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Date: 12 Nov 2006 19:48:56
From:
Subject: Help, Brikka Owners
I just "upgraded" to the Brikka and have brewed two pots of expresso.
As I understand there is a three brew burn-in period.

My question regards that all-important crema. Clearly during the brew
there appears crema in the top vessel. Well actually it's more like
foam. By the time most of the water has moved to the top vessel even
the foam has disappeared.

Any thoughts on how to improve the end product?

In addition, has anyone used anything other than a medium grind with
success?

Thanks




 
Date: 15 Nov 2006 05:40:25
From: John S.
Subject: Re: Help, Brikka Owners

NoMail4AMD64@NoISP4Now.org wrote:
> Thanks to everyone for your comments. I do not intend to stop using
> the Brikka but have concluded I have a lot more experimenting to do.
> Mind you, my expresso looks nothing like in the photos. Although I
> have only brewed three pots.
>
> So let me ask a couple more questions:
>
> 1. Do you leave the lid closed? I can not imagine it makes any
> difference.
>
> 2. My earlier stove pot recommended a slow brew while the Brikka's
> instruction state a hotter flame. What do you use?
>
> 3. My Brikka is a 4-cup. That shouldn't make a difference --
> correct?
>
> 4. How long after the top vessel fills do you fill you expresso cup?
> I know it seems like a silly question but if I do it earlier in the
> cycle I do get some crema.
>
> 5. How much coffee do you actually put in the filter? I've used a
> full teaspoon for basically two cups of expresso.
>
> Thanks again
>
> Tino

I think that number 5 may be the cause of your problem. The
instructions I've read indicate you need to make a full pot every time
and fill the coffee basket.

>From Bialettishop.com:

Fill the little boiler with water up to the notch inside. Always use
the special measuring device filled up to the k. Easy, isn't it?

Tip #1: Make sure to use the correct quantity of water. If it's too
much, hot coffee might leak from the top of the coffeepot and soil the
cooker.
Fill the filter with ground Moka coffee without pressing.
Why? There's an excellent reason, you'll see.

Tip #2: Use medium to coarse ground espresso coffee.
Screw the coffeepot tightly without applying leverage to the handle
and make sure that the valve inside moves freely. Place Brikka with its
lid raised on a small but intense source of heat. If you have an
electric hob or a ceramic-topped cooker, select medium power. Done?
Good.

Tip #3: The flame should not exceed the bottom edges of the coffeepot,
otherwise the handle will overheat.



 
Date: 12 Nov 2006 12:51:14
From:
Subject: Re: Help, Brikka Owners
On Sun, 12 Nov 2006 19:48:56 GMT, NoMail4AMD64@NoISP4Now.org wrote:

>I just "upgraded" to the Brikka and have brewed two pots of expresso.
>As I understand there is a three brew burn-in period.
>
>My question regards that all-important crema. Clearly during the brew
>there appears crema in the top vessel. Well actually it's more like
>foam. By the time most of the water has moved to the top vessel even
>the foam has disappeared.
>
>Any thoughts on how to improve the end product?
>
>In addition, has anyone used anything other than a medium grind with
>success?
>
>Thanks

What kind of coffee are you using?














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Date: 13 Nov 2006 00:00:33
From:
Subject: Re: Help, Brikka Owners
Roque,

Thank you for the quick response. That may be the problem. My local
Illy supplier had only Medium Grind For Drip Coffee in the Expresso --
Caffe Macinato per Machine Filtro. And I was in a hurry to try the
Brikka.

Apparently even speaking Italian did not help me.

What should I have been using?

Tino

On Sun, 12 Nov 2006 12:51:14 -0800, Roque Ja wrote:

>On Sun, 12 Nov 2006 19:48:56 GMT, NoMail4AMD64@NoISP4Now.org wrote:
>
>>I just "upgraded" to the Brikka and have brewed two pots of expresso.
>>As I understand there is a three brew burn-in period.
>>
>>My question regards that all-important crema. Clearly during the brew
>>there appears crema in the top vessel. Well actually it's more like
>>foam. By the time most of the water has moved to the top vessel even
>>the foam has disappeared.
>>
>>Any thoughts on how to improve the end product?
>>
>>In addition, has anyone used anything other than a medium grind with
>>success?
>>
>>Thanks
>
>What kind of coffee are you using?
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>_______________________________________
>Please Note: If you find a posting or message from me
>offensive, inappropriate, or disruptive, please ignore it.
>If you don't know how to ignore a posting, complain to
>me and I will be only too happy to demonstrate.


