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Date: 08 Nov 2006 21:01:22
From: Robuvian
Subject: Starbuck Barista short bitter shot problem
Hello -

I recently inherited a Starbucks Barista with 5 years of heavy use from
a friend. It has a newish pressurized portafilter and it seems no
matter what I do, adjusting the grind, tamping or not tamping, more or
less coffee, I always get about 8-10 seconds shots, but they are very
strong & bitter.

I am wondering if there is something wrong with the portafilter or if
the actual machine is pumping at too much pressure. Or is there
something else I should be trying?

F.Y.I - I am using a Soleris grinder.

Any suggestions would be appreciated-

Robuvian





 
Date: 09 Nov 2006 10:19:25
From: daveb
Subject: Barista short bitter shot problem ~~~~~

The thermostat may be way off and / or the pump may be very tired after
"5 years of heavy use".

bitter? often = too hot
low quantity -- can be low pressure

Dave
Saeco / Gaggia service SE
877 286 2833


Robuvian wrote:
> Hello -
>
> I recently inherited a Starbucks Barista with 5 years of heavy use from
> a friend. It has a newish pressurized portafilter and it seems no
> matter what I do, adjusting the grind, tamping or not tamping, more or
> less coffee, I always get about 8-10 seconds shots, but they are very
> strong & bitter.
>
> I am wondering if there is something wrong with the portafilter or if
> the actual machine is pumping at too much pressure. Or is there
> something else I should be trying?
>
> F.Y.I - I am using a Soleris grinder.
>
> Any suggestions would be appreciated-
>
> Robuvian



 
Date: 09 Nov 2006 05:41:15
From: Robuvian
Subject: Re: Starbuck Barista short bitter shot problem
Oops - SOLIS Maestro...

Natalie Drest wrote:
> "Robuvian" <PeaceChoir@gmail.com> wrote in message
> news:1163048482.112656.254680@b28g2000cwb.googlegroups.com...
> > Hello -
> >
> > I recently inherited a Starbucks Barista with 5 years of heavy use from
> > a friend. It has a newish pressurized portafilter and it seems no
> > matter what I do, adjusting the grind, tamping or not tamping, more or
> > less coffee, I always get about 8-10 seconds shots, but they are very
> > strong & bitter.
> >
> > I am wondering if there is something wrong with the portafilter or if
> > the actual machine is pumping at too much pressure. Or is there
> > something else I should be trying?
> >
> > F.Y.I - I am using a Soleris grinder.
> >
> > Any suggestions would be appreciated-
> >
> > Robuvian
> >
>
> What grinder are you using? (The Starbucks Barista grinder won't grind fine
> enough to give you a longer shot.)



 
Date: 09 Nov 2006 05:39:57
From: Robuvian
Subject: Re: Starbuck Barista short bitter shot problem

Natalie Drest wrote:
> "Robuvian" <PeaceChoir@gmail.com> wrote in message
> news:1163048482.112656.254680@b28g2000cwb.googlegroups.com...
> > Hello -
> >
> > I recently inherited a Starbucks Barista with 5 years of heavy use from
> > a friend. It has a newish pressurized portafilter and it seems no
> > matter what I do, adjusting the grind, tamping or not tamping, more or
> > less coffee, I always get about 8-10 seconds shots, but they are very
> > strong & bitter.
> >
> > I am wondering if there is something wrong with the portafilter or if
> > the actual machine is pumping at too much pressure. Or is there
> > something else I should be trying?
> >
> > F.Y.I - I am using a Soleris grinder.
> >
> > Any suggestions would be appreciated-
> >
> > Robuvian
> >
>
> What grinder are you using? (The Starbucks Barista grinder won't grind fine
> enough to give you a longer shot.)

Correction from my post - I am using a Soleris Maestro grinder. I have
read that there are plans to modify them to make them grind finer. Has
anyone done that with any effectiveness?

I am a but confused though, I thought that grind fineness wasn't such a
big factor if you are using a pressurized portafilter - thought that
was the whole point - not to have to worry too much about grind and
tamp pressure.

I am also thinking that since my shots are strong and bitter, that I am
actually over-extracting, even though my shots are short. Does that
make any sense?

Robuvian



 
Date: 09 Nov 2006 05:30:54
From: Robuvian
Subject: Re: Starbuck Barista short bitter shot problem

Bertie Doe wrote:
> "Robuvian" wrote in message
> > Hello -
> >
> > I recently inherited a Starbucks Barista with 5 years of heavy use from
> > a friend. It has a newish pressurized portafilter and it seems no
> > matter what I do, adjusting the grind, tamping or not tamping, more or
> > less coffee, I always get about 8-10 seconds shots, but they are very
> > strong & bitter.
> >
> It could be stale beans (if they're more than 2 weeks old) or you're running
> too cool, ie heater element scaled heavily - needs a descale every month in
> hard water area, every 4 months in a soft area.
> You can test the flow rate of the pump and compare with other SB owners in
> the group - first remove fp basket, lock p/f in group. Switch pump on for 10
> secs and you should get say 50+ ml in 10 secs. This is only a rough guide to
> pump condition, because with no coffee in it, it's not under load. Remember
> it's 10 secs from 'switch on' not 10 secs flow from p/f spouts.

