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Date: 01 Sep 2007 10:31:25
From: Elias
Subject: Muddy crema
My Kenwood Caf=E9 Retro has worked flawlessly for more than the two
years that I've had it, on average making at least one double espresso
every day. But in recent months it's been producing a terrible crema
and lots of very fine coffee grounds that sink to the bottom. I'm not
bothered by the grounds, and I expect some of them will always make it
through the filter, but the crema is completely unacceptable. It used
to be almost 2 cms thick, and it would not dissolve much. This is how
it used to look:
http://img174.imageshack.us/img174/3461/goodxd6.jpg

I can get this type of result in one shot out of perhaps 20, and
there's no way of telling how to make a good one. I've tried
everything!
Tamping pressure: from just a light tap to my whole body weight.
Temperature: the boiler temperature of the Kenwood varies by 15
centigrades.
Courseness of the grounds: my Krups grinder, although widely
criticised, has always served me well - but I've now taken to buying
pre-ground Mokaflor espresso coffee which to me feels too course
(taste is a bit watery) but still doesn't produce a good crema.
Amount of coffee: I now carefully weigh each puck, and it usually
weighs in at around 9 grams.
Also cleaned the Kenwood, extensively, as well as descaled it.

This is how a horrible crema looks like:
http://img258.imageshack.us/img258/7326/bad1kg3.jpg
Or:
http://img505.imageshack.us/img505/5599/bad2tk6.jpg

This crema consists mainly of incredibly small particles, and tastes
bitter and stale. Scoop it out with a teaspoon, and the coffee beneath
is good. The only explanation I can come up with, however bizarre it
is, is that the hole in the (steel) filter has been enlarged
throughout the years.

Perhaps someone with a bit more experience can shed some light on this
really annoying problem?





 
Date: 02 Sep 2007 21:31:15
From: Moka Java
Subject: Re: Muddy crema
Elias wrote:
> My Kenwood Café Retro has worked flawlessly for more than the two
> years that I've had it, on average making at least one double espresso
> every day. But in recent months it's been producing a terrible crema
> and lots of very fine coffee grounds that sink to the bottom. I'm not
> bothered by the grounds, and I expect some of them will always make it
> through the filter, but the crema is completely unacceptable. It used
> to be almost 2 cms thick, and it would not dissolve much. This is how
> it used to look:
> http://img174.imageshack.us/img174/3461/goodxd6.jpg
>
> I can get this type of result in one shot out of perhaps 20, and
> there's no way of telling how to make a good one. I've tried
> everything!
> Tamping pressure: from just a light tap to my whole body weight.
> Temperature: the boiler temperature of the Kenwood varies by 15
> centigrades.
> Courseness of the grounds: my Krups grinder, although widely
> criticised, has always served me well - but I've now taken to buying
> pre-ground Mokaflor espresso coffee which to me feels too course
> (taste is a bit watery) but still doesn't produce a good crema.
> Amount of coffee: I now carefully weigh each puck, and it usually
> weighs in at around 9 grams.
> Also cleaned the Kenwood, extensively, as well as descaled it.
>
> This is how a horrible crema looks like:
> http://img258.imageshack.us/img258/7326/bad1kg3.jpg
> Or:
> http://img505.imageshack.us/img505/5599/bad2tk6.jpg
>
> This crema consists mainly of incredibly small particles, and tastes
> bitter and stale. Scoop it out with a teaspoon, and the coffee beneath
> is good. The only explanation I can come up with, however bizarre it
> is, is that the hole in the (steel) filter has been enlarged
> throughout the years.
>
> Perhaps someone with a bit more experience can shed some light on this
> really annoying problem?
>
I don't know your machine but I'm assuming it has a pressurized
portafilter since you can get away with the Krups grinder and get crema
with pre-ground. Check your basket carefully. It's possible that it
has a crack that isn't readily visible but opens under pressure. I've
heard of it happening with heavily used commercial machines but perhaps
there's a defect in your basket.