   
Date: 12 Nov 2006 19:54:36
From:
Subject: Re: Help, Brikka Owners
A preground drip-grind coffee going to produce crema. You're not going
to get real crema until you start grinding your own from fairly
freshly roasted beans.


On Mon, 13 Nov 2006 00:00:33 GMT, NoMail4AMD64@NoISP4Now.org wrote:

>Roque,
>
>Thank you for the quick response. That may be the problem. My local
>Illy supplier had only Medium Grind For Drip Coffee in the Expresso --
>Caffe Macinato per Machine Filtro. And I was in a hurry to try the
>Brikka.
>
>Apparently even speaking Italian did not help me.
>
>What should I have been using?
>
>Tino
>
>On Sun, 12 Nov 2006 12:51:14 -0800, Roque Ja wrote:
>
>>On Sun, 12 Nov 2006 19:48:56 GMT, NoMail4AMD64@NoISP4Now.org wrote:
>>
>>>I just "upgraded" to the Brikka and have brewed two pots of expresso.
>>>As I understand there is a three brew burn-in period.
>>>
>>>My question regards that all-important crema. Clearly during the brew
>>>there appears crema in the top vessel. Well actually it's more like
>>>foam. By the time most of the water has moved to the top vessel even
>>>the foam has disappeared.
>>>
>>>Any thoughts on how to improve the end product?
>>>
>>>In addition, has anyone used anything other than a medium grind with
>>>success?
>>>
>>>Thanks
>>
>>What kind of coffee are you using?
>>
>




_______________________________________
Please Note: If you find a posting or message from me
offensive, inappropriate, or disruptive, please ignore it.
If you don't know how to ignore a posting, complain to
me and I will be only too happy to demonstrate.


    
Date: 13 Nov 2006 12:12:27
From:
Subject: Re: Help, Brikka Owners
Roque,

Thank you. At least I now know what the next step must be -- A
grinder.

Ciao

Tino

On Sun, 12 Nov 2006 19:54:36 -0800, Roque Ja wrote:

>A preground drip-grind coffee going to produce crema. You're not going
>to get real crema until you start grinding your own from fairly
>freshly roasted beans.
>
>
>On Mon, 13 Nov 2006 00:00:33 GMT, NoMail4AMD64@NoISP4Now.org wrote:
>
>>Roque,
>>
>>Thank you for the quick response. That may be the problem. My local
>>Illy supplier had only Medium Grind For Drip Coffee in the Expresso --
>>Caffe Macinato per Machine Filtro. And I was in a hurry to try the
>>Brikka.
>>
>>Apparently even speaking Italian did not help me.
>>
>>What should I have been using?
>>
>>Tino
>>
>>On Sun, 12 Nov 2006 12:51:14 -0800, Roque Ja wrote:
>>
>>>On Sun, 12 Nov 2006 19:48:56 GMT, NoMail4AMD64@NoISP4Now.org wrote:
>>>
>>>>I just "upgraded" to the Brikka and have brewed two pots of expresso.
>>>>As I understand there is a three brew burn-in period.
>>>>
>>>>My question regards that all-important crema. Clearly during the brew
>>>>there appears crema in the top vessel. Well actually it's more like
>>>>foam. By the time most of the water has moved to the top vessel even
>>>>the foam has disappeared.
>>>>
>>>>Any thoughts on how to improve the end product?
>>>>
>>>>In addition, has anyone used anything other than a medium grind with
>>>>success?
>>>>
>>>>Thanks
>>>
>>>What kind of coffee are you using?
>>>
>>
>
>
>
>
>_______________________________________
>Please Note: If you find a posting or message from me
>offensive, inappropriate, or disruptive, please ignore it.
>If you don't know how to ignore a posting, complain to
>me and I will be only too happy to demonstrate.


     
Date: 13 Nov 2006 16:07:48
From: wlcna
Subject: Re: Help, Brikka Owners
<NoMail4AMD64@NoISP4Now.org > wrote in message
news:g6ogl2d3f9jr4fou6ckmta8edre3990sgm@4ax.com...
> Roque,
>
> Thank you. At least I now know what the next step must be -- A
> grinder.
>

Hi there! I own a Brikka, use it daily, and I don't agree if this
person is saying you need a fine grind!

So, while it's certainly always a great thing to have a good grinder,
I've settled on something a bit finer than a regular "drip" setting, and
I can tell you that if you go much finer you start to get clogging.

The instructions specifically state "do not use a fine espresso-type
grind."

