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Date: 29 Oct 2006 05:13:48
From: Dave2012
Subject: Beginner looking for espresso advice
Hello,

I recently bought a Briel Artemis espresso machine and started brewing
my own stuff at home. Now, I have very limited funds, so it's not the
best machine, and I also can't afford a good grinder so am using Illy's
tinned pre-ground coffee, using it within a week of opening. With 14g
of grounds and a ~30lb tamp I am producing good tasting double-espresso
(as in much better than Starbucks, but that's all I have it to compare
to) but it looks nothing like a lot of people describe espresso, and as
I have seen in some videos. I get a double shot in about 20 seconds,
which I believe is a bit fast, and the result is fairly thin... I don't
get the "pours like warm honey" effect when it is pouring from the
spouts of the pf. It settles out okay, the crema is ~10% of the shot
but fairly pale. I think this might be because this machine's baskets
come with these stupid bits of rubber in that they call "Cremaster,"
the only purpose of which I can see is to put bubbles in the coffee.
I've tried using it without these, and you get a darker crema but
because the basket no longer seals properly without them you also get
grounds in the cup which is no good. I've never achieved a thick
red-brown crema though.

I wondered if any of you have any tips to improve my results? Or have I
reached the limits of what I can do with the machine and lack of
grinder/fresh beans? Like I said it tastes good to me, not bitter,
plenty of lingering pleasant aftertaste, I'm just annoyed that I might
be missing out on something better!