R "my best shot" TF


 
Date: 02 Sep 2007 16:46:00
From: Flasherly
Subject: Re: Muddy crema
On Sep 2, 9:32 am, Elias <thegreatp...@gmail.com > wrote:

Flatpannels - 19" ACER to testing people's gear, 19" NEC 940i
syncmaster, and an 232 OLEVIA 32" 1080p. I tend high colour
saturation for rendering, but not networked or readily linked across
the room to the Olevia. First looks like some near orangish-colored
crema to me. NEC colors are tepid, mealy, oatmeal-gruel, almost
exactly like camel-snot crema. A horrible thought occured, setting a
cup like that in front of a guest. Second - OK, aside from slightly
narrow aperture, that's looking more along a suspect grinder, like
there could be fines mixed into the crema. Retained outlines of prior
bubbles are curiously solidified in the foam, as if the cup sat too
long for a still, or the extraction was extended to include faux stage
residuals (past when lightening of the extraction first appears). A
strikeout - wouldn't make glossy ad-copy coverwork. Third - now's
where's it's interesting. That's a beau-beaut, bon petite, I mean,
one good-looking cup of espresso. Why it's also lumped or predicated
bad, a bias apart from perfection containing more reddish coffee
pigmentation, perhaps, or a couple out-of-place lavender background
reflections, escapes me. If stale tasting, the coffee is simply bad
and stale;- unlike bitter tasting, which is not all bad when
temperature is within allowances, as citric coffee flavorings coffees
congenially impart. (I look within crema for an elaboration and
enhancement of underlying flavors, essences from a base, as it were,
to compare unsweetened bitter chocolate to crema, distinct from a
resulting continuum of less concentrated distillations or derivations
beneath.) I can't imagine what good coffee imparts for a distinction
apart from its crema. Good coffee within allowances for not
extracting coffee beyond, into the blond, with a filling atop of
lackluster, bubbled-frothed, unacceptable camel snot. Better is good
coffee and no crema, all else being equal to an adequate machine and
agreeable beans.

There's no getting around fines. I'll sell you my $80 Capresso
Infinity for $40, which so far hasn't fines or any peculiar assemblage
of untoward baggage, and update to a $200 Cunill commercial grindset.
That way, we may each in turn donate our respective $40 Krups to a
worthy cause, such as the German Branch Office of the Salvation Army.

Two years experience, you say. I've a sack to speak of, 75 lbs.,
largely now green beans on a quarter the time, be it probably aways
yet before consuming its entirety.

>
> The pictures match reality very well. I obviously cannot say anything
> about your monitor and what it looks like for you, but normally the
> Kenwood creates a very pale and thick crema, completely dust free.
>
> But believe me, the Krups is not at fault (sadly, as I was expecting a
> reason to buy an Isomac). When grinding, I mainly use Mokaflor 100%
> Arabica, Mokaflor 40% Robusta, or Mokaflor Chiaroscuro 100% Arabica.
> The type of bean used seems to be of no importance in this matter
> either. My first theory was that the 'dust' produced by the Krups was
> ruining the crema, but this turned out to be false as the pre-ground
> Mokaflor still produces that vile crema. The second bad crema picture
> I linked to might look appealing, but it is absolutely horrid. Compare
> to the first picture, and note the absence of the fine (flour like)
> brown particles in the first photo. Beneath that crema, the coffee
> itself is basically as good as ever. There is also an unusually high
> accumulation of very fine grounds at the bottom of the cup.
>
> Any more ideas or suggestions? I would be really grateful! I am only
> two years into my coffee fetishism, so I haven't gathered enough
> experience for this kind of troubleshooting.



 
Date: 02 Sep 2007 06:35:56
From: Elias
Subject: Re: Muddy crema
On 2 Sep, 01:24, "Dan Bollinger" <danNObollin...@insightSPAMbb.com >
wrote:
> Elias, If coffee grounds are getting through your PF then it is very fine. There
> is a natural tendency, I've noticed, for some people to gradually make their
> grounds finer and finer over a period of time. I know there was a time when I
> did this. I still do from time to time and have to 'go coarse' and then work my
> way back down to the optimal level. Dan

That was my first though too - that I was grinding too finely, but
even the pre-ground Mokaflor coffee produces an unacceptable crema.

