Jump to content
rcoltz

An odyssey into the espressosphere!

Recommended Posts

Maybe he's a woman. I've been resisting weighing out for a looooong time. If anyone asks im 8st3 plus a few cakes.... Mind I'm getting to the point of lying about extraction time too...

Get a fitbit and the posh weighing scale. Cannot lie then!

 

sent by magic by a luddite

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Get a fitbit and the posh weighing scale. Cannot lie then!

 

sent by magic by a luddite

 

Hand grinding for a single brew logs about 200 steps!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In the Lavazza Caliphate is a draconian measure one in US fluid ounces?

 

sent by magic by a luddite

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
In the Lavazza Caliphate is a draconian measure one in US fluid ounces?

 

sent by magic by a luddite

 

It's a little misleading, like lightyears... A little known fact, but the unending afternoon spent chasing your tail dialling in crap beans with a crap grinder, is actually where the proof for relativity came from


esto tambien pasara.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Requirement for care duly noted guys - thank you. Was rather cynical of the claims, especially when sat under a source of 90 plus degree water!

 

sent by magic by a luddite

 

They are fine under the group. I would careful about cleaning them under the tap.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Great detailed review of the machines and your trip to BB @rcoltz - thanks very much. Really interesting read.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So, having had the Verona for a full week now I can happily state for the record that the machine has very much lived up to my expectations and I know I have not even started to push the envelope using its full capabilities. It also makes the kitchen look cooler and even my wife has commented that it is "not as ugly" as she first thought it would be - just think if I had bought a lever machine missus!

I will also state that I think the results I have seen (and tasted :good:) and the progress made in my own home coffee making could easily be achieved with any E61 based machine, whether HX or dual boiler. Where the dual boiler makes the most difference to me is in the speed and usability of the machine when making multiple coffees for the series of random friends who turn up upon hearing you have a new coffee machine installed and heated!

 

1st Week Observations:

  • How quiet is a rotary pump ... whisper quiet it is. My overriding first impression of the Verona was how quiet it is. In comparison to the old Delonghi Vibration pump setup, the Verona shimmers in the art of dispensing the water whereas the Delonghi would dispense water like a jack hammer attached to a drum kit.
  • How easy it is to clean ... with every surface mirror and chrome finished I was expecting the Verona to be a battle to keep clean - not so! Using a tea towel and microban cloth a couple good rubs after usage and the whole machine is back to gleaming.
  • Drip tray capacity ... deep enough for a good session of 6 to 10 shots and milk steams including a head rinse and pf flush with each cup and the post session back flush and clean up - excellent!
  • Heat up time ... for the steam boiler I estimate the average is 4 mins to temp to allow steaming, for the brew boiler it seems to hit consistent temp and the E61 achieves a good warmth after 20-25 mins. It means I have to rethink prep for a coffee but the warming process means far less water is used in priming the head and pf so it is nothing but efficient with the old 1961 technology.
  • Maintenance post usage ... I was worried that I would get rather tired of the increase maintenance required for a machine of this quality but I did not need to worry - water only back flushing is simple (especially as I now keep the blank basket in one of the pf handles permanently ready to go), regular rinsing of the head between shots is a simple task and a quick brush of the group and gasket is achieved in a minute at the end of each usage. I am sure the less regular maintenance will be more of a task such as chemical backflushing and descaling, however I am using well filtered water and this should reduce the need for this as a preventative measure (as I am warned that any use of chemicals on the group head is BAD!).
  • Water tank access and filling ... on the Verona, there is a separate access hatch at the back for filling up the reservoir tank which I am so glad I made part of my buying criteria as you do blast through water in a bean/grinder dial in session and easy filling is essential. It is also easy to empty the tank at the end of each day to dispel the stale water concerns.
  • New display ... I am still loving the new blue/black display on the Verona, it looks the part, can be seen clearly from across the kitchen to check the temperatures and the shot timer is my new best friend (and enemy at times :mad:).
  • Grinder/Bean dial in ... I started off finding this a very confusing place using the single basket and the wrong measures in and out. To ensure consistency and calibration of shot, my approach was on the textbook schoolboy side of amateur. After consultation of the Oracles of Caffeine (painful and direct it became, Lavazza punishment threatened!) and the purchase of a set of Brewista mini scales, things rapidly improved and performance balanced out using the double basket, 16g in and a 26g shot (weighed) out - making a 1:1.6 brewed ratio. I dialed this in on my favourite blend and then tried the same setting for a single origin Guatamalan and wack, nowt worked the same - back to dial in mode and notes taken! Learning - each bean grinds differently and then brews differently. So my view on the art of the barista has changed from being focused on the "ponce-based art of milk tossery" to the scientific/culinary art of priming the preparation of the bean to brew properly.
  • Write your settings down ... The above learnings for one week of the new machine has meant I have started to note everything down in coffee journal now placing each bean against its component settings to get the shot right. As I like to taste many types of bean, I am hoping this will mean I can set up quicker in the long run
  • Steam and the power to texture asphalt ... I had no comprehension of the difference of the steaming capabilities of the Verona versus a sub £500 machine however after a week and 2 good quality burns I now appreciate what can be achieved in getting a well textured milk prepped for a tasty flat white. I also met up with a mate who has worked in several high street coffee shop chains and now works in a roastery and he showed me that once the milk is steamed, how you "tap and swirl" it can also really improve the final pour (and allow for "ponce-based art of milk tossery"!). Discount the tap and swirl at your peril, it ain't all in the steam.