Cheers,

Dave





 
Date: 29 Oct 2006 12:46:24
From: Phil P
Subject: Re: Beginner looking for espresso advice
John Frank wrote:
> I use my Zass every morning to make a small pot of French Press to
> drink before I head off to work, and it works great for this purpose. I
> wouldn't recommend it for regular use for any quantity greater than a
> cup (or two) of coffee at a time.
>
> Using my Zass for FP allows my Rocky to be used exclusively for
> espresso, so there are no larger grinds anywhere in the machine which
> might make their way into my portafilter, and any adjustments that I
> make to the grind are just a matter of fine-tuning.
>
> I wouldn't use the Zass for espresso, I don't think that the adjustment
> mechanism allows either the consistency during or between uses that
> espresso requires. The rubbing issue is also a real one.
>
> I highly doubt that anyone who advocates using one for espresso is
> lying or has alterior motives, however... I just disagree with their
> assessment.
>
> John
>
> PS I agree with others that have suggested that the best way for you to
> go might be to find another method of making coffee that fits your
> budget until you can afford an adequate espresso grinder... I was
> forced to stop making espresso in the morning due to timing/commuting
> constraints, and I have grown to love French Press coffee made with top
> quality, fresh beans. Espresso and brewed coffee are significantly
> different beverages, and now I am enjoying and experimenting with both
> (some coffees that are great as FP are not great as espresso, for
> example).
>
>
>
> Moka Java wrote:
> > You really do need a grinder. A real espresso grinder will probably
> > cost several times the price of your Briel but that's the dilemma of low
> > cost espresso. The pressurized portafilter makes your machine much less
> > sensitive to coffee freshness and grind. Many people have removed the
> > "crema producing device" from their portafilter. The "crema producing
> > device" will foil your attempts at making the quality of espresso you
> > are looking for but you might as well leave it there until you get a
> > suitable grinder.
> >
> > I have seen posts from people who advocate the use of a Zassenhaus hand
> > grinder for espresso. They claim that they can grind 14 grams of coffee
> > in about a minute and get great results. The will tell you to buy a
> > used Zassenhaus grinder on Ebay and you're all set. I don't recommend
> > this. People who recommend hand grinders for espresso (choose as many
> > as you feel apply):
> >
> > a. are liars.
> > b. are deluding themselves.
> > c. are masochists.
> > d. are sadists for suggesting that you use a hand grinder for
> > espresso.
> > e. have never used a real espresso grinder so have nothing to
> > compare to.
> >
> > The Zassenhaus hand grinder was not designed to be an espresso grinder.
> > When you adjust the Zassenhaus fine enough to grind for espresso the
> > burrs are grinding on each other and you are likely getting bits of
> > metal in your coffee. While the iron is probably OK for you, grinding
> > the burrs is not good for extending the life of the grinder and if you
> > drink enough espresso you may have some odd problems getting through the
> > magnetometer at the airport.
> >
> > Apart from the grinding burr problem, the Zassenhaus does not have the
> > range of fine adjustment to finely tune an espresso shot. Moreover,
> > when adjusted that finely, the Zassenhaus will not stay adjusted for
> > long giving you an inconsistent grind. IOW, the coffee beans work
> > against the burrs and force them apart. The Zassenhaus advocates will
> > tell you to wrap the adjustment screw with a rubber band to hold it in
> > place. A real elegant and precise solution if there ever was one!
> >
> > Think of it, you spend a minute cranking like a madman only to find that
> > the grind is too fine and you've got 3 drops of coffee in 2 minutes.
> > So you move the rubber bands and make what you hope is the right
> > adjustment, grind like a madman for a minute and get 4 drops of coffee
> > in a minute. Adjust again, grind, sweat, realize that the Zassenhaus is
> > not a device designed with ergonomics in mind, dose, tamp and get 4
> > ounces in 8 seconds. Oh, did you want to serve espresso to guests?
> >
> > Finally, if you buy a used Zassenhaus grinder on Ebay you do run the
> > very real risk of getting one that somebody's kid ran a batch of cat
> > litter through. Flavored coffee, grain, herbs and pepper have also been
> > known to find their way through coffee grinders.
> >
> > Some time ago Jack Denver suggested mating a Turkish coffee grinder with
> > an electric screwdriver. Turkish grind is much finer than espresso and
> > I don't know if the range of adjustment on a Turkish grinder is suitable
> > for espresso. With new Turkish grinders available on Ebay for less than
> > $30 shipped it might be worth a try.
> >
> > R "debunking myths r-us" TF
> >
> > Dave2012 wrote:
> >
> > > Hello,
> > >
> > > I recently bought a Briel Artemis espresso machine and started brewing
> > > my own stuff at home. Now, I have very limited funds, so it's not the
> > > best machine, and I also can't afford a good grinder so am using Illy's
> > > tinned pre-ground coffee, using it within a week of opening. With 14g
> > > of grounds and a ~30lb tamp I am producing good tasting double-espresso
> > > (as in much better than Starbucks, but that's all I have it to compare
> > > to) but it looks nothing like a lot of people describe espresso, and as
> > > I have seen in some videos. I get a double shot in about 20 seconds,
> > > which I believe is a bit fast, and the result is fairly thin... I don't
> > > get the "pours like warm honey" effect when it is pouring from the
> > > spouts of the pf. It settles out okay, the crema is ~10% of the shot
> > > but fairly pale. I think this might be because this machine's baskets
> > > come with these stupid bits of rubber in that they call "Cremaster,"
> > > the only purpose of which I can see is to put bubbles in the coffee.
> > > I've tried using it without these, and you get a darker crema but
> > > because the basket no longer seals properly without them you also get
> > > grounds in the cup which is no good. I've never achieved a thick
> > > red-brown crema though.
> > >
> > > I wondered if any of you have any tips to improve my results? Or have I
> > > reached the limits of what I can do with the machine and lack of
> > > grinder/fresh beans? Like I said it tastes good to me, not bitter,
> > > plenty of lingering pleasant aftertaste, I'm just annoyed that I might
> > > be missing out on something better!
> > >
> > > Cheers,
> > >
> > > Dave
> > >

Regarding the Zassenhaus hand grinders, alas none have been made for
some time and virtually all sources are sold out. I do know of one
place in the UK that has a few left though. Some say production will
restart in the new year but I don't know how reliable that info is.

