The Cremina and The Beginner - Page 2

A haven dedicated to manual espresso machine aficionados.
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#11: Post by Shakespeare »

MATT: I noticed that you are using " Bottomless portafilter from Creativewerk"
I have had the impression that the major difference between the one sold by Olympia.
The 'Creativewerk' portafilter didn't have the extended lip on the bottom that limited the size of basket that could be used.

Your using a 15 gram basket. "I like the smaller 49mm basket with the accompanying smaller shot volume. It's the perfect amount
for how much coffee my wife".
Am I correct that you have the option of using larger basket size with the Crestivewerk?
If so, have you tried a larger basket.

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#12: Post by choroidalfusion (original poster) »

Yes, Shakespeare, that is correct that there is no extended lip on the bottom of the creativewerk portafilter. So I'm sure the larger baskets would fit this portafilter. As I've been satisfied with the smaller 14-15g OEM basket, I've yet to explore another size. I'm sure my curiosity will get the best of me and I'll likely try another at some point.

I've read of folks using the Elektra basket or a Streitman basket with the Cremina. I don't necessarily want/need the extra capacity but I would be curious if an alternative basket offered superior precision in machining than the OEM basket? I've not been able to find somewhere if that's the case. I suppose the next question would be, even if the machining and tolerances were superior, would it make any detectable difference in the espresso quality?

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#13: Post by Pressino »

Nice review, and you make some fine observations, such as this one, which I think is spot on:

Tamp pressure doesn't matter? Reading and learning about espresso, it seems like the general wisdom is that one should not be too fussy about the pressure used during tamping. However, I find that *lightly* tamping is a sure fire way to get channeling (I notice spraying from a portion of the basket during the pull, and flow is too quick). And then if I pull the exact same shot with the same parameters, except I tamp very firmly, then I get no channeling. Seems to me like this is an argument for: No, you can't tamp too hard, but YES, you can tamp too lightly?

Many probably don't realize this, unless they use a bottomless PF...

Enjoy your Cremina!

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#14: Post by Sleepy57 »

I disagree with you , so with your thinking you own an automatic machine for 10 years you then have the experience to move to a lever machine. Thats like saying you must drive an automatic transmission automobile before you drive a stick shift.

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#15: Post by Pressino replying to Sleepy57 »

With whom are you disagreeing? I don't recall the OP saying he owned an automatic machine for 10 years. I believe he said his wife suggested a Jura for Christmas, but he didn't buy it. And in case I'm not sure what your point is. :?

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#16: Post by Tinkershot »

Sounds like you are enjoying the machine, and that's important! The ritual of making coffee with my 83' Cremina scratches that OCD itch. A simple tool you can use to help eliminate the variance in your tamp pressure is a portafilter puck screen. You may notice a more firm pressure in your pull, but it almost eliminates any uneven water distribution/absorption. You should notice a difference right away since you are using a bottomless portafilter.
Wine is fine but coffee is divine!

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#17: Post by Sleepy57 »

With JJ420

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#18: Post by mdmvrockford »

To OP,
IMHO, I would highly recommend pressure piston gauge to help with baseline (e.g. so that know what 9 bars, 6 bars,4 bars feels like) and for consistency.
I discussed my thoughts in this 2017 thread
Olympia Cremina piston pressure gauge unboxing

Other more experience and senior Cremina users disagree with addition of pressure gauge. I used Cremina (1990 model) as essentially sole espresso brewer 2015 to 2021. I used Gabor's pressure piston gauge from 2017 to 2021. TBH, once I know a bean, I rarely look at pressure gauge.
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#19: Post by CrabRangoon replying to mdmvrockford »

I'd always been on the fence about Gabor's pressure gauge. The product released after I'd had my Cremina for years and I couldn't tell if it would improve things for me or if default in the experienced/senior community by then (and again, by now). I value his product and wish I'd had it early on in my ownership, and even now if all I know I'm still not hitting 9bar as I just have no way of knowing. My shots are good, but perhaps I need to dive into the gauge and it's data to chance better results.
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#20: Post by mrgnomer »

With my Cremina 67 the roast, grind and dose seem to dictate the extraction pressure. If the grind is coarse with big headspace on the dose and the roast is on the lighter side there's no way I'm able to lean in on the pull. The extraction is on the quick side with not so much effort. That feels like a low bar pull.

With finer grind and less headspace/more dose I sometimes have to lean right in and bend the lever to get a flow started. From there easing off and lightening the pressure can help the flow but if I keep leaning in it ends up a high bar ristretto.
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