Complete frustration Gaggia Classic

Beginner and pro baristas share tips and tricks for making espresso.
LA42014

#1: Post by LA42014 »

I have been trying to get a barely acceptable shot of espresso for a long time now but I cannot seem to improve. I have read all the postings on the Gaggia Classic. The biggest issue is that I have bitter and burnt espresso. I have descaled the machine beacuse I thought that might be the culprit but it did not help.

I used a Timemore scale(which I had to return because it did not work) but the use of the scale to get a good ratio did not change the taste of the espresso. I have adjusted the fineness of the grind and the tamp pressure as well to trend to sour but I have been unable to produce anything drinkable. I have used super crema Lavazza beans and new beans from Simpatico coffee. The extraction time is generally too fast unless I grind really fine and that gets me to 25 sec but the result is the same in terms of taste. I would prefer to not modify the pressure on the machine.

Any suggestions or advice would be great. Thanks

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cafeIKE
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#2: Post by cafeIKE »

What grinder?
How much coffee in a dose?
How old are the beans?

Have you checked headspace on a dose?

Tamp pressure likely irrelevant.
Level tamp critical.

Marcelnl
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#3: Post by Marcelnl »

you'll need to adjust the OPV pressure or likely all your shots will be fast, the internet (and this forum) has ample information on this machine. (I've owned 2 in the past, other than a very skimpy temperature 'control' it is capable of making decent espresso.

OPV adjustment with pressure gauge
I did not have a gauage so I used the flow method (less precise but it works)

Temp surfing is the next thing, it's more usual to have too cold shots as the boiler is tiny but using the steam button too much can get you burnt espresso.
LMWDP #483

LA42014 (original poster)

#4: Post by LA42014 (original poster) »

cafeIKE wrote:What grinder? Breville Smart Grinder Pro
How much coffee in a dose? 14g
How old are the beans? Super Crema 2 weeks(they come in a huge bag)
Simpatico beans 1 week


Have you checked headspace on a dose?Yes just can see the imprint from the round screw head after I take out and look at the puck

Tamp pressure likely irrelevant.
Level tamp critical.

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cafeIKE
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#5: Post by cafeIKE »

Is the screw imprint before or after pulling a shot?

8.8 bar without flow will be considerably lower with flow.

LA42014 (original poster)

#6: Post by LA42014 (original poster) »

Marcelnl wrote:you'll need to adjust the OPV pressure or likely all your shots will be fast, the internet (and this forum) has ample information on this machine. (I've owned 2 in the past, other than a very skimpy temperature 'control' it is capable of making decent espresso.

OPV adjustment with pressure gauge

video

I did not have a gauage so I used the flow method (less precise but it works)

Temp surfing is the next thing, it's more usual to have too cold shots as the boiler is tiny but using the steam button too much can get you burnt espresso.
Thanks for this. Is the pressure a likely cause of the burnt/bitter espresso? I thought that overextraction could cause this but it is tough to have that with a flow this fast.

Marcelnl
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#7: Post by Marcelnl »

yeah that is the weird part, you'd rather expect sour shots than burnt...I'd start with adjusting the OPV pressure, and then measure 14 g going in, aiming for a 30-40sec shot duration until blonding by adjusting grind setting and then tinker with temperature (by temp surfing).
LMWDP #483

LA42014 (original poster)

#8: Post by LA42014 (original poster) »

cafeIKE wrote:8.8 bar without flow will be considerably lower with flow.
Just a novice here-can you explain this?

LA42014 (original poster)

#9: Post by LA42014 (original poster) »

cafeIKE wrote:Is the screw imprint before or after pulling a shot? Yes

8.8 bar without flow will be considerably lower with flow.

PIXIllate
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#10: Post by PIXIllate »

I owned one of these and have experienced the endless frustration of working with a tool that is broken from the start. Selling a machine set to 13 bar is just perverse.

The best day I had with it was the day I gor tired of the inconsistent shots and just quietly boxed it up and sold it that night. I then quit coffee for a year, saved the money and bought a real espresso machine. I've never looked back.

My condolences.