Meanwhile Dave2012 if you happen to live anywhere near oxon it would be
worth contacting the Bodum factory outlet at Bicester village, just off
the M40. They used to sell the Bodum Antigua burr grinder at a very
good price. I haven't been there for a while so don't know the current
situation.



 
Date: 29 Oct 2006 09:41:51
From: John Frank
Subject: Re: Beginner looking for espresso advice
I use my Zass every morning to make a small pot of French Press to
drink before I head off to work, and it works great for this purpose. I
wouldn't recommend it for regular use for any quantity greater than a
cup (or two) of coffee at a time.

Using my Zass for FP allows my Rocky to be used exclusively for
espresso, so there are no larger grinds anywhere in the machine which
might make their way into my portafilter, and any adjustments that I
make to the grind are just a matter of fine-tuning.

I wouldn't use the Zass for espresso, I don't think that the adjustment
mechanism allows either the consistency during or between uses that
espresso requires. The rubbing issue is also a real one.

I highly doubt that anyone who advocates using one for espresso is
lying or has alterior motives, however... I just disagree with their
assessment.

John

PS I agree with others that have suggested that the best way for you to
go might be to find another method of making coffee that fits your
budget until you can afford an adequate espresso grinder... I was
forced to stop making espresso in the morning due to timing/commuting
constraints, and I have grown to love French Press coffee made with top
quality, fresh beans. Espresso and brewed coffee are significantly
different beverages, and now I am enjoying and experimenting with both
(some coffees that are great as FP are not great as espresso, for
example).



Moka Java wrote:
> You really do need a grinder. A real espresso grinder will probably
> cost several times the price of your Briel but that's the dilemma of low
> cost espresso. The pressurized portafilter makes your machine much less
> sensitive to coffee freshness and grind. Many people have removed the
> "crema producing device" from their portafilter. The "crema producing
> device" will foil your attempts at making the quality of espresso you
> are looking for but you might as well leave it there until you get a
> suitable grinder.
>
> I have seen posts from people who advocate the use of a Zassenhaus hand
> grinder for espresso. They claim that they can grind 14 grams of coffee
> in about a minute and get great results. The will tell you to buy a
> used Zassenhaus grinder on Ebay and you're all set. I don't recommend
> this. People who recommend hand grinders for espresso (choose as many
> as you feel apply):
>
> a. are liars.
> b. are deluding themselves.
> c. are masochists.
> d. are sadists for suggesting that you use a hand grinder for
> espresso.
> e. have never used a real espresso grinder so have nothing to
> compare to.
>
> The Zassenhaus hand grinder was not designed to be an espresso grinder.
> When you adjust the Zassenhaus fine enough to grind for espresso the
> burrs are grinding on each other and you are likely getting bits of
> metal in your coffee. While the iron is probably OK for you, grinding
> the burrs is not good for extending the life of the grinder and if you
> drink enough espresso you may have some odd problems getting through the
> magnetometer at the airport.
>
> Apart from the grinding burr problem, the Zassenhaus does not have the
> range of fine adjustment to finely tune an espresso shot. Moreover,
> when adjusted that finely, the Zassenhaus will not stay adjusted for
> long giving you an inconsistent grind. IOW, the coffee beans work
> against the burrs and force them apart. The Zassenhaus advocates will
> tell you to wrap the adjustment screw with a rubber band to hold it in
> place. A real elegant and precise solution if there ever was one!
>
> Think of it, you spend a minute cranking like a madman only to find that
> the grind is too fine and you've got 3 drops of coffee in 2 minutes.
> So you move the rubber bands and make what you hope is the right
> adjustment, grind like a madman for a minute and get 4 drops of coffee
> in a minute. Adjust again, grind, sweat, realize that the Zassenhaus is
> not a device designed with ergonomics in mind, dose, tamp and get 4
> ounces in 8 seconds. Oh, did you want to serve espresso to guests?
>
> Finally, if you buy a used Zassenhaus grinder on Ebay you do run the
> very real risk of getting one that somebody's kid ran a batch of cat
> litter through. Flavored coffee, grain, herbs and pepper have also been
> known to find their way through coffee grinders.
>
> Some time ago Jack Denver suggested mating a Turkish coffee grinder with
> an electric screwdriver. Turkish grind is much finer than espresso and
> I don't know if the range of adjustment on a Turkish grinder is suitable
> for espresso. With new Turkish grinders available on Ebay for less than
> $30 shipped it might be worth a try.
>
> R "debunking myths r-us" TF
>
> Dave2012 wrote:
>
> > Hello,
> >
> > I recently bought a Briel Artemis espresso machine and started brewing
> > my own stuff at home. Now, I have very limited funds, so it's not the
> > best machine, and I also can't afford a good grinder so am using Illy's
> > tinned pre-ground coffee, using it within a week of opening. With 14g
> > of grounds and a ~30lb tamp I am producing good tasting double-espresso
> > (as in much better than Starbucks, but that's all I have it to compare
> > to) but it looks nothing like a lot of people describe espresso, and as
> > I have seen in some videos. I get a double shot in about 20 seconds,
> > which I believe is a bit fast, and the result is fairly thin... I don't
> > get the "pours like warm honey" effect when it is pouring from the
> > spouts of the pf. It settles out okay, the crema is ~10% of the shot
> > but fairly pale. I think this might be because this machine's baskets
> > come with these stupid bits of rubber in that they call "Cremaster,"
> > the only purpose of which I can see is to put bubbles in the coffee.
> > I've tried using it without these, and you get a darker crema but
> > because the basket no longer seals properly without them you also get
> > grounds in the cup which is no good. I've never achieved a thick
> > red-brown crema though.
> >
> > I wondered if any of you have any tips to improve my results? Or have I
> > reached the limits of what I can do with the machine and lack of
> > grinder/fresh beans? Like I said it tastes good to me, not bitter,
> > plenty of lingering pleasant aftertaste, I'm just annoyed that I might
> > be missing out on something better!
> >
> > Cheers,
> >
> > Dave
> >



