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Adele_walker

Help needed with issues with sage barrista express

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Hi All, I was wondering if anyone has had the same issues and has any ideas. 

I can not for the life in me get this machine to do what it's supposed to do! 

I've heated the machine for 30 mins before use, warmed the arm and warmed the cup. I've changed the grind size from 10 to 1. I've measured 18g of coffee every time for a double basket and ive Tried manual extraction rather than automatic but no matter what I do i cannot get it to take over 20 seconds for extraction in order to get 60ml of coffee or the coffee to start pouring after say 5 seconds as per the manual.

This morning I had it on number one for grind (finest) and it still only took 8 seconds after the pre infusion stage which I held for 7 seconds and the pressure was off the chart. (Manual) 

I have gone down every grind setting. Getting rid of one grind in between each so as not to get a false reading. Luckily I'm using the wasted grounds in my ninja coffee bar! 

I cannot get the pressure in the right spot and it never takes over 20 seconds for the whole thing pre infusion included. 

I understand the concept of if it's corse it will be quicker and if it's fine it will be slower but this just doesn't compute with this machine. The grind size doesn't matter the extraction time is always the same! The only thing that seems to change is where the pressure needle goes. 

Is there something fundamental I am missing as I am just totally confused and dont know where to go from here. 

I feel I'm dosing and tamping correctly and I use the razor tool. 

Factory settings say 8 for grind and 3 o'clock for coffee amount, I weight my measures. 

at the moment I have settled on 4 on grind size and I use the razor tool with tamping. 

What's confusing is the manual which says on automatic settings if it takes over 8 seconds to come out it's over extracted but if it takes less than 20 seconds in total it's under extracted. I'm getting both these things 8-10 seconds to start pouring and then less than 20 seconds in total to finish. 

The coffee is dark and has a lovely honey colour to the crema, around grind 4/5 it has the rats tail effect and tastes ok as a latte but is under 20 seconds on extraction and isn't the best taste as an espresso.

 

I also don't feel like the machine is consistent so if I make one cup I get one result and with the next cup on exactly the same settings I might get a different pressure/time. Or is it me that isn't being consistent in something I am doing? 

Any advice would be appreciated otherwise I think it's going back! 

Thanks.

 

Adele

.

 

 

 

Edited by Adele_walker

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Use 20g of decent, rested, fresh coffee in the BE non-pressurised basket. I find the BE to be quite sensitive to a) old, dried up beans and b) less than 20g. Forget the razor tool. Start with the grind around the 8 or 7 mark.

Edited by -Mac

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Use 20g of decent, rested, fresh coffee in the BE non-pressurised basket. I find the BE to be quite sensitive to a) old, dried up beans and b) less than 20g. Forget the razor tool. Start with the grind around the 8 or 7 mark.
That's in the double basket. Forget the single basket for now if you're using it. They're notoriously more difficult to tamp & will run at a higher pressure than the manual to produce a decent shot.

Laissez les bons temps rouler

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2 minutes ago, ashcroc said:
15 minutes ago, -Mac said:
Use 20g of decent, rested, fresh coffee in the BE non-pressurised basket. I find the BE to be quite sensitive to a) old, dried up beans and b) less than 20g. Forget the razor tool. Start with the grind around the 8 or 7 mark.

That's in the double basket. Forget the single basket for now if you're using it. They're notoriously more difficult to tamp & will run at a higher pressure than the manual to produce a decent shot.

Why are you quoting me? I'm not the one with the problem. What I said works perfectly.

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Why are you quoting me? I'm not the one with the problem. What I said works perfectly.
Seemed an obvious follow on from what you were saying. 20g would never work in a single basket!

Laissez les bons temps rouler

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Nor would 18g in the OP's post. That's why I assumed she knew to use the double.

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Nor would 18g in the OP's post. That's why I assumed she knew to use the double.
Was replying more for others who might stumble on this thread with a similar problem but I get your point. Don't think I'll bother quoting such a grumpy so& so again. Just not worth it.

Laissez les bons temps rouler

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Hi I'm using the double basket for fresh ground coffee. I am weighing out 18g. The beans came from our local roaster.

On 7/8 there is no pressure at all. 

