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Old Feb 15, 2013, 06:19 PM   #251
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I always have water in my portafilter after extraction. Not like a pool of standing water, but that the puck is like a bog, full of water but you could walk on it. I usually leave it in the machine for a bit, usually while I enjoy my drink, waiting for it to cool down before cleaning.
It is not a big deal. Some machines do that.

Below is a link with a short article that addresses the issue...but I wouldn't fuss over it. Some machines just produce a soupy puck.

http://www.wholelattelove.com/articl...so_routine.cfm
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Old Feb 16, 2013, 08:50 AM   #252
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I just thought folks might find this video interesting...

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Old Feb 16, 2013, 09:21 AM   #253
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I just thought folks might find this video interesting...

YouTube: video
That is interesting, actually.
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Old Feb 16, 2013, 09:29 AM   #254
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That is interesting, actually.
Glad you liked it.

FYI: I found it on the www.wholelattelove.com email newsletter. If you sign into your account on the site, you can subscribe. Some is not worth much, but some of the stuff in the newsletter is worthwhile...viz. this video.
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Old Feb 16, 2013, 09:30 AM   #255
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I think I just made my best latté yet! (no pic, I was too eager to drink it). I watched a few other videos this morning and found that the way I was making them, wasn't really the right way to do it. I changed my process and now it tastes much better!
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Old Feb 16, 2013, 09:35 AM   #256
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I think I just made my best latté yet! (no pic, I was too eager to drink it). I watched a few other videos this morning and found that the way I was making them, wasn't really the right way to do it. I changed my process and now it tastes much better!
Ah, watching instructional video,eh?

You're definitely hooked, Mate!

Watching videos, reading a bit...all terrific ways to keep learning. I often Google questions I have about some issue or another. While you will often find differing ideas and opinions, it does provide food for thought and opportunities to try things out and form your own opinions.

And then, you too, can become a pseudo expert...
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Old Feb 16, 2013, 09:48 AM   #257
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Glad you liked it.

FYI: I found it on the www.wholelattelove.com email newsletter. If you sign into your account on the site, you can subscribe. Some is not worth much, but some of the stuff in the newsletter is worthwhile...viz. this video.
Ii got the letter this morning but didn't get a chance to read it.
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Old Feb 16, 2013, 11:19 AM   #258
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I just ordered a few more espresso accessories!. I think I'm getting over-budget on my espresso stuff now, LOL! The 10oz frothing pitcher I have is a bit too small for making my latté's and the milk overflows it. So I ordered a larger one.

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Old Feb 16, 2013, 11:32 AM   #259
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I just ordered a few more espresso accessories!. I think I'm getting over-budget on my espresso stuff now, LOL! The 10oz frothing pitcher I have is a bit too small for making my latté's and the milk overflows it. So I ordered a larger one.

Image
Good order...the counter brushes will make clean up much easier, especially when /if you start grinding your own beans...I have one too, and it beats the heck out of paper towels or a dish towel.

The tamper should good...the 50mm side. Anything is better than the silly tamper that comes on the machine...you'll get much better control of the tamp. My machine came with a plastic tamper...ridiculous!

I'm a little concerned that because of the position of the steam wand on the De Longhi the pitcher might be too tall. But you'll see if you can make it work. Worst comes to worst, you can return it. One consistent complaint about the machine you have is the position of the steam wand. I hope it works well for you.

An espresso habit is a budget buster! Trust me...I know!!
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Old Feb 16, 2013, 11:49 AM   #260
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Good order...the counter brushes will make clean up much easier, especially when /if you start grinding your own beans...I have one too, and it beats the heck out of paper towels or a dish towel.

The tamper should good...the 50mm side. Anything is better than the silly tamper that comes on the machine...you'll get much better control of the tamp. My machine came with a plastic tamper...ridiculous!

I'm a little concerned that because of the position of the steam wand on the De Longhi the pitcher might be too tall. But you'll see if you can make it work. Worst comes to worst, you can return it. One consistent complaint about the machine you have is the position of the steam wand. I hope it works well for you.