I would be very appreciative of any more ideas you might have.



 
Date: 02 Sep 2007 06:32:02
From: Elias
Subject: Re: Muddy crema
On 2 Sep, 01:59, Flasherly <gjerr...@ij.net > wrote:
> On Sep 1, 1:31 pm, Elias <thegreatp...@gmail.com> wrote:
>
>
>
> > My Kenwood Caf=E9 Retro has worked flawlessly for more than the two
> > years that I've had it, on average making at least one double espresso
> > every day. But in recent months it's been producing a terrible crema
> > and lots of very fine coffee grounds that sink to the bottom. I'm not
> > bothered by the grounds, and I expect some of them will always make it
> > through the filter, but the crema is completely unacceptable. It used
> > to be almost 2 cms thick, and it would not dissolve much. This is how
> > it used to look:http://img174.imageshack.us/img174/3461/goodxd6.jpg
>
> > I can get this type of result in one shot out of perhaps 20, and
> > there's no way of telling how to make a good one. I've tried
> > everything!
> > Tamping pressure: from just a light tap to my whole body weight.
> > Temperature: the boiler temperature of the Kenwood varies by 15
> > centigrades.
> > Courseness of the grounds: my Krups grinder, although widely
> > criticised, has always served me well - but I've now taken to buying
> > pre-ground Mokaflor espresso coffee which to me feels too course
> > (taste is a bit watery) but still doesn't produce a good crema.
> > Amount of coffee: I now carefully weigh each puck, and it usually
> > weighs in at around 9 grams.
> > Also cleaned the Kenwood, extensively, as well as descaled it.
>
> > This is how a horrible crema looks like:http://img258.imageshack.us/img=
258/7326/bad1kg3.jpg
> > Or:http://img505.imageshack.us/img505/5599/bad2tk6.jpg
>
> > This crema consists mainly of incredibly small particles, and tastes
> > bitter and stale. Scoop it out with a teaspoon, and the coffee beneath
> > is good. The only explanation I can come up with, however bizarre it
> > is, is that the hole in the (steel) filter has been enlarged
> > throughout the years.
>
> > Perhaps someone with a bit more experience can shed some light on this
> > really annoying problem?
>
> I have an Infinity instead of the Krups. I'd say the Infinity is a
> step above the Krups in consistency. The makings of conical shavings
> instead of smashing plates for burrworks, and about less fines to
> filter through as sediment on the bottom of a cup, sediment, I haven't
> in any significance. I may have one of the lucky ones, as it's
> acceptable to me at its finest only grind setting, sic, little leeway
> either way. (A fine adjustment set a mite coarser, for instance, is
> SOL territory, as when roasting the last batch darkly for a closer
> approximation to espresso blends.) Although, left alone, finest, on a
> lighter roast, which I enjoy. all is well, in so far as goodly
> apportionments heed. Luckily spared, as some say about their
> Infinities, which at some point drop adjustment, incapable of any or
> all finer grinds. (Plastic seating assembly the burrs ride on,
> potentially, as I seldom get into heavy ratcheting action apart from
> the finest setting.)
>
> I've also a Gaggia instead of Kenwood (since contacting Kenwood about
> the disagreeable matter of a broken CD's 6-laser refraction system,
> I'd expected much more from, Kenwood isn't getting a dime more of my
> money).
>
> Your first first two pictures, markedly the first, the lighting
> temperatures somehow look off - pale and unnatural looking ochers. The
> second looks more realistic, in so far as I'd find it objectionable
> were it one I'd poured. Whereas the last listed, now that one looks
> rather good. . .don't mind if I do.
>
> No mention of beans, other than a small representative of two, the
> latter being implicit from 'taken' [from what other a priori, or,
> before the existence of Mokaflor]. Batches can and conceivably do
> vary from intent given bold lettering and logos on a can. Hope I'm
> not overlooking the obvious, but tried any robusta of late? Also,
> crema as a taste unique from qualities integral to a blend, in all
> ways otherwise extracted within acceptable reserves, doesn't follow -
> dare I say a non sequitur - such that for one quality to exist, as
> not, ought not preclude (by a subsequent event) sense derived from the
> related quality and first principle taste qualifies.
>
> 'The function of reason is to recognize that there are an infinity of
> things which surpass it.' -Pens=E9es, B. Pascal