Also, regarding your crema situation, I'd say in your cup you should see
something like Myron Joshua's *in-cup* pics.

http://www.ineedcoffee.com/02/10/frustration/

or

http://www.ineedcoffee.com/02/10/frustration/images/_full_cup.jpg

In my case I get that quantity easily and I'd note that the layer of
crema is not super thick or anything, doesn't go down like half the
quantity of the cup or anything, just a crema top layer. I personally
don't think the stuff I get is like foam, looks like those pics, and I'd
say my crema is quite nice!!!!

But I thought I should tell you that grinding for the Brikka is
distinctly *not* like grinding for an espresso machine. Nowhere near as
fine.

Good luck and keep asking questions here if you like, we all want to
find out more...




      
Date: 14 Nov 2006 03:30:37
From:
Subject: Re: Help, Brikka Owners
Thanks to everyone for your comments. I do not intend to stop using
the Brikka but have concluded I have a lot more experimenting to do.
Mind you, my expresso looks nothing like in the photos. Although I
have only brewed three pots.

So let me ask a couple more questions:

1. Do you leave the lid closed? I can not imagine it makes any
difference.

2. My earlier stove pot recommended a slow brew while the Brikka's
instruction state a hotter flame. What do you use?

3. My Brikka is a 4-cup. That shouldn't make a difference --
correct?

4. How long after the top vessel fills do you fill you expresso cup?
I know it seems like a silly question but if I do it earlier in the
cycle I do get some crema.

5. How much coffee do you actually put in the filter? I've used a
full teaspoon for basically two cups of expresso.

Thanks again

Tino




       
Date: 14 Nov 2006 07:02:53
From:
Subject: Re: Help, Brikka Owners
On Tue, 14 Nov 2006 03:30:37 GMT, NoMail4AMD64@NoISP4Now.org wrote:


>
>5. How much coffee do you actually put in the filter? I've used a
>full teaspoon for basically two cups of expresso.
>
>

A full teaspoon? Really? How profligate.

I think you've found your problem.







_______________________________________
Please Note: If you find a posting or message from me
offensive, inappropriate, or disruptive, please ignore it.
If you don't know how to ignore a posting, complain to
me and I will be only too happy to demonstrate.


        
Date: 15 Nov 2006 13:19:06
From: Harry Ipema
Subject: Re: Help, Brikka Owners
On Tue, 14 Nov 2006 07:02:53 -0800, Roque Ja wrote:

>On Tue, 14 Nov 2006 03:30:37 GMT, NoMail4AMD64@NoISP4Now.org wrote:
>
>
>>
>>5. How much coffee do you actually put in the filter? I've used a
>>full teaspoon for basically two cups of expresso.
>>
>>
>
>A full teaspoon? Really? How profligate.
>
Él pidió el consejo, no crítica -- ¡jackass!


       
Date: 14 Nov 2006 04:23:29
From: wlcna
Subject: Re: Help, Brikka Owners
<NoMail4AMD64@NoISP4Now.org > wrote in message
news:fhdil2544pr1ct63sjdks2542kbpjvonip@4ax.com...
> Thanks to everyone for your comments. I do not intend to stop using
> the Brikka but have concluded I have a lot more experimenting to do.
> Mind you, my expresso looks nothing like in the photos. Although I
> have only brewed three pots.
>
> So let me ask a couple more questions:
>
> 1. Do you leave the lid closed? I can not imagine it makes any
> difference.
>

OK, first I'd say it is definitely good that you are asking these
questions!

This one is easy, the instructions though they are not unanimous, that
little tiny circular info set of info that comes with the machine says
ALWAYS leave the top open! I *always* do, and yes I believe it helps
you get more crema that way.

> 2. My earlier stove pot recommended a slow brew while the Brikka's
> instruction state a hotter flame. What do you use?
>

I use "7" on my smallest gas burner (where 10 is max). So that means
pretty high, but it's the smallest burner, so really not all that high!
The instructions mention try not to let the heat rise up the sides and
this smaller gas burner of mine works better for this than the larger
diameter ones.

The instructions mention you want ideally a small, strong and focused
source of heat that doesn't go up the sides.

With an electric I think this is essentially impossible, just find
something that works.

Even with my small gas burner, the ideal diameter for the Brikka 2-cup
would be still smaller, but that small gas burner is pretty close to
ideal.

I've heard some people claim that lower heat is better.

As long as the brew develops, personally I don't believe it matters
much. If I had a smaller more focused source of heat, I'd turn it up
higher. I turn mine where it is to get the best compromise between nice
heat and too much heat going up the sides.

Do you have gas or electric?

> 3. My Brikka is a 4-cup. That shouldn't make a difference --
> correct?
>

I have the 2-cup! But no, it shouldn't make a huge difference I don't
think, I've heard people say they get good results from both - HOWEVER I
have heard some people who have both and who love their 2-cups say the
4-cup doesn't produce as good of results, but I would certainly assume
there's not a huge difference.