An espresso habit is a budget buster! Trust me...I know!!
I have the same concern about the pitcher size as well, it says it's about 4 inches tall which should work for me. I think it's wider rather than taller.

I just made another latté. First pic is the espresso, keep in mind these are the larger mugs than you have and I think I over extracted just a tad this time. Second pic is the finished latté.

Thumb resize.

Thumb resize.
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Old Feb 16, 2013, 12:13 PM   #261
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I have the same concern about the pitcher size as well, it says it's about 4 inches tall which should work for me. I think it's wider rather than taller.

I just made another latté. First pic is the espresso, keep in mind these are the larger mugs than you have and I think I over extracted just a tad this time. Second pic is the finished latté.

Thumb resize.

Thumb resize.

Looks beautiful!!

Then again...I know nothing about espresso based drinks...but it sure does look gorgeous!!
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Old Feb 16, 2013, 02:28 PM   #262
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Looks great. Soon I'm going to get some more glasses like the one you suggested so I can practice on. And after watching that video it appears that the double walled glasses are better than the ceramic ones.
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Old Feb 16, 2013, 02:37 PM   #263
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Looks great. Soon I'm going to get some more glasses like the one you suggested so I can practice on. And after watching that video it appears that the double walled glasses are better than the ceramic ones.
The double wall glasses in the video are Bodum glasses www.bodum.com

They can be found elsewhere (e.g. Amazon), but the best I can tell, nobody discounts them...they cost the same no matter where you buy them.

I use the Bodum Bistro 4.7 oz cup for straight espresso. Too small for larger drinks, Bodum also has 10 oz and 15 oz in the Bistro collection. They have a number of double wall cups, mugs and glasses. I really like them for two reasons...it's easy to judge when you have 2 - 2 1/2 ounces in the cup, and the drink (no matter what it is) looks great. Very pleasing visually to see the wonderful colors and layers of your drink.
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Old Feb 17, 2013, 03:32 PM   #264
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Figured out what I was doing wrong and why it was taking so long to extract, I had it grinding too fine, and wasn't tamping enough. After a few revisions I made a shot that tasted pretty good compared to the rest, but it flowed a little bit too fast. So I should tamp less to make it flow a little slower, right?
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Old Feb 17, 2013, 03:38 PM   #265
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Figured out what I was doing wrong and why it was taking so long to extract, I had it grinding too fine, and wasn't tamping enough. After a few revisions I made a shot that tasted pretty good compared to the rest, but it flowed a little bit too fast. So I should tamp less to make it flow a little slower, right?
From what I read and see in videos, the tamp should be about 12-15 pounds of pressure. It takes practice, and I'm still experimenting with my tamps pressure too. My new tamper will be here tomorrow, so I get to learn another new thing! Yay!
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Old Feb 17, 2013, 03:43 PM   #266
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Figured out what I was doing wrong and why it was taking so long to extract, I had it grinding too fine, and wasn't tamping enough. After a few revisions I made a shot that tasted pretty good compared to the rest, but it flowed a little bit too fast. So I should tamp less to make it flow a little slower, right?
Nope...if you want to use tamp to control extraction tme, and you want to slow the flow (i.e. lengthen extraction time) you would tamp harder to compress the grinds into a tighter puck.

However, as suggested in earlier posts, I would suggest that you work on the skill of holding the tamp pressure constant, i.e. not try to adjust extraction time by altering the tamp pressure. But rather, holding the tamp pressure constant, adjust the extraction time by adjusting the grind. If the extraction time (i.e the time it takes to get 2 - 21/2 ounces in your cup) is too long (>27 seconds), move the grind adjuster one or two clicks in the "finer" grind direction. If the extraction time is <20 seconds, move the grind adjuster a couple of clicks in the "coarser" direction. Do this until the extraction time is about 20-27 seconds. Do all this trying to hold the tamp pressure CONSTANT all the time.