On 5 taste isn't too bad but still low pressure and lasts 15 seconds. 

In 4 taste horrid, no pressure and a lop aided pour so just under 40ml on the left side and just under 25 ml on the right side. 

I'm sticking with auto buttons at the mo as I'm already confused and manuals making it worse. 

I can't see with this machine how it will ever take 25 seconds to extract. I have a video I'll try and upload. 

 

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Or you could just read the OP's post and realise I had answered in context.

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1 minute ago, Adele_walker said:

Hi I'm using the double basket for fresh ground coffee. I am weighing out 18g. The beans came from our local roaster.

On 7/8 there is no pressure at all. 

On 5 taste isn't too bad but still low pressure and lasts 15 seconds. 

In 4 taste horrid, no pressure and a lop aided pour so just under 40ml on the left side and just under 25 ml on the right side. 

I'm sticking with auto buttons at the mo as I'm already confused and manuals making it worse. 

I can't see with this machine how it will ever take 25 seconds to extract. I have a video I'll try and upload. 

 

 

Do you realise there's a big difference between freshly ground and freshly roasted? I've used old, but freshly ground beans before and got the same sort of results as you. That's why I just wanted to check your beans are fresh (to rule them out). I'll have a look at the video too.

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Hi I'm using the double basket for fresh ground coffee. I am weighing out 18g. The beans came from our local roaster.
On 7/8 there is no pressure at all. 
On 5 taste isn't too bad but still low pressure and lasts 15 seconds. 
In 4 taste horrid, no pressure and a lop aided pour so just under 40ml on the left side and just under 25 ml on the right side. 
I'm sticking with auto buttons at the mo as I'm already confused and manuals making it worse. 
I can't see with this machine how it will ever take 25 seconds to extract. I have a video I'll try and upload. 
 
When we're the beans roasted? They can be a bit volatile if used within a week - 10 from roasting.
It may also be worth checking if the machine is level at the group head as that can cause uneven pours.

Laissez les bons temps rouler

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Ah I've just checked the bag he gave me and the date of roasting was July 2019. Should I ask him for something that has been roasted later than that?

I feel like it shouldn't be this hard! 

It won't let me upload the video but it was 20g coffee. Tapped on worktop. Tamped and wiped off so no grounds at all on outside of basket. Grind was 4 took 18 seconds in total and tasted foul. 

Extracted 70 ml of coffee and pressure was in pre extraction zone. 

 

 

 

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Ok, this is what I have found so far. 

Used three different types of coffee. Two types from the local roaster one roasted in April, one roasted in July both brand new bags that i opened tonight  also tried lavazza Rossa again brand new bag opened tonight, which is a mix of arrabica and robusta. I bought a cheaper bag to practice with! 

All ground by me tonight using the machine but measuring 18 grams. 20g is too much the tamp is well above the rim on 20g. 

It does not matter what grind size I use or what coffee I use. It takes 8-10 seconds for the coffee to start coming through the machine. It then takes 10 to 12 seconds to finish. Overall 20-22 seconds in total. 

I started at grind number 8 as factory setting and worked down 1 click at a time for each coffee type. 

Pressure is mostly non existent. 

The only time I got good pressure was using lavazza, 18 g of coffee on grind number 3 and I turned off the machine for 5 mins and then turned it back on and waited for it to be ready. 

Out of 16 shots I only got one good one where the pressure was right and the taste was ok. 

It's confusing that it is taking 8-10 seconds to come out which suggests over extraction but then total time is between 18 and 22 seconds which suggests under extraction.

The only shot that tasted remotely passable was the lavazza at grind 3. All the others were disgusting. 

.colour of the coffee and crema was good with the lavazza the other grind there wasn't much crema at all. 

I really feel this is way too complicated. It shouldn't be this hard. Appreciate there needs to be some science and technique but I am doing everything right from the knowledge I have. 

Is the machine just not good? I really thought for that amount of money it would make a good coffee! 

Any ideas at all welcome.

Perhaps I need to go to a different coffee place and try a better brand? 

Thanks for the help so far.

 

 

 

 

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Can you get hold of some freshly roasted beans? Try something roasted last week. Do you usually drink espresso and is it a drink you like or do you normally go for an espresso based drink - a cappuccino or latte?

