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~ Sea Chief ~

Espresso Machines, great but..

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..almost all my coffees taste almost identical in my Gaggia Classic. That is to say really pretty good, very good in fact in comparison to my mokapot, but, unlike my mokapot, there's very little difference in taste from one coffee bean to the next: for eg Ive just used some expensive Monmouth espresso beans and the shot tasted no different at all to my std fayre/ most days/ co-op cheapo espresso beans.. and these no different to shots from other beans either even if a milder roast: all taste consistantly good, same crema. I am talking cappucino/ 1/3rd milk ish so there's obviously going to be more similarity than a neat shot comparison.. but even so Im a bit bemused. Fine really for me as I cant afford megabucks coffee- but on the occasion I do get a special bag, it tastes no different at all, and as for comparing one coffee v another its a completely pointless exercise. Any ideas?

 

Chief

Edited by ~ Sea Chief ~

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I always smell the aroma coming off the grinder after freshly grinding before pulling a shot.

Mostly the resulting shot relates to that aroma.

Drinking mostly single origins I would say no two taste the same or even similar.

For cappuccinos you need a coffee with great sweetness. My personal favourite in milk is fazenda cachoeira de grama 2012 from Has Bean purely for the sweetness.

 

 

Also think about upgrading your grinder :)

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"...Any ideas?"

 

Keep drinking the cheapo beans. If they are pretty good to very good & what you can afford, live a contented life. :-)

 

Whether or not there IS a difference & room for improvement, if you cannot taste a difference..it's pretty moot at the end of the day. Note that I did not assume that there was "no difference", but if you are satisfied & not looking to find something that is currently missing, nor eliminate a characteristic that you don't like, it can be difficult to identify what "better" actually is, when your expectations are already being met.

 

So much so, that I kind of dread to enquire as to whether you are making a cup each, of both types, simultaneously (or as simultaneously as is possible), then doing a side by side, A/B comparison (possibly cleansing the palate between samples), to highlight any positive/negative characteristicsattributable to either? ...Damn! Did I type that out loud? No, stop, forget I said anything....contentment is underrated, feel free to enjoy it ;-)

Edited by MWJB

“Coffee evokes the most insane reactions in people”, Rene Redzepi.

 

https://markwjburness.wordpress.com/

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Buy a quarter of Hasbean single origin and a quarter of a full roast espresso blend. If you don't notice the difference, drink the cheapest coffee you can find!

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Find somewhere that sells a Lot of different kinds of bean. Local Coffee house, indi roasters, Twinnings Tea shop, hell, if you have a Booths nearby and dont mind breaking one of the cardinal rules of buying fresh coffee (if it's for sale in the supermarket, and there's not a suspicious coffee roaster shaped object out back, dont buy it)

 

now sniff all of them. Pick two that are as different as can be.

 

one of these will be labeled "Espresso" or "black" or "French roast". The other will probably be either Columbian or Brazilian in origin. (in all likelyhood however both probably came from Vietnam)

 

Compare back to back shots of each of these.

 

Also, Whilst you're at it, try pulling a shot the instant the boiler light goes off. Then try running water thru the system till it comes on, then pulling a second one.

 

I dont know about the Classic, but my old evolution would produce the deepest richest flavours when the boiler light had just come on, and would make a cup of warm mud when it was "at temperature".

 

Oh. any you may want to consider that in much of Arabia (and other places where Bonkers strong coffee is served) that it's traditional to take a sip of cold water before every sip of the coffee, to "clean the palate".

 

.

 

one final thing. When was the last time the classic was cleaned? Not just wiped with a cloth, but backflushed/descaled ?

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Do you think the grinder has anything to do with it? I mean, obviously Im not using a 'coptor piece of cr*p grinder, nor am I getting an animal to go round and round a thing with a thing attatched to it (Im working on a plan).. but I am using a lowly cheapo burr grinder, one which is completely useless unless I grind the beans twice/ most often 3x simply as its finest setting is dreadful, ie simply too course: Once gound thrice say I find the 'sweet spot' regularly and pull a rich tasty shot with plenty of crema (decent enough that Id be perfectly happy with in a coffee-shop/ really quite a decent standard- so Im far from grumping here at all). I also tried, as a test, a bag of freshly roasted espresso beans from a local good wholesale coffee supplier -ground especially- for me in their xyz grinder (assumption: a pro quality grinder/ or as good as most of yous posh lot lot on here like innit;-) and the result....... exactly the same as my grinder/ no different whatosever, and again a shot tasting barely any different to all the others I mention.