EDIT: Tamp pressure is, to some extent, dependent upon the machine requirements. De Longhi machine Manual suggests a "gentle" tamp...so 12-15 would probably be about right. Other machines require different tamps. Mine is about 30 lbs pressure, and some suggest higher (around 35-50 lbs)pressures.
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Old Feb 17, 2013, 03:53 PM   #267
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Oh ok, that makes sense then.

I probably won't experiment anymore today. Already had like 6 shots of bad espresso and I'm bouncing off the walls
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Old Feb 17, 2013, 04:22 PM   #268
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Consistency is key, you want to limit the amount of variables so you can just change one thing each time. Tamping should certainly be something you aim not to vary much.
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Old Feb 18, 2013, 06:01 PM   #269
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I'm really getting the hang of this latté making business! I've been using the FR and tamping it a bit harder than I originally started with despite the destruction sheet saying to use a "light tamp". It's been turning out quite well and tasty.

I pick up my order from Amazon tomorrow so I get to start using the new tamper then.

Thumb resize.
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Old Feb 18, 2013, 06:10 PM   #270
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I'm really getting the hang of this latté making business! I've been using the FR and tamping it a bit harder than I originally started with despite the destruction sheet saying to use a "light tamp". It's been turning out quite well and tasty.

I pick up my order from Amazon tomorrow so I get to start using the new tamper then.

Thumb resize.
Your stuff looks beautiful.

Your experimentation with tamp pressure is working well. You've certainly understood the idea of manipulating one variable at a time.

What you will find, when you reach the point that you want to add in another variable...grinding your own beans, that your skills will serve you well.

I just started a new batch of beans a few minutes ago, and will have to adjust the grind a little to get the desired extraction time. When you use different beans, and different roasts...it's a constant process of adjustment to get the shots the way you want.

Your trying different adjustments, within certain constraints (e.g. extraction time), is the foundation of this whole ridiculous, but rewarding, process.
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Old Feb 18, 2013, 06:31 PM   #271
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Once I get really good at this latté making, perhaps I can teach you a thing or two! It'll be difficult to get you away from your espresso purism though!
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Old Feb 18, 2013, 06:41 PM   #272
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Once I get really good at this latté making, perhaps I can teach you a thing or two! It'll be difficult to get you away from your espresso purism though!
No doubt about it, if I were to try to make latte, or cappuccino, or the like...I would come to you for help. I know nada about making those drinks.

As far as abandoning my "purism"...although I never say never (been proven wrong too many times!), there is such variety in the straight espresso, every time I do a new roast, there are different tastes and flavors. Since I have four different green bean espresso blends that I am using now (and dozens of others available), each with different characteristics, and each roast is a little different (partially by design, partially by the necessary guesswork)...it's like have different coffees every 1/2 pound roast I do.

But who knows...
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Old Feb 18, 2013, 06:46 PM   #273
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One of my favorite moments during the espresso process is right when I begin. When I walk over to my "coffee station" and open the cupboard and get that first whiff of coffee smell in my nose, I smile a little inside. How about you, what's your favorite part?
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Old Feb 18, 2013, 06:54 PM   #274
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One of my favorite moments during the espresso process is right when I begin. When I walk over to my "coffee station" and open the cupboard and get that first whiff of coffee smell in my nose, I smile a little inside. How about you, what's your favorite part?
I hadn't really thought about it, but it's an interesting question.

As I think about it, as silly as it sounds, I really enjoy the grinding. Then when the first drops start to come out of the machine...I can tell in the first five seconds if it's going to hit my marks or not.

And finally, at the end of the day, after my final clean up and preparation for the next day, looking at the "coffee station", all clean and organized...that makes me smile.

And, of course, the coffee!

I just read this post and it's clear...I'm in desperate need of help!!!

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Old Feb 18, 2013, 07:00 PM   #275
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So my shots are getting better, as far as extraction time goes. What was messing me up, it turns out there was a pressure thing in the bottom of the porta filter, I got rid of that and it started working a lot better. I've got my tamp down pretty consistent, so I'm messing with the grind settings to adjust the extraction time.
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