Help with consistent shots

Beginner and pro baristas share tips and tricks.

#1: Post by steve220 »

Good morning!

New here to the forum and need some advice for pulling more consistent shots. Currently I am using the Breville Barista Express BES870XL and have my settings on 3 for the grinder, 3 o'clock for grind amount and using single non pressurized portafilter.

Current Method:
Warm Cup (1 shot into espresso cup to get hot)
Grind beans, shave off excess, and tamp.
Put grouphead in, brew, etc.

I have tried multiple beans from Lavazza and currently Barbobe Miscela Blu is the best one that comes consistent. I am looking for a bean that when I brew becomes thick and full bodied. I also tried changes the settings multiple times with different beans and the Barbone comes the best. Can anyone help me find either a bean that will brew thicker with more creama or setting/routine that works for you (using the same machine).

Note: my machine is cleaned, descaled well.

Please help


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#2: Post by slipchuck »

1st rule of good espresso is fresh coffee. Don't bother with grocery store beans.. go to a local roaster and get some fresh beans preferably roasted in the last 5 days
Put what you need in the hopper and freeze the rest.
There are many steps to good espresso but try this first

“There is nobody you can’t learn to like once you’ve heard their story.”

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#3: Post by baldheadracing »

On the 870, start with the double basket. On that machine, the single basket is very difficult to use to get what you are looking for. Lavazza, etc., should be fine to start. Good luck!
What I'm interested in is my worst espresso being fantastic - James Hoffmann

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#4: Post by Bluenoser »

Are you using a scale? It is only way to be consistent. If not, get cheap $20 0.01g scale from Walmart. (not 0.1g).

Then weigh input (say 17g) and extract until you get 2:1 34g out. Don't use volume.

Get the 34g out in 25-40 seconds. If you can't get that time you may need to remove the top burr and adjust it to get a finer setting.

Scale will make you consistent. Play around with different grind settings and extraction times to improve the taste. And you can vary the output.. say 30g, 34g, 38g etc.