 

This week is going to be doing more of the same however I have a few questions to ask to the gathered Sages of the Espressosphere on the forum from the Week One:

 

  1. Is there a way to speed up the process of dialing in the grind for a new bean?
  2. How do members of the forum maintain info of bean and grinder settings?
  3. What is the best practice weighed brew ratio for a Ristretto? I am thinking it is 16g in and 13g out (a half shot espresso)?

 

More to come ..... thank you to all the Sages, Caffeine Druids and Nerds of the Espressosphere for their inputs - there is a "How to" book in here somewhere as defined by the Coffee Forum!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you chop and change your beans, roast style you are always going to struggle with settings. Some people put stickers on their grinder or make a chart but grind setting can vary with humidity alone

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

  1. Is there a way to speed up the process of dialing in the grind for a new bean?
  2. How do members of the forum maintain info of bean and grinder settings?
  3. What is the best practice weighed brew ratio for a Ristretto? I am thinking it is 16g in and 13g out (a half shot espresso)?

 

!

 

Glad you're getting to grips with the machine!

 

Ristretto: Granted, it's normally half a standard shot, but to be honest your 26g out is very short, you're probably already in ristretto country (comparatively sweeter, more intense)

 

Speed of dial-in: practice!

 

 

 

Grinder settings: okay so this goes for all of the above too; beans & the drink are not engineering, that ends at the group head; they are organic & so variable. You will find your reference points, which can be VASTLY accelerated by weighing in & out (which is why everyone was advising the scales) but some time and practice will be necessary. Keep a book with tasting notes & grind setting or something like baristas log app maybe( the shot timer doesn't work on that btw)? But you will need ultimately to dial in by taste. Nothing else matters


esto tambien pasara.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I echo the practice .... One day you will open a new bag of coffee, look at it and just decide you need to dial back from 2.4 to 3.6 ..... And have a perfectly acceptable coffee ... With minor adjustment to make it exceptional .... That said you still get beans from time to time that make you think you need to upgrade your grinder of buy new burrs


Izzo Vivi, La Pavoni Europiccola, Microcasa a Leva, Macap MC4, Lido E .... and a preference for the Dark Side

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
.... That said you still get beans from time to time that make you think you need to upgrade your grinder of buy new burrs

 

This morning had a rather surprising eureka moment. Kicked off the brewing of some flat whites for some friends with a couple really poor shots off some excellent new Ethiopian beans. Was royally pissed off.

 

So disconnected the grinder and gave it a quick clean down with a bush and Screwee Dee. Then took the grinder right down to zero and re-calibrated the dial and grind step by step up. Turns out a good clean and the dial on the grinder was completely out.

 

In 20 mins i had the best shots i have ever brewed flying out the Verona! Lovely thick coffee streams off 16g of ground, 26g came out in 25 seconds. All friends we blown away with the flavour of the flat whites with the Ethiopian shot.

 

So learning this weekend is: keep your grinder in good working order. If you are having trouble with the grind for bean start with a clean - simples!