  
Date: 30 Oct 2006 18:18:47
From: I->Ian
Subject: Re: Beginner looking for espresso advice
On 29 Oct 2006 09:41:51 -0800, "John Frank" <johndfrank@excite.com >
wrote:

>I was
>forced to stop making espresso in the morning due to timing/commuting
>constraints

???
With the espresso machine on a timer, you could make and drink four
doubles in the time it takes to boil, brew and drink a pot of FP. Less
if you use multiple baskets ;-)


   
Date: 31 Oct 2006 09:43:49
From: Johnny
Subject: Re: Beginner looking for espresso advice

"I- >Ian" <someone@nowhere.com> wrote in message
news:4agck2ltvq6iqjt9u6k85ptq6e2fe134g3@4ax.com...
> On 29 Oct 2006 09:41:51 -0800, "John Frank" <johndfrank@excite.com>
> wrote:
>
> >I was
> >forced to stop making espresso in the morning due to timing/commuting
> >constraints
>
> ???
> With the espresso machine on a timer, you could make and drink four
> doubles in the time it takes to boil, brew and drink a pot of FP. Less
> if you use multiple baskets ;-)

hehe, not fair Ian.
if you have the espresso machine on a timer comparison should be to FP made
via a kettle on a timer...
Though that way you could make a HUGE FP and would never have time to drink
it all :D




    
Date: 31 Oct 2006 19:38:14
From: I->Ian
Subject: Re: Beginner looking for espresso advice
On Tue, 31 Oct 2006 09:43:49 -0800, "Johnny"
<removethis.huuanito@hotmail.com > wrote:

>
>"I->Ian" <someone@nowhere.com> wrote in message
>news:4agck2ltvq6iqjt9u6k85ptq6e2fe134g3@4ax.com...
>> On 29 Oct 2006 09:41:51 -0800, "John Frank" <johndfrank@excite.com>
>> wrote:
>>
>> >I was
>> >forced to stop making espresso in the morning due to timing/commuting
>> >constraints
>>
>> ???
>> With the espresso machine on a timer, you could make and drink four
>> doubles in the time it takes to boil, brew and drink a pot of FP. Less
>> if you use multiple baskets ;-)
>
>hehe, not fair Ian.
>if you have the espresso machine on a timer comparison should be to FP made
>via a kettle on a timer...
>Though that way you could make a HUGE FP and would never have time to drink
>it all :D
>

OK, _TWO_ doubles then


 
Date: 29 Oct 2006 09:05:31
From: Dave2012
Subject: Re: Beginner looking for espresso advice
Thanks for all your combined advice. I think I'll invest in a grinder
then. I was looking at the Solis Maestro but it doesn't seem to be
available in the UK? If I save up for a while I could get the Gaggia
MDF. Or are there more appropriate alternatives?

Thanks again, Dave

PS I started reading your site just a few days ago Randy, fascinating
stuff, slowly getting through it!



  
Date: 29 Oct 2006 17:02:36
From: Randy G.
Subject: Re: Beginner looking for espresso advice
"Dave2012" <davecorbett2012@googlemail.com > wrote:

>Thanks for all your combined advice. I think I'll invest in a grinder
>then. I was looking at the Solis Maestro but it doesn't seem to be
>available in the UK? If I save up for a while I could get the Gaggia
>MDF. Or are there more appropriate alternatives?
>
>Thanks again, Dave
>
>PS I started reading your site just a few days ago Randy, fascinating
>stuff, slowly getting through it!
>

I am glad you found my site useful enough to continue reading it! ;-)

The mass of the website alone can make you think I know what I am
doing, but honestly, I really did start from scratch, knowing nothing,
and have worked my way up, just like you can. The biggest, unwritten
lesson you can get from my site is that it takes time and experience
to make really good espresso consistently. Remember that even the
pros toss one into the sink now and again! What I thought was good
when I first started is way worse than the poorest quality I produce
now.

..and I am still learning! Just haven't learned to keep my mouth shut
yet! ;-)


Randy "cranial room left " G.
http://www.EspressoMyEspresso.com




  
Date: 29 Oct 2006 18:05:20
From: Brian Colwell
Subject: Re: Beginner looking for espresso advice

"Dave2012" <davecorbett2012@googlemail.com > wrote in message
news:1162141531.252883.27110@m73g2000cwd.googlegroups.com...
> Thanks for all your combined advice. I think I'll invest in a grinder
> then. I was looking at the Solis Maestro but it doesn't seem to be
> available in the UK? If I save up for a while I could get the Gaggia
> MDF. Or are there more appropriate alternatives?
>
> Thanks again, Dave
>
> PS I started reading your site just a few days ago Randy, fascinating
> stuff, slowly getting through it!
>
The important thing is, you are getting shots that have the taste and
flavour you are happy with...........remember this is more important "than
what it looks like" :-)) You are not in a panic situation, and as suggested,
at some point in time invest in a decent grinder.

BMC




 
Date: 29 Oct 2006 11:03:42
From: Moka Java
Subject: Re: Beginner looking for espresso advice
You really do need a grinder. A real espresso grinder will probably
cost several times the price of your Briel but that's the dilemma of low
cost espresso. The pressurized portafilter makes your machine much less
sensitive to coffee freshness and grind. Many people have removed the
"crema producing device" from their portafilter. The "crema producing
device" will foil your attempts at making the quality of espresso you
are looking for but you might as well leave it there until you get a
suitable grinder.

I have seen posts from people who advocate the use of a Zassenhaus hand
grinder for espresso. They claim that they can grind 14 grams of coffee
in about a minute and get great results. The will tell you to buy a
used Zassenhaus grinder on Ebay and you're all set. I don't recommend
this. People who recommend hand grinders for espresso (choose as many
as you feel apply):

a. are liars.
b. are deluding themselves.
c. are masochists.
d. are sadists for suggesting that you use a hand grinder for
espresso.
e. have never used a real espresso grinder so have nothing to
compare to.