The pictures match reality very well. I obviously cannot say anything
about your monitor and what it looks like for you, but normally the
Kenwood creates a very pale and thick crema, completely dust free.

But believe me, the Krups is not at fault (sadly, as I was expecting a
reason to buy an Isomac). When grinding, I mainly use Mokaflor 100%
Arabica, Mokaflor 40% Robusta, or Mokaflor Chiaroscuro 100% Arabica.
The type of bean used seems to be of no importance in this matter
either. My first theory was that the 'dust' produced by the Krups was
ruining the crema, but this turned out to be false as the pre-ground
Mokaflor still produces that vile crema. The second bad crema picture
I linked to might look appealing, but it is absolutely horrid. Compare
to the first picture, and note the absence of the fine (flour like)
brown particles in the first photo. Beneath that crema, the coffee
itself is basically as good as ever. There is also an unusually high
accumulation of very fine grounds at the bottom of the cup.

Any more ideas or suggestions? I would be really grateful! I am only
two years into my coffee fetishism, so I haven't gathered enough
experience for this kind of troubleshooting.



 
Date: 01 Sep 2007 16:59:36
From: Flasherly
Subject: Re: Muddy crema
On Sep 1, 1:31 pm, Elias <thegreatp...@gmail.com > wrote:
> My Kenwood Caf=E9 Retro has worked flawlessly for more than the two
> years that I've had it, on average making at least one double espresso
> every day. But in recent months it's been producing a terrible crema
> and lots of very fine coffee grounds that sink to the bottom. I'm not
> bothered by the grounds, and I expect some of them will always make it
> through the filter, but the crema is completely unacceptable. It used
> to be almost 2 cms thick, and it would not dissolve much. This is how
> it used to look:http://img174.imageshack.us/img174/3461/goodxd6.jpg
>
> I can get this type of result in one shot out of perhaps 20, and
> there's no way of telling how to make a good one. I've tried
> everything!
> Tamping pressure: from just a light tap to my whole body weight.
> Temperature: the boiler temperature of the Kenwood varies by 15
> centigrades.
> Courseness of the grounds: my Krups grinder, although widely
> criticised, has always served me well - but I've now taken to buying
> pre-ground Mokaflor espresso coffee which to me feels too course
> (taste is a bit watery) but still doesn't produce a good crema.
> Amount of coffee: I now carefully weigh each puck, and it usually
> weighs in at around 9 grams.
> Also cleaned the Kenwood, extensively, as well as descaled it.
>
> This is how a horrible crema looks like:http://img258.imageshack.us/img25=
8/7326/bad1kg3.jpg
> Or:http://img505.imageshack.us/img505/5599/bad2tk6.jpg
>
> This crema consists mainly of incredibly small particles, and tastes
> bitter and stale. Scoop it out with a teaspoon, and the coffee beneath
> is good. The only explanation I can come up with, however bizarre it
> is, is that the hole in the (steel) filter has been enlarged
> throughout the years.
>
> Perhaps someone with a bit more experience can shed some light on this
> really annoying problem?

