Doing everything the same, espresso disaster - Page 3

Beginner and pro baristas share tips and tricks.
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Nurk2

#21: Post by Nurk2 »

PIXIllate wrote:This does not apply to the new Gaggia Cassic. They have been changed internally. You have to hack around and cut springs to try and change the pressure.
I had no idea. That makes it kind of worthless.
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dparrish
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#22: Post by dparrish »

PIXIllate wrote:Conicals are by their very nature more forgiving.
Stuck at 13 bar is not minutiae.
After owning both a conical and a flat I'm not sure I agree with that. I think quality design and manufacture makes the most difference. Once set, both Eureka and MACAP can be left alone for a while, until the coffee ages. The biggest difference for me is that the MACAP allows (with its worm drive) easier fine-tuning. The difference in taste is subjective.

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dparrish
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#23: Post by dparrish »

PIXIllate wrote:This is nonsense. The Vario is EASILY on the same level as the Niche which everyone loves and probably better for medium and lighter coffees due to being a flat burr. You do have to put quite a bit of coffee through the Vario before it settles down and may have to take the case off to align it if you are really looking for high EY%. There are many people who struggle to tell a well aligned Vario from a Monolith. The Gaggia on the other hand is unstable in every way measurable, from pressure to temperature to flow rate. I've owned these things and have gone through it first hand.

If you're going to spend much more money then just jump to something that has large burrs and is extremely well aligned by design and tolerance. The Eureka and Ceado grinders do not fit that description. Some of the Mazzers do but none of them is ideal for single dosing. Unfortunately to get beyond the Vario/Niche level of performance it's a big step. But you only have to do it once.

Buy a new Espresso machine. You'll be glad you did.
Sorry to disagree again, but having owned both Vario and Eureka (Specialita, one of their lower end grinders) there is NO COMPARISON. Eureka is FAR better in terms of ease of use, quality of grind (nice and fluffy), consistency, and reliability. The Vario is a coffee grinder trying to be an espresso grinder, IMO-a toy by comparison. No offense intended, just that I was VERY frustrated by that grinder. I love the idea of an American company making an espresso grinder, and the Sette may be better (although lots of issues I've seen reported), but in my experience the Italians know how to do it right. If you are able to get good results with your Vario, great. You are a better man than I :). But my guess is that once you receive your upgrade, you will understand what others here are talking about.

PIXIllate
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#24: Post by PIXIllate »

dparrish wrote:After owning both a conical and a flat I'm not sure I agree with that. I think quality design and manufacture makes the most difference. Once set, both Eureka and MACAP can be left alone for a while, until the coffee ages. The biggest difference for me is that the MACAP allows (with its worm drive) easier fine-tuning. The difference in taste is subjective.
Denis from Kafatek would disagree with you here. He arguably makes both the world's best conical and flat Burr grinders and has stated that flats are inherently more demanding of puck prep and conicals will always be more tolerent of user error and coffee. All else being equal in terms of manufacture and design. Given he manufactures and designs both I'm inclined to believe him.

PIXIllate
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#25: Post by PIXIllate »

dparrish wrote:Sorry to disagree again, but having owned both Vario and Eureka (Specialita, one of their lower end grinders) there is NO COMPARISON. Eureka is FAR better in terms of ease of use, quality of grind (nice and fluffy), consistency, and reliability. The Vario is a coffee grinder trying to be an espresso grinder, IMO-a toy by comparison. No offense intended, just that I was VERY frustrated by that grinder. I love the idea of an American company making an espresso grinder, and the Sette may be better (although lots of issues I've seen reported), but in my experience the Italians know how to do it right. If you are able to get good results with your Vario, great. You are a better man than I :). But my guess is that once you receive your upgrade, you will understand what others here are talking about.
You are the only person I've heard say that the quality of a Eureka Specialita is superior to the Vario when it comes to in the cup taste. On the other hand there are over a decade of posts and massive threads here at HB of people who have found the Vario to be amongst the very best affordable grinders ever made when it comes to tastings. I understand your experience was different but it would appear to be a minority view, historically speaking.

I agree that once I receive my upgrade I will get better results. But that will take something far beyond an entry level Eureka. I actually wanted to buy the Eureka 75 as it is cheaper and more readily available but after reading the threads here about it, it became pretty obvious this wasn't going to get me much better in the cup results than the Vario if it's better at all. I decided to make my next grinder my last.