The Zassenhaus hand grinder was not designed to be an espresso grinder.
When you adjust the Zassenhaus fine enough to grind for espresso the
burrs are grinding on each other and you are likely getting bits of
metal in your coffee. While the iron is probably OK for you, grinding
the burrs is not good for extending the life of the grinder and if you
drink enough espresso you may have some odd problems getting through the
magnetometer at the airport.

Apart from the grinding burr problem, the Zassenhaus does not have the
range of fine adjustment to finely tune an espresso shot. Moreover,
when adjusted that finely, the Zassenhaus will not stay adjusted for
long giving you an inconsistent grind. IOW, the coffee beans work
against the burrs and force them apart. The Zassenhaus advocates will
tell you to wrap the adjustment screw with a rubber band to hold it in
place. A real elegant and precise solution if there ever was one!

Think of it, you spend a minute cranking like a madman only to find that
the grind is too fine and you've got 3 drops of coffee in 2 minutes.
So you move the rubber bands and make what you hope is the right
adjustment, grind like a madman for a minute and get 4 drops of coffee
in a minute. Adjust again, grind, sweat, realize that the Zassenhaus is
not a device designed with ergonomics in mind, dose, tamp and get 4
ounces in 8 seconds. Oh, did you want to serve espresso to guests?

Finally, if you buy a used Zassenhaus grinder on Ebay you do run the
very real risk of getting one that somebody's kid ran a batch of cat
litter through. Flavored coffee, grain, herbs and pepper have also been
known to find their way through coffee grinders.

Some time ago Jack Denver suggested mating a Turkish coffee grinder with
an electric screwdriver. Turkish grind is much finer than espresso and
I don't know if the range of adjustment on a Turkish grinder is suitable
for espresso. With new Turkish grinders available on Ebay for less than
$30 shipped it might be worth a try.

R "debunking myths r-us" TF

Dave2012 wrote:

> Hello,
>
> I recently bought a Briel Artemis espresso machine and started brewing
> my own stuff at home. Now, I have very limited funds, so it's not the
> best machine, and I also can't afford a good grinder so am using Illy's
> tinned pre-ground coffee, using it within a week of opening. With 14g
> of grounds and a ~30lb tamp I am producing good tasting double-espresso
> (as in much better than Starbucks, but that's all I have it to compare
> to) but it looks nothing like a lot of people describe espresso, and as
> I have seen in some videos. I get a double shot in about 20 seconds,
> which I believe is a bit fast, and the result is fairly thin... I don't
> get the "pours like warm honey" effect when it is pouring from the
> spouts of the pf. It settles out okay, the crema is ~10% of the shot
> but fairly pale. I think this might be because this machine's baskets
> come with these stupid bits of rubber in that they call "Cremaster,"
> the only purpose of which I can see is to put bubbles in the coffee.
> I've tried using it without these, and you get a darker crema but
> because the basket no longer seals properly without them you also get
> grounds in the cup which is no good. I've never achieved a thick
> red-brown crema though.
>
> I wondered if any of you have any tips to improve my results? Or have I
> reached the limits of what I can do with the machine and lack of
> grinder/fresh beans? Like I said it tastes good to me, not bitter,
> plenty of lingering pleasant aftertaste, I'm just annoyed that I might
> be missing out on something better!
>
> Cheers,
>
> Dave
>


 
Date: 29 Oct 2006 15:18:00
From: Marshall
Subject: Re: Beginner looking for espresso advice
On 29 Oct 2006 05:13:48 -0800, "Dave2012"
<davecorbett2012@googlemail.com > wrote:

>Hello,
>
>I recently bought a Briel Artemis espresso machine and started brewing
>my own stuff at home. Now, I have very limited funds, so it's not the
>best machine, and I also can't afford a good grinder so am using Illy's
>tinned pre-ground coffee, using it within a week of opening. With 14g
>of grounds and a ~30lb tamp I am producing good tasting double-espresso
>(as in much better than Starbucks, but that's all I have it to compare
>to) but it looks nothing like a lot of people describe espresso, and as
>I have seen in some videos. I get a double shot in about 20 seconds,
>which I believe is a bit fast, and the result is fairly thin... I don't
>get the "pours like warm honey" effect when it is pouring from the
>spouts of the pf. It settles out okay, the crema is ~10% of the shot
>but fairly pale. I think this might be because this machine's baskets
>come with these stupid bits of rubber in that they call "Cremaster,"
>the only purpose of which I can see is to put bubbles in the coffee.
>I've tried using it without these, and you get a darker crema but
>because the basket no longer seals properly without them you also get
>grounds in the cup which is no good. I've never achieved a thick
>red-brown crema though.
>
>I wondered if any of you have any tips to improve my results? Or have I
>reached the limits of what I can do with the machine and lack of
>grinder/fresh beans? Like I said it tastes good to me, not bitter,
>plenty of lingering pleasant aftertaste, I'm just annoyed that I might
>be missing out on something better!
>
>Cheers,
>
>Dave

You have a class of machine (sub-$200 pump with thermoblock) that many
of us have used on our path to ridiculously expensive coffee toys. The
Krups Novo is probably the most popular of its type. I used mine for
more years than I care to remember. It will, on rare occasions, when
your coffee is fresh, your grind and tamp perfect (and all the stars
are in alignment), make a half-decent cup of espresso. But, you don't
have a prayer with week-old, pre-ground Illy and a "crema enhancer."

Fortunately, you have a way out. Instead of spending big bucks on
pre-ground Illy, find a good local roaster (if you have one) or a
coffee shop that sells reasonably fresh whole-bean coffee from a good
roaster. If you have none of these, then roast your own. Then buy a
good grinder. Your savings from giving up Illy will pay for the
grinder in short order. Then you can work on saving for a better
espresso machine.

shall


  
Date: 29 Oct 2006 08:04:28
From: Randy G.
Subject: Re: Beginner looking for espresso advice
shall <mrfuss@ihatespamearthlink.net > wrote:

>On 29 Oct 2006 05:13:48 -0800, "Dave2012"
><davecorbett2012@googlemail.com> wrote:
>
>>Hello,
>>
>>I recently bought a Briel Artemis espresso machine and started brewing
>>my own stuff at home. Now, I have very limited funds, so it's not the
>>best machine, and I also can't afford a good grinder so am using Illy's
>>tinned pre-ground coffee, using it within a week of opening.
>[snip]
>>Dave

>
>You have a class of machine (sub-$200 pump with thermoblock) that many
>of us have used on our path to ridiculously expensive coffee toys. The
>Krups Novo is probably the most popular of its type. I used mine for
>more years than I care to remember. It will, on rare occasions, when
>your coffee is fresh, your grind and tamp perfect (and all the stars
>are in alignment), make a half-decent cup of espresso. But, you don't
>have a prayer with week-old, pre-ground Illy and a "crema enhancer."
>
>Fortunately, you have a way out. Instead of spending big bucks on
>pre-ground Illy, find a good local roaster (if you have one) or a
>coffee shop that sells reasonably fresh whole-bean coffee from a good
>roaster. If you have none of these, then roast your own. Then buy a
>good grinder. Your savings from giving up Illy will pay for the
>grinder in short order. Then you can work on saving for a better
>espresso machine.
>
>shall

shall makes an excellent point in regards to the false economy of
using pre-ground, canned Illy. beyond the high price of the coffee,
the quality is not reflected in the cost. Once opened, the preground
is good for about a day or two- three if you set low standards.

Figure out how much coffee you are using and find the price of locally
available, whole beans that are freshly roasted. I think, as shall
stated, that you could pay off an economy burr grinder in a short time
with the savings.