 

I try beans on a regular basis: dark/ espresso both high quality (monmouth for eg) and s'market 'good'.. medium/dark 'finest' s'market.. and through to Yirgechaffe/ medium Monmouth again. All taste almost identical, all have same consistancy, all same crema. I may as well stick to s'market £3. I am a bit bored of it mind.

 

Classic cleaned recently, proper service inc backflush, fine bill of health. I wonder whether the Classic is a bit of a dullard? I'll get my coat.. where is it-quick!

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I esuspect grinding the beans three times may be beating the shit out of them. Coffee's pretty delicate - perhaps that's why all the flavour is going. At least you're getting consistent results though!

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I might be wrong but personally I think the grinder is the problem. I know you bought beans and had them ground for you, but the key there is that there would likely have been a few hours between grinding and brewing and that there's no scope for adjustment. You'll see most of us talk about tweaking grind settings, but there's no adjusting if you're relying on putting the beans through three times to get it in the ballpark.

 

I'm not saying go out and buy an mdf or an mc2 but I think you're definitely limiting what you can achieve with your current setup.


Roy & Alex & The Maestro & Herman ze Hausgrind

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Didn't I say the grinder. Now 100% sure the grinder is the problem

Chimp is selling his virtuoso for £120.

Not a bad option at all. Look is for sale section.

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Sea Chief, I assume you've not got a pressurised basket?

 

 

---

I am here: http://tapatalk.com/map.php?hd0yuo

Costa Coffee Beans, Ground Coffee & Syrups available at http://CostaShop.co.uk

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Ok thanks fellas.. I'll consider the grinder option, as I cant see there being much else to consider, but even £120 seems absolutely stark raving bonkers, and Im not convinced at all yet that such a beastie would make any difference to mine (bar having to grind once as oppose my my thrice). Id need some pretty serious eg's 1st.

 

Ill scour ebay for an oldie as I cant possibly justify spending £100+ on a flamin bean grinder.. thats as daft as women spending £400 on a pair of shoes imo. I have seen gaggia MM types, I assume having gaggia on them they will at least grind down fine enough for a Classic, but they look as cheapo-chinese made as mine: true or are they capable?

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Sea Chief, I assume you've not got a pressurised basket?

 

 

---

I am here: http://tapatalk.com/map.php?hd0yuo

Costa Coffee Beans, Ground Coffee & Syrups available at http://CostaShop.co.uk

 

No, afair I dont have as I took the rubber widget thingy out as the concept seemed a bit absurd/ didnt sit well with me ie I had ideas of exploding messes etc which woudnt subside. So ditched the rubberjohnny so I use just the heavy brass(?) P'filter with a metal basket in it.

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Sea Chief I think you need to take a long hard look in the mirror and realise that a Mazzer Robur E is your only chance of success.

All the best :)

 

(Also consider a porlex hand grinder @£30, more than capable of espresso grind).

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I'll second that. Grab youself a porlex!


La Pavoni Europiccola, Gaggia Classic, Super Jolly, Porlex, 1.5L double-walled steel cafetiere, siphon filter, Motta tamper

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I couldnt face hand grinding at all.. after a hard days' work its the very last thing Id want to do/ or 1st thing AM either.

 

Gave the Classic a thoughragh backflush.. still cant taste any difference one coffee to another. The biggest variable is the compression/ time takes for pour ie longer like 35secs is richer, 20 secs weaker and there the difference in taste is quite obvious; but apart from that all beans taste indistinguishable from one another.

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So you don't want to spend money

Don't want to hand grind

Anything else

 

...shall i just pop round and make it for you? :)

 

Seriously. This espresso lark is not easy and requires some investment. Don't make the mistake i made of buying the machine and then scrimping on the grinder.


Gaggia Classic : Vario : Espresso Gear Tamper

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The porlex is a very good grinder...but if it's your only option you might well develop a taste for single shots! ;-) Crank, crank, crank, bleedin' crank... Fine as part of "the ritual" but a bind for a quick cup in the morning.

 

Stop, rewind: does Sea Chief really have an identifiable "problem". Does he have a "go/no go" situation - gushers, chokers, obvious over or under extraction, is he throwing 4 cups down the sink for every one, non-toxic cup he drinks? No.

