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Thinking of giving up ...


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Might be worth looking for a decent local coffee shop or roastery where they offer lessons for making espresso etc etc. I think I paid 50 odd quid or so for a day course and the knowledge I gained was invaluable. If you have invested that much in your equipment it makes sense to invest a tiny fraction of that into your knowledge to give you the necessary skills. Failing that, there are thousands of videos on Youtube on pulling decent espresso, you'll probably be able to find someone with the same set-up as you so you can relate to what they're doing. 

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2 hours ago, Denis McKeown said:

Thanking you, ordered some pre-ground just now, to concentrate on the Ozzo, and will order beans too ... I do think the "unusual" beans we got from Black Cat might have made things tricky for us ... will report back

 

Brazil Camocim Espírito Santo Organic - Roast Coffee 1kg

SKU: TRBCES1KG-TRBCES1KGE

Grind Level
espresso
Espresso

Pre ground will be more hindrance than help. If you could cancel the order I would.

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I think probably everyone "hits a wall" if they were honest probably multiple times at multiple stages. I found that at first there was just so much information you feel like your drowning in it.  Its best to just go back to the absolute basics and concentrate on those . Repeat and repeat and repeat (document what you do and how its turned out as a reference) and eventually you will hit gold but good whole beans are essential  in my opinion (you can't make a silk purse out of a sows ear).

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34 minutes ago, Rob1 said:

Pre ground will be more hindrance than help. If you could cancel the order I would.

I think it shipped, will have a look, thanks. Denis

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1 hour ago, condy01 said:

Might be worth looking for a decent local coffee shop or roastery where they offer lessons for making espresso etc etc. I think I paid 50 odd quid or so for a day course and the knowledge I gained was invaluable. If you have invested that much in your equipment it makes sense to invest a tiny fraction of that into your knowledge to give you the necessary skills. Failing that, there are thousands of videos on Youtube on pulling decent espresso, you'll probably be able to find someone with the same set-up as you so you can relate to what they're doing. 

Hi, I have a lot of work to do ... Scott Rao's book is excellent ... 

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1 hour ago, jkb89 said:

Why are you buying pre-ground if you have a mignon? 

Hi, we are just not familiar enough with the grinder - it is part of the difficulty. Denis

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@Denis McKeown yup, it would be like The Systemic Kid making a Pizza and asking me to cook it in my oven .....when his fusion powered furnace does a much better job in 3 minutes!

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Nothing here...

 

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Hi, I have a lot of work to do ... Scott Rao's book is excellent ... 
I really think the most important is the practice, not so much the theory. Pulling shot after shot, trying to change one parameter at a time, trying to get a ratio etc. Use high quality whole beans, look for the zero point in your grinder, where you choke the machine and then start opening it a bit until seeing the first drops and then opening a bit more until you get a mouse tail. Then when you are satisfied keep practicing but don't change for a while the coffee nor touch the grinder. You can of course read books, you'll find good information there, but I think some videos en Youtube and this forum will help you much more.
Don't think we all here get God shots, at least not me [emoji16]
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7 hours ago, profesor_historia said:

I really think the most important is the practice, not so much the theory. Pulling shot after shot, trying to change one parameter at a time, trying to get a ratio etc. Use high quality whole beans, look for the zero point in your grinder, where you choke the machine and then start opening it a bit until seeing the first drops and then opening a bit more until you get a mouse tail. Then when you are satisfied keep practicing but don't change for a while the coffee nor touch the grinder. You can of course read books, you'll find good information there, but I think some videos en Youtube and this forum will help you much more.
Don't think we all here get God shots, at least not me emoji16.png

There shouldn't be any need to try to "get a ratio", you just hit the target weight...you might have to account for a little latency, killing the shot a little before target weight so that it runs on to final weight.

I suspect a lot of people grind too fine, so I wouldn't choke the machine, it tells you very little, other than you are way, way too fine. I'd try and brew as coarse as you can, whilst achieving a balance flavour & avoiding sourness/weak watery shots. If you can't get rid of sourness at any grind you try, pull to a longer ratio (more weight out...though this will make them inevitably weaker).

I have yet to see a useful espresso Youtube video...if any of them worked there wouldn't be so many people struggling.

I can't imagine what a God shot is. If you use bad coffee you get bad shots, if you use average coffee you can get fairly pleasant shots (because we like coffee & the datum is on the preferred side, rather than bad/don't know), if you use great coffee you should get nice to very nice shots. There is no mechanism to improve the taste of the coffee locked inside the bean, from average to God shot. You'd have to use God's coffee & I don't know where you get that, nor what it costs :-) We're making a drink by flushing hot water through it & changing the size of the particles to steer the flavour balance (you shouldn't need a video to change grind setting & you can't taste someone else's coffee from a video), we're not doing alchemy.

I suspect a God shot is what someone experiences when a shot occasionally turns out as it's simply supposed to, because a lack of consistency/control.