> 4. How long after the top vessel fills do you fill you expresso cup?
> I know it seems like a silly question but if I do it earlier in the
> cycle I do get some crema.
>

I pour practically while it's brewing! Actually, I sometimes let it sit
in there for a few seconds, but essentially I pour while it's coming
out. I think this is earlier than some people, but it's meant to help
with the crema because I did notice that even a few seconds in that top
section makes it dissipate with a speed totally unlike anything that
could happen in the cup, especially if the brew occurs a little "hot"
(if it's hot up there, the crema disappears nearly instantly - note: it
shouldn't be that hot up there when brew occurs).

OTOH, I don't think ultimately it makes much of a difference, but I'd
say you definitely don't want it to sit there very long. I pour
probably earlier than others but I don't think my method would create a
big problem either.

Suggestion: wait until there's a good amount in there but it's not
really finished and then pour. I say this because I think the coffee
that comes out *right at the end* is a little inferior. This is
generally the case with moka pots and I believe it's so with the Brikka
too, but I'm still experimenting a bit, the Brikka's pressure system may
make this a non-factor, not totally sure and haven't done that much in
the way of more scientific taste tests...

ALSO, you should turn off the heat as soon as or certainly no more than
a few seconds after it starts coming out. The instructions also mention
this.

> 5. How much coffee do you actually put in the filter? I've used a
> full teaspoon for basically two cups of expresso.
>

What!!!! Are you kidding?? I entirely fill my basket and even have it
heaped up a little higher than exactly full and it's at least 4 or 5
tablespoons I'd guess, and you having the 4-cup, which I think needs
about twice the quantity of grounds as my 2-cup, obviously requires much
more.

Did you really mean "tea" spoons?? That would be a super, super tiny
amount, and in the 4-cup, I'm amazed it even works. Even one of those
standard coffee scoopers which are what maybe a fair bit more than a
tablespoon? - even that would be way too little.

Anyway, I can tell you that these machines so far as I know of them DO
SEEM QUITE SENSITIVE TO THE QUANTITY OF GROUNDS and I'm sorry you have
to fill them up to get the proper results!! You can't really economize
with the quantity of grounds you use!

Also, the 4-cup is not intended to produce half its regular quantity,
that's a misuse of the machine as well.

Hope to hear more, interesting questions, I'd be interested in hearing
how everything pans out for you too...




        
Date: 14 Nov 2006 21:32:50
From:
Subject: Re: Help, Brikka Owners
Awesome Response!!! I can only hope USENET and individuals like those
of you who have responded live forever. Thank you.

> 1. Do you leave the lid closed?
> that little tiny circular info set of info that comes with the machine says ALWAYS leave the top open! I *always* do, and yes I believe it helps you get more crema that way.

Yes, the circular info says to ALWAYS leave the top open. I wondered
if that only applied to the break-in period and why would they install
a window if the lid had to be open. I actually tried closing the lid
and ended up with steam and coffee expelled through the sprout.

> 2. My earlier stove pot recommended a slow brew while the Brikka's
> instruction state a hotter flame. What do you use?

> I use "7" on my smallest gas burner (where 10 is max). So that means pretty high, but it's the smallest burner, so really not all that high!

I also use gas and have kept the flame between MID and HIGH on a small
burner while limiting the flame to not touch the bottom of the Brikka.

> 3. My Brikka is a 4-cup. That shouldn't make a difference --

> I have the 2-cup! But no, it shouldn't make a huge difference I don't think, I've heard people say they get good results from both - HOWEVER I have heard some people who have both and who love their 2-cups say the 4-cup doesn't produce as good of results

Well, maybe my next purchases will be a 2-cup and a grinder. For now
the 4-cup quest continues.

> 4. How long after the top vessel fills do you fill you expresso cup?
> I know it seems like a silly question but if I do it earlier in the
> cycle I do get some crema.

> I pour practically while it's brewing!
> I pour probably earlier than others but I don't think my method would create a big problem either.
> … wait until there's a good amount in there but it's not really finished and then pour. I say this because I think the coffee that comes out *right at the end* is a little inferior. This is generally the case with moka pots and I believe it's so with the Brikka too, but I'm still experimenting a bit, the Brikka's pressure system may make this a non-factor, not totally sure and haven't done that much in the way of more scientific taste tests...

I agree. I noticed the same difference in my la Signora regarding the
coffee brewed at the end-of-cycle. I also believe that once the major
brew has occurred I will try turning off the heat and pouring at that
time because as with most Moka pots they have thick walls and retain
heat very well.