 

I can also report that the Verona maintains excellent brew temp and steam pressure for multiple drinks. 10 flat whites brewed this morning in a row done in pairs (2 separate shots with a screen cleanse between each and a steam of milk) did not even stress the Verona out. Superb!

 

sent by magic by a luddite

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So disconnected the grinder and gave it a quick clean down with a bush and Screwee Dee.

 

What's Screwee Dee?

 

 

Don't judge me


Everything my heart could desire (more or less). . .

 

https://cupperjoe.com

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
What's Screwee Dee?

 

 

Don't judge me

Glad I'm not the only one.


Did someone say coffee?

:Gaggia Classic--> Nuova Simonelli Oscar--> fracino Cherub:Mazzer SuperJolly:Hario V60+aeropress+french press:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
What's Screwee Dee?

 

 

Don't judge me

Screwee Dee was the late younger brother of rapper Cool Mo Dee and used to be the warm up act for Chucky D and the boys of Public Enemy.

 

Otherwise a Screwee Dee is a Screwdriver!

 

sent by magic by a luddite

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Lovely thick coffee streams off 16g of ground, 26g came out in 25 seconds.

 

So it has been a few weeks now living a life under the extreme regime of the Caffeine Caliphate trying to force consistency in every shot brewed from the Verona.

 

My learnings based on the the extra few weeks practice:

  • Weigh in and weigh out really does push up consistency as well as a focus on regularity of technique
  • The mood that you are in does affect tamp pressure and therefore consistency - never be in a bad mood when brewing a shot!
  • 26g shot weigh out on the shot for quite a few coffees is too short to get the longer brewed sweeter notes of the bean - I have mentally made this my Ristretto shot for now and now pull more like 35 to 40g shots as these do eek out the longer held sweet notes in the bean
  • I now have made cleaning an integral part of my brewing process as I go along - screen cleanse in particular
  • I realise I probably need a portafilter stand to equalise my tamping better
  • My Mazzer grinder has been seriously pushed through its grind settings and I have learnt a lot about how acurate you need to be to get a good result
  • The Verona's new PID display is brilliant - the integrated shot timer makes life wonderfully convenient
  • It still looks the business and now I am reappraising my espresso cups

 

Quick question to the amassed Grind Gurus - off 16g of coffee (or more if you dose higher in a double pf basket), what is your personal weigh out shot to maximise the flavour of the beans? I am keen to compare notes to aid experimentation?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quick question to the amassed Grind Gurus - off 16g of coffee (or more if you dose higher in a double pf basket), what is your personal weigh out shot to maximise the flavour of the beans? I am keen to compare notes to aid experimentation?

 

Every bean is different. I start at 2:1 and work from there. Usually end up somewhere between 2:1 and 2.5:1 so that's 18g in and anywhere from 36 to 45 out.


Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Every bean is different. I start at 2:1 and work from there. Usually end up somewhere between 2:1 and 2.5:1 so that's 18g in and anywhere from 36 to 45 out.

 

Cheers Risky! Sound thinking.

 

Put it to the test this morning as I dialed in a new Ethiopian single origin bean (am working from home today!) and checked it out at my original 1.7:1 "ristretto" ratio and then took it up to 2.5:1 in stages, tasting each time. Worked a treat as the sweet spot for the shot seemed to be around 2.25:1. Then reverted back to my normal El Savadorian daily bean and performed the same test - more like a 2.5:1!

 

So it is worth the experimentation to find the best grind and then spot brew ratio. Now to update the Bean reference spreadsheet!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So it is worth the experimentation to find the best grind and then spot brew ratio. Now to update the Bean reference spreadsheet!

 

Generally speaking you want to find the ratio first, then fine tune with the grind adjustment. Obviously you may need to adjust grind early on if the shot times are daftly fast or slow.


Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A hockey puck makes a good tamper stand to level the pf while tamping. Height might vary slightly depending on specific pf design but they are very cheap and can get cool logos on them so may be worth a look.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Love my hockey puck, also keeps tamper away from stray water!!!


Espresso: Quick Mill Verona

Grinder: Mythos and loving it

Tampers: Reg Barber flat 58.35

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for a really fun read regarding your machine buying selection.