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15 hours ago, Denis McKeown said:

Hi, I have a lot of work to do ... Scott Rao's book is excellent ... 

Hi Denis, I actually think you have less work than you think to get to somewhere approaching good coffee as compared to say learning how to play guitar and being able to play well. As others will advise, start with good quality beans, weigh each shot both in terms of coffee in and liquid out and then start with adjusting grind setting to get into a 25-30 sec window for say a shot of 18g in to 36g out. If the coffee pours out too quickly (so less than 20secs) grind finer. Too slow, grind coarser. At the beginning this is really all you have to worry about. 

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A great cult comedy film Galaxy quest...well it's cult film where I come from. Never a truer word is spoken...never give up...never surrender.

901 GIF

 

P.S. this sodding classified system I'm doing, never thought I could get it working as the forum needs...but I'm nearly there now. I wasn't going to let it beat me...don't let making a good coffee beat you.

Edited by DavecUK

Nothing here...

 

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On 07/04/2021 at 11:01, DavecUK said:

Denis....I have been involved in coffee as a hobby for almost 20 years.....I'm still learning today. My shots have improved and improved, at some point you get the espresso and you think you added sugar by mistake...or that latte that you never forget. Gradually these events become more and more consistent as you get to know your machine. I am involved in the design of espresso machines, roasters (I roast myself as well as teach) and grinders....even with all that knowledge, when I am reviewing a machine, I like to use it for a month before I start writing a review, the reason, I don't know it well enough to get the best out of it and really understand it until then....and that's with my experience!

You have some nice kit there, but you're not giving yourself the time. I did the top level design for the Original Duetto some 17 years ago (still have serial number 0001 in my workshop). There have been quite a few changes since then, and it's possible temperature offsets are different to what I originally advised. I used to test temperatures using my equipment which was similar to a SCACEII that came out over 12 years later. It might just be a temperature issue with your machine.. and a slight tweak of temps will fix it.

Where in the UK are you based, as there may be a member nearby who can help you. Absolutely don't give up yet...it's akin to having 1 month of piano lessons and deciding the Steinway piano you're using is no good. Seriously, give it time....at least 6 months.

If you can make some unlisted YouTube videos and link to them here....then we can watch over your shoulder, so to speak and offer help and suggestions.

This image is old hat, but it applies to all of us in everything we do....at the bottom two levels it's easy to get frustrated and give up.  This forum will help you and from a personal perspective, everything I do in coffee as part of my hobby, is aimed at making that competence journey easier for people, or to help them on their way.

 

Four stages of competence - Wikipedia

You’ve forgotten the valley of despair between conscious incompetence and conscious competence...

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9 minutes ago, CraigE said:

You’ve forgotten the valley of despair between conscious incompetence and conscious competence...

car sensor GIF

Even Mr Ingersol made it....

Edited by DavecUK

Nothing here...

 

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Hi Denis, I actually think you have less work than you think to get to somewhere approaching good coffee as compared to say learning how to play guitar and being able to play well. As others will advise, start with good quality beans, weigh each shot both in terms of coffee in and liquid out and then start with adjusting grind setting to get into a 25-30 sec window for say a shot of 18g in to 36g out. If the coffee pours out too quickly (so less than 20secs) grind finer. Too slow, grind coarser. At the beginning this is really all you have to worry about. 
I think this is the quintessence of this hobby, in a few words, it's not rocket science either. You described it perfectly.
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There shouldn't be any need to try to "get a ratio", you just hit the target weight...you might have to account for a little latency, killing the shot a little before target weight so that it runs on to final weight.
I suspect a lot of people grind too fine, so I wouldn't choke the machine, it tells you very little, other than you are way, way too fine. I'd try and brew as coarse as you can, whilst achieving a balance flavour & avoiding sourness/weak watery shots. If you can't get rid of sourness at any grind you try, pull to a longer ratio (more weight out...though this will make them inevitably weaker).
I have yet to see a useful espresso Youtube video...if any of them worked there wouldn't be so many people struggling.
I can't imagine what a God shot is. If you use bad coffee you get bad shots, if you use average coffee you can get fairly pleasant shots (because we like coffee & the datum is on the preferred side, rather than bad/don't know), if you use great coffee you should get nice to very nice shots. There is no mechanism to improve the taste of the coffee locked inside the bean, from average to God shot. You'd have to use God's coffee & I don't know where you get that, nor what it costs :-) We're making a drink by flushing hot water through it & changing the size of the particles to steer the flavour balance (you shouldn't need a video to change grind setting & you can't taste someone else's coffee from a video), we're not doing alchemy.
I suspect a God shot is what someone experiences when a shot occasionally turns out as it's simply supposed to, because a lack of consistency/control.
God shot it's an expression from Homebarista years ago, I think it's about that perfect shot when you can say you hut the sweet spot [emoji16][emoji16]
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