after only 15 seconds, with almost no crema. I don't get any sort of crema until about 25 seconds, at which point I have poured 3oz or more.

The resulting 2 oz shot, with little to no crema is quite bitter. The resulting 3 oz shot, with crema is more on the sour side...I think. I need to develop my palate more. The pucks are coming out of the portafilter, relatively dry, and solid, with no cracks or holes.

I know that there are a lot of variables to consider, but I hope that someone with one of these machines will have some advice on how to troubleshoot, and the steps I can take to resolve, starting from the easiest and/or most obvious, to the most difficult.


User avatar

#2: Post by canuckcoffeeguy »

Welcome fellow Canuck. First two important questions:

What grinder are you using?
What beans are you using?

These will jumpstart the troubleshooting.


#3: Post by gcoello »

The beans are currently Lavazza Oro and the grinder is a Cuisinart DBM-8 Supreme :oops: Until this point haven't needed a decent grinder. Only used it when I wanted to grind the Lavazza beans for a drip machine. A better grinder is on my list when funds allow.

User avatar

#4: Post by canuckcoffeeguy » replying to gcoello »

Hi Glenn,

Well I have good news and bad news :D :twisted:

The good news is you answered your own question. And the second piece of good news is that your problems are not a great cosmic mystery for the ages and can be solved easily.

The bad news, which may not even be bad news, is that solving your problems will cost some money.

As you already know, you need a better espresso grinder. And likely fresher beans. (Although, there are cases where the packaged Italian roasted beans can work, but this is another discussion that has been explored in other HB threads and it won't help you right now. So let's put that aside for now).

You have a new machine that is capable of making excellent espresso. But espresso requires many variables to be mostly right at the same time.

Grind quality is EXTREMELY important. In fact, it's more important than the machine. The world's best espresso machine can't do diddly squat without a proper espresso grind. Your espresso chain is only as good as the weakest link.

The HB axiom GRINDER GRINDER GRINDER is basically the 11th commandment. And, as the legend goes, it was inscribed on a stone tablet atop a tall mountain a long time ago. But it was erased at the last minute by the pressurized portafilter gods who wanted to protect their latest fake espresso creation.

Okay, kidding aside. You're experiencing telltale signs of grinder letdown. It's just not cutting the mustard.

Hence, your issue. You need a capable espresso grinder. That doesn't mean you need to break the bank. But you do you need to spend a certain amount to obtain a manual grinder(which is generally less expensive) or a motorized grinder(which is generally more expensive).

So the big questions are:

-What's your budget for a new grinder?

-What kinds of drinks do you want to make and how many per session?

-Do you want to single dose with the routine that comes with that?... or fill the hopper with beans and just grind shots immediately by timer or weight based dosing?

-Are you open to manual grinding or motorized only? Manual is mostly cheaper, with some exceptions.

Different beans are an easy fix. Discuss that later.


#5: Post by gcoello »

Hi Ryan,

I'm glad to hear that the solution is likely one that can be resolved with proper supplies and technique.

My normal routine usually involves two large Americanos in the morning, followed by two lattes or capps in the afternoon. Now that I have a machine that can handle volume, I'd be more likely to pour 8 to 10 servings when guests visit, rather than resorting to drip.

What is like to do more of is more capps, and espressos straight up, or perhaps con panna. And of course, latte art

I don't have a budget per se, but always like to get the best deal possible. I do have a bit of room since I only paid $450 CDN for the barely used expobar. I'm happy to do my own measuring by weight, but would definitely want something electric. But of course, if I know what to look for, then I can keep my eyes open for another deal that I can't pass up.

Appreciate the feedback so far!

User avatar

#6: Post by canuckcoffeeguy » replying to gcoello »

No problem. So first step is to decide on a new espresso grinder.

You already know you want motorized. And you don't need high volume output, except for when entertaining.

There's a wide range of options at very different price points. The bare minimum we would typically recommend for a motorized espresso grinder is something like a Baratza Preciso or Baratza Vario. These have gotten more expensive in Canada because of our low dollar.

However, Baratza just launched the new Sette grinder which looks like massive bang for the buck. It should hit stores by summer, replacing the Preciso which is being phased out. Outside of used gear, the Baratza grinders are probably your best bet for electrical grinders under $500-600 CAD.

Otherwise, you're looking at the next tier of grinders which is getting into commercial grade territory. Then you need to spend closer to $1,000 CAD or more to jump to this level.

There's also the lower priced Breville Smart Pro series. Some have reported good results for espresso with the Pro version, not the regular Smart grinder. But in this price range I still think the Baratza products are a better option. And with the Sette coming soon, this price point is now controlled by Baratza.

So basically it comes down to budget. From there you can narrow down your choices based on other criteria.

Here's a good indication of Canadian prices these days. Idrinkcoffee has the largest selection of equipment in Canada. Here's their grinder page:
http://www.idrinkcoffee.com/Grinders_s/ ... 200&page=1