Help for beginner with fast espresso pour, blonding - Page 2

Beginner and pro baristas share tips and tricks for making espresso.
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Randy G.

#11: Post by Randy G. »

jaykramer wrote:OK. I'll try a new grinder. I had no idea it was that important. Given the expense of the machine, I may have to return it for a cheaper one to pay for such a pricey grinder. Any suggestions on machine/grinder combo in the $600 area? Also, the beans were just starbucks french roast and they've been refrigerated for a week at least.
I suppose you could try to find worse coffee, but the list would be a short one. Those beans were probably stale when you got them, and even fresh, IMO, they were over-roasted for just about any type of coffee brewing- particularly espresso.

Time for you to develop a long-term plan instead of trying to fit everything you think you need into a constrained budget.

STEP 1) Get a grinder. Blow the whole budget if you have to, but get a grinder that will serve your needs for five or ten years-- or more. Many in this forum have at least one grinder in the $750+ range... quite a few have them in the $1000+ range. Realistically, if you figure $300-750 or so you should be able to do fine. If you an find a quality hand grind it may work fine, but finding one of that quality can be a hit and miss sort of shopping experience.

STEP 2) Get an inexpensive method to make coffee for now. Both a press pot (French press) and an Aerobie Aeropress can be had for about $50-70 total. The press is good for larger quantities at a time (by the cup) and the Aeropress makes an espresso-like beverage that is much like a moka pot.

STEP 3) find a better source for coffee. There are plenty of mail order sources which can supply you with coffee far higher in quality and far better in taste than anything you will get a Starbies. Look for a local roaster for the freshest coffee. Some coffee shops are now roasting on premises and there may be a commercial roaster nearby willing to sell to you directly.
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HB
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#12: Post by HB »

Randy offers rock solid advice based upon years of experience. To your specific question...
jaykramer wrote:thanks for all the great advice. it is clear i need a new grinder and some better coffee. i have a feeling i'm going to get kicked out of here for asking this but. in the interest of saving money/time, does it make sense to use espresso pods instead of grinding myself?
I've tried pods a few times. The best are slightly better than what you are experiencing today (I used a "double pod" sold only to restaurants and the adapter for La Valentina; it was drinkable). The rest are the same or worse than what you are experiencing today. An Aeropress "espresso" made with fresh coffee, your grinder, and milk would be far, far better.
Dan Kehn

jaykramer (original poster)

#13: Post by jaykramer (original poster) »

last question before i get my new grinder and better coffee, once i have these items, is my Baby Twin good enough or will that need upgrading too?
Jay K

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HB
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#14: Post by HB »

I don't know, but I can relate what others have said since it comes up often. The Gaggia line is frequently cited as good entry level espresso machines; the Gaggia Coffee in particular is a price performer at $300. From what I've read, the Gaggia Twin has the same boiler as the others in the line plus a thermoblock for steam. I wouldn't even think about upgrading it at this point.
Dan Kehn

qha000

#15: Post by qha000 »

Hi all,

I just bought my first espresso machine even though I've been drinking espresso for a long time. This forum is awesome and I have been reading and learning quite a bit. I know the 25-30 second rule is just a starting point and it all depending on the taste eventually but no matter what (grind, tamp) my double doesn't go over 15 seconds. The espresso tastes acceptable not definitely not there yet. Do you guys think my machine is defective or that's just the way it is?

Regards,

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HB
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#16: Post by HB »

qha000 wrote:I know the 25-30 second rule is just a starting point and it all depending on the taste eventually but no matter what (grind, tamp) my double doesn't go over 15 seconds. The espresso tastes acceptable not definitely not there yet.
I merged your post with a thread on the same subject. Please read over the questions/suggestions above. Do they help?
Dan Kehn