I just received a Breville Bambino Plus from Breville as a replacement for an older malfunctioning machine.
This is different from any machine I have used before. I am used to making espresso manually, but the Bambino Plus is designed to be fully automatic. (I notice it does have a manual option, but so far I have only tested the preprogrammed automatic settings.)
The highlight of this machine seems to be the milk steaming system, which is superior to any I've used before. Unfortunately this is not much of a benefit for me, because I almost always drink straight espressos or Americanos. I seldom make lattes.
So my main concern is how to make the best espresso I can with this machine (and of course I would appreciate any tips from others who have used/ do use it!).
This machine comes only with "dual walled baskets" - which I am not familiar with and have never used before, but I have read that they are for use with preground coffee (which I do not use, I grind my own).
The first thing I noticed is that the filter basket is impossible to remove from the porta filter manually. I need to force it out using the edge of the other filter basket. I have never experienced this before with previous machines, so I would like to get some feedback on this. It seems a little inconvenient when it comes to cleaning all the filter parts after use. I have noticed if I do not remove the basket from the portafilter and rise everything thoroughly coffee residues remain stuck inbetween and I do not get clear water when running water through the filter.
My second question is about the amount of coffee being extracted. According to the instruction manual the 1 cup automatic option should produce 1 oz of espresso, and the 2 cup should produce 2 oz (as I would expect!). In my experiments I am using tablespoons to measure, so that would be 2 tablespoons, and 4 tablespoons.
But I have found that with coffee grounds in the basket or even simply running blank shots through the machine the maximum amount of liquid I get for the 1 cup option is 1 tablespoon, and the maximum amount for the 2 cup option is 3 tablespoons. After pulling blank shots I see that a great deal of water is being retained in the filter basket, so my impression is the filter basket might be retaining more water than it should to release a proper quantity for each shot?
Have others who use this machine had the same experience and if so what did you do?
Thanks for your help.
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