Getting the most from my espresso machine

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by gauchogolfer, Jan 12, 2007.

  1. gauchogolfer macrumors 603

    gauchogolfer

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    #1
    So, I got a lovely new (although inexpensive) Capresso espresso machine for Christmas, and have been getting used to making myself the usual drinks. I have been grinding my own beans (with a blade grinder), and am slowly learning the art of steaming/foaming milk. Still, the quality seems to be somewhere between Starbucks (eh) and Peets (good). Usually it seems a bit weaker than I would like. Are there any tips from experienced home-espresso'ers that can make my drinks better? Short of buying a $3,000 machine, of course :p .

    Thanks for the advice.
     
  2. TheAnswer macrumors 68030

    TheAnswer

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    Orange County, CA
    #2
    Generally a burr style grinder is better than a blade style grinder...the grinds come out more uniform, less dust. Also important to grind right before you brew.
     
  3. gauchogolfer thread starter macrumors 603

    gauchogolfer

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    #3
    Yeah, that's one thing I've heard. I definitely see dust when I grind with the blade. Any recommendations for affordable burr grinders?
     
  4. TheAnswer macrumors 68030

    TheAnswer

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    #4
    As you probably know, the dust is getting overbrewed which is effecting the taste of the espresso. I'm gonna guess any burr grinder is going to be better than the blade, but unfortunately I really don't have a brand suggestion. You might look at this site, and see what they have to say about different grinders. Also looks like they have some how-to guides as does this site.
     
  5. gauchogolfer thread starter macrumors 603

    gauchogolfer

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    #5
    Thanks for the links, I'll check out what they have to say.
     
  6. TheAnswer macrumors 68030

    TheAnswer

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    #6
    Just don't get too overwhelmed with all the info...the first link is more of a professional link, I think. There are so many variables to getting it just right, so don't focus on getting it perfect or you will go mad/broke.
     
  7. gauchogolfer thread starter macrumors 603

    gauchogolfer

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    #7
    You're right about the tendency to go nuts over on those forums. I could see how that might happen. I hope that you don't see me buying green beans and roasting them at home in the near future, grinding them in some $500 grinder, then pulling the perfect shot in my $1,500 machine. Crazy.

    Just one more thing to get obsessed over, I guess. We'll see if I can hold out.

    Thanks again for the info.
     
  8. mfacey macrumors 65816

    mfacey

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    #8
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (SymbianOS/9.1; U; en-us) AppleWebKit/413 (KHTML, like Gecko) Safari/413 es61)

    I recommend you also try various coffee beans and various roasts. I have a fully automatic coffee/espresso machine (that also grinds). You'll see big variations in tastes depending on how fine you grind and what brand/roast of beans you use.
     
  9. TheAnswer macrumors 68030

    TheAnswer

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Orange County, CA
    #9
    Gauchogolfer...just noticed on the Peet's site that they offer the Capresso Infinity Conical Burr Grinder...can't recommend it one way or the other, but it would match up with your Espresso Machine and is $90.00 which isn't bad for a burr grinder.

    In addition to trying different brands of espresso, you might also try a Vienna roast or Viennese as Peet's calls it...some people have had better results with that.

    I don't know much about the espresso machine you have and how it gets water, but are you putting filtered or distilled water in it? You want the water to be fairly soft and not have a chlorine taste too it.
     
  10. gauchogolfer thread starter macrumors 603

    gauchogolfer

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    #10
    Thanks for the recommendation about Peet's, I'll be by there today for sure and see if they have them in the local store. I've been meaning to get a medium espresso grind from them just to have a better idea of what I'm trying to achieve in my home grinder.

    As for the water, I use tap water filtered through a Brita-like pitcher, which is what I use for drinking at home as well.
     
  11. dumpheaddotcom macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2007
    #11
    Sure, thats amazing. Tried a different roast after getting used to one 4 years long and the coffee tastes much better now.
     
  12. mfacey macrumors 65816

    mfacey

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    Location:
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    #12

    Absolutely!
    I've only had my coffee machine for a few months, but I've noticed tremendous differences between different beans. Its all a matter of personal preference, but shopping around and trying different roasts and brands will make your experience my tasty in the long run! :)
     

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