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About CoffeeExmoor

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  1. Is there any particular guidance on dosing the portafilter out there? I am using the standard Gaggia double basket in my Classic and currently dose with 20g. The reason for this is that I then get the small imprint of the shower screen screw in the puck after the shot. I read somewhere in one of the threads that this is what you should be aiming for - and I also get a nice dry puck. Using an appropriate grind and consistent tamp (Espro) I also get a good weight ratio and finished shot. If I use a lower dose, say 16 or 18gm then I can still grind to get a good shot but finish up with a very wet puck. Yet I notice that many contributors seem to dose with 14 or 16gm - a considerable saving in beans! Am I doing something wrong here? Incidentally - and hence the link to this thread - I am using chimsinties chart for brew ratio and weight, which appears in the thread entitled Volume vs Brew Ratio & weight.
  2. If you ever get down to the wilds of Exmoor, Glen, you would be made very welcome and I would greatly appreciate your training expertise. Although I have had my Gaggia Classic for over a year now, I still find the whole coffee creation process to be a challenging and frustrating exercise - which seems to knock a bit of the fun out of it sometimes. Add my new Eureka Mignon to the mix and it becomes even more complex - especially as my wife prefers cafetiere brews to espresso! Do you ever come this way, or can you suggest anyone in this direction who may provide a similar own-equipment hands-on service?
  3. 'from the moment you hit the brew button to moment the espresso appears should be 5-6 seconds. Note, this is not to be counted as part of the above 25-30seconds.' Forgive me not using the 'official' quoting process - I haven't spotted how to do that yet:act-up: I was intrigued to note your statement that the 'non-productive' 5-6 seconds is not included in the 25-30 seconds quoted for preferred shot time. Whilst I have seen references to the basic 25-30 seconds in very many posts I have never before seen the suggestion that this only comes into play after the shot starts to run. Can you please confirm that this is actually the case because - as a relative newby - this would be a new ball game to me. Thanks
  4. Sorry to come back at you all on this one but I'm getting somewhat frustrated with my new Mignon. Thanks to all your previous help, I've got it pretty well sorted for espresso - and it certainly makes a difference over my previous grinder. However, when it comes to grinding for a cafetiere, I simply can't get it to grind coarsely enough. The best I can do is about granulated sugar size - even with the adjustment knob pretty well completely undone and loose! When I use the resultant grind in the cafetiere and try to press the plunger it's like trying to push through mud. In a post to my previous thread someone said something along the lines that the problem is always with the operator rather than the grinder - so what am I doing wrong; or is there a different techniques to using a Mignon for cafetiere coffee? When I go to my local deli and ask them to grind beans for cafetiere they use a 'similar' grinder to the big ones you find in the coffee shop chains and they have absolutely no problem grinding the beans coarsely.
  5. Many thanks to everyone who has contributed to the responses to my query. Having taken the combined wisdom of the group and spent a happy morning in my kitchen, I think I've pretty well cracked it! The extraction time is right, the volume is right and, my goodness, what a difference in taste to what the same beans produced when ground with my previous grinder! The one (minor) problem I have is that the pucks are very wet, particularly if I use the single shot basket instead of the double. Is this problem caused by using too few beans? (We Yorkshiremen like to be careful with our beans) Various contributors suggested a range of bean weights - from 15 to 20 gms for a double. I opted for 16 for the double and 8 for the single, which is what I used to use. Would increasing the dose do the trick and give me the perfect shot?
  6. Thanks dfk41 I do recognise that 4 month old beans will not produce a good drinkable coffee and I have advised the chap I got them from accordingly. However, I was simply using them for grind/extraction set up purposes, rather than use more expensive 'current' beans. Are you suggesting that using the older beans could also significantly affect the volume of a timed shot - all other parameters being equal? Let's say I have the weight of beans and tamp weight correct, will older beans generate a major difference in volume to the same weight of new beans?
  7. Thanks, Oddly enough, I have specific scales, which I had used prior to replacing my grinder - but I had a specific recommendation that they would be no longer necessary if I knew my tamp weight and always ensured that there was sufficient coffee in the pf to reach the marker line in the basket after tamping. Obviously I was destined to be trying to change too many things at once and therefore introduced too many variables. It's back to the scales with immediate effect!
  8. Hi, Thanks for your response. Mea Culpa, I am sure it will be the operator rather than a piece of kit which is used successfully by so many. I'll get there, with a bit of guidance - and yours helps. In answer to your questions. Firstly, yes, I adjusted the OPV last week (it had only been 10.8 when I bought it new it appears and is now reading 10 on the static test) Secondly, I am simply using a timer for my shots and therefore I am finding that I will currently have either well over or well under the suggested 30ml volume shot at 25-30 seconds. I have frequently noted reference to the 'weight' of the shot. How is this done? Is it simply a matter of weighing the shot glass before and after the pull and checking the difference? What weight should I be looking for? And why the preference for weight over volume, if I am using a timer for the shot? So may questions!