 

I think I bought my Verona, also from Bella Barista, around the same time as you, maybe even the same day (April 7) ? I was with Marko but I noticed someone scrutinizing duel boiler machines with Claudette that afternoon.

 

I had more or less the same short list as you although I was not considering a heat exchanger machine as I've been using a dual boiler (Expobar Brewtus) for nearly ten years and am used to that type of system. I'd ruled out the Alex because of the shallow clearance under the group head. I have some experience with the R58 and although it's a beautiful machine I am not too keen on the external control unit (just personal preference). So I was down to choosing between the Verona and the Profitec 700. In the end it was the little things and attention to detail that swayed me to the Verona. Things like the fill hatch for the water reservoir, the ease of plumbing in for the drip tray, the layout of the pump and motor and the lovely big double pressure gauge.

 

I was rather keen on the stainless steel boilers in the Profitec but concerned about the use of coated steel, instead of stainless, in the base plate of the machine. Interestingly I was chatting to Jordan, while he was testing my machine before I took it away, and the subject of the boiler materials came up. He said that he was pretty sure that the Quick Mill had switched to Stainless Steel for the boilers on the newer Veronas. We had a peer through a gap in the internal cover and the small amount of the top of the one boiler we could see certainly did look like Stainless. Obviously impossible to see the sides because of the insulation. I don't really want to open my machine up just to check that out.

 

Very very happy with my choice so far. It's an amazing machine.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Great Thread! I've been following it from afar... I just received a varient of the Verona here in the US which is also a bit customized, which they sell as the Lucca M58.

I also really liked the idea of the stainless boilers in the Profitec 700, but read about some of the parts and pieces they use which are not quiet as good as those which go into the Quick Mills.

Here is a shot of my setup. It's still a work in progress, but thought I would share it with this like minded group. I am giving serious thought to adding a top end grinder... (maybe a Macap M7D in Chrome?) and using my Vario for Decaf which I enjoy in the afternoon...QM 58 (11 of 1).jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Very very happy with my choice so far. It's an amazing machine.

@Markk - yep, that was me at Bella Barista dipping my toe in espressosphere shallow end. I fully agree with you summary of the selection process although you did come from a far higher starting point than I with your previous machine.

 

So far the Verona experience has been immense and rarely has the machine not been up to temp when I have been at home.

 

On the topic of bother materials, it is interesting to note the relative impact that people feel this has on flavour. Claudette and I discussed that quite a lot before trying any machines as each type of material has its followers and was why I mentioned this in my review of each machine.

 

I did consider the whole stainless steel potential benefits of the Profitec but in my criteria for purchase, this perfection was slightly less than the overall usability of the machine.

 

I am glad someone else is enjoying the Verona experience too!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
[ATTACH=CONFIG]20963[/ATTACH]

 

That is a very thoughtful piece of worktop design having a specific "tamping plinth" notch out to the right. I guess you would need to perfect some form of tamping flourish to really make the most of this ergonomic.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
That is a very thoughtful piece of worktop design having a specific "tamping plinth" notch out to the right. I guess you would need to perfect some form of tamping flourish to really make the most of this ergonomic.

 

Actually there is no notch at all. I have not installed a smaller section of the counter top which continues along the right side of the room, so it is the only part of the countertop which is square (since we had a front edge profile which doesn't allow my corner tamping mat to sit right). In the near future the marble counter will continue, and I have also purchased a flat tamping mat and a new tamping stand too. I will post more photo's once I get it all installed. Also ordered a new grinder... but that will take 3-4 weeks to get.

Most important part, I am loving our new Espresso Machine! Hopefully the photo will better explain..

_DSC3877.jpg

Edited by gzim
adding a photo

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • About:

    Coffee Forums UK is the UK's premier coffee forum Started in June 2008 by Glenn Watson, we now have more than 22000 mainly UK based members, and welcome more than 3000 members and visitors from around the world each day! With strategic investment and digital expertise from the Jackson Lockhart team (Tait Pollack and Adam Bateman), we are taking Coffee Forums UK to the next level, and are delighted to share the journey with you.

    New Members:

    We are often referred to as the friendliest forum on the web and we look forward to welcoming you onboard.

    Terms of Use

    Advertising

    Coffee Forums Media Kit

    Buy Advertising Space

    Donate

    Get Your Supporter Badge (per year)

×
×
  • Create New...