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2019 L-R with hand turned Thuya burr handles and toggles / 1998 La Pavoni with NickNak single hole steam wand tip  / Monolith Titan Conical & MAX  / HG-1 / Kalita wave / Stag kettle / OCD / Joey Skateboard Handle Pullman Big Step & matching stirrer /  gold B Plus stirrer / Wenge Handle Lev Tamp / Push Tamper / Puqpress / 15g & 18g vst / IMS 35μM / LDT / Barista Gear Titanium 12oz pitchers / LW Bean Cellars & Caddy / Decent thermometer / Acme Evo 150ml cups / Espazzola / Hottop / embroidered by me bar towels / coffee bar towel logo embroiderer to the hoi polloi  / in the cellars: Steampunk, North Star, Foundry, The Barn, HasBean, Coffee Compass / 6 gorgeous guineas / a dog / a very lovely and understanding husband 

 

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Okie dokie. Once roasted, coffee takes 4 to 10 days to degas, depending on roast level. It then stays reasonably fresh for a month or so, depending on how air tight. Tell your roaster you want beans roasted within the last 2 weeks and I expect your problems solved

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Hi I'm dairy free so it's always an Americano. I can usually tell if it's a good coffee or not. I will ditch the beans and start from scratch with a fresh roast. I am very much learning as I go but am learning fast and determined to get it right! Thanks so much. 

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It should be fairly easy to tamp 20g in the double non-pressurised basket so that the top of the silver part of the tamper is level with the top of the basket on any grind under 8 (the lower you go, the easier it should be). Are you using enough pressure when you tamp?

The older beans get, the more you need to use to get the pressure (and shot time) up. In my early days of using the BE, I tried cheap/old/supermarket beans and found the only way to get decent pressure and shot time was to use more than 20g and tamp harder. When you start using fresher beans (4-10 days after the roasted on date), you'll find you can grind bigger for the same 20g.

Shot time is measured from when you press the button to start the water. For the BE, about 7-8 secs is common for the auto pre-infusion time and you should try to end up with 40g in the cup in 25-30s for a normal, double espresso. Don't worry if the needle on the pressure gauge goes to 1 or 2 o'clock - it's hard to over-extract on the BE. If the water coming out is stopping before you've got 40g, then you need to read the manual and program it to let more out. I found it was easier to do this with an empty basket and just time the double shot to let out about a minute's worth or water but just stop it manually, when pulling a shot, once the 40g is in the cup. Having said that, once you've achieved your good shot with the right dose/grind size/distribution/tamp pressure, having got all the pre-shot stuff correct, you can re-program the volume to stop on the 40g output and it will repeat it reliably (if the pre-shot routine is the same).

For beans, I don't touch supermarket stuff any more (even from brands like Illy or Lavazza) and I consider my fresh beans no good after a month past roast date.

For video, it's probably easiest to post it to a hosting site e.g. YouTube, and then post a link here.

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21 minutes ago, Adele_walker said:

Sorry for one more question. Could you recommend an online coffee bean to try? If I could buy one someone knows works it might help. 

I've got several espresso types from Neighbourhood Coffee Roasters in Liverpool and I'm still using a BE if you want to get some on which I can speak from experience.

https://www.neighbourhoodcoffee.co.uk/product-category/coffee-beans/ 

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9 hours ago, Adele_walker said:

Sorry for one more question. Could you recommend an online coffee bean to try? If I could buy one someone knows works it might help. 

There lies a question! When someone recommends a bean, or a machine or anything, they are telling you what they like. I would go bak to the roaster who supplied you with the dated beans and tell him you have been advised to get something roasted within the last couple. A roaster ought to put a roasted on sticker on but a lot do not and simply go best before 12 months ahead. The in itself tells you a bit about the roaster and his approach. Can you tell us where you are in the country. There maybe some very respected roasters nearby. Go and talk to them, tell them your taste preference as someone here might recommend a really light acidic bean and you actually want a darker roasted fuller flavour bean. Keep away from brands like Lavazza and Illy

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Hi thank you for your advice. I am based in Leeds and the beans came from Leodis. I must be clear though, I did not buy the beans they were given to me as a free sample. I went on a barrista course with them as I am looking for a coffee supplier for my mobile coffee unit. I am learning as much as I can as I go along and I feel I'm doing as much as I can right but obviously learning more and more each day! The theory behind buying this machine for home was practice practice practice so I make as many mistakes as I can and learn as much as I can before hitting the road!  The machine is certainly fulfilling the brief, I didn't think I could know as much about coffee as I do right now. Now I understand the importance of the age and roast date etc I will be careful to ensure I am using as fresh as possible taking into account the 7-10 de gas period. 