  9. Thanks again. You not sleeping either? Just to fill in a few of the variables/queries for you. My machine is a Gaggia Classic. My tamper is an Espro, which is one of those wizard ones which tells you when you have applied 30lb pressure - so I believe that my tamping weight is pretty standard. I note that you say you dose at 20gms for a double: should I imply from that that you weigh the beans for each shot? As I said in my initial post, I haven't been weighing mine. The beans I am using are ones from our local tea room - the end of his last season's stock. They are in airtight 500gm bags with one-way valves. They are not named - simply espresso beans - and they are probably about 4 months old. It is quite possible that they may not provide a great shot taste-wise but I am simply using them initially to get the grinder close to where it needs to be, so I don't waste large quantities of best beans to get near to the 'sweet spot' once I'm fully ready to go. I see from one of your other posts that you own a Mignon yourself and are quite happy with it. Are you able to tell me whether, once I have found the right grind for espresso, it is possible to count the number of revolutions to coarse and then count back the same number to land on the right spot for espresso again? Or would I have to start calibrating all over again? I accept you say that it is not the best machine for switching between fine and coarse grinds - but it would be helpful to know. The need for microscopic turns rather than 1/4 revolutions is noted! Thanks again
  10. Thanks for your reply. What I really want to know is how to work the micrometric adjustment! I've just used 500gm of beans and I am nowhere nearer getting any 30ml shots of the black stuff in 25-30 seconds than I was when I started! Now I'll own up that I'm not weighing the beans for each shot! It was suggested to me that as long as the pf was well filled, the ground coffee was stirred to get rid of clumps and, after tamping, the coffee was up to the line on the filter basket, I should be doing it about right. I am using a standard Gaggia double shot basket (not the pressurised type) in my Classic and an Espro tamper - so I think my tamping pressure should be about right. But my shots are all over the place. As an example, I might have the dial set to '4' and I'm getting 15ml of coffee. So, I turn, say, a quarter turn towards the coarse and I get 30 ml in 15 seconds. Back an eighth of a turn towards fine and I'm still getting 30ml in 15 seconds. So down another quarter turn, to below where I was at the start, and now I'm getting 20ml in 30 secs. Great, almost cracked it! Just a teensy bit more towards the coarse and we'll be there? No way! Up an eighth of a turn and I get 5ml in 30 seconds! These aren't actual figures but they give you the picture. Can you imagine how I'm looking forward to our son coming to stay - when he likes espresso and French press alternately? So where am I going wrong and is it possible/practicable with the Eureka to switch between the 2 extremes consistently? All advice will be much appreciated - especially before I pick up the next half kilo of beans tomorrow. Let me say that my wife is not impressed at the moment! Cheers
  11. Can only echo all the other good comments about Bella Barista in this thread. Having done my research into grinders I decided on a Eureka Mignon and rang them on Monday lunchtime. Having spoken to Claudette, who answered all my queries and added more helpful information as well, I placed my order. A huge package arrived just 24 hours later, containing my superbly packed grinder. Having played with it for a couple of hours, I had a number of additional questions and rang Claudette again today. She patiently gave me all the answers I needed - even offering to take the (now used) machine back if I had the slightest doubt about it. No chance of that! Well done and thanks Claudette and Bella Barista!
  12. Greetings all. Having read many comments (both good and not-so-good) on the Eureka Mignon, with the departure of my Bodum Bistro to the big coffee shop in the sky, I have taken the plunge and bought one from Bella Barista. It promises to be a great upgrade and some may say it doesn't require any additional instructions to the minimal ones provided. However, I would like additional guidance. Can any one point me to any threads within this forum, or any other source, which will help here? Pleas accept my thanks in advance. Cheers
  13. Just a quick public thank you to Callum_T who responded so quickly to my request to borrow a pressure gauge set up to adjust my OPV. Somewhat surprisingly, having seen all the other larger figures quoted in this thread, my original pressure was only 10.8, so little adjustment was necessary. The machine was shipped to me new, from Italy, by CafeItalia at the end of 2011, so I don't suppose it had been specifically pre-adjusted for me. However, even with this minimal adjustment, there is definitely some improvement in my coffee output. Thanks to all the contributions in the thread which have provided guidance and assurance on this task.
  14. Like may others, I'm always looking for ways to improve the coffee created on my Classic - and it seems from this thread that OPV adjustment is one step in that direction! Would it be possible for me to join the happy chain of users of the pressure gauge please? I would be more than happy to pay my way! Thank you to everyone who has contributed to this thread by the way and made it so informative.
  15. In order to better get the feel of 30lb pressure when tamping, I also am considering buying an espro tamper. I can see from the previous entries in this thread how it will help me retain consistency in my preparation. However, can anyone please tell me the pros and cons of a flat base versus a convex base tamper?
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