 

He is just saying that he is not finding a significant difference in flavours from one bean to the next (in milky coffees, as stated in the early posts). He seems generally satisfied with the coffee he produces. The grinder issue does seem on the surface to be a concern (would be good to eliminate it from enquiries), but he has tried a local grinder too & would seem to be achieving on par results.

 

I have to admit to being slightly envious of his position..."doesn't matter how I do it, what beans I use, it all tastes pretty good". It's very possible that someone with a specific idea of what they are looking for might well identify shortfalls from one bean to the next, but is Sea Chief that person?

 

Sea Chief - Are you making simultaneous cups, with different beans and tasting them back to back, palate cleansing between tastings? Quite often when sensory testing, A/B comparisons are very helpful (often essential actually). You need quite distinct flavour notes to compare "flavour A" on a Tuesday to "flavour B" on a Wednesday, smells hang in the memory a long time, flavours, sights & sounds...not so much...in fact sounds really need to be compared within seconds.

 

Do you have a stent/similar cardiovascular conditions? How are your senses of smell and taste with other foodstuffs? How does the coffee taste at the place that did your grind for you?

 

As I see it, you have a cheap & plentiful supply of coffee that you think is "pretty good"...you are pretty content, there is undoubtedly room for improvement (perhaps describe what that might be from your perspective), but make a judgement call, how much do you need to punish yourself?

Edited by MWJB

“Coffee evokes the most insane reactions in people”, Rene Redzepi.

 

https://markwjburness.wordpress.com/

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Here's a random thought, for diagnostic purposes...

 

Buy some ESE pods from Fairfax or Sarah's Coffee (Espressione) - What differences do you percieve in your Cappucinos? (Grind, tamp & dose are fixed, eliminating variables...excepting extraction volume).

Edited by MWJB

“Coffee evokes the most insane reactions in people”, Rene Redzepi.

 

https://markwjburness.wordpress.com/

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Someone mention my name :D

 

At first you think it's crazy to spend so much on a grinder but as soon as you use one you realise it's money well spent. Honestly! The build quality, the difference it makes to you coffee, the look of them, the longevity. You're investing in a serious bit of kit that you're going to use every day for 10+years. When you spread it out like that the cost is pittance.

 

I'm about to spend £330 on a grinder :o


Rocket Appartamento | Mahlkonig Vario | 58mm Rocket tamper | AeroPress | VST 18g basket | HappyDonkey Bottomless PortaFilter

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I couldnt face hand grinding at all.. after a hard days' work its the very last thing Id want to do/ or 1st thing AM either.

 

Gave the Classic a thoughragh backflush.. still cant taste any difference one coffee to another. The biggest variable is the compression/ time takes for pour ie longer like 35secs is richer, 20 secs weaker and there the difference in taste is quite obvious; but apart from that all beans taste indistinguishable from one another.

 

It really doesn't take that long and is minimal effort. Tis up to you, man, but somewhere along the line you will need to raise your game in the search for good coffee. Without well-ground beans, as I have learnt the hard way, you cannot make good coffee.


La Pavoni Europiccola, Gaggia Classic, Super Jolly, Porlex, 1.5L double-walled steel cafetiere, siphon filter, Motta tamper

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No I don't have a stent MJWB! good explaining for me there tho/ much sense.

 

All Im saying is I found my mokapot easy as pie to distinguish bean A from bean B, the taste comparison was always part of the process I enjoyed & I could nail exactly the bag I preferred and the subtleties between A to B.

 

Not so the Gaggia at all, each bag being pretty much the same -albeit no doubting the quality of the shot is far better in the Gaggia to the M'pot (& therefore 'well just ditch the gaggia and use the M'pot then' is irrelevant, I couldn't go back to it). I was hardy using even a burr grinder but a 'coptor bean-nasty for the M'pot.. so I'll be buggered to be convinced a £100+ grinder will make but a fart of difference.. but unless I try/ borrow one I cant rule it out. Oh well- good cups I get, so I guess I stick here.

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so I'll be buggered to be convinced a £100+ grinder will make but a fart of difference.. but unless I try/ borrow one I cant rule it out. Oh well- good cups I get, so I guess I stick here.

 

Haha! How many times have we heard this guys?

 

It's amazing the attitude a lot of people come here with. You will learn young padawan... you will learn :D


Rocket Appartamento | Mahlkonig Vario | 58mm Rocket tamper | AeroPress | VST 18g basket | HappyDonkey Bottomless PortaFilter

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