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Lets talk about COFFEE

Discussion in 'Social Life, Food & Drink, Travel' started by Flambeur, Dec 2, 2009.

  1. furo

    furo Senior member

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    Today I went to Sur la Table again and brought my double basket with me to run a test case. I first pulled a double shot on the store model Breville Barista 860XL, and then did the same with the double basket that I brought with me. Both times, the pressure gauge failed to get into the optimal range, resulting in underextraction with both baskets. So I guess I'm at a loss. Cranked the burr grinder to its finest setting and that didn't change anything... the taste wasn't terrible but the crema dissipated rather quickly (within 20-30 seconds). So I'm bewildered as to why the machine can't get enough pressure over the double basket vs the single basket (the single basket gets the needle right where I want it every time).

    If you watch the vid here, this guy is basically doing almost exactly what I do, using the same machine and double basket:

    In this vid he pulls a 40 sec shot and the pressure, flow, and color are all ideal...

    I may need to work harder on my dosing (he used 25g) and tamping technique ... wonder if the beans he uses has a large impact?
     
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2013
  2. indesertum

    indesertum Senior member

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    what pressure are you trying to get?
     
  3. furo

    furo Senior member

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    Not sure what amount in terms of bar pressure, but if you watch the vid I linked, you can see where his needle is pointing at 3:08 in. That's where I want mine, right at the 12 o'clock or ever so slightly past on that gauge. When I pull my double shot, my needle is barely getting up to the 9 o'clock range if I'm lucky, which means I'm barely clearing the preinfusion level of pressure.

    I just ran about 12 double shots through my machine at the finest grind setting and I varied my dosage quite a bit along with my tamping pressure. I tried manually preinfusing for longer and shorter times, but to no avail... I just couldn't get the pressure up high enough to get a well-balanced shot. I was able to get a better-looking crema, but the taste is still on the bitter side.... which is odd because normally I've read that an underextracted shot should taste sour, but the bottom line is that the shot doesn't taste right.
     
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2013
  4. indesertum

    indesertum Senior member

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    What grinder?

    At the finest setting water shouldn't flow. When you pinch the coffee do you see a thumbprint?
     
  5. furo

    furo Senior member

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    It's the integrated grinder that comes w/ the Breville BES870XL - basically the same one you see in the vid I linked (he uses the finest setting and you can see how nice his extraction is w/ the double basket), except mine is a newer design that allows the beans to fall into the burrs more easily.
     
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2013
  6. b1os

    b1os Senior member

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    If that's the finest setting, the grinder is bad. Maybe try to reassemble it, the burrs probably aren't properly aligned.
     
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2013
  7. WiredandTired

    WiredandTired Senior member

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    A dedicated grinder I believe will solve your problem. The integrated grinder is a compromise and I don't think that you will get that perfect shot you are striving for. If you can return I would, go for the breville infuser and a baratza precise. Grinder matters more than the machine.

    It's an expensive hobby, you need to sink in around 800 at least if you seriously want something close to the best cafes.
     
  8. furo

    furo Senior member

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    But would that explain why the pressure is just fine when pulling a single shot? The problem only arises when using the double basket
     
  9. A Y

    A Y Senior member

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    Is your double basket the dual-walled, pressurized kind or the single wall? And is your single basket a different construction than your double basket? That may explain the pressure differences. Breville and some 3rd party companies make single-wall double-sized replacement baskets.
     
  10. furo

    furo Senior member

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    Oh god no, the dual-walled baskets went straight in the trash the day I bought the machine..

    This morning I pulled a really nice double shot at the proper pressure, so I think part of the equation is consistent tamping pressure, combined with not having pulled multiple shots in a row. At least that's my best guess... I also timed my pre infusion to be right at 8 seconds like the manual stated and stopped the shot at the proper blonding point - the taste was significantly better than the bitter, ashy shots I pulled yesterday.
     
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2013
  11. b1os

    b1os Senior member

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    Last edited: Jul 5, 2013
  12. A Y

    A Y Senior member

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    I'd drink them now, if for nothing else than educating your palate. Freshly roasted coffee tends to be more acidic and bright when young, and it was interesting to me to taste how they changed over the course of a few days. Anyway, 2 or 3 days out is fine already in general. It's always interesting to see how much CO2 they release, too.
     
  13. b1os

    b1os Senior member

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    True, will do. Thanks.

    You guys have to try a Espronic. Or Espresso Tonic. Or Tonpresso. Whatever. Just pull a doppio over ice, then top with up to 20 cl tonic water.
     
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2013
  14. indesertum

    indesertum Senior member

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  15. ryogrif

    ryogrif Well-Known Member Affiliate Vendor

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    I used to work at a cafe and one of my coworkers always drank those except with club soda and I thought it was gross too, but I tried it this summer with sparkling mineral water ( San Pellegrino or the like) and it's actually delicious, I'll have to give it a try with tonic water though.
     
  16. b1os

    b1os Senior member

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    Foams like crazy. I had about 4oz (volume) of foam.

    Not my pic.

    [​IMG]
     
  17. indesertum

    indesertum Senior member

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    :(. I can't do latte art.
     
  18. b1os

    b1os Senior member

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    What happens? Is your milk steamed decently?
     
  19. indesertum

    indesertum Senior member

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    Yeah. It has that wet paint look. The milk never rises even if I put the pitcher lower. Am I putting it lower too late?

    Also how to do two latte arts from one pitcher?
     
  20. b1os

    b1os Senior member

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    Do you hear the proper noises? If the milk doesn't rise, you're not incorporating air. it should rise about 50%. Maybe a bit less. You don't "put the pitcher lower" in the end. If anything, you're doing so in the beginning. Lower means the steam lance gets less covered by the milk and incorporates more air.

    You should have at least two pitchers.
     
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2013

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