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Newbie trying to dial in my Baratza Sette 270 and Gaggia Classic to get actual flow

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Afternoon all. I just got into this espresso coffee, namely for making lattes in the morning and just got the Sette 270 and the new (to me) Gaggia Classic up and running. A quick history on what I have tried so far.


Fresh (beans)from a local store. I started with a setting on the Sette of about 3 with 18g of beans in a double PF basket. With that I couldn't get very little if any flow with a moderate tamp.


I did the same weight of beans and went to a setting of 5 and was a little different, but still not anywhere close to where I needed to be.

So I went to the same weight of beans and ground to a 7/8 and was now noticing my grounds seem to be overflowing my PF moreso than at the finer setting.

Makes sense, just new at the game so surprised me. Even then, there was pretty much zero flow: Setting 7 Video


All this was with a VERY light tamp. So I eventually got to here. I went down to a setting of 11, and downsized the shot to only 15g of coffee and still a very light tamp and got this grind and this flow. It was about a 32s pull for a double shot. all that and it tasted REALLY good compared to the weeks old preground stuff I had playing with before (shocker, I know).


I tried again this morning to a larger amount of coffee(18g) in a triple basket and still a very light tamp and it was still a very slow flow, probably 35s for a double shot, and definitely not as much of a large cone as yesterday (beans seem less oily - new bag). Here's my questions:

1. It seems odd to me I'm going so "coarse" on the grind to get the flow and have to basically only do a tamp to very lightly pack it down.

2. I assume the fineness is more important than the tamp? ie, if I can go to a finer grind and tamp enough to keep channels from forming, even if it's very light, I'm good to go?I just wanted to confirm my understanding as I'm just trying to dial in the flow and am not sure if I should be adjusting the grind or tamp first. Anything over a simple tamp to level the grounds seems to lock up the machine with any level of fineness.


I have not checked my machine for proper pressure 9 vs 12-13bar.


Be gentle, I'm new. :)




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Grind coarser until you are happy with the flow and taste.


Tamp consistently.


That’s all.

Current: Lelit Elizabeth / Niche Zero / VST baskets / Distilled water + 100mg NaCO3/L

Previous: Gaggia Classic | Eureka Mignon | Rocket Cellini Evo | Profitec 700 | Profitec T-64 | Gene Cafe CBR-101 | Kinu M68 | Feldgrind 2 | La Pavoni Europiccola 2012

Also at: CoffeeTime Forum & Niche Zero Owners Group


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Are the beans freshly roasted? That's a lot of crema! (And as my autocorrect added cremation I'd also suggest they are very dark and oily!!)


Did you weigh the beans to 18g? That looked like an awful lot of coffee...

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For the video of the grinding, yes, I weighed it with a hand held scale I have. Can't comment on the accuracy, but I know it's more accurate than my hand-to-brain scale!


I believe they were freshly roasted as the store I got them from roasts their own beans. Agreed on the oilyness. I wasn't sure what that was an indicator of other than the obvious (they are oily).


Tamping is really to just ensure the puck is fully soaked, without channels to bypass the grinds right. So as long as I don't have channels, the tamp is secondary and is used to better distribute the flow across all the beans based on grind size, right?

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Good question, on the shot that actually pulled it was 18g going in. I did not measure what was coming out, just filling a 2oz shot glass. I can do that tomorrow morning when I play some more. What is my target?


I have been putting in 18g of beans for a double, when I went down to 15g it was much better flow. Am I mixing something up as looking now I see anywhere from 14-18 to 18-21 as recommended for a double shot, but I know by triple basket calls out 21g, so now I'm confused.

Edited by agreif11
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