 

I've just picked up some new beans at cieolo in Garforth as they roast their own on site every week. I think part of the fun, once the intial desire to throw the machine out of the window dies down, will be experimenting with different flavours and finding what type of coffee I like. At the moment I don't know but first I really need to ensure I can get the machine to work. Once I know it works the rest should be tweaks. 

 

Thanks for all the advice. It's invaluable. 

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Cool. Let us know how you get on with the new beans. They should make a huge difference once past their (rested) de-gas period.

FWIW, I was at a similar hair-pulling-out stage as you with my BE at the beginning. Like you say, practice - but you need to have the right ingredients (and knowledge) to start.

Have you read any of the Barista Hustle stuff? There's a video about dosage/grind/yield which is very helpful.

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Hello lovely people. I have updates! 

New beans were roasted last monday so thought I would give them a go. 

I can do 20g with this coffee so have weighed this each time. 

Auto extraction 

Grind 8 - extraction 20.83 seconds. 53g coffee yield. Pressure ok 1'oclock.

Grind 3 - extraction 28 seconds 52g coffee yield. Pressure ok 1 o'clock. 

Grind 4 - extraction 25.66 seconds. 54g coffee yield. Pressure ok 1 o'clock. 

 

Manual extraction 

If I do 20g, 40g yield on grind 4 it takes 20.46 seconds. 

If I do grind 3, 40g yield it takes 29 seconds. 

I can't say any of them are a drink I'd want to drink neat but I made a mocha with the grind 4 25 seconds and I'm sat drinking it now so that's a start! 

What would you say my next step should be, am I right in thinking if I use grind 4 on auto, the extraction time is perfect but I am getting too much water/coffee out? 

At least I feel much happier and like I have made progress. 

Thanks! 

Adele 

 

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This sounds much more positive. A week post roast is a good time to start using the beans ;)

While suggestions for buying beans were buy local, I think, I haven’t found anything local to me (and I have made several attempts) as good as offerings from Foundry coffee roasters, HasBean, North Star and a load more well thought of roasters. I know the tasting notes I prefer now and I am rarely disappointed. Maybe that’s where to head next - as well as trying different settings and what not on your machine.


2019 L-R with hand turned Thuya burr handles and toggles / 1998 La Pavoni with NickNak single hole steam wand tip  / Monolith Titan Conical & MAX  / HG-1 / Kalita wave / Stag kettle / OCD / Joey Skateboard Handle Pullman Big Step & matching stirrer /  gold B Plus stirrer / Wenge Handle Lev Tamp / Push Tamper / Puqpress / 15g & 18g vst / IMS 35μM / LDT / Barista Gear Titanium 12oz pitchers / LW Bean Cellars & Caddy / Decent thermometer / Acme Evo 150ml cups / Espazzola / Hottop / embroidered by me bar towels / coffee bar towel logo embroiderer to the hoi polloi  / in the cellars: Steampunk, North Star, Foundry, The Barn, HasBean, Coffee Compass / 6 gorgeous guineas / a dog / a very lovely and understanding husband 

 

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3 hours ago, Adele_walker said:

Grind 4 - extraction 25.66 seconds. 54g coffee yield. Pressure ok 1 o'clock. 

What would you say my next step should be, am I right in thinking if I use grind 4 on auto, the extraction time is perfect but I am getting too much water/coffee out? 

 

 

:)

Depends how strong/weak you like it, and whether you taste bitter or sour notes. Personally, I'd start at 20 in/40 out in 27-30 secs and start tasting from there.

Have a look here: https://baristahustle.com/blog/espresso-recipes-understanding-yield/

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