I have an Infinity instead of the Krups. I'd say the Infinity is a
step above the Krups in consistency. The makings of conical shavings
instead of smashing plates for burrworks, and about less fines to
filter through as sediment on the bottom of a cup, sediment, I haven't
in any significance. I may have one of the lucky ones, as it's
acceptable to me at its finest only grind setting, sic, little leeway
either way. (A fine adjustment set a mite coarser, for instance, is
SOL territory, as when roasting the last batch darkly for a closer
approximation to espresso blends.) Although, left alone, finest, on a
lighter roast, which I enjoy. all is well, in so far as goodly
apportionments heed. Luckily spared, as some say about their
Infinities, which at some point drop adjustment, incapable of any or
all finer grinds. (Plastic seating assembly the burrs ride on,
potentially, as I seldom get into heavy ratcheting action apart from
the finest setting.)

I've also a Gaggia instead of Kenwood (since contacting Kenwood about
the disagreeable matter of a broken CD's 6-laser refraction system,
I'd expected much more from, Kenwood isn't getting a dime more of my
money).

Your first first two pictures, markedly the first, the lighting
temperatures somehow look off - pale and unnatural looking ochers. The
second looks more realistic, in so far as I'd find it objectionable
were it one I'd poured. Whereas the last listed, now that one looks
rather good. . .don't mind if I do.

No mention of beans, other than a small representative of two, the
latter being implicit from 'taken' [from what other a priori, or,
before the existence of Mokaflor]. Batches can and conceivably do
vary from intent given bold lettering and logos on a can. Hope I'm
not overlooking the obvious, but tried any robusta of late? Also,
crema as a taste unique from qualities integral to a blend, in all
ways otherwise extracted within acceptable reserves, doesn't follow -
dare I say a non sequitur - such that for one quality to exist, as
not, ought not preclude (by a subsequent event) sense derived from the
related quality and first principle taste qualifies.

'The function of reason is to recognize that there are an infinity of
things which surpass it.' -Pens=E9es, B. Pascal



 
Date: 01 Sep 2007 19:24:06
From: Dan Bollinger
Subject: Re: Muddy crema
Elias, If coffee grounds are getting through your PF then it is very fine. There
is a natural tendency, I've noticed, for some people to gradually make their
grounds finer and finer over a period of time. I know there was a time when I
did this. I still do from time to time and have to 'go coarse' and then work my
way back down to the optimal level. Dan


"Elias" <thegreatpain@gmail.com > wrote in message
news:1188667885.657835.153690@57g2000hsv.googlegroups.com...
My Kenwood Café Retro has worked flawlessly for more than the two
years that I've had it, on average making at least one double espresso
every day. But in recent months it's been producing a terrible crema
and lots of very fine coffee grounds that sink to the bottom. I'm not
bothered by the grounds, and I expect some of them will always make it
through the filter, but the crema is completely unacceptable. It used
to be almost 2 cms thick, and it would not dissolve much. This is how
it used to look:
http://img174.imageshack.us/img174/3461/goodxd6.jpg

I can get this type of result in one shot out of perhaps 20, and
there's no way of telling how to make a good one. I've tried
everything!
Tamping pressure: from just a light tap to my whole body weight.
Temperature: the boiler temperature of the Kenwood varies by 15
centigrades.
Courseness of the grounds: my Krups grinder, although widely
criticised, has always served me well - but I've now taken to buying
pre-ground Mokaflor espresso coffee which to me feels too course
(taste is a bit watery) but still doesn't produce a good crema.
Amount of coffee: I now carefully weigh each puck, and it usually
weighs in at around 9 grams.
Also cleaned the Kenwood, extensively, as well as descaled it.

This is how a horrible crema looks like:
http://img258.imageshack.us/img258/7326/bad1kg3.jpg
Or:
http://img505.imageshack.us/img505/5599/bad2tk6.jpg

This crema consists mainly of incredibly small particles, and tastes
bitter and stale. Scoop it out with a teaspoon, and the coffee beneath
is good. The only explanation I can come up with, however bizarre it
is, is that the hole in the (steel) filter has been enlarged
throughout the years.

Perhaps someone with a bit more experience can shed some light on this
really annoying problem?