Olympia Cremina - First Shots- Frustrated - Page 5

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drH
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#41: Post by drH »

I used to experience the harder-to-pull second shot as well. For some reason this stopped happening to me and I'm not exactly sure why. I do measure the temperature now and I didn't before. But I also recently switched grinders to a 64mm flat, which may have changed things.

petcmc (original poster)

#42: Post by petcmc (original poster) »

I have a Ceado E37S - it and older one and terrible retention. To rectify:

I grind into steel bowl. Then pour into porta filter on scale that I zero out. I am consistent

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ajs

#43: Post by ajs »

petcmc wrote:Shots are getting better every day!
For me I turned the corner when I took incorporated pre-infusion in a real way. 12 - 15 seconds and the drip stars and then I pull. One thing I have noticed is that my second pull of the day is always harder and pre-infusion takes longer. I use same amount of coffee (15gm) etc. Must be something to do with the temperature, the shot is good but harder to pull - any thoughts?
I've been on a similar journey. Unlike yourself, I'm using a NZ.

I have a thermo strip and have noticed that the thermal rebound after a single shot[1] doesn't quite return the group-head to the idle temperature but is a few ºC hotter. My working theory at the moment is that the slightly-warmer water leads to marginally higher puck resistance. I dose around 12.5-13.5g and notice a 3-5s difference when aiming for 2:1 in the cup.

Cheers,

- ajs
[1] After popping the puck I thoroughly rinse the portafilter under cold running water until the bridge to the handle is cold, and then place in the group-head while prepping the next dose. It's all brass, so the cold portafilter brings the group-head down fairly quickly: I gauge "progress" by touching the portafilter and effectiveness by glancing at the thermostrip.

ojt

#44: Post by ojt »

ajs wrote:I have a thermo strip and have noticed that the thermal rebound after a single shot[1] doesn't quite return the group-head to the idle temperature but is a few ºC hotter.
This is the same with a Pavoni and my theory is this is because the during the first shot the piston warms up and then keeps the whole grouphead slightly warmer. Using a slightly higher temperature for the first shot might help for consistency.
ajs wrote:My working theory at the moment is that the slightly-warmer water leads to marginally higher puck resistance.
This should be common knowledge yes. As far as I understand it hotter water expands the puck more, giving more resistance. One of the common dialing-in tricks is bew colder and grind finer, or brew hotter and grind more coarse.
Osku

petcmc (original poster)

#45: Post by petcmc (original poster) »

My second shot is not bad at all I just have noticed the phenomena. After the first shot I always take the filter basket out of the portafilter and cool it down with the portafilter remaining in the group head.

Also today I can appreciate how good my shots are getting. I had my two Cremena shots and went out and ended up at a Starbucks. Had a double espresso, it was awful! Tasted like burnt beans.

Peter

mdmvrockford
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#46: Post by mdmvrockford »

ajs wrote:After popping (out) the puck I thoroughly rinse the portafilter under cold running water until the bridge to the handle is cold, and then place in the group-head while prepping the next dose. It's all brass, so the cold portafilter brings the group-head down fairly quickly: I gauge "progress" by touching the portafilter and effectiveness by glancing at the thermostrip.
For anyone following along and not prior aware, "ajs" above describes quick & easy way to lower Cremina's grouphead temperature.

FWIW in my nearly six year experience with the Cremina, the cold portafilter technique "ajs" describes above is effective and quick if need to lower temperature. If for some reason one needs more dramatic and quicker temperature reductions, these two techniques work but require little more labor: (a) cold-water-moistened dish sponge applied to grouphead and/or (b) submerging filter screen & thus lower end of piston head in cold-water-filled ceramic-cup. Both these other methods were prior mentioned in my post#7 in this thread. And for these latter two techniques if needed, I will remoisten dish sponge with cold water and/or replace ceramic mug with fresh cold water, respectively. External grouphead thermometer makes it easy to know stopping point for the grouphead cooling.
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drH
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#47: Post by drH »

petcmc wrote: Tasted like burnt beans.
Ha!
I used to have a Starbucks double every morning for years before I bought a home machine. Occasionally I still get one for the nostalgia, but the burned flavor is quite prominent. Surprisingly I'm sometimes in the mood for that, but those moments are increasingly rare. In any case, I credit them with sparking my interest in this great hobby.

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mdmvrockford
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#48: Post by mdmvrockford »

drH wrote:I used to have a Starbucks double every morning for years before I bought a home machine. Occasionally I still get one for the nostalgia, but the burned flavor is quite prominent. Surprisingly I'm sometimes in the mood for that, but those moments are increasingly rare. In any case, I credit them with sparking my interest in this great hobby.
Starbucks in 1990 served pretty good espresso but my gustatory memory is not that good. So maybe it was good then because my palate was not as developed at that time. IIRC, the grinders then were Mazzer (SuperJolly or Major or was it Robur) and the machines were multi-group LaMarzocco. The beans in the hopper did not look shiny oily like they have been for at least past 10 years. I still have the 1990 informational pamplets from Starbucks about espresso and its variants. They are great illustrated reference. In at least past ten years I too have found their espresso (unadultered) is undrinkable bitter and thin and terrible aftertaste.

More back on topic, I am glad to hear original poster petcmc is getting better results from their new Cremina. I suspect once you become very proficient with Cremina, your experience will mirror mine and others. Namely with same fresh-roasted beans from same well-regarded coffee shop: your home espresso will at least equal (and most often exceed) the espresso from coffee shop.

Why? I prefer the manual lever's inherent declining pressure profile. No commercial cafe I have ever visited uses manual lever due to impracticality and inefficiency and occupational hazard for barista. If any commerical cafe uses lever it is spring lever. And I use an aligned grinder that has same quality burr set as the commercial cafe's grinder. And I only make few espressos per day and not >=25 per hour. And I can vary parameters to my liking and not to masses of various customers.

I find same experience with my E61 group head pump machine when compared to commercial cafes's pump machines with same parameters (e.g. same fresh roasted beans).
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drH
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#49: Post by drH »

Yes it is off topic but you're right that things have changed at Starbucks. All I see there are super automatic machines and I have to wonder what effect that has. If you go to Peet's coffee it's still the old way... La Marzocco machines calibrated every morning. The baristas are eager to talk about the process.

pcrussell50

#50: Post by pcrussell50 »

Dragging this back up, as to not leave stones unturned...
drgary wrote:. BTW a quality Robusta will not have "off" tastes like burnt rubber.
True in the sense that nowadays especially as expert roasters and blenders are finding ways to use small amounts of robusta as an integral part of the vision they have for what they want their blend to taste like.

The "burned tires" simile I used was a nod to how we viewed robusta in the (still not terribly) olden days... the days of alt.coffee and the salad days of coffeegeek 20 years ago, when the robusta in our lives was often because it was cheap, and appeared in canned supermarket coffees.

The OP mentioned that he is using Lavazza Super Crema. Which is a "canned" supermarket coffee. The question here is, is the robusta in it carefully chosen to enhance flavor? Or was it added due to robusta's well known characteristic of producing a lot of crema... (Which ironically, itself tastes nasty). Skip ahead to 3:30 here. Also, there is a fantastic video clip on the matter from James Hoffman back when he was "jimseven", and not the big deal he is now. I can't find it any more. Also, James Hoffman's take from years after his original blog video on crema. Skip ahead to 12:10

Since the OP was complaining about the taste of his results, I thought his choice of coffee might be a stone that should not remain unturned. I also included the consideration that if he already knew for sure that he liked this coffee prepared in other ways on other machines, then he could probably eliminate it as a variable in sorting out his new Cremina.

-Peter
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