I have a Krups 863 (pump driven, thermoblock) that I use for
traveling, and it is capable of decent espresso when all other factors
align, but only when used with fresh, properly roasted, coffee ground
per use. On the other hand, the sales text for the Briel here:
http://www.ekitchengadgets.com/brarbles.html?ManufacturerId=01-ES42F
sounds more like a comedy routine of a poor translation than sales
talk. Still, it can be forced to create drinkable espresso IF you feed
it quality, freshly-ground coffee.

Check out my website for further guidance.

Randy "not pre-ground" G.
http://www.EspressoMyEspresso.com





 
Date: 29 Oct 2006 05:33:43
From: daveb
Subject: Re: Beginner looking for espresso advice
d:
Suggest you buy a grinder of course,

but -- get your [pre-ground] coffee locally, in small quantities --
It'll be fresher AND cheaper than any Illy product. and yes Starbucks
will help you with this.

also the local friendly coffee place can adjust the grind to better
suit your machine so that you can get about 2 oz. in about 20 to 25
secs.

Good for you!
regards
dave
139.5
www.hitechespresso.com

Dave2012 wrote:
> Hello,
>
> I recently bought a Briel Artemis espresso machine and started brewing
> my own stuff at home. Now, I have very limited funds, so it's not the
> best machine, and I also can't afford a good grinder so am using Illy's
> tinned pre-ground coffee, using it within a week of opening. With 14g
> of grounds and a ~30lb tamp I am producing good tasting double-espresso
> (as in much better than Starbucks, but that's all I have it to compare
> to) but it looks nothing like a lot of people describe espresso, and as
> I have seen in some videos. I get a double shot in about 20 seconds,
> which I believe is a bit fast, and the result is fairly thin... I don't
> get the "pours like warm honey" effect when it is pouring from the
> spouts of the pf. It settles out okay, the crema is ~10% of the shot
> but fairly pale. I think this might be because this machine's baskets
> come with these stupid bits of rubber in that they call "Cremaster,"
> the only purpose of which I can see is to put bubbles in the coffee.
> I've tried using it without these, and you get a darker crema but
> because the basket no longer seals properly without them you also get
> grounds in the cup which is no good. I've never achieved a thick
> red-brown crema though.
>
> I wondered if any of you have any tips to improve my results? Or have I
> reached the limits of what I can do with the machine and lack of
> grinder/fresh beans? Like I said it tastes good to me, not bitter,
> plenty of lingering pleasant aftertaste, I'm just annoyed that I might
> be missing out on something better!
>
> Cheers,
>
> Dave



 
Date: 29 Oct 2006 06:22:47
From: Ken Fox
Subject: Re: Beginner looking for espresso advice
"Dave2012" <davecorbett2012@googlemail.com > wrote in message
news:1162127627.954141.100690@i42g2000cwa.googlegroups.com...
> Hello,
>
> I recently bought a Briel Artemis espresso machine and started brewing
> my own stuff at home. >

snip

> I wondered if any of you have any tips to improve my results? Or have I
> reached the limits of what I can do with the machine and lack of
> grinder/fresh beans?

snip

I think you have surmised correctly. It is not going to be possible to
attain very good and repeatable results without a grinder and presumably a
better machine (although I'm not familiar with exactly what it is that you
own). Making really good experience requires both adequate equipment and
some experience in using it.

If you have enough money to buy an acceptable burr grinder (and I'm not
exactly sure what there is at the bottom of this range however there has
been some interest in a couple of grinders in the range of $60-70, however
at best these are temporary solutions that need to be hacked) you could
experiment some on the machine you have but likely you won't improve your
results that much.

If you truly have no significant funds for an upgrade, I suggest you invest
a few bucks in a cheap burr grinder and maybe also a mokka pot, with which
you could make a facsimile of espresso with decent fresh beans, until the
time when you can afford something better. Alternatively you could explore
other brewing methods such as using a Melita pourover filter cone with a
teapot to heat the water; a very cheap entry into specialty coffee if there
ever was one.

Good luck,

ken