Thanks Bertie for the tip. I get the same amount as I do if the coffee
is in there - about 1 ml. What does that mean?



  
Date: 09 Nov 2006 08:42:56
From: St. John Smythe
Subject: Re: Starbuck Barista short bitter shot problem
Robuvian wrote:
> Thanks Bertie for the tip. I get the same amount as I do if the coffee
> is in there - about 1 ml. What does that mean?

It means your coffee is not ground fine enough.

--
St. John
"First things first -- but not necessarily in that order"
-The Doctor, "Doctor Who"


 
Date: 09 Nov 2006 05:29:22
From: LF
Subject: Re: Starbuck Barista short bitter shot problem

Robuvian wrote:
> Hello -
>
> I recently inherited a Starbucks Barista with 5 years of heavy use from
> a friend. It has a newish pressurized portafilter and it seems no
> matter what I do, adjusting the grind, tamping or not tamping, more or
> less coffee, I always get about 8-10 seconds shots, but they are very
> strong & bitter.

Perhaps a dirty machine. I've revitalized 5 used espresso machines.
Each one was rekably dirty; maybe that's why the original owners
gave up on them. One is a *$ Barista (rebadged Saeco Gran Crema). I
doubt the pump is the culprit; AFAIK it's the same one used in the
Rancilio Silvia.

Give it a thorough descalling and cleaning. Search the archives for
details. In brief, Cleancaf is a good descaler (available relabeld at
*$). I like to soak the dispersion screen and portafilter in oxyclean.
A good portafilter brush will help with ongoing cleaning.

You will do much better with a non-presurized portafilter (available
from Saeco, and espresso machine parts suppliers). I simply removed
all of the crema enhancing hardware from the existing one. The
pressurized portafilter is difficult to clean, and retains stale coffee
oils; it obscures your results. With a non-pressurized portafilter,
the looks of the crema can guide you to a better shot.

You need to temperature surf to pull a good shot. And, of course, the
usual proceedures for good espresso apply: fresh properly ground fresh
roasted good beans, clean machines, proper water temperature, etc.

A tip. When you pull a shot, leave the steam switch on. The cold
water input and the hot water output sit next to each other on the
boiler.

Check the archives for details.

All the best,
LF



 
Date: 09 Nov 2006 23:03:53
From: Natalie Drest
Subject: Re: Starbuck Barista short bitter shot problem
"Robuvian" <PeaceChoir@gmail.com > wrote in message
news:1163048482.112656.254680@b28g2000cwb.googlegroups.com...
> Hello -
>
> I recently inherited a Starbucks Barista with 5 years of heavy use from
> a friend. It has a newish pressurized portafilter and it seems no
> matter what I do, adjusting the grind, tamping or not tamping, more or
> less coffee, I always get about 8-10 seconds shots, but they are very
> strong & bitter.
>
> I am wondering if there is something wrong with the portafilter or if
> the actual machine is pumping at too much pressure. Or is there
> something else I should be trying?
>
> F.Y.I - I am using a Soleris grinder.
>
> Any suggestions would be appreciated-
>
> Robuvian
>

What grinder are you using? (The Starbucks Barista grinder won't grind fine
enough to give you a longer shot.)




 
Date: 09 Nov 2006 09:22:16
From: Bertie Doe
Subject: Re: Starbuck Barista short bitter shot problem

"Robuvian" wrote in message
> Hello -
>
> I recently inherited a Starbucks Barista with 5 years of heavy use from
> a friend. It has a newish pressurized portafilter and it seems no
> matter what I do, adjusting the grind, tamping or not tamping, more or
> less coffee, I always get about 8-10 seconds shots, but they are very
> strong & bitter.
>
It could be stale beans (if they're more than 2 weeks old) or you're running
too cool, ie heater element scaled heavily - needs a descale every month in
hard water area, every 4 months in a soft area.
You can test the flow rate of the pump and compare with other SB owners in
the group - first remove fp basket, lock p/f in group. Switch pump on for 10
secs and you should get say 50+ ml in 10 secs. This is only a rough guide to
pump condition, because with no coffee in it, it's not under load. Remember
it's 10 secs from 'switch on' not 10 secs flow from p/f spouts.