All of that aside, the OP and the subject of this thread is about an issue that is obviously caused by the inherent pressure, temperature and flow problems inherent in the current Gaggia Classic design. 13 bars of pressure and temperature surfing are going to easily overwhelm any in the cup differences caused by the grinders mentioned here. Speaking as someone who has owned the exact equipment the OP is working with and as someone who kept the Vario and swapped out the Espresso machine.

dparrish
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#26: Post by dparrish » replying to PIXIllate »

Didn't say any of the mentioned grinders was superior in taste-that is subjective to the user. Although I spent quite a bit more on the MACAP, I can't say that it produces a "better" tasting shot. Different, yes, but not that much different, and as a long-time tea taster (yes, TEA, which is generally more subtle and nuanced than coffee), my tastes are pretty nuanced. But as an easy-to-use tool, I stand by my statement regarding the Eureka being an excellent grinder for the money, and one which is available for not much more than the Vario if you look at European sources. Any seller of a product is naturally going to tout the perceived advantages of their product. The proof is in the usage and comparison first-hand. I share my opinion not to offend or inflame allegiance to a certain product. If it works for you, great! But the OP was wanting options to improve CONSISTENCY. IMO, he would be much better served by a number of other grinder choices. It would certainly help, and it is in that spirit which I offer my thoughts. I cannot address the issue of the Gaggia, but regardless I know that I couldn't live with the Vario. Those of us who have played the espresso "game" know from experience that, unfortunately, spending a bit more, both on grinder and machine, generally gives a better result, up to a point. I recently upgraded my machine from a respectable E61 (Lucca M58 v.1) to a Linea Mini. The upgrade was possible for me financially, and I'm glad I made the move. The OP WOULD probably gain from upgrading the machine. But repeatability in dialing in a shot is important to workflow in building a shot. At some point he should think about upgrading both components. I offer my thoughts based on frustration in being able to get a consistent grind from shot to shot when using the Vario. When I upgraded my grinder, my espresso experience instantly became more consistent, less time consuming, and more enjoyable.

trapperkeeper

#27: Post by trapperkeeper »

dparrish, there is no point in arguing with someone who has very little experience... i empathize somewhat - we were there also at one point. Only after owning several grinders and machines and making every mistake in the book does it become clear what really matters - you know, those "oh, i get it now" moments. Same with any hobby. Btw, levers are where it's at :lol:
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heytchap

#28: Post by heytchap »

PIXIllate wrote:Personally I've owned the Gaggia being discussed here and the Vario being discussed here. The Gaggia is not a machine anyone can turn out repeatable high quality espresso from. That's a fact. The Vario is a grinder I use daily (until the Monolith Flat arrives) to turn out repeatable high quality espresso with. Yes, I had to adjust it. Yes, my skill level has improved in terms of puck prep.

The thing that made my coffee better was replacing the Gaggia that could never do anything in a repeatable way and was permanently stuck at 13 bar. A PID controlled double boiler was absolutely the right upgrade to take me out of espresso making hell.

I'm now ready to remove the grinder from ever being a limiting factor and probably before too many years move to a Decent. At that point it will be back to everything that isn't right is either my fault or bad coffee.

Of course this is only one approach to espresso. But it would appear to be the straightest line between the in and the out door of equipment expenditures (if your goal is world class in the cup espresso). Other than starting with a Kafatek and Decent. Maybe some do. I congratulate them for being smarter than I am.

James Hoffman has an upcoming head to head with 5-6 of the best grinders in the world. Eureka and Ceado are not on that list.
Hard to take anything seriously here when you don't know the OPV can be modified to go from 1 to 15 bar with minimal effort.

You mentioned the new ones require considerable effort. Also not true.

A simple spring replacement from Mr Shades is all it takes with 3 options included covering 6, x, and 9 bar. There's one other that's escaping me but in the range. You're very misinformed here.

The Gaggia is a fine espresso machine with predicable and repeatable results. All these people who use them and swear by them cant all be wrong.

The rest of your comments about "best grinders in the world" are silly.

OP, please consider the following:

Gaggia PID and OPV mods.
Use vario for pour/brew and get a cheap and consistent grinder like the Eureka Specialita for consistent espresso that's high quality and won't break the bank.

thirdcrackfourthwave

#29: Post by thirdcrackfourthwave »

We use our Classic (old version) only for steaming milk. It came with the OPV set at over 11. I adjusted it and temperature surfed. It was, after that, not all that inconsistent. From time to time I could pull a decent shot. I bought a Robot, the Classic was never as good or as easy/forgiving as the Robot. Maybe I steam milk once on the weekend for a cap--no complaints when steaming a few ounces. DW's lattes--maybe a different story.