Lelit MaraX - Page 69

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

#681: Post by kangkang »

I replaced the original vibration pump into a gear pump to change water pressure during extracting

boren

#682: Post by boren »

What's the machine recommended warm up time in each mode? Can you realistically brew good shots (both espresso and steaming) in 20 minutes or less?

Nsorens

#683: Post by Nsorens »

I give it 30 minutes minimum and use a timer to start up in the morning.

spopinski

#684: Post by spopinski »

kangkang wrote:I replaced the original vibration pump into a gear pump to change water pressure during extracting
Which gear pump?

josemolina

#685: Post by josemolina »

I'm hoping to catch another_jim's attention here, because I want to ask something about his repeated comments that the preinfusion of the Mara X "makes it significantly better for light roasts than any conventional E61." This excited me when I read his original review of the X.

Sour espresso has been the bane of my existence since I started pulling shots for myself about 10 years ago. Originally, I assumed the problem was my Gaggia Classica, which has well-documented problems with temperature stability. I upgraded that to a Quick Mill Carola about 7 years ago, giving me a solid E61 machine and that helped a bit. Three-and-a-half years later I upgraded my grinder from a Baratza Virtuoso Preciso to a Niche Zero and that initially seemed to solve the problem. Over time though my shots have gotten sourer again and recently they've been nearly undrinkable.

Given that I've changed machines and grinders, and used dozens of highly respected coffees, it would seem that the problem has to be my technique. On the other hand, I'm a very careful person, measure grams going in and coming out, use WDT, watch my naked portafilter for channeling...it's hard to see where I could be going significantly wrong. I've also experimented ad infinitum with recipes to increase extraction.

To be clear, I get great results with traditional Italian blends. It's the modern American roasts that don't work. I know what these are meant to taste like and I like integrated acidity. That's not what I'm getting.

So along comes another_jim and says: "The E61 is tuned for coffees and grinders as used in 1961. Lelit retuned the X's E61 for contemporary coffees and grinders." Presumably, temperature control is already comparable on my Carola, so what I'm getting if I trade up is preinfusion geared to modern American espresso, right? Is this finally going to solve my sour espresso problem?

Just a bit more background. I drink only espresso, so steaming capabilities are a complete waste of money for me; this is the reason I own a Carola, which doesn't do steam (SBSU!). I don't have a Scace to check if the Carola is broken and failing to produce hot enough water, but I have taken online advice and increased temperature (via the PID) to see when/if I get flash boiling. I do and it's almost exactly at 100C. This is pretty good evidence that temperature isn't my issue. Lastly, my Niche Zero has required lower and lower settings over time. I used to be at 10-20; now I'm never as high as 10 and regularly down near zero or below. Niche claims that this is normal and doesn't affect grind quality. I have no way of verifying this, but I did dig out my old Baratza. It produces similar (sour) results). All this makes me think that neither my espresso machine or grinder are actually misfunctioning; more that they're not up to the task. On the other hand, I then have no explanation for why my shots have gotten worse over the years since I bought the Niche Zero.

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another_jim
Team HB

#686: Post by another_jim »

josemolina wrote: ... Sour espresso has been the bane of my existence since I started pulling shots for myself about 10 years ago. ...

Just a bit more background. I drink only espresso, so steaming capabilities are a complete waste of money for me; this is the reason I own a Carola, which doesn't do steam (SBSU!).
If you just do shots, and have an E61 on a brew boiler, buy a flow control kit, and you'll have full control. This iwll be better than a MaraX for espresso only.

On my Niche, I reset the zero so a 14 setting gets me a standard 14 gram dose and shot on my standard double basket. (It's roughly at the left end of the left hinge of the lid by now). For light roasted East African coffees (BTW, by far the most challenging for espresso), I'll dial grind at 12, dose at 15 grams, and preinfuse for about 30 seconds. This gets me a nice tasting, albeit thin bodied shot. There is no such thing as a heavy bodied, crema laden shot from a very light roast (light to medium roasts will get you that)
Jim Schulman