Newbie needs advice on learning espresso at home - Page 2

Beginner and pro baristas share tips and tricks.
Azhrar

#11: Post by Azhrar »

I have the same machine as you, you are going to love it :D.

For my machine i find 19g of coffee Is a good dose for my grinder and beans

emradguy
Supporter ❤

#12: Post by emradguy »

Some or all of this might be mentioned in one of the guides Dan gave you links to, but there are several accessories that you should consider purchasing. These can definitely make things easier for you and will also improve your drinks.

A good quality tamper that fits your portafilter (pf) basket snugly. (Helps prevent channeling)

Precision pf basket, one or more. Probably the most common size is in the 17-19g range. Good ones are LM Strada, VST & IMS. (Helps give even distribution of resistance to water flow across the full area of the basket)

A bottomless (aka naked or chopped) pf. (Allows you to watch the extraction so you can improve your dry coffee distribution technique)

Precision shower screen for the group. (Improves distribution of water across the puck during extraction)

A milk steaming thermometer.

Good luck! As was said earlier, in another reply, work on only one variable at a time, be patient and hang in there!

Bigbob7777

#13: Post by Bigbob7777 »

emradguy wrote:Some or all of this might be mentioned in one of the guides Dan gave you links to, but there are several accessories that you should consider purchasing. These can definitely make things easier for you and will also improve your drinks.

A good quality tamper that fits your portafilter (pf) basket snugly. (Helps prevent channeling)

Precision pf basket, one or more. Probably the most common size is in the 17-19g range. Good ones are LM Strada, VST & IMS. (Helps give even distribution of resistance to water flow across the full area of the basket)

A bottomless (aka naked or chopped) pf. (Allows you to watch the extraction so you can improve your dry coffee distribution technique)

Precision shower screen for the group. (Improves distribution of water across the puck during extraction)

A milk steaming thermometer.

Good luck! As was said earlier, in another reply, work on only one variable at a time, be patient and hang in there!
I think i got a good tamper. I ordered from the same company ($85 i think). The other items i will have to research because i honestly don't know what they are. Oh yeah, also got a thermometer.

Bigbob7777

#14: Post by Bigbob7777 »

Azhrar wrote:I have the same machine as you, you are going to love it :D.

For my machine i find 19g of coffee Is a good dose for my grinder and beans
Whar beans are you using?

User avatar
lancealot

#15: Post by lancealot »

Not sure if you know the difference but it looks like you bought a heat exchanger (HX) machine. I personally would have gone for a dual boiler machine. You bought one of the more expensive prosumer HX so moving up to a dual boiler (DB) would not be much financial stretch. For a similar price as your current machine lists, you could get a profitec pro 700. If you wanted to stay with ECM you could get yourself into their top of the line dual boiler machine, the Synchronika for a few hundred more.

You'll find a bunch of debates on here if you use the search feature on HX vs. DB machines. I don't think anyone wants to rehash that but I might be wrong. No one needs to watch that happen again on this thread.

The reason this came to mind is that you bought Malabar Gold. Malabar Gold comes with great instructions for brewing. Follow them and you will be fine.
A big part of the instructions for getting the best shot with MG is finding the right temperature for the brew water. This is true for most coffees not just Malabar Gold.

Here's the point, managing brew temperature is different for a HX machine than a DB. If money is not a significant consideration, you must understand the difference between managing brew temperature with a HX and a DB and buy according to your needs pertaining to this subject. These needs are different for everyone. Some need consistency without much thought or attention. Some people need to be able to quickly change the brew temperature between shots. This is not intended to be an exhaustive exposition of the types of needs someone might have from brew temp management in an espresso machine.

So poke around here and try to understand the difference in managing temp between the two types of machines. If you got questions about it, I am sure people will help. If you want to describe what you want your espresso routine to look like, perhaps people could help you decide on a type of machine.

If you stick with an HX, do get Erics thermometer. It is an extra $50 to $100. It allows you to be more sure about what is going on with your water dance and the effect that it is having on brew temperature.

I bought a DB machine. I was, and am, scared of the water dance. I decided that I had, and still have, enough to learn and thought that a DB would make it easier on me by reducing variables and helping with consistency of brew temp. I have time to wait for my DB machine to change temperature between shots when I am dialing in a coffee and trying to find the best brew temperature for that coffee. I am happy with this decision and would not want an HX. But this is a highly personal decision.

As for the coffee choice. What are you looking for in the taste of your coffee? MG is dark, chocolatey and smooth for an espresso. Because it uses a monsooned malabar and a robusta, it behaves a little bit differently than most coffees. If you like those kinds of flavors, I would suggest Nossa Famillia Teodoro's blend, I think it behaves a little bit more like other coffees and will be better for learning and exploring the effect of grind, dose and temperature. Again, just my opinion. There is a coupon code for HB members that gets you 20% off. I think it is HBDEAL20 This makes it a great deal and similar in price to MG. Buy your coffee 5 lbs at a time. This allows you to learn about your machine and brewing espresso with the coffee being constant. Most will agree that in the beginning having the coffee constant is very important. Again, it reduces variables and helps you learn. Learn about freezing coffee.

Sorry if this has been too much. Good luck.

emradguy
Supporter ❤

#16: Post by emradguy »

That's a good reply you just got from lance.

The group thermometer is something I overlooked when mentioning accessories you should consider.

As for the Teodoro's, I agree it is an excellent blend to start with. Don't let the name dissuade you, those beans are medium roast and have the coloring of milk chocolate. He gave you the correct code as well. Also good to know...Nossa offers free shipping when your order is over $65. If you just buy the 5# bag, then put in the HB deiscount code, you'll end up getting these excellent beans for $64! Personally, I think Teodoro's Italian Roast is one of the easier espressos to get right...or better said, it's hard to pull a bad shot from it.

Azhrar

#17: Post by Azhrar »

Bigbob7777 wrote:Whar beans are you using?
I use beans from the danish roaster Risteriet.dk normally Miscela Uno or Miscela D'oro

Azhrar

#18: Post by Azhrar »

lancealot wrote:Not sure if you know the difference but it looks like you bought a heat exchanger (HX) machine. I personally would have gone for a dual boiler machine. You bought one of the more expensive prosumer HX so moving up to a dual boiler (DB) would not be much financial stretch. For a similar price as your current machine lists, you could get a profitec pro 700. If you wanted to stay with ECM you could get yourself into their top of the line dual boiler machine, the Synchronika for a few hundred more.

You'll find a bunch of debates on here if you use the search feature on HX vs. DB machines. I don't think anyone wants to rehash that but I might be wrong. No one needs to watch that happen again on this thread.

The reason this came to mind is that you bought Malabar Gold. Malabar Gold comes with great instructions for brewing. Follow them and you will be fine.
A big part of the instructions for getting the best shot with MG is finding the right temperature for the brew water. This is true for most coffees not just Malabar Gold.

Here's the point, managing brew temperature is different for a HX machine than a DB. If money is not a significant consideration, you must understand the difference between managing brew temperature with a HX and a DB and buy according to your needs pertaining to this subject. These needs are different for everyone. Some need consistency without much thought or attention. Some people need to be able to quickly change the brew temperature between shots. This is not intended to be an exhaustive exposition of the types of needs someone might have from brew temp management in an espresso machine.

So poke around here and try to understand the difference in managing temp between the two types of machines. If you got questions about it, I am sure people will help. If you want to describe what you want your espresso routine to look like, perhaps people could help you decide on a type of machine.

If you stick with an HX, do get Erics thermometer. It is an extra $50 to $100. It allows you to be more sure about what is going on with your water dance and the effect that it is having on brew temperature.

I bought a DB machine. I was, and am, scared of the water dance. I decided that I had, and still have, enough to learn and thought that a DB would make it easier on me by reducing variables and helping with consistency of brew temp. I have time to wait for my DB machine to change temperature between shots when I am dialing in a coffee and trying to find the best brew temperature for that coffee. I am happy with this decision and would not want an HX. But this is a highly personal decision.

As for the coffee choice. What are you looking for in the taste of your coffee? MG is dark, chocolatey and smooth for an espresso. Because it uses a monsooned malabar and a robusta, it behaves a little bit differently than most coffees. If you like those kinds of flavors, I would suggest Nossa Famillia Teodoro's blend, I think it behaves a little bit more like other coffees and will be better for learning and exploring the effect of grind, dose and temperature. Again, just my opinion. There is a coupon code for HB members that gets you 20% off. I think it is HBDEAL20 This makes it a great deal and similar in price to MG. Buy your coffee 5 lbs at a time. This allows you to learn about your machine and brewing espresso with the coffee being constant. Most will agree that in the beginning having the coffee constant is very important. Again, it reduces variables and helps you learn. Learn about freezing coffee.

Sorry if this has been too much. Good luck.
ECM IV Profi is very heat stable and it is quite easy to get consistent results.

DeGaulle

#19: Post by DeGaulle »

In the "Newbie introduction to espresso" series one video is dedicated to the Heat Exchanger vs Double Boiler debate. A very Interesting one, but just take to heart the basics regarding the so-called HX flush routine; dreaded by some, but not hard to master at all.

Your machine should be very well capable of allowing you to make espressos of consistently great quality. Since it is a hands-on affair, you are bound to experience inconsistency while you are in the process of learning to master your equipment. Temperature management is just one parameter that affects shot quality, as is dosing, grind setting, distribution and tamping. Some people hone in on temperature management to within a degree; AFAIC the combination of the other 4 is at least equally, If not more significant.
Bert

smite

#20: Post by smite »

Bigbob7777 wrote:Hi all,
Been a chronic lurker here for a long time. Have just taken the plunge and purchased an ECM Technika IV Profi and an open box Compak E8. Will receive them Monday.

I have a return policy available if I messed up and would LOVE your input and suggestions as to the quality of this purchase.

Also, what tips for learning this wonderful hobby. We mainly drink milk-based drinks. I don't like the charbucks company but, for comparison-if I purchased 2 drinks a day, at $5 each, this would pay for itself in 1 year. However, I'm not that interested in the $$$, that's for the bride. I want a truly exquisite cup of coffee like I got in Italy 40 years ago.

So, any ideas on what I bought and how to achieve "coffee bliss"?
Bob
You have great equipment and seemed to have jumped right in. Very good tips from others so I won't repeat. Some important tips,

1. Always have fresh coffee around and don't be afraid to experiment.

2. Take your time as you explore your equipment and as you learn how to master it.

3. Start slow and don't change too many variables at once. Those guides and videos are really helpful to get started.