> 5. How much coffee do you actually put in the filter? I've used a
> full teaspoon for basically two cups of espresso.

> What!!!! Are you kidding?? I entirely fill my basket and even have it heaped up a little higher than exactly full and it's at least 4 or 5 tablespoons I'd guess, and you having the 4-cup, which I think needs about twice the quantity of grounds as my 2-cup, obviously requires much more.

> Did you really mean "tea" spoons?? That would be a super, super tiny amount, and in the 4-cup, I'm amazed it even works. Even one of those standard coffee scoopers which are what maybe a fair bit more than a tablespoon? - even that would be way too little.

Yes, I was talking about "tea" spoons. No it wasn't any attempt to
economize. Certainly not after spending twice as much for a Moka pot.
I came to that conclusion after a discussion with my wife, who does
not drink espresso, and comparing what she uses for her small "drip"
coffee maker and what I was trying to accomplish. And no, she is
definitely not responsible for the silly use of the "tea" spoon. I
bear that responsibility totally.

In addition, the break-in instructions did say to use ¾ of normal
proportions. I guess I took it to an extreme.

> Anyway, I can tell you that these machines so far as I know of them DO SEEM QUITE SENSITIVE TO THE QUANTITY OF GROUNDS and I'm sorry you have to fill them up to get the proper results!! You can't really economize with the quantity of grounds you use!

> Also, the 4-cup is not intended to produce half its regular quantity, that's a misuse of the machine as well.

I guess that is another reason to purchase a 2-cup. I wanted the
4-cup for when my son visits and assumed it would function well with
half-portions.

Once again thank you. I have received a wealth of useful information
which eventually will produce the crema I crave. For now, at least,
the espresso remains enjoyable.

Ciao,

Tino


     
Date: 13 Nov 2006 05:49:42
From: RoqueJa
Subject: Re: Help, Brikka Owners
The standard advice is: The grinder is more important than the
espresso machine. For decent espresso, you can expect to spend a
minimum of $200 on the grinder. There's a lot of information in the
arch ivies here on entry-level grinders. My experience is with only
one, so I can't make a recommendation. But I can tell you that if you
really want to make good espresso, you have to start with a good burr
grinder. The low end ones are worthless. There are a few under $200
that work well for other coffee prep methods. But for espresso, that's
pretty much your entry-level price point. Good luck.



On Mon, 13 Nov 2006 12:12:27 GMT, NoMail4AMD64@NoISP4Now.org wrote:

>Roque,
>
>Thank you. At least I now know what the next step must be -- A
>grinder.
>
>Ciao
>
>Tino
>
>On Sun, 12 Nov 2006 19:54:36 -0800, Roque Ja wrote:
>
>>A preground drip-grind coffee going to produce crema. You're not going
>>to get real crema until you start grinding your own from fairly
>>freshly roasted beans.
>>
>>
>>On Mon, 13 Nov 2006 00:00:33 GMT, NoMail4AMD64@NoISP4Now.org wrote:
>>
>>>Roque,
>>>
>>>Thank you for the quick response. That may be the problem. My local
>>>Illy supplier had only Medium Grind For Drip Coffee in the Expresso --
>>>Caffe Macinato per Machine Filtro. And I was in a hurry to try the
>>>Brikka.
>>>
>>>Apparently even speaking Italian did not help me.
>>>
>>>What should I have been using?
>>>
>>>Tino
>>>
>>>On Sun, 12 Nov 2006 12:51:14 -0800, Roque Ja wrote:
>>>
>>>>On Sun, 12 Nov 2006 19:48:56 GMT, NoMail4AMD64@NoISP4Now.org wrote:
>>>>
>>>>>I just "upgraded" to the Brikka and have brewed two pots of expresso.
>>>>>As I understand there is a three brew burn-in period.
>>>>>
>>>>>My question regards that all-important crema. Clearly during the brew
>>>>>there appears crema in the top vessel. Well actually it's more like
>>>>>foam. By the time most of the water has moved to the top vessel even
>>>>>the foam has disappeared.
>>>>>
>>>>>Any thoughts on how to improve the end product?
>>>>>
>>>>>In addition, has anyone used anything other than a medium grind with
>>>>>success?
>>>>>
>>>>>Thanks
>>>>
>>>>What kind of coffee are you using?
>>>>
>>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>_______________________________________
>>Please Note: If you find a posting or message from me
>>offensive, inappropriate, or disruptive, please ignore it.
>>If you don't know how to ignore a posting, complain to
>>me and I will be only too happy to demonstrate.