Trying to get the right extraction on Starbucks espresso machine - Page 2

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

#11: Post by ntwkgestapo »

You can use Sodium Carbonate to descale a Barista (I've been using it for years with no problems). Available from Wal-Mart (with the coffee machines). I just dissolve a tablespoon or so in 32 oz of water, put it in the Baristas tank and flush (you might want to let it sit for 10 minutes or so IN the boiler if it's been a while since it was descaled). PLEASE remove the showerscreen FIRST (and do NOT put the P/F in!). After you've flushed all the solution thru, refill the tank with clean water (rinse it first) and flush the entire amount thru the machine (both the brewgroup AND the steaming wand). Doesn't hurt to do the clean water flush twice. You can soak the showerscreen in a couple of ounces of the solution while you're flushing the rest of the machine.

I usually trap the solution in a container and look for "bits". As long as I keep getting solids out, I repeat the descale (not any more! But I did the first couple of times! That's when I found out just how HARD the water was here!)..
Steve C.
I'm having an out of coffee experience!
LMWDP # 164

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peacecup

#12: Post by peacecup »

With fresh beans and a good grinder, either hand (see the Hand Jive thread on the lever forum) or electric, the Saeco (i.e. SB Barista) can make very good espresso. I will emphasize the FRESH beans - less than 2-3 weeks old. Even with the pressurized PF you can get good espresso is the beans are fresh and the grind sufficiently fine. If the grind is not fine enough tamp harder and dose fuller until you get a better grinder. In the past I've dosed about 1/3, tamped, dosed another 1/3 tamped, dosed the final third and tamped again. A bit slow, but it will increase brew pressure.

PC
LMWDP #049
Hand-ground, hand-pulled: "hands down.."

MKS

#13: Post by MKS »

<First post on HB!>

I've just acquired a used Starbucks Barista from Ebay and have added a Rocky grinder. Enjoyed something approaching a real espresso this morning from that combo... BUT I have a question. I'm still learning about dosing amounts but the Starbucks instructional video suggests using only one scoop of coffee to obtain a 1oz shot. Now since the Barista uses the pressurised PF (no tamp required) is it easier to get decent quality, repeatable 1oz shots rather than updosing and guesstimating how much coffee to use for a 2oz shot? I tried packing in the coffee from the Rocky this morning and got the whole thing to choke! My guess is that one scoop of coffee using the little plastic scoop provided with the Barista is about 10-12 grams or so (don't have fine kitchen scales at the minute).

Does anybody have any thoughts on dosing amounts, 1oz vs 2oz etc, shot repeatability with this machine?

BTW: I'm not tamping at present.

</First post on HB>

ntwkgestapo

#14: Post by ntwkgestapo »

Mike, while I no longer use my Barista, what I USUALLY did was a "light, fluffy" fill of the straight wall'd basket, stockfleths (or NSEW) distribution, light tamp (and that IS important, never COULD get anything reliable without a tamp), lock-n-load... could get some fairly decent 2oz shots from that process... At the time, I didn't have a small scale, so I have no idea what grams I was using.... but 'twas a fairly nice shot (once I got a decent grinder! the Rocky is just fine in that area!). I'd get about 1.75oz of liquid with a WAY overdone crema (sometimes, with fresh enough beans, I'd get another ounce of crema!). That's a result of the "crema enhancer" function on the P/F...
Steve C.
I'm having an out of coffee experience!
LMWDP # 164

MKS

#15: Post by MKS »

I'm a newbie at this espresso game, but I must say that the advice to "grind finer" is the key to better espresso. I took my Rocky down a notch or two and the shots got better and better. Or less bitter and less bitter. I'm amazed at the difference. The coffee flavours just ping through... :D So for now it's finer grind, modest tamp. I'm still using one scoop of beans to each shot which fills the basket to about 1/2 - 2/3 once tamped down. Consistency